Advocacy Events

Thyroid Eye Disease: What Have We Learned Through Research? - Nov. 19, 2020

ARVO provided platform support for this Congressional Briefing hosted by Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR) as part of AEVR’s Decade of Vision 2010-2020 Initiativeand the the first-ever TED Awareness Week. The event featured Gary Lelli, MD, Vice Chair of Ophthalmology at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York who is a board-certified ophthalmologist specializing in oculoplastic surgery. He was joined by patient advocate Christine G. a small-business owner from California who described her  experience with TED, focusing on its quality-of-life implications. Read a summary and watch the briefing.

Emerging Vision Scientists (EVS) Capitol Hill Day – Sept. 24, 2020

ARVO provided platform support and was among the sponsors for Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR) Sixth Annual Emerging Vision Scientists (EVS) Day. In addition to speaking with their representatives via phone and Zoom calls to advocate for eye and vision research funding, the 22 early-stage vision scientists conducted a conversation about the impact of COVID-19 laboratory closures on their research and overall career pathway. View the conversation.

Artificial Intelligence in Retinal Diseases: Focus on Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) – Sept. 23, 2020

ARVO provided platform support and was among the sponsors for the International AMD Awareness Week 2020 and Health Aging Month Briefing on September 23. Hosted by the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR), the briefing featured National Eye Institute (NEI) clinician-scientist Tiarnan D. Keenan, BM, BCh, PhD and T.Y. Alvin Liu, MD, Wilmer Eye Institute/Johns Hopkins University, who discussed how Artificial Intelligence (AI) plays a key role in the diagnosis and treatment of retinal diseases. Jack Stewart, a representative from the American Macular Degeneration Foundation (AMDF), also provided an AMD patient’s perspective. View the briefing.

Dry Eye Awareness Month Congressional Briefing – July 8, 2020

ARVO was among the sponsors for the Dry Eye Congressional Briefing on July 8, and additionally, provided live streaming support. Hosted by the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR) in conjunction with the Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society (TFOS), Fifth Annual Dry Eye Awareness Month Congressional Briefing entitled How Lifestyle Changes During the COVID-19 Pandemic Can Affect Vision. View the briefing.

World Glaucoma Week Congressional Briefing – Feb. 26, 2020

ARVO was among the sponsors for the World Glaucoma Week Congressional Briefing on Capitol Hill on Feb. 26. Hosted by the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR), The Impact of Federal Funding on Glaucoma Research and Clinical Practice featured AEVR Board President, Paul Lee, MD, JD. 

Annual ARVO Advocacy Day – Feb. 7, 2020

ARVO Advocacy Day, organized by the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR), is an annual U.S.-based opportunity for students and established researchers to share their science with their representatives, describe how their work and careers depend on federal funding and invite policymakers to visit their labs.

This event brings ARVO members from the U.S. and abroad to Washington, D.C. to talk to members of Congress — including new members and those assigned to key committees with NIH funding oversight — and their staff about the importance of science research funding. Participation in this event is also part of ARVO’s Science Communication Training Fellowship (required for U.S. fellows only).

Read 2020 ARVO Advocacy Day summary

View 2020 ARVO Advocacy Day photo album

World Sight Day 2019 Congressional Briefing – Oct. 17, 2019

ARVO was among the sponsors for the Vision 2020 USA World Sight Day Luncheon Briefing on Capitol Hill on October 17. Moderated by Mitchell Brinks, MD, MPH, chair of VISION 2020 USA, the educational briefing featured ARVO member, Michael Chiang, MD. Chiang spoke to attendees, which included Congressional staff, about the promise of artificial intelligence (A.I.) and big data analytics in vision and eye care. View the briefing

Emerging Vision Scientists (EVS) Capitol Hill Research Exhibition/Education Days – Sept. 18 and 19, 2019

ARVO attended the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR)'s Emerging Vision Scientists (EVS) Capitol Hill Research Exhibition/Education Days, which spanned various activities focused on the benefits of federal funding in eye and vision research.

ARVO staff had the chance to meet all EVS's during a Congressional Reception on Sept. 18, during which AEVR President and ARVO member Paul Lee, MD, JD presented remarks. ARVO staff also had the opportunity to accompany EVSs and the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) during Congressional office visits on Sept. 19, educating members of Congress and their staff on the importance of NIH and NEI funding on critical eye and vision research. Read full summary here

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Congressional Briefing – Sept. 18, 2019

On September 18, ARVO was among the sponsors of the Congressional Briefing entitled New Stem Cell-Based Therapies for Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Blast-Related Eye Injuries, which featured speaker Kapil Bharti, PhD (National Eye Institute). Read full summary here

Prevent Blindness National Summit – July 17, 2019

ARVO members and staff were amongst the attendees and presenters at the Focus on Eye Health National Summit, A Lifetime of Vision hosted by Prevent Blindness on July 17 in Washington, DC. Highlights of the summit — sponsored in part by ARVO — included keynote speaker Bill Barkley, a visually impaired adventurer, advocate and author, and presentations and discussions on the preservation of vision throughout a lifetime. Attendees included ARVO members, patient advocates, community-based organizations, national vision and eye health organizations and government agencies. The summit concluded with the presentation of the Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health to ARVO member Cynthia Owsley, PhD, MSPH, FARVO. View the presentations

The previous day included Congressional visits during Eyes on Capitol Hill Advocacy Day on July 16, also hosted by Prevent Blindness. Patient advocates, including ARVO members, from around the country came to Washington, D.C. to meet with their legislators and staff to discuss the importance of eye and vision health.

Dry Eye Awareness Month Congressional Briefing – July 10, 2019

ARVO members Benjamin Sullivan, PhD; Deborah S. Jacobs, MD; Bridgette Shen Lee, OD and David A. Sullivan, PhD, FARVO participated on a panel alongside other dry eye researchers on July 10, during a Congressional briefing hosted by the Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society (TFOS) and the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) as part of Dry Eye Awareness Month. In addition to being educated on dry eye and the importance of dry eye research funding through NIH and NEI, Congressional staff were also invited to have their tear film osmolarity tested, courtesy of TearLab.

Celebrate Life Sciences Fair – June 21, 2019

ARVO staff had a great evening attending the Celebrate Life Sciences Fair in Washington D.C. More than 200 Congressional staffers attended and ARVO had the opportunity to discuss key issues affecting the scientific community and how worldwide research would benefit from an increase in federal funding towards NIH and NEI.

Diabetic Retinopathy Congressional Briefing – May 15, 2019

Along with the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR), ARVO co-hosted a luncheon briefing for members of Congress and their staff titled, NEI's Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network: Optimizing Treatment for Diabetic Eye Disease. ARVO members Jennifer Sun, MD, MPH, of Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School and Daniel Martin, MD, of Cole Eye Institute, Cleveland Clinic presented the history and potential of the National Eye Institute's Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network (DRCR).