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Center for Vision and Population Health Opens at Prevent Blindness

It will be a national coordinating body for effective practices.

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(PRESS RELEASE) CHICAGO – The Center for Vision and Population Health at Prevent Blindness has been established as a way to help convene stakeholders in vision, public health and patient advocacy to address the barriers to healthy vision and work to increase the uniformity of vision preservation nationally.

It will serve as a national coordinating body for effective practices, state-level technical assistance, and programmatic interventions.

A 2016 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, “Making Eye Health a Population Health Imperative: Vision for Tomorrow,” advanced a number of recommendations for improving eye health in the U.S. Among the ensuing discussion was the need for a coordinated national effort that engages key stakeholders to advance vision and eye health from a population health perspective.

“The NASEM Report emphasized current gaps and the pressing need for action, but executing its recommendations will require coordinated efforts from stakeholders across public health, policy, community, and clinical arenas” said Heather E. Whitson, MD, MHS, co-author of the NASEM report and associate professor of medicine, associate professor in ophthalmology, and deputy director of the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development at Duke University.

She added, “Prevent Blindness and its Center for Vision and Population Health are perfectly positioned to serve as the ‘backbone’ of this effort.”

The CVPH will respond to this call to action and will work through diverse professional stakeholders and patient advocates to drive improvements in policy, program and a coordinated national approach to eye health. Prevent Blindness president and CEO Jeff Todd, along with co-authors Dr. Whitson and Edwin C. Marshall, OD, MS, MPH, Professor Emeritus of Optometry and Public Health, Indiana University, addressed the various challenges facing, and provided strategies for such a center in a recently published article in the Journal of the American Medical Association Ophthalmology entitled, “Eye and Vision Health for Tomorrow: From Recommendations to Coordinated Action.”

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Working in collaboration with experts from medical, scientific, public health, research and corporate sectors, the CVPH will leverage key stakeholder input, data from improved surveillance efforts (including state and national survey data), and peer-reviewed scientific literature to identify areas of geographic, population and disease significance that provide opportunities for significant impact. The information, resources and guidance developed by this new center will result in increased awareness about eye health and preventive practices that can be integrated into existing health and social service programs, ultimately elevating the attention given to eye health in the context of public health programs.

As part of the launch of the CVPH, Prevent Blindness is establishing an Advisory Committee, chaired by Dr. Whitson and staffed by Kira Baldonado, vice president of public health and policy at Prevent Blindness. The Advisory Committee will include experts in the fields of ophthalmology, optometry, epidemiology, geriatrics, minority health, public health and patient advocacy.

“The NASEM report has been monumental in elevating the need facing this country and in presenting multiple areas of improvement for our nation’s vision health,” said Todd. “Now is the time for all those working to address vision and eye health to coordinate and streamline our efforts to effectively improve access to quality eye care, promote research, and establish best practices to improve eye health today and for generations to come.”

For more information on the Center for Vision and Population Health at Prevent Blindness, call Prevent Blindness at (800) 331-2020 or visit preventblindness.org.

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Press Releases

EssilorLuxottica Enters Fortune Magazine’s 2019 Change the World List

It’s at the 17th spot on the list.

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(PRESS RELEASE) EssilorLuxottica has made Fortune magazine’s 2019 Change the World list, taking the 17th spot on this annual prestigious list, which recognizes companies that have had a positive social impact through activities that are part of their core business strategy. Among 52 companies, the Group is honored in particular for its commitment to bring good vision for everyone everywhere and eradicate poor vision, as part of its mission to help people ‘see more, be more and live life to its fullest’.

Even though a pair of eyeglasses can answer most of the world’s vision needs while protecting and framing the beauty of our eyes, the lack of awareness and access have led to a global vision crisis with severe social and economic consequences for billions of people.

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The ranking highlights EssilorLuxottica’s efforts of “doing well by doing good” and how its action to address issues of vision health across the world has a significant positive social impact on people’s lives, while also representing a significant shared value opportunity. With 6.6 billion people on the planet estimated to be in need of vision correction by 2050, of which 5 billion will be affected by the myopia epidemic, taking action without delay is key.

Hence, EssilorLuxottica exists to give vision a voice and respond to the world’s growing vision needs by meeting the changing lifestyles of existing consumers and inventing new ways to reach the 2.5 billion people who suffer from uncorrected poor vision and the 6 billion people who do not protect their eyes from harmful rays.

