Ophthalmologists Honor Low Vision Advocate and Pioneer

November 20, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), at its annual meeting November 11 – 14, 2006, has given a Special Recognition Award to Dr. Lorraine H. Marchi, founder and chief executive officer of National Association for Visually Handicapped (NAVH). The year 2006 marks the 50th consecutive year that Dr. Marchi has presented to the Academy on issues involving low vision.

Since founding NAVH in 1954, Dr. Marchi has been a tireless advocate for better care for low vision patients. One of her first endeavors was to create and produce textbooks in large print for visually impaired school children. She is credited with having developed and perfected the standards for large print currently used by most publishing companies. Under her stewardship NAVH has grown to become a national organization, providing services exclusively to visually impaired persons of all ages worldwide. With offices in New York City and San Francisco, NAVH continues as one of the foremost providers of large print materials, low vision aids and a full range of support services designed to help people maximize the use of their remaining vision.

Dr. Marchi has had an on-going relationship with the AAO since her first presentation to the Academy in 1957. She has also been recognized for her contributions to the organization on other occasions. In 1971 she was the first person to be honored by the AAO who was not directly in the field of medicine. In the early 1980’s she began instructing attendees of AAO meetings. Among the courses she has taught are “Office Management of the Low Vision Patient” and “Psychological Effects of Low Vision.” Through her career on behalf of the visually impaired, Dr. Marchi and NAVH have been able to influence the way ophthalmologists treat their low vision patients.

The AAO’s presentation of its Special Recognition Award took place at The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. In recognition of the award, a reception, sponsored by Novartis Pharmaceuticals, was held and attended by leading ophthalmologists. Commenting on the significance of this award, Dr. Marchi said “I hope the formal recognition by the Academy of this anniversary will help increase awareness of the needs of low vision patients.”