(PRESS RELEASE) DALLAS, TX – The Vision Impact Institute is expanding vision advocacy efforts in the Americas Region with the addition of Judith Marcano Williams to the team.
Williams will work with governments, key opinion leaders, non-governmental organizations and other partners throughout the Americas to raise awareness and ensure the priority of good vision for citizens of the region.
“In Latin America, Central America, and the Caribbean, more than 40 percent of the population suffering from vision impairment has an easily correctable refractive error, according to the latest data from the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness,” she said. “This number is significant when compared to the next leading causes of vision problems – cataract and glaucoma.”
In North America, the numbers show a similar trend, with 45 percent of the population suffering from vision impairment having a significant refractive error. The good news is that uncorrected refractive error (URE) is a public health problem that is correctable with a simple pair of eyeglasses.
Over her career, Williams, who is originally from the Dominican Republic, has held positions at the World Bank and the Embassy of the Dominican Republic in Washington, DC. Her work has included the support, development, and implementation of a portfolio of projects, technical assistance and grants in the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Jamaica, Colombia, El Salvador and Belize. With technical experience that combines a unique blend of private and government programs in the field of public health and education, she has worked on issues such as health reform, nutrition, health education, and early childhood development. Williams was responsible for mobilizing advocacy efforts through public and private partnerships for the approval of the CAFTA-DR Free Trade Agreement, improving bilateral relations and promoting cooperation between the two countries. She holds a master’s in applied strategic management from University of Maryland University College and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo.
“With the high prevalence of URE in the region, the challenges this region faces are evident when it comes to vision care,” said Kristan Gross, global executive director of the Vision Impact Institute. “Judith’s extensive advocacy background and her experience in local communities ensures she not only understands the challenges of advocating for a cause, but she also values the power of partnerships when communities work together to prioritize healthy vision.”