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We urge that you use your influence in support of this measure as we strongly feel that it is in the best interests of your constituents. We also request that this expression be included in the record of the hearings taking place May 26 before the House Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Health and Public Safety, chaired by Congressman Kenneth Roberts of Alabama. Sincerely,

J. W. DoSWELL, Administrative Director.

GEORGIA OPTOMETRIC ASSOCIATION,

Atlanta, Ga., May 23, 1964. Congressman CHARLES WELTNER, House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

DEAR CONGRESSMAN WELTNER: I noticed in your Washington report of May 12, that you voted for the appropriation bill H.R. 10809. I dislike seeing us turn to the Federal Government for so many things, but on the other hand, how else can it be handled ?

We have a serious problem in the area of one of my favorite subjects optometry.

A major factor in school dropouts (of course, not the only reason) is poor school achievement mainly due to poor reading ability. In her book “Why Pupils Fail in Reading" Dr. Helen Robinson, of the University of Chicago, points out that over 63 percent had a visual problem. In a later book (1953) she expressed doubts that there are enough competent refractionists to handle this problem.

Then there is the ever-growing senior citizen group 95 percent of whom need good glasses.

In our State of Georgia in 1954, there were 290 registered optometrists living in Georgia and not all of them were in practice. Today, 10 years later, there are still only 290. Our optometric association is working hard to recruit more optometry students. It takes at least 5 and frequently 6 or 7 years for the education of an optometrist.

You can give us some help. The House Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee's subcommittee, chairmaned by Congressman Kenneth Roberts of Alabama, is having a hearing on May 26 on H.R. 8546. This bill provides Federal loans for optometry students. Would you convey to this subcommittee that the optometrists of Georgia endorse this bill. Sincerely,

WALLIS E. REAGIN, O.D., President.

WASHINGTON OPTOMETRIC ASSOCIATION,

Wenatchee, Wash., May 22, 1964. Hon. WALT HORAN, House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

DEAR WALT: I would appreciate your support of H.R. 8546 which relates to Federal loans for optometry students.

Recent surveys indicates a definite need for more optometrists in order to properly care for the visual needs of our increasing population. Here in the State of Washington, we find a drastic shortage of optometrists. Each year the new licensees who have passed the State board of optometry exam are absorbed immediately into various practices throughout the State. If Federal loans were granted prospective students, we would definitely show an increase in the enrollment of our optometric schools.

I understand that the Honorable Kenneth Roberts of Alabama is chairman of the House Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Health and Safety and the hearings concerning the subject will be held May 26, 1964. Would you be so kind to include my thoughts in the record of these hearings.

Thanking you in advance for any assistance that you can give me and optometry, I am, Sincerely,

LOUIS J. CROLLARD, O.D., President,

OREGON JOURNAL,

Portland, Oreg., May 25, 1964. Hon. KENNETH A. ROBERTS, House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. ROBERTS : I should like to urge your Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Health and Public Safety to give favorable consideration of H.R. 8546 in the hearings scheduled May 26.

As you undoubtedly already know, Oregon has an outstanding College of Optometry at Pacific University in Forest Grove. For years, it has produced highly skilled optometrists, not only for our State and the Pacific Northwest, but for widely scattered areas throughout the Nation. The need for additional optometrists, however, is great-and growing. Some of our State's counties have no optometrists at all and many have an insufficient number, and ours is not a unique State.

H.R. 8546 should make it possible for many who are not now able to attend optometric schools for financial reasons to do so. Because of that we hope your committee will look favorably upon H.R. 8546. Very truly yours,

ARDEN X. PANGBORN, Editor.

AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION,

Chicago, Ill., May 20, 1964. Hon. KENNETH A. ROBERTS, Chairman, Subcommittee on Public Health and Safety, Interstate and Foreign

Commerce Committee, House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR CONGRESSMAN ROBERTS: On behalf of the American Medical Association, I would like to take this opportunity to comment on H.R. 8546, and similar bills, which are now pending before the Subcommittee on Public Health and Safety of the House Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee.

