--Delegate Peace Receives 2009 Meritorious Service Award-- Delegate Christopher K. Peace (R-Mechanicsville) was recently presented the Meritorious Service of the Year Award by the state's largest organization of eye doctors, the Virginia Optometric Association. The honor is bestowed annually to one select individual for their distinguished service to the public and advocacy of quality health care services for all Virginians.
In addition to involvement in numerous civic and community activites, Delegate Peace serves on the House Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee. In presenting their Legislator of the Year Award, the organization's President, Dr. Jeffrey Michaels, noted Peace's "exceptional legislative efforts to ensure residents throughout Virginia have access to affordable, quality eye and vision care. He is truly a patient's advocate."
During the 2009 General Assembly session, Delegate Peace introduced legislation (HB 1943) to protect and advance the delivery of vision care services in Virginia. Local area doctors of optometry brought to the Delegate's attention concern that illegal sale of cosmetic contact lenses by beauty parlors and flea markets were causing sight threatening eye infections, corneal abrasions, and corneal ulcers. The unsuspecting consumer wanting to change the color of their eyes did not realize that even cosmetic contacts require an eye doctor to determine the proper fit and type of contact lens, in addition to providing training on proper contact lens care.
"I am humbled to be recognized by the Virginia Optometric Association for my legislative efforts, stated Peace. He continued, "As a member of the Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee, I am tasked with deliberating over many bills that impact the safety and well being of Virginia citizens. I was glad to patron this measure which will serve to further protect the vision of residents of the Commonwealth."
The Virginia Optometric Association represents over 85% of all actively practicing doctors of optometry in the Commonwealth. Optometrists serve as the primary eye care provider, rendering services to over 70% of residents located throughout Virginia.