One of the Group’s initiatives include the launch of the 2.5 New Vision Generation (2.5NVG) and BoP Innovation lab by Essilor in 2013, a line of more affordable and stylish prescription glasses targeted at the 2.5 billion people who suffer from uncorrected poor vision, of which 90% live in base-of-the-pyramid (BoP) economies. With the help of more than 600 partners – from governments to NGOs to corporates – 2.5 NVG and the BoP Innovation Lab have enabled access to a pair of glasses for more than 25 million people across 62 countries in need of vision correction, and empowered nearly 12,000 micro-entrepreneurs to set up their own businesses, providing sustainable access to vision care to 250 million people.

Luxottica as well, through its support for OneSight, an independent non-profit organization of which the company is the founding sponsor, provides access to quality vision care and glasses in underserved communities worldwide. Since 1988, OneSight has partnered with local health organizations, governments, school districts, industry leaders, doctors and volunteers impacting over 21 million people in 49 countries and counting—creating opportunity and sustainable change along the way. So far, it has established 131 sustainable centers in countries like Rwanda, China and the United States, and hosted over 1,420 charitable clinics globally.

Pleased to be recognized by Fortune on their 2019 Change the World list, Jayanth Bhuvaraghan, head of mission at EssilorLuxottica, commented: “Eradicating poor vision is not only a unique business opportunity but a big responsibility for us as an industry leader. If nothing is done, billions of people in the world will continue to suffer from uncorrected poor vision. This will not only have negative social and personal repercussions but will also severely impact various economies in the world. Therefore, we strive to drive innovation across the market with the goal of providing the best vision care solutions, creating and establishing access points, awareness for good vision and bring good vision and quality products to everyone everywhere in the world.”

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Eyemart Express Announces as Senior Vice President of Store Operations

He will focus on executing the optical retailer’s new store growth goals, driving customer service, and ensuring associate development.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Eyemart Express, a leading national value optical retailer and the fastest provider of quality prescription eyewear in the industry, announced the hiring of Bill Butler as senior vice president of store operations. Mr. Butler will focus on executing the optical retailer’s new store growth goals, driving customer service, and ensuring associate development. He will work closely with executive and store leadership teams to refine Eyemart Express’ store operations procedures — ensuring the optical retailer’s 203 stores nationwide optimize retail and lab productivity and deliver a world-class customer experience.

“We are pleased to welcome Bill to our executive team,” said Michael Bender, Eyemart Express CEO. “His proven track record in operations, along with his team-centric leadership style, aligns with our growth goals and cultural values. He will be a great asset to our team as we continue to provide our customers with access to affordable, high-quality prescription eyewear through our unique and convenient same-day business model.”

Mr. Butler formerly served as vice president, operations at CVS Health, where he oversaw operations in both the West and Midwest regions. Prior to that, he held a variety of roles at Omnicare, Ardent Health Services and Deloitte.

“I am delighted to join the Eyemart Express team as it grows and enhances the customer experience in stores nationwide,” said Mr. Butler.

Learn more about Mr. Butler and the Eyemart Express leadership team at: https://www.eyemartexpress.com/about#leadership.

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Press Releases

Pearle Vision and NEXCOM Partner to Bring Optical Stores to Naval Bases

They will open between late August and September.

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(PRESS RELEASE) MASON, OH — Pearle Vision and the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) have partnered to bring national optical retail centers to naval bases in Virginia Beach, VA, San Diego, CA, and Groton, CT, with the opportunity to expand to additional bases in the future. This is Pearle Vision’s first partnership with a military organization and NEXCOM’s first partnership with a national optical retailer.

“Pearle Vision’s partnership with NEXCOM represents a win-win opportunity for both our brand and for the patrons served by NEXCOM,” said Alex Wilkes, general manager for Pearle Vision. “We are pleased to be able to create this new, alternate channel with exciting potential for growth, and we also are proud to support NEXCOM’s commitment to providing valuable, quality products and services to the military personnel at these three naval bases.”

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NEXCOM brings a breadth of goods and services to naval bases to enhance the quality of life for active-duty military, retirees, reservists and their families. The Pearle Vision partnership complements NEXCOM’s strategy to provide value to its patrons through partnerships with national brands such as Wendy’s, Chili’s, Apple, Pandora and UPS.

“This contract with Pearle Vision will support our mission to enhance the quality of life for our military members and their families stationed at these Naval bases,” said Greg Thomas, senior vice president, store operations, NEXCOM.

The three corporately owned Pearle Vision EyeCare Centers will open between late August and September. The EyeCare Centers on base will be open to those with a military ID, and online eye exam scheduling will be available at pearlevision.com.

The new Pearle Vision EyeCare Centers will feature a selection of premium eyeglass frames and contact lenses.

Following the Pearle Vision model of having eye doctors and retail under one roof, the centers will have optometrists on-site. The EyeCare Centers will accept Tricare and other national insurance plans.

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