As we understand it, these bills would amend the Public Health Service Act to make students at schools of optometry who are pursuing the degree of doctor of optometry, or an equivalent degree, eligible for Federal loans.

The American Medical Association has, on previous occasions, stated its objections to the Federal Government embarking upon a program of loans to medical, dental, osteopathic, and nursing students. We believe that it can only work to the ultimate disservice of our educational system and the students which it serves. We urge this subcommittee to reject these proposed extensions of student loans to optometry students.

The American Medical Association appreciates this opportunity to present its views and respectfully requests that this letter be included in the record of your hearings. Sincerely,

F. J. L. BLASINGAME, M.D.

MARYLAND OPTOMETRIC ASSOCIATION, INC.,

May 26, 1964. Hon. KENNETH ROBERTS, Congressman from Alabama, House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

DEAR CONGRESSMAN ROBERTS: In the name of the members of the Maryland Optometric Association I extend my thanks to you for introducing H.R. 8546.

Your foresight and courage in this matter will result in better vision care throughout our Nation.

My best wishes to you and your staff for continued success in Washington and your home State of Alabama. Sincerely,

Dr. B. A. SALTYSIAK, President.

NEW MEXICO OPTOMETRIC ASSOCIATION,

Santa Fe., N. Mex., May 25, 1964. Congressman THOMAS MORRIS, Washington, D.O.:

Request your support for H.R. 8546 relating to loans to optometry students. The optometrists in New Mexico endorse this act as a tremendous aid to the students of our profession, as a shortage now exists. Respectfully request my statement be included on record of hearings May 26 before House Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Health and Public Safety.

L. O, BLEVINS, O.D.,

President.

OKLAHOMA STATE BOARD OF EXAMINERS IN OPTOMETRY,

Stillwater, Okla,, May 21, 1964. Hon. OREN HARRIS, Representative from Arkansas, Washington, D.C.:

I sincerely hope it will be possible for your committee to pass favorably on H.R. 8546 relating to loans for optometry students.

W. A. GRADY, O.D., President.

KANSAS OPTOMETRIC ASSOCIATION, INC.,

Topeka, Kans., May 21, 1964. Hon. BOB DOLE, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. DOLE: I would like to ask for your support on H.R. 8546 relating to Federal loans for optometry students.

We in Kansas are greatly concerned about the shortage of optometrists within our State. Kansas today has fewer practicing optometrists than 10 years ago with a larger number of people to be served. Another alarming fact is that of the optometrists practicing in Kansas, at least one-third are 60 years of age or

over.

The anticipated 10-year population increase indicates the need for almost double the number of optometry graduates annually coming to Kansas.

It would be appreciated if in your support of H.R. 8546 you would have the information given in this letter be included in the record of hearings taking place on May 26 before the House Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Health and Public Safety chaired by Congressman Kenneth Roberts of Alabama. Respectfully,

E. D. NELSON, 0.D., President.

MINOT, N. DAK., May 21, 1964. Representative Don L. SHORT, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.

DEAR CONGRESSMAN SHORT: I am taking this opportunity to enlist your support of H.R. 8546, which concerns Federal loans to optometry students.

As president of the North Dakota Optometric Association, I feel that this legislation would be very vital to the people of North Dakota, especially in smaller communities where good vision care is seldom available. In North Dakota, optometry takes care of 70 percent of the visual problems of its people, therefore, we cannot allow a decrease in students, which would be the result if we are not allowed these loans, and would be harmful for all of us in North Dakota.

I would also like to have this statement included in the files of the bill in the House Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Health and Public Safety. Thank you for your consideration on this request, I remain, Sincerely yours,

KENNETH L. BENSON, O.D. (Whereupon, at 11:40 a.m., the subcommittee proceeded into executive session.)

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