Prevent Blindness has announced the recipient of the 2019 Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health is Cynthia Owsley, PhD, MSPH, Nathan E. Miles Chair of Ophthalmology and Director of the Clinical Research Unit at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Medicine, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. The award will be presented at the 8th Annual Prevent Blindness Focus on Eye Health National Summit in Washington, DC, on July 17, 2019. Dr. Owsley will highlight her work as the closing plenary speaker of the summit.
The Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health recognizes an individual, team, or organization that has made significant contributions to the advancement of public health related to vision and eye health at the community, state, national, and/or international level. The award is named for Mrs. Jenny Pomeroy, who served as CEO of Prevent Blindness Georgia from 1996 until 2013, and was an advocate for championing the role of public health in vision and eye care services and programs.
Dr. Owsley was selected by an all-volunteer committee for her decades of work dedicated to vision and public health services. Dr. Owsley has over 30 years of experience conducting research on vision impairment, eye disease, and aging funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, non-profit foundations, and various industries. Her areas of focus include:
- vision impairment and driving
- age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma and diabetes
- quality of and access to eye care for under-served, older populations
- vision impairment and its impact on quality of life
At UAB, Dr. Owsley’s research program focuses on aging-related eye disease and vision impairment, using a variety of research techniques from epidemiology, clinical trials, psychophysics, health behavior, and health services research.
In addition to work in research and public health, Dr. Owsley has also been a longtime volunteer at Prevent Blindness, serving on various committees, including chairing its Scientific Committee for seven years, and served on the national Board of Directors from 2011-2018.
“For more than 30 years, my passion has been to use the power of research and data to improve patient outcomes, and expand programs that help to address the various vision issues that impact all of us,” said Dr. Owsley. “I thank Prevent Blindness for this acknowledgement and will continue to work to advance these important issues.”
The 2018 recipient of the Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health was the Johns Hopkins University School-Based Eye Care Team.
“All of us at Prevent Blindness enthusiastically congratulate Dr. Owsley on her award, and also offer our tremendous gratitude for all of her contributions to improve vision health,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness.