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Opternative Changes Its Name

It’s changing because the old name ‘positioned the brand as an existential threat’ to ODs.

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CHICAGO — Opternative is changing its name.

From now on the company, which offers online vision tests and prescriptions, will be known as Visibly. The company said in a press release that its new name “fully embraces the solutions it offers the eye care industry and appropriately represents the broad scope of who it can serve.”

“We understand that our previous company name, Opternative, carried a negative connotation in the eye care industry and positioned the brand as an existential threat to Optometrists,” said Dr. Steven Lee, founder and chief science officer of Visibly.

“This is why it was important for us to rebrand the company with a name that better represents the partnerships we’re building with eye care providers and eyewear retailers in the industry.”

The company stated that it “involved many key stakeholders in the decision-making process for its new name through interviews with board members, industry experts, doctors, investors, and internal employees.”

“Our company believes that every human on earth deserves affordable access to eye care, wherever they are, all of the time,” said Brent Rasmussen, CEO of Visibly.

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“Our new name Visibly represents this belief and inspires confidence within the industry to embrace positive change that will help more people see more clearly, more often.”

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It’s Official: Optometrists in this State Can Practice in Retail Settings

Gov. Kevin Stitt signed the legislation.

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Oklahoma’s governor has signed into law a measure allowing optometrists to practice within retail settings such as Walmart stores.

Retailers will be permitted to sell lenses and frames under the new legislation, which was signed into law by Gov. Kevin Stitt, NewsOK reports.

The legislation is similar to a measure that failed in a statewide vote last year, but it includes some key changes. This version does not allow optometrists to be employees of retailers.

“Our primary concern as eye doctors is protecting Oklahoma’s very high standards for quality of care and patient safety,” said Dr. Selina McGee, president of the Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians, in a statement.

“To preserve those high standards, optometrists need to be operating independently, free of corporate control or interference and governed by a medical board.”

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The law also does not allow retailers have control over any aspect of the eye exam.

The Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians stated that the new legislation “will protect Oklahoma’s vision health standards while increasing convenience for consumers.”

Read more at NewsOK

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Optometry College Graduates Its First OD/MBA Student

She wanted a stronger understanding of the business side of optometry.

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Phillips

When Taylor Phillips graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry on May 10, she became the school’s first dual-degree doctor of optometry/master of business administration graduate, in a partnership with UAB’s Collat School of Business.

UAB’s OD/MBA dual-degree program is intended to give future optometrists a business foundation and education that will help them navigate their future as potential private practices owners and healthcare providers, the school said in a press release.

Phillips, a native of Gilbertown, AL, pursued the OD/MBA path to have a stronger understanding of the business side of optometry. She plans to enter private practice in rural and underserved Choctaw County upon completion of a yearlong residency in Tuscaloosa.

“In school, we learn clinical skills, develop strong patient interactions, understand the management of diseases and care, but we only learn about the top-line business aspects of our future career as optometrists,” Phillips said. “The completion of the OD/MBA program gave me the confidence to enter private practice, and I know it will help me give back to my community in a stronger way.”

Phillips completed her MBA courses in conjunction with her optometry curriculum and with students from other schools on UAB’s campus. Collat offers similar dual-degree paths for dental, medical, public health, engineering and health administration graduates as well.

While Phillips is the first OD/MBA graduate, several other students are currently enrolled in the program.

“The UAB MBA prepares professionals to lead and manage a business enterprise in today’s dynamic marketplace,” said Eric P. Jack, dean of the Collat School of Business.

“Research shows the MBA has been one of the most effective educational programs for changing the world by enabling leaders to build strong, high-performing organizations and by leveraging the power of markets. We’re proud of this novel collaboration between the School of Optometry and the Collat School of Business.”

Prospective students who are interested in learning more about the dual-degree paths offered through Collat School of Business can learn more here.

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8-Location Eyecare Practice Closes Its Doors

It had operated since 1959.

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Union Eye Care, an eight-location practice in Northeast Ohio, has closed its doors.

WOIO-TV in Cleveland reports that employees received an email on May 7 stating:

“The Board of Trustees made the decision that Union Eye Care Inc. will be filing for bankruptcy. We will be closing all eight stores, our terminal optical lab and headquarters permanently effective Wednesday May 8, 2019.”

The business opened in 1959.

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Its website lists locations in Akron, Brunswick, Cleveland, Cleveland Clinic, Garfield Heights, Mentor, North Olmsted and Parma.

WOIO reports that it was unable to reach Union Eye Care representatives by phone or email.

Read more at WOIO-TV

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