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Director Named for National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health

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(PRESS RELEASE) CHICAGO – The National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness has named Donna Fishman, MPH, as director.

In her new role, she will provide technical assistance to federal and state agencies, as well as national organizations, on system reform strategies that involve children’s vision and eye health; participate on national task forces to provide a cross-system voice for vision in policy discussions; and facilitate collaboration and consensus between children’s vision and eye health organizations and other child serving systems and organizations. She is taking over the role from Kira Baldonado, who has taken on the role of vice president of public health and policy at Prevent Blindness.

Fishman was previously the director of training at Healthy Schools Campaign, where she provided leadership training for school nurses in Illinois and across the U.S., and led the development and implementation of the inaugural Fit to Learn program for teachers in Chicago Public Schools to integrate physical activity and nutrition education into classrooms. More recently she served as senior planning associate at the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, where she developed grant proposals and reports for health, education and human service initiatives.

Prior to that, Fishman was with the National Council of Jewish Women Chicago-North Shore and the Jewish Coalition Against Sex Trafficking-Chicago as Development and Engagement Director. Her efforts increased awareness of modern day slavery throughout the Chicago area through presentations and social media reaching over 2,000 adults and youth. She started her career at the Lake County Health Department in Waukegan as a family planning counselor and sexual health educator and subsequently worked for 20 years to reduce adolescent pregnancy and promote positive youth development.

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Fishman graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Illinois, Champaign Urbana with a BA degree in sociology and holds an MPH in maternal and child health from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

The NCCVEH was established in 2009, thanks, in part, to a grant Prevent Blindness was awarded from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau at the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The mission of the NCCVEH is to develop a coordinated public health infrastructure to promote and ensure a comprehensive, multi-tiered continuum of vision care for young children.

NCCVEH works to support children’s vision and eye health by empowering key stakeholder groups to use:

  • Evidence-based vision screening practices and improved follow-up to eye care to help ensure early detection and treatment.
  • Integrated health data systems to track vision and eye health and improved surveillance.
  • State- and national-level performance measures to track program accountability and direct limited program resources.

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