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American Academy of Ophthalmology Honors PBS Master Carpenter Norm Abram for His Commitment to Eye Safety

Academy presents EyeSmart(TM) Award to Mr. Abram for 30-year dedication to promoting awareness of eye injuries

Presentation ceremony held in office of Rep. Michael E. Capuano

SAN FRANCISCO, April 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Academy of Ophthalmology announced today that it is presenting its first EyeSmart(TM) Distinguished Service Award to Norm Abram, master carpenter of the PBS series This Old House and host of The New Yankee Workshop. The award honors Mr. Abram for his steadfast commitment to safety and the prevention of eye injuries.

"Norm Abram has saved countless Americans from unnecessary vision loss because of his reminders of the importance of eye safety while doing home projects," said David W. Parke II, M.D., executive vice president and CEO of the Academy. "His commitment to protective eye wear for three decades has rightfully earned him the respect and gratitude of ophthalmologists. This award recognizes his contribution to our joint goal of preventing eye injuries."

"I'm honored to be receiving the EyeSmart Award," says Mr. Abram. "Eye safety is an important message that should be taught to everyone regardless of their skill level before beginning any project around the home or in the workshop. For the past thirty years, I have reiterated this message to millions of public television viewers, and I will continue to deliver this message for many years to come."

At the start of each episode of The New Yankee Workshop, Mr. Abram reminds viewers about the importance of shop safety. "Knowing how to use your power tools properly will greatly reduce the risk of personal injury," he says. "And remember this: there is no more important rule than to wear these -- safety glasses."

The EyeSmart Award will be presented at a ceremony April 23 in the office of Rep. Michael E. Capuano (D-Mass.), a long-time supporter of eye health issues. "Eye safety and eye care are important health issues," said Rep. Capuano. "They often do not receive sufficient attention. I am pleased to recognize Mr. Abram's advocacy on these issues, and I congratulate him on receiving this award."

In addition, Mr. Abram will be a guest of honor at the Academy dinner held the same evening. The EyeSmart Award is named after the Academy's public awareness campaign, which empowers Americans to take charge of their eye health. A key partner in the campaign is EyeCare America, a public service program of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

An estimated 2.5 million eye injuries occur annually in the U.S., with 50,000 people suffering significant vision loss as a result. Half of these injuries happen in and around the home, in common places like the workshop, garden or garage. In an effort to combat the rate of household eye injuries, the Academy and the American Society of Ocular Trauma recommend that every household in America have at least one pair of ANSI-approved protective eyewear to be worn when doing projects and activities at home to safeguard against eye injuries.

Mr. Abram has been master carpenter of the Emmy Award-winning This Old House since the series' premiere in 1979, and host of The New Yankee Workshop since its premiere in 1989. Admired for his easy-going manner and common-sense approach to renovation, Mr. Abram is an uncompromising old-world craftsman and a pioneer who searches out new construction products and approaches. He has authored eight companion books, including Ask Norm, The New Yankee Workshop, Classics From The New Yankee Workshop, Mostly Shaker From The New Yankee Workshop, Outdoor Projects From The New Yankee Workshop, Norm Abram's New House, Measure Twice, Cut Once, and The New Yankee Workshop Kids' Stuff, all published by Little, Brown and Company. He has also contributed to Complete Remodeling and Complete Landscaping, both published by This Old House Books in conjunction with Sunset Books in 2004. Norm serves on the editorial board of This Old House magazine, published by This Old House Ventures, Inc., also authoring the popular column, "Norm's Tricks of the Trade."

Mr. Abram lives with his wife in a classic Colonial home that he built in Massachusetts.

Learn more about eye injuries, names of Eye M.D.s in your area or ask an Eye M.D. a question by visiting

About the American Academy of Ophthalmology

The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons -- Eye M.D.s -- with more than 27,000 members worldwide. Eye health care is provided by the three "O's" - opticians, optometrists and ophthalmologists. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who can treat it all: eye diseases, infections and injuries, and perform eye surgery. To find an Eye M.D. in your area, visit the Academy's Web site at

SOURCE American Academy of Ophthalmology
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