NORC at the University of Chicago

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a cooperative agreement to NORC at the University of ChicagoExternal to lead the development of the Vision and Eye Health Surveillance System (VEHSS). NORC is an objective, non-partisan research institution that delivers reliable data and rigorous analysis to guide critical programmatic, business, and policy decisions. Since 1941, NORC has conducted groundbreaking studies, created and applied innovative methods and tools, and advanced principles of scientific integrity and collaboration. Today, government, corporate, and nonprofit clients around the world partner with NORC to transform increasingly complex information into useful knowledge.

American Academy of Ophthalmology logo

The mission of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. AAO is a global community of 32,000 medical doctors that innovates to advance their profession and to ensure the delivery of the highest-quality eye care. The American Academy of Ophthalmology IRIS® Registry External(Intelligent Research in Sight) is a major initiative to lead significant innovations and improvements to medical and surgical eye care in the United States–from large-scale breakthroughs to incremental improvements by individual care providers. It is the world’s largest eye disease and condition registry with more than 13,000 participating physicians and millions of patient records.

IRIS®Registry provides VEHSS with important information on the diagnosed prevalence of vision loss and major eye conditions, as well as service utilization and access to care.

American Optometric Association logo

The American Optometric Association (AOA) represents approximately 33,000 doctors of optometry and optometry students. Doctors of optometry are eye and vision care professionals who diagnose and treat eye diseases, injuries and disorders of the eye, surrounding tissues and visual system, and play a major role in a patient’s overall health and well-being by detecting and helping to prevent complications of systemic diseases such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, neurologic disease, and diabetes-the leading cause of acquired blindness. As primary health care providers, doctors of optometry have extensive, ongoing training to examine, diagnose and treat ocular disorders, diseases, injuries, and systemic diseases that manifest in the eye.

Prevent Blindness: Bringing Americans to Eye Care logo

Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness works to improve the nation’s vision and eye health by promoting advances in public health systems that support eye health needs, by advocating for public policy that emphasizes early detection and access to eye care, and by educating the American public on the importance of taking care of their eyes and their vision.  Prevent Blindness promotes a continuum of vision care through all life stages by bringing together science and policy to implement positive population-based change with an emphasis on early detection and access to care. In recent years, Prevent Blindness has focused on implementing nationwide systems change to affect vision and eye health. Such efforts include advocating for the establishment and funding of a Vision Health Initiative at the CDC; publishing data on the prevalence of vision problems and their associated costs ; establishing a National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health; and hosting an annual National Summit on Eye Health. Prevent Blindness’s work is amplified by a network of affiliates, regional offices, and program partners. Prevent Blindness’ role in VEHSS is to serve as the public interface for much of the system’s activities, including stakeholder engagement and public dissemination of information.

School of Medicine: Uniformed Services University logo

The mission of the Uniformed Services UniversityExternal of Health Sciences is to educate, train, and prepare uniformed services health professionals, scientists, and leaders to support the Military and Public Health Systems, the National Security and National Defense Strategies of the United States, and the readiness of our Uniformed Services.

Uniformed Services UniversityExternal contributes data from the Military Health System and Tricare insurance program to the VEHSS system.  These data are inclusive of the military direct care system and the Tricare civilian network  encompassing over 9 million beneficiaries including active duty military members, active reservists, family members and retirees. This system provides care to the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Public Health Service, and Coast Guard from the battlefield to rehabilitative care.

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation logo

Established in 2007, the Institute for Health Metrics and EvaluationExternal (IHME) is an independent research center within UW Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle. IHME provides rigorous and comparable measurement of the world’s most important health problems and evaluates strategies to address them. IHME makes this information available so that policy makers, donors, practitioners, researchers, and local and global decision makers have the evidence they need to make informed decisions about how to allocate resources to improve population health.

University of Wisconsin logo

Drs. Ronald and Barbara Klein and their University of Wisconsin Ocular Epidemiology group bring expertise in visual science data collection and analysis. They have served as the co-principal investigators for the Beaver Dam Eye Study (BDES) and the Wisconsin Epidemiologic Study of Diabetic Retinopathy (WESDR). They also have developed the eye protocols used in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and protocols used in many other population-based studies.

The Drs. Klein are involved in a number of studies to quantify the association between incidence and progression of these ocular diseases and visual impairment and a number of potential risk factors such as blood pressure, cigarette smoking, other systemic diseases, socioeconomic factors, and genetic factors. Additionally, they have examined the relationship of age-related ocular diseases to the development of systemic complications (such as kidney disease, amputation, and death). Their study findings have been pooled with data from other large studies to provide new insights regarding late age-related macular degeneration. Their long history in the field will be supplemented by Dr. Liu, who provides an innovative clinical approach to vision care. Together they will lead tasks related to identifying appropriate measures of vision and eye health.

VSP Global logo


VSP Global is a doctor-governed company that exists to create value for members and opportunities for VSP® network doctors.  Our industry leading businesses combine eye care insurance, high-quality eyewear, customized lenses, ophthalmic technology, and connected experiences to strengthen the relationship between patients and their eye doctors.

VSP Global includes VSP Vision Care, the only national nonprofit company in vision care. Partnering with more than 39,000 network doctors, VSP Vision Care provides access to high-quality affordable eye care and eyewear to more than 88 million members worldwide.

Through Eyes of HopeExternal, VSP supports local communities around the globe with initiatives that provide access to eye care, eyewear, education, and disaster relief where they’re needed most. Together with VSP network doctors, to date, through Eyes of Hope, VSP Global has provided access to no-cost eye care and eyewear for more than 1.8 million people in need.