About Us

Founded in 1936, the Prevention of Blindness Society of Metropolitan Washington (POB) is dedicated to the improvement and preservation of sight and quality of life by providing services and education, and by championing healthy vision and innovation to everyone in our area.
 

Each year, POB impacts approximately 13,000 community members through our evidence-based programs — including vision acuity and glaucoma screenings, eyeglasses distributions and fittings, educational vision resources and events, low vision rehabilitation services and support group networks, and more. We remain committed to comprehensive vision health, ethical service within the community, deep respect for individuals and families in all circumstances, innovation in service delivery, and serving as a facilitator among our medical and social service peers.

Our organization serves the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia, and Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties of Maryland.

 

Our History

POB began on June 9, 1936 as the D.C. Society for the Prevention of Blindness, whose seven-point program aimed to bring eye health information and vision screenings to the local community.

POB’s history begins with the story of May B. Vories, a Louisiana native and committed advocate for the visually impaired. When Ms. Vories arrived in Washington, D.C. in the 1930s, she sought to bring evidence-based blindness prevention and eye health information to our community. She established the D.C. Society for the Prevention of Blindness in collaboration with Dr. William H. Wilmer, who was founding director of the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins Medicine — the nation’s first university eye clinic.

POB’s original seven-point program consisted of: adequate prenatal care; enactment of a bill to prevent Ophthalmia Neonatorum; appointment of a school oculist; preschool vision tests for children; a medical social worker in the Society’s eye clinic; providing general information on eye health; and creating an industrial and sight survey. By 1946, a vision screening program was implemented for all 9,000 children in D.C. parochial schools.

After more than 80 years, POB remains committed to creating, expanding, and adapting our vital services based on the needs of our community. We serve as Greater Washington’s vision health leader and educator, dedicated not only to blindness prevention, but to the improvement and preservation of sight and quality of life for all community members.

Image of an eye health professional examining a patient’s eyes through a slit lamp.

Staff

Board and Advisors

Board of Trustees

Jennie Kronthal
President
Christine Rocchio, RN, FNP
First Vice President
Wendy Gasch, M.D.
MedStar Washington Hospital Center
Second Vice President
Marcia A. Williamson
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
Treasurer
Virginia Elgin
Secretary
Donald A. Gagliano, M.D.
Global Medical Innovation
Past President

Trustees

Andrew Adelson, M.D.
Eye Physicians of Washington
Allen E. Beach
Jeffrey Y.H. Chung, M.D.
Rachel Foster, FACHE
Fostering Innovations, LLC
John Guzik
The Franklin Partnership, LLP
Mohamad S. Jaafar, M.D.
Children’s National Hospital
Leslie Jones, M.D.
Howard University Hospital
Maxwell Helfgott, M.D.
Eye Physicians of Washington
Tara Kavadias
Melissa Loughlin, Ph.D.
Jay M. Lustbader, M.D.
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital/Washington Hospital Center
Maureen Macfadden
Merck & Co.
Donna Oser
Sally A. Pilkerton
Jane Settle Stanley
Jennifer Valentine, FACHE
Kaiser Permanente
Gedalia Vera
G.V. Photography & Videography
Dorothy Weinstein
The George Washington University
L. Scott Wertlieb
Vista Management
Edward “Woody” Woodard
Virginia Lions Eye Institute Foundation
Uchechi N. Wosu, M.D.
MedStar Health

Member Emeriti

Gloria Butland
Clinton Chapman
Jack Glenn
William Glew, M.D.
Howard Silvers
Arnold Simonse, Ph.D.

Honorary Board

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser
DC Councilmember David A. Catania
Senator Robert Dole
Doreen Gentzler
Leon Harris
Congressman Steny H. Hoyer
William E. Kirwan, Ph.D.
Donna Marriott
The Honorable Connie Morella
Andrea Roane
Valerie Tripp

Medical Committee

Mohamad S. Jaafar, M.D.
Children’s National Health System
Chairperson
Andrew Adelson, M.D.
Eye Physicians of Washington
Suleiman Alibhai, O.D.
Low Vision Services PLC
Marlet Bazemore, M.D.
Children’s National Health System
Emily Y. Chew, M.D.
National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health
Jeffrey Y.H. Chung, M.D.
Rachel Foster, FACHE
Fostering Innovation, LLC
Donald A. Gagliano, M.D.
Global Medical Innovation
Wendy Gasch, M.D.
MedStar Washington Hospital Center
Craig E. Geist, M.D.
The George Washington Medical Faculty Associates
Maxwell Helfgott, M.D.
Eye Physicians of Washington
Leslie Jones, M.D.
Howard University Hospital
Michael Lai, M.D.
The Retina Group of Washington
Jay M. Lustbader, M.D.
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital/Washington Hospital Center
William P. Madigan Jr., M.D.
Children’s National Health System
Maureen Macfadden
Merck & Co.
Joseph F. Pasternak, M.D.
Sally A. Pilkerton
Tracey Prince Ross
Trinity Washington University
Pedro M. Rivera, M.D.
Greater Maryland Eye Physicians and Surgeons
Christine Rocchio, RN, FNP
Mindi Sauter
Dorothy Weinstein
The George Washington University
Uchechi N. Wosu, M.D.
MedStar Health

Funding and Reports

POB is proud of the way we manage and safeguard the generous contributions from individual donors, corporations and other organizations. An annual audit of our finances is conducted by an independent, certified public accounting firm and overseen by POB’s Board of Trustees.

Funding Information

State Fundraising Notices

 
 

Although our financial report is always sent free to anyone requesting a copy, certain states require us to advise you that a copy of our financial report is available from them.

The Prevention of Blindness Society of Metropolitan Washington (“POB”) is a District of Columbia not-for-profit organization dedicated to the improvement and preservation of sight and quality of life by providing services and education, and by championing healthy vision and innovation to everyone in our area. Our Headquarters is located at 415 2nd Street NE, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20002. Your gift is very much appreciated and tax-deductible as a charitable organization to the fullest extent allowed by law. A copy of POB’s latest financial report may be obtained by writing to POB, 415 2nd Street NE, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20002, or by calling (202) 234-1010. If you are a resident of the following states, you may also obtain information through these channels:

 
 

Maryland: Copies of documents and information submitted under the Maryland Solicitations Act are available for the cost of copies and postage from the Secretary of State, Statehouse, Annapolis, MD 21401, 1-410-974-5534.

Virginia: A financial statement for the most recent fiscal year is available upon request from the State Division of Consumer Affairs, P.O. Box 1163, Richmond, VA 23209; 1-804-786-1343.

Registration with a state agency does not constitute or imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by that state.

Media

On deadline? We can help.
 
 
 
 
 

Media Contact

Nick Farano
Senior Director, Development and Marketing
nfarano@youreyes.org
(202) 234-1010, ext. 224

 
 

POB in the News

MetroWeekly August 14, 2020
Georgetowner August 6, 2020
Washington Informer August 20, 2019
Alexandria Living February 28, 2019

Join Our Team

 

Thank you for considering POB in your search for a new professional opportunity. We are looking for people who are committed to our organization’s mission and will help us grow. As part of POB, you’ll be a champion for vision support in our local community.

Benefits

 

POB offers a competitive and comprehensive array of benefits, giving you the flexibility to choose plan options that will best accommodate you and your family’s needs. Highlights of our employee benefits include:

  • Comprehensive medical and dental coverage
  • Life insurance
  • Paid holidays
  • Vacation
  • 403(b) personal retirement saving accounts