Welcome to the first edition of the Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (HCAPS)’s newsletter for 2022! This month, we’re celebrating the winners of our state association contest and American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) contest and featuring a new Congressional letter to the CDC. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2022.

Reps. Craig and Joyce Send Bipartisan Letter to the CDC

Childhood myopia is the most common progressive eye health condition, and poses the largest threat to global eye health this century. The COVID-19 pandemic has only made this worse, as many kids are spending more time indoors, social distancing and engaging in remote learning. There is no existing cure for myopia, which means that prevention, early detection, and treatment are necessary to combat many of these long-term side effects.

As we continue to monitor how myopia impacts the next generation, it's critical that our federal government works together to tackle this disease. Reps. Angie Craig (D-MN) and John Joyce, M.D. (R-PA) are sending a letter to the CDC asking for an outline of the agency's initiatives that encourage early detection and prevention of myopia. 

HCAPS is happy to support this effort and we look forward to sharing future developments to protect children’s vision.

GAO to Pursue DTC Practices

Over the past several years, an increasing number of companies are selling prescription products, such as contact lenses, directly to consumers. This has resulted in reports of poor quality or adverse effects, raising concerns among consumers and health care providers.

At the end of 2021, Reps. Angie Craig (D-MN) and John Joyce, M.D. (R-MD) led a bipartisan letter to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) requesting a review of the regulation of Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) advertising practices for prescription medical products.

The letter, supported by the American Optometric Association (AOA), orthodontists, ophthalmologists, and the National Consumers League (NCL), requested a GAO study on the current practices and regulation of this emerging market, which could inform future regulatory and legislative action if needed.

GAO recently announced its plans to pursue the request in 2022. HCAPS looks forward to seeing what insights emerge from this study and how we can work together to protect patient safety.

Winners of the HCAPS State Affiliate Contest

Thank you to all AOA-affiliated state association members who entered our contest to win travel awards in 2022! We received over 400 submissions from 25 state associations. 

HCAPS is happy to announce that members of the Kansas, Rhode Island, New Mexico, and Wyoming associations who participated in the contest will receive a chance to win a $1,500 travel award to professional conferences in 2022. Congratulations, and we look forward to your work for patient safety!

HCAPS Contest for Optometry Students

HCAPS kicked off the year with a contest open to American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) affiliated students from America’s 24 accredited schools and colleges of optometry. We will award several $350 travel grants to AOSA students who entered to help advance their professional development in 2022.

We look forward to giving students the opportunity to become advocates for their future profession and patient safety!

Meet the New Friends of HCAPS

Welcome to our newest Friends of HCAPS, the Ohio Optometric Association and Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry! Thank you for joining and we look forward to working together to protect patient safety.

Thank you for your support and continued advocacy.