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  • Telling the Story of Our Impact Through the Voices of Our Patients

    Public and Patient Outreach
    A hanger hook punctured the corner of Jackson Allen's eye, severing a muscle and narrowly missing his brain. Two years after the accident, his resulting amblyopia has been corrected and his vision has improved from 20/200 to normal.

    The Academy continues to showcase ophthalmic patient stories to elevate the profession of ophthalmology to the public and encourage people to make their eye health a priority. This monthly series highlights a single patient and the life-changing care they received from Academy-member ophthalmologists.

    One of our patient stories features Jackson Allen, a 5-year-old whose vision was threatened after a coat hook punctured his eye. If not for pediatric ophthalmologist Jane C. Edmond, MD, the chance accident might have cost the boy his sight. “Dr. Edmond is wonderful,” said his mother. “I cannot thank her enough for what she did for my son. I was so worried about him not being able to see and being made fun of by other kids at school. She saved his vision and fixed his eye so he looks like other kids at school. It makes me so happy!”

    Submit your own story for consideration. 

    Engaging the Public Through Digital and Social Media

    The Academy reaches millions of people around the world through its proactive media outreach efforts. This exposure, combined with promotion of the Academy’s EyeSmart® website, increases ophthalmology’s presence in the public eye. Each story increases awareness and understanding about the value eye physicians and surgeons bring to society.

    In 2017, Academy spokespeople granted more than 200 media interviews and were quoted in more than 2,000 news stories — all engaging the public in a variety of messages, from cautioning against non-prescription Halloween contact lenses and avoiding certain holiday toys to debunking common myths about fireworks and urging proper eye protection for sports.

    To promote healthy contact lens wear and care, the Academy created “Eight Steps to Protect Your Sight From Contact Lens Infections,” a video highlighting the poor habits that put the public at risk of vision loss.

    Our media reach peaked with the news coverage of August’s total solar eclipse and the best ways to enjoy the phenomenon. This included press releases and videos about viewing and photographing the eclipse without damaging your eyes (or your camera) in addition to an infographic to help ensure people get the facts about safely experiencing the event.

    More than 1,000 news stories across the country featured this eye safety message. Academy clinical spokesperson Russell N. Van Gelder, MD, PhD got the message out via a nationally-syndicated feature story by CBS News, letting readers know that the only way to safely view a partial or total eclipse is with certified solar glasses.