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Protect Veterans' Eyesight is a coalition of veterans, as well as their families, physicians and concerned citizens advocating for the health, safety, and vision of our veterans. We won’t let those who fought for our country be subjected to a lower standard of care at the VA. We are fighting to ensure our veterans continue to receive the highest level of surgical eye care from trained ophthalmologists.

Help us fight for our heroes! 


The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is establishing national standards of practice for health professionals serving veterans. As part of this initiative, the VA is taking steps that could allow optometrists to perform surgery on the eyes of veterans, even though optometrists don’t have the medical education or surgical training to be a surgeon. 

Allowing optometrists to perform eye surgery at VA facilities or through the VA’s Community Care Program would: 


Degrade the quality of surgical care that our nation’s heroes currently rely on

Put veteran patients’ vision and safety at risk 

Optometrists don’t have the medical education, surgical training, or clinical experience to perform eye surgery. If the VA doesn’t change course, it means that the first human subject an optometrist performs surgery on could be a veteran


Our veterans served to protect this country. Now it’s our turn to protect them. Veterans have benefitted from consistent, high-quality surgical eye care from trained ophthalmologists for decades. We need to keep it that way! 

For our veterans, the VA must maintain standards of care that protect health and safety. 

  • Many veterans have complex eye conditions resulting from advanced age or service to our country.  

  • Vision is a critical function that fundamentally impacts quality of life.   

  • Eye surgery is delicate and requires the skill and judgement only a highly trained and experienced surgeon can provide.

  • There are no shortcuts to safely perform surgery — whether it’s heart surgery or eye surgery.   

  • A poor surgical outcome can be impossible to fix and can result in vision loss or blindness.  

  • Not all patients are candidates for surgery. Only ophthalmologists have the clinical experience to know when eye surgery is required – and when it’s not. 


We need your help to ensure the VA maintains its policy that only qualified and trained ophthalmologists — not unqualified optometrists — perform eye surgery on our nation’s veterans. 

Fill out the form below to receive updates and calls to action on this important issue. 

Data you provide in connection with this campaign will be subject to the terms and conditions of Strategic Elements’ privacy policy, available here. Your data will also be shared with the American Academy of Ophthalmology, which will treat it subject to the terms and conditions of their privacy policy, available here.

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