Dr. Dean A. VanNasdale Named Prevent Blindness National Award Winner

Prevent Blindness, the nation’s leading eye health and safety organization, has announced the recipient of the 2023 Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health as Dean A. VanNasdale, Jr., OD, PhD, Associate Professor at The Ohio State University College of Optometry. He will receive his award during the 12th Annual Prevent Blindness Focus on Eye Health Summit, to be held as a virtual interactive event, on July 12-13, 2023.


The Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health is presented annually to an individual, team, or organization that has made significant contributions to the advancement of public health related to vision and eye health at the community, state, national, and/or international level. The award serves as a living memorial to Jenny Pomeroy, who served as the CEO of Prevent Blindness Georgia from 1996 until 2013 and brought a passionate understanding of public health to her work and our mission.


Dr. VanNasdale was selected for this year’s Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health for his significant contributions to vision and public health research. He has collaborated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vision Health Initiative to develop state profiles related to vision health and is conducting pioneering work in Ohio, using multiple surveys and administrative sources to estimate the impact of state policies on improving access to eye care. The goal is for this work to serve as a template for similar analyses in other states.  More recently, he collaborated with VisionServe Alliance to develop a series of innovative state-level profiles regarding vision and health status among older people.


In addition to teaching students at the OSU College of Optometry, he serves as a mentor to master’s and PhD students working in population health. Dr. VanNasdale currently serves on the advisory committee for the Center for Vision and Population Health at Prevent Blindness, and is a member of the Vision and Eye Health Surveillance System (VEHSS) expert panel for NORC at the University of Chicago, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I am extraordinarily honored to be this year’s recipient of the Jenny Pomeroy Award.  Past recipients are people I have learned from and admire,” said Dr. VanNasdale. “I appreciate Prevent Blindness’ recognition of the work we are doing at the intersection of vision and public health and am grateful for all of the effort from the team I work with that makes this work possible.