Congressman Henry Waxman of Los Angeles has been recognized for providing important leadership on healthcare policy issues by doctors of optometry from his district and their national organization, the 34,000 member American Optometric Association (AOA).

Optometrists in California and the association are working to pass legislation before Congress designed to safeguard sight, promote healthy vision among school-age children and ensure access to much-needed primary eye and vision care.

“Representative Waxman is a true leader in Congress on healthcare issues,” said Kevin Alexander, American Optometric Association president. “He listens to the concerns of doctors and patients from across his district, and is a worthy recipient of the 2008 Health Care Leadership Award.”

With support from Waxman, the AOA-backed Vision Care for Kids Act (HR 507) was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives in October. HR 507 would establish a federal grant program aimed at bolstering children’s vision and learning initiatives developed by the states.

“I’m proud of Representative Waxman and the work that he’s doing in Congress for our communities,” said Dr. Ken Lawenda, a West Hollywood optometrist. “My patients and I know that Representative Waxman is committed to making sure healthcare is a top priority in Washington, D.C. and that important bills like the Vision Care for Kids Act are passed and signed into law.”