Vision Care
Section Newsletter
Fall 2008

Chair Column

During the past year, officers of the Vision Care Committee have worked diligently on a number of important issues. A new operations and procedures manual for the Section is being spearheaded by Drs. Norman Bailey and Greg Hom. This document will be presented at our upcoming meeting in San Diego.


Just a few months ago the Dection lost our beloved Dr. Mort Silverman, the chair of our Membership Committee. Mort was instrumental in obtaining funding for student membership and introduced a new cadre of optometry students into the field of public health. As you all know, a decisive change in the profession was the enhancement of our scope of practice through the use pharmaceutical agents. Mort, in his leadership role in the Rhode Island State Optometric Association, led the battle cry in this effort as Rhode Island was the first state to allow optometrists to use these diagnostic agents. Optometry advanced from merely ‘detecting and referring’ to a profession that would diagnose. This success was a catalyst for a nationwide effort that changed the dynamics of the profession. Mort Silverman was an exceptional human being, who always championed the professional and ethical practice of our profession. He will be deeply missed.

The Vision Care Section of APHA has embarked on a new and exciting initiative that we hope will set the stage for future projects. The initiative is designed to develop a concise reference guide to help eye care providers with easy and rapid access to the latest clinical information they need in order to provide quality eye and vision care services to their patients.

This initiative is designed to provide an “office companion” summary for the optometrist to use in practice. An online Web-based version will make the information readily accessible to all and enable easy updates as new studies are released. A task force of Vision Care Section members has been working on a document that would help improve access to relevant science-based evidence and assist in clinical decision making of practitioners . Members of our task force include:


Task Force Members            Affiliation

Kerry Beebe                            Chair, Clinical section, American Optometric Association

Sandra Block                           Professor of Optometry, Illinois College of Optometry

Linda Casser                            Director of Clinical Examinations, National Board of Examiners in Optometry

Michael Duenas                        Center for Disease Control, National Eye Health Education Program, Division of Diabetes

Kevin Frick                              Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Health Policy and Management

Elizabeth Hoppe                       Dean, Western University

Robert Kleinstein                      Professor, Optometry University of Alabama at Birmingham

Renee Mika                              Associate Professor Chief, Community Based Services Michigan College of Optometry

Richard Madonna                     Chief, Ocular Disease and Testing University Optometric Center, SUNY College of Optometry

Jeanne Ramsey                         Director of Pediatric Ophthalmology, Boston Medical Center

Mort Soroka                            Professor, SUNY College of Optometry, Director ,Center for Vision Care Policy

Jeff Todd                                  Prevent Blindness America, Senior Vice President


Chaired by Dr. Richard Madonna, this group met for two days in June 2008 in Seattle, where they reviewed all significant clinical studies published during the past several years, including those clinical trials that are presently under way. A structure and methodology was developed and assignments to individual members of the Task Force were dispensed. We are confident that this project will help stimulate additional projects sponsored by the Vision Care Section.

From NIH

Consider attending the NIH Summit on the Science of Eliminating Health Disparities (Dec. 16-18, 2008).  For registration information consult:

Vision Care Section Activities

Activities for the Vision Care Section will be at the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina.  Activities include:


2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m. 

249.0 Vision Care Business Meeting 1

2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. 

2036.2   Vulnerable Populations

4:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.

283.0 Vision Care Business Meeting 2

4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. 

2050.0  Provision of quality and culturally sensitive health care for refugees and immigrants



8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m. 

3069.0  Preventing Eye Disease, Eye Injuries, and Future Vision Loss

10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. 

3157.0  School Nursing: Professional Issues in School Health

12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m. 

3200.0  You have to see a doctor again? Continuity of care for immigrants

3255.0 Vision and Its Impact on Learning including School Vision Screening, Vision As A Part Of Wellness Goals And Alternative Methods Of Delivering Vision Care To Children at Schools

6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.  339.0   Vision Care Business Meeting 3

Tuesday, Oct. 28

8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

4066.0 Vision Care Without Borders..A View of International Vision Care

10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

4123.0 Evidence Based Policy, Racial Disparity and Practice In Eye Care and Aging and the Impact on Vision

12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

4218.0 Vision Care in Community Based Programs

4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.

4324.0 MCH Innovations in Maternity Health Services Poster Session

6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

440.0 Vision Care Business Meeting 4
Wednesday, Oct. 29
8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

5083.0 Academic Achievement and Health and Wellness in School Health

Other APHA Meeting Activities of Potential Interest

Other APHA Meeting Activities of Interest

Governing Council Meetings

Saturday, Oct. 25, 2008

3:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008

9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
416.0 Governing Council Session III


IAPB Activities

The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness held its 8th General Assembly in Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 25-29, 2008.

IAPB is the lead agency for the World Health Organization's campaign to prevent avoidable blindness by the year 2020, VISION 2020: The Right to Sight (see for more information). At the IAPB Council of Members meeting, and at the North American regional meeting in Argentina, it was noted that both the United States and Canada are among the few countries that have not adopted a VISION 2020 Plan or convened a national committee. The APHA VCS sponsored a resolution for APHA to fully support VISION 2020 in the year 2000. Likewise, further advocacy is needed for increased financial support from the United States for this global initiative.

New Database Released by AHRQ

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) announces the availability of the 2006 Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS). Released in May, the NIS is the largest inpatient care database including all patients, regardless of payer — covering Medicare, Medicaid, privately insured, and uninsured patients.

The 2006 NIS includes 8 million discharge records from more than 1,000 hospitals and includes data drawn from 38 states. NIS data can be weighted to produce national estimates, allowing researchers and policy-makers to identify, track, and analyze national trends in health care utilization, access, charges, quality and outcomes. The NIS is considered by health services researchers to be one of the most reliable and affordable databases for studying important health care topics.

The 2006 NIS and other HCUP databases are available through the HCUP Central Distributor at Additional information on the NIS is available on the HCUP User Support Web site at

HCUP is a family of health care databases and related products developed by AHRQ through a federal-state-industry partnership. HCUP produces powerful, comprehensive, health care data that can be used to identify, track and analyze national, regional and state trends in health care utilization, access, charges, quality and outcomes. Additional information about HCUP’s databases and products is available on its User Support Web site:

Released every three years since the 1997 data year, the 2006 Kids' Inpatient Database (KID) was released in June by AHRQ's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. The KID is the only dataset in the United States designed specifically to study hospital use, outcomes and charges in the pediatric population. The KID includes all patients under age 21 regardless of payer.

The 2006 KID includes data from 3,739 hospitals in 38 states. The KID can be weighted to produce national estimates, allowing researchers and policy-makers to use the data to identify, track and analyze national trends in pediatric health care issues.

The 2006 KID is available for purchase through the HCUP Central Distributor at Additional information on the KID is available on the HCUP User Support Webs ite at