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Vision Health Groups Ask U.S. Surgeon General to Issue Call to Action

The request was signed by 27 organizations.

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(PRESS RELEASE) CHICAGO – Vision 2020/USA, along with allied organizations dedicated to improving vision and eye health in the United States, have formally asked U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams to initiate a “Call to Action” to mark the year 2020.

A formal request was signed by 27 national leading organizations – each a member of Vision 2020/USA – and was delivered on Jan. 18.

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In 2016, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine issued the report “Making Eye Health a Population Health Imperative: Vision for Tomorrow,” providing a multi-stakeholder analysis of issues related to vision from a public health perspective, along with detailed recommendations for significantly improving eye health in the U.S. A key recommendation is for a Call to Action report to be produced by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Office of the Surgeon General to motivate nationwide action addressing the increasing burden of vision impairment across the lifespan of people in the U.S.

Surgeon General Calls to Action are science-based summary documents intended to stimulate action nationwide to solve an urgent public health problem, typically across multiple sectors. This Call to Action would be used to increase public awareness, improve surveillance, clarify the disability and financial cost from vision loss, help standardize public health and clinical practice, and, ultimately, ensure that all people enjoy the lifelong benefits of healthy eyes and clear sight.

“Vision issues can effect anyone across the age spectrum, from infants to seniors, impacting everything from learning to the ability to work and be independent,” said Mitchell V. Brinks, M.D., M.P.H., chair of Vision 2020/USA. “With the help of U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams and his colleagues, we can work together to successfully address and improve vision health in our country.”

Groups signing onto the letter include American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Academy of Optometry, American Optometric Association, The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Casey Eye Institute, Dana Center for Preventive Ophthalmology, Dean McGee Eye Institute, Eye Bank Association of America, Himalayan Cataract Project, Hellen Keller International, Illinois College of Optometry, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness- North America Region, International Eye Foundation, Lighthouse Guild, Lions Clubs International, National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research, Orbis International, Prevent Blindness, SEE International, SEVA Foundation, University of Utah- John A. Moran Eye Center, University of Rochester Medical Center, Vision Impact Institute, and Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity International.

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“The NASEM report clearly outlined the need for, and benefits arising from, improving vision and eye health programs and services, as well as recommendations on the tactics to reach that goal,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “We are proud to join in the effort to engage entities across the country, including professional groups, Federal, State and local governments, and more, to address the rising numbers of vision loss and impairment.”

To view the letter from VISION 2020/USA, click here. For more information on vision advocacy, education and public health efforts, contact The International Agency for Prevention of Blindness at communications@iapb.org or visit http://www.iapb.org, or Prevent Blindness at (800) 331-2020 and https://www.preventblindness.org/prevent-blindness-advocacy-initiatives.

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Press Releases

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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Press Releases

Modo Americas Names CEO

The appointment takes effect Sept. 1.

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Rebecca Giefer

(PRESS RELEASE) Following a 15-year tenure at Modo, Rebecca Giefer has been appointed as CEO of Modo Americas, effective Sept. 1.

Giefer started at Modo in 2004 as a customer service representative and quickly rose through the ranks, achieving the position of chief operating officer five years ago.

According to a press release from the company: “Over the past 5 years, Rebecca has overseen significant growth for the company across various sales channels. Last year, Rebecca was awarded equity in MODO as a reward for her incredible work ethic and contributions to MODO’s outstanding results and achievements.”

Within the industry, Giefer has also spread her influence, speaking on various panels and participating in different groups within the Vision Council, on which she is a current board member.

“I am very proud today with this announcement of Rebecca being made CEO of MODO Americas,” said Alessandro Lanaro, Modo’s founder and main shareholder.

“Many years ago, I jokingly told Rebecca that I should watch my chair, and sure enough she did it! Naming Rebecca CEO of MODO Americas was for me a very natural decision. I personally have never met a person that is so committed and has such an incredible work ethic. Together with Giovanni Lo Faro, CEO of MODO International and Tara Montanari, Director of M Factory, we form a formidable team that is so well-aligned to create the opportunities of our constant growth. I will assume the newly created position of Global CEO of our Group that consists of several companies.”

Giefer said: “I’m thankful for Alessandro’s vision and leadership and I’m thankful to have such an amazing team in New York and throughout the Americas. This step in my career at MODO is a very special one and I hope that my story will be an inspiration to members of the team. Last but not least, I’m thankful for the customers that have been on this journey with us. Being an independent eyewear company in the U.S. requires us to constantly reorient ourselves to the ever-changing landscape of the industry.”

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