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Essilor of America Names Leader for Customer Development Group

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(PRESS RELEASE) DALLAS – Essilor of America announced that Millicent “Millie” Knight, OD, FAAO, FAARM, will be joining the company later this summer as senior vice president, customer development group, and member of the leadership team, reporting to Rick Gadd, incoming president, Essilor of America. In this role, Knight will be responsible for Essilor of America’s professional relations, communications and eyecare professional and sales training efforts. 

“Dr. Knight has a diverse and extensive background in the optical industry, including experience in a hospital-based ophthalmology/optometry practice, two optometric practices and a former member of Vision Source,” Gadd said. “Her rich industry knowledge and deep connections to eye care professionals ensures that our customers will continue to have a voice at the highest level of the company.” 

Prior to Essilor, Knight was vice president of professional affairs, North America, at Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc. While there, she served on the North American Leadership Team, where she developed and deployed a competitively differentiated eyecare professional strategy, establishing connections between the company’s strategy and eye care professionals and industry leaders by building industry affiliations, education platforms and advocacy. 

Knight has consulted for eyecare and health and wellness companies, conducted contact lens and solutions office clinical trials, and lectured on a wide variety of topics including contact lenses, leadership, cultural sensitivity, eye and systemic health, and business and entrepreneurship. She has published numerous articles, and has received wide-ranging industry and academic recognition including “Optometrist of the Year” by both the National and Illinois Optometric Associations, Vision Monday’s Most Influential Women in Optical, and a Women in Optometry Theia Award for Leadership. 

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Knight received her doctor of optometry degree and a bachelor of science, visual science, degree from the Illinois College of Optometry. She also holds a bachelor of arts degree in biology from Augustana College. She served on the board of trustees of both alma maters and has received leadership awards from both institutions. 

 

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Everything Is Bigger in the South, Including Eyecare Practices

Results of the 2019 Big Survey are in. Here’s a sample.

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SEEMS THAT EVERYTHING is bigger in the South, according to INVISION’s Big Survey. The Northeast is home to a disproportionate number of smaller vision businesses, while bigger practices are most common in the South. Thirty-one percent of the small stores/practices in our survey — those with less than 1,500 square feet — were in the Northeast, while 41 percent of the big ones — those over 3,000 square feet — were in the South. These large operations were mostly either private practices with a focus on retail or medical model private practices with a small dispensary.

How big is your (main) location?

Less than 500 sq. ft
4%
500-999 sq. ft.
10%
1,000-1,499 sq. ft.
24%
1,500-1,999 sq. ft.
17%
2000-2499 sq. ft.
15%
2500-2999 sq. ft.
11%
3000-3,999 sq. ft.
8%
4,000-5000 sq. .ft.
6%
More than 5000 sq. ft.
5%

The 2019 Big Survey was conducted from August to October and attracted responses from more than 500 American ECPs. Look out for all the full results in the November/December issue of INVISION.

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Which State Has the Hardest-Working ECPs? And Which State Has the Weirdest? INVISION’s Big Survey Tells All!

Results of the 2019 Big Survey are in. Here’s a sample.

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INVISION’S FIRST ANNUAL Big Survey found out a lot of interesting information about the American ECP… even our Canadian friends to the north weighed in. We started with the basics, and they did not disappoint! Want to know which state has the most female owners, or which one has the weirdest ECPs? Here are few quick takes from the 2019 survey:

Californian ECPs were the least likely to own their places of business, with 82 percent renting.

Kansans were most likely to be open on Sunday with one in four stores and practices open on this traditional “rest” day.

They don’t take kindly to strangers asking questions in South Dakota. South Dakota, Louisiana and New Mexico were the only states not represented in our survey.

Michigan ECPs are some of the hardest working in the industry: 25 percent work more than 50 hours a week.

Florida had the most male owners and managers in our survey at 76 percent. Washington state had the most female owners at 86 percent.

Connecticut was tops for self-declared weirdness with ECPs there giving themselves an average score of 8.2 out of 10 on our weirdness scale.

The 2019 Big Survey was conducted from August to October and attracted responses from more than 500 American ECPs. Look out for all the full results in the November/December issue of INVISION.

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FDA Approves First Contact Lens to Slow Myopia Progression in Children

The approval was granted to CooperVision. 

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first contact lens indicated to slow the progression of myopia in children between the ages of 8 and 12 years old.

The FDA granted approval of MiSight, a single-use disposable soft contact lens, to CooperVision Inc.

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“Today’s approval is the first FDA-approved product to slow the progression of myopia in children, which ultimately could mean a reduced risk of developing other eye problems,” said Dr. Malvina Eydelman, director of the Office of Ophthalmic, Anesthesia, Respiratory, ENT and Dental Devices in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

Myopia is the most frequent cause of correctable visual impairment worldwide, the FDA noted in a press release announcing the approval. It is common in children and tends to increase as they get older.

CooperVision said in its own press release that MiSight is “the cornerstone of a comprehensive myopia management approach” that it will offer.

“We can’t overstate the importance and potential impact of this landmark decision on children’s vision, especially considering the rise in myopia’s severity and prevalence in the U.S. and worldwide,” said Daniel G. McBride, president of CooperVision. “Eye care professionals who embrace this breakthrough approach will improve the quality of life and eye health for so many children.”

The product will launch in the U.S. as part of a CooperVision myopia management initiative beginning in March 2020, according to the company’s release. The lens “is already being successfully worn by thousands of myopic children in other parts of the world, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain and Australia, where age ranges for initial fitting may vary.”

MiSight “has been recognized as one of the most innovative developments in eye health by the likes of the British Contact Lens Association and international industry media,” according to the release.

The MiSight soft contact lenses are meant to be worn daily to correct nearsightedness and slow the progression of myopia in children with healthy eyes. When placed on the eye, one part of the MiSight contact lens corrects the refractive error to improve distance vision in nearsighted eyes, similar to a standard corrective lens. In addition, concentric peripheral rings in the lens focus part of the light in front of the retina (the back of the eye). This is believed to reduce the stimulus causing the progression of myopia.

The approval of MiSight was based on data obtained from a prospective clinical trial at four clinical sites and real-world evidence. The safety and effectiveness of MiSight was studied in a three-year randomized, controlled clinical trial of 135 children ages 8 to 12 at the start of treatment who used MiSight or a conventional soft contact lens.

The trial showed that for the full three-year period, the progression in myopia of those wearing MiSight lenses was less than those wearing conventional soft contact lenses. In addition, subjects who used MiSight had less change in the axial length of the eyeball at each annual checkup. Over the course of the trial, there were no serious ocular adverse events in either arm of the study.

Additionally, to estimate the rate of vision-threatening corneal infections among children and adolescents who wear soft contact lenses daily, the FDA reviewed real world data from a retrospective analysis of medical records of 782 children ages 8 to 12 years old from seven community eyecare clinics. The results showed a rate comparable to the rate of ulcer cases among adults who wear contact lenses daily.

As part of the approval of MiSight, the sponsor is required to conduct a postmarket study of the contact lenses to further evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the product as indicated.

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