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Sen. Robert Byrd Receives AOA Health Care Leadership Award
Date:4/9/2008

Optometrists Recognize Efforts to Safeguard Sight, Promote Healthy Vision

for Children and Expand Access to Care

WASHINGTON, April 9, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) was recognized for providing important leadership on health care policy issues by doctors of optometry from his district and their national organization, the 34,000 member American Optometric Association (AOA). Optometrists in West Virginia and the AOA are working to pass legislation before Congress designed to safeguard sight, promote healthy vision among school-aged children and ensure access to much-needed primary eye and vision care.

"Sen. Byrd is a true leader in Congress on health care issues," said Kevin Alexander, O.D., Ph.D., AOA president. "He listens to the concerns of doctors and patients from across her district, and is a worthy recipient of the 2008 Health Care Leadership Award."

With support from Sen. Byrd, the AOA-backed Vision Care for Kids Act (HR 507), was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on October 16, 2007. HR 507 would establish a federal grant program aimed at bolstering children's vision and learning initiatives developed by the states.

"I'm proud of Sen. Byrd and the work that he's doing in Congress for our communities," said Norma Bowyer, O.D of Morgantown, WV. "My members and I know that Sen. Byrd is committed to making sure health care is a top priority in Washington, DC and that important bills like the Vision Care for Kids Act are passed and signed into law."

About the American Optometric Association (AOA)

The American Optometric Association represents more than 34,000 doctors of optometry, optometry students and paraoptometric assistants and technicians. Optometrists serve patients in nearly 6,500 communities across the country, and in 3,500 of those communities are the only eye doctors.

American Optometric Association doctors of optometry are highly qualified, tr
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SOURCE American Optometric Association
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