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Prevent Blindness Names Five New Members to National Board of Directors, Elects New Board Secretary and Treasurer

Prevent Blindness elected two long-term volunteers who have contributed significantly to the organization’s mission as Emeritus Members of Prevent Blindness.

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(PRESS RELEASE) CHICAGO – Prevent Blindness, the nation’s leading eye health and safety nonprofit organization, has named five new members to its Board of Directors. New members include Mary Blankenship Pointer, senior vice president, Frontier State Bank; Pete Lothes, chief operating officer, The Fielmann Group; Matt MacDonald, president and global head of managed care, EyeMed Vision Care; Wanda Montalvo, PhD, RN, FAAN, director of evidence-based and integration strategy, National Association of Community Health Centers; and Ruth Shoge, OD, MPH, FAAO, associate clinical professor and director of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, University of California-Berkeley Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry & Vision Science. The vote was held on Nov. 9, at the 2023 Prevent Blindness Annual Board Meeting in Chicago.

Additionally, Blankenship Pointer was elected as the Prevent Blindness Board of Directors Treasurer, and Jackie Herd, RN, DNP, NEA-BC, FACHE, principal, Vizient, Inc., was elected as the Board of Directors Secretary.

Prevent Blindness elected two long-term volunteers who have contributed significantly to the organization’s mission as Emeritus Members of Prevent Blindness. These include M. Kathleen Murphy, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, associate dean for global health and community engagement, University of Texas Medical Branch School of Nursing, and Sandra S. Block, OD, MEd, MPH, president of the World Council of Optometry.

Mary Blankenship Pointer has more than 25 years of banking experience including business development, and private banking. At Frontier State Bank, her main focus is commercial lending. As a long-time volunteer, she has served on and chaired the Board of Directors of Prevent Blindness Oklahoma (now Vizavance) as well as the Prevent Blindness national Board of Directors. Blankenship Pointer also served as the Chair of the Prevent Blindness Budget Committee and was the event chair for the 2015 Person of Vision gala honoring former First Lady of the United States, Laura Bush.

As Chief Operating Officer for the Fielmann Group, one of the largest optical groups worldwide serving 28 million active customers through an omnichannel platform comprised of digital sales channels as well as about 1,000 retail stores, Pete Lothes oversees operations and logistics, including production lab and management, strategic planning, budgeting, staff development, profitability improvement as well as efficiency gains within its infrastructure. He previously served in senior executive roles for Advancing Eyecare, EssilorLuxottica, Satisloh, and Select Optical. Lothes served on the Optical Laboratories Association (OLA) Regional Board and has previously supported both Prevent Blindness Ohio and Prevent Blindness Wisconsin. He holds a BS in Business Management, and Minor in Marketing from Ashland University.

As President and Global Head of Managed Care for EyeMed Vision Care, a leading vision benefits company, Matt MacDonald leads the managed vision care business in the United States and globally. He has been with EyeMed since 2013 and most recently served as chief operations officer. MacDonald previously worked for Accretive Health, Accenture, and Booz & Company, and holds degrees from Northwestern University and Columbia Business School. He has been a strong supporter of the annual Prevent Blindness Person of Vision event.

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As the director of Evidence-Based and Integration Strategy for the National Association of Community Health Centers, Wanda Montalvo provides technical support for public health systems change. She was previously the Executive Director of Jonas Nursing and Veterans Healthcare at Columbia University and Associate Director of the Weitzmann Institute. She received her PhD in Nursing Science and Health Policy from Columbia University and her MS in Nursing from LIU-Brooklyn. Montalvo is currently a member of the Advisory Committee for the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness (NCCVEH).

As an Associate Clinical Professor and Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging at University of California-Berkeley Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry & Vision Science, Dr. Ruth Shoge leads strategic planning and program development for the program. She previously served as Chair of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry’s Diversity and Cultural Competency Committee. Dr. Shoge received an OD and completed her residency from Pennsylvania College of Optometry, an MPH from Temple University of Public Health, and a BS from Randolph-Macon College. She recently participated in the moderated discussion “Building a Diverse Optometric Workforce” at the 2021 Focus on Eye Health Summit, and has volunteered for NCCVEH programs including the ACHIEVEinitiative, and the Children’s Vision Equity Alliance/BlackDoctor.org Facebook Live series.

“At Prevent Blindness, our Board of Directors consists of leaders and visionaries from a wide range of industries and organizations, which helps us successfully continue our sight-saving mission of 115 years,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO.  “We welcome all of our new distinguished members to the Board and thank them for their continued commitment to improving vision health, access to care and patient advocacy.”

For a full listing of members of the Prevent Blindness Board of Directors,  visit here. For more information about Prevent Blindness or general eye health information, visit PreventBlindness.org.

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