It’s a policy think tank.

(Press Release) WASHINGTON, DC – To further its advocacy efforts on behalf of the profession and patients across the country, the American Optometric Association has launched the AOA Health Policy Institute, a policy think tank that will develop evidence-based research, analysis and solutions in healthcare policy.

During his inaugural address to the AOA’s House of Delegates during Optometry’s Meeting in Washington, DC, Dr. Christopher J. Quinn, president of the AOA, underscored the importance of continuing to focus on healthcare policy issues as they relate to eye healthcare and the profession’s place in the overall healthcare arena.

“It has become critical for us to provide our leadership and staff with improved tools and expertise to carry out our mission,” said Quinn. “By bringing experts from inside and outside of the profession, we can work carefully to analyze information and evidence and then use that material to guide policy development and advance our profession and patient eye health and vision care.”

Through the delivery of in-person, comprehensive eye exams, doctors of optometry, America’s family eye doctors, help ensure precise and healthy vision, identify and treat eye diseases and conditions and provide early diagnosis of threats to overall health, including hypertension, stroke and diabetes.

HPI will be under the direction of past President Steven A. Loomis, O.D., and AOA staff member Rodney Peele as director. Quinn noted that the AOA envisions that the HPI will build on and supplement the work begun by the National Commission on Vision and Health almost 10 years ago. The NCVH, a national, non-partisan group of public health leaders — including leading doctors of optometry ­— works to improve the nations’ visual health by helping assure access to vision care as an integrated part of public health programs at the national, state and local levels.

“Policymakers and the public often need assistance from AOA to better understand how trends and changes in health care policy affect eye health and vision care,” Quinn noted. “The Health Policy Institute will provide that expertise."

For more information, visit aoa.org/policyinstitute.

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