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Transplanting Whole Human Eyes and More of What You Need to Know for February

Including the AOA’s plans to fight back against vision plans and closing the knowledge gap when it comes to parents and myopia.

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Transplanting Whole Human Eyes and More of What You Need to Know for February
PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO

Eye Transplants to Restore Sight

The Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, a U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services agency, announced the Transplantation of Human Eye Allografts (THEA) program, which aims to transplant whole human eyes to restore vision for the blind and visually impaired. THEA will leverage emerging microsurgical techniques and genetic and cell-based therapies to preserve or regrow nerves from the eye to the brain. ARPA-H is emphasizing collaboration across academia and industry to accelerate these discoveries with unique tools not yet applied to ocular surgery. Multiple awards under this solicitation are anticipated. Learn more, including Special Notice, Proposers’ Day registration, and how to state interest to form an applicant team here.

AOA’s Vision Plan Town Hall

In a survey after the American Optometric Association’s town hall on Jan. 4, ODs reported an array of anti-patient, anti-doctor and anti-competitive abuses by the vision plan industry they view as a threat. Survey results include: 93% believe vision plan policies create a barrier to quality care and 94% believe the policies don’t support the patient-doctor relationship. “It’s essential to open the new year listening closely to colleagues and discussing the ways our AOA and affiliates are fighting back in the policy advocacy arena against plan policies designed to work against us, our practices and patients,” said Dr. Ronald L. Benner, AOA president. Participants also received briefings on advocacy initiatives underway at the state and national levels. aoa.org

Parents Lack Myopia Knowledge

The Vision Council released a new research report highlighting parents’ awareness and experiences with childhood myopia. The report, Focused inSights 2023: Parental Perspectives on Myopia, suggests there is a significant gap in parental understanding of childhood myopia and ample opportunity for ECPs to better educate families about the causes and risks associated with the condition. Survey responses indicate that only 2 in 10 parents have heard about the myopia epidemic. A one-page summary, along with the full research report, is available as a complimentary download for members of The Vision Council, with a paid option for non-members. thevisioncouncil.org/research-reports

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