Prevent Blindness America Awarded Funding by The Allergan Foundation to Expand the Reach of the Diabetic Eye Disease Educator Program –New Phase of Program will Provide Funding for Translation of Materials to Assist Spanish Speakers

CHICAGO (April 15, 2011) – Prevent Blindness America, the nation’s oldest eye health and safety organization, is proud to be the recipient of a grant from the Allergan Foundation, funding ongoing efforts of the “Prevent Blindness America Diabetic Eye Disease Educator Program.”

Today, more than 27 million adults and children in the United States have some form of diabetes.  And, more than 57 million Americans have pre-diabetes.  In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults 20-74 years of age.  With the numbers of diabetes patients increasing, the number of those at-risk for vision loss and blindness due to diabetic retinopathy and other related eye diseases will continue to soar.

In 2010, with support from the Allergan Foundation, Prevent Blindness America launched the new “Prevent Blindness America Diabetic Eye Disease Educator Program.”  The program is a comprehensive eye health education program designed to teach outreach personnel and allied health professionals about the visual system and the signs, symptoms and complications of the secondary diseases of diabetes – diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.  In addition, the program seeks to deliver patient education messages about diabetic eye disease through health outreach programs of community health centers, health departments, and civic and faith-based organizations to those populations at highest risk for developing diabetes: African-Americans, Hispanics and Latinos.

Funding for the second phase of the program will maximize the Diabetic Eye Disease Educator Program’s outreach by developing a Spanish language version of the online program.

“The Allergan Foundation has been generous partner of Prevent Blindness America for many years, helping us to continue our mission to end preventable vision loss,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness America.  “Thanks to their generous support of our diabetes education program, we can help to provide those in communities across the country the tools they need to help protect their eyes from the terrible effects of diabetes.”
For more information on the Diabetes Educator Program, general information about diabetes or Prevent Blindness America, please visit or call (800) 331-2020.

About Prevent Blindness America

Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness America is the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight.  Focused on promoting a continuum of vision care, Prevent Blindness America touches the lives of millions of people each year through public and professional education, advocacy, certified vision screening and training, community and patient service programs and research.  These services are made possible through the generous support of the American public.  Together with a network of affiliates, divisions and chapters, Prevent Blindness America is committed to eliminating preventable blindness in America.  For more information, or to make a contribution to the sight-saving fund, call (800) 331-2020. Or, visit us on the Web at or