Southern College of Optometry Adds New Board of Trustees Chair, Member

By Staff
Wednesday, February 20, 2019 12:18 AM MEMPHIS, Tenn.—The Southern College of Optometry (SCO) has announced two additions to their board of trustees. James Sandefur, OD, will be stepping into the role of board chair, while  Jennifer Lyerly, OD, will become the board’s newest member. Dr. Sandefur has served on the board of trustees at SCO, his alma mater, for several years, and officially assumed the chair position in January. He has spent more than 30 years in private practice in Oakdale, Louisiana, and was one of the first optometrists to serve on a hospital staff in the state.

California Optometric Association Helps Diabetes Patients Connect With Health Care

By Staff
Wednesday, February 20, 2019 12:15 AM SACRAMENTO, Calif.—A recent California Health Policy Strategies policy brief finds that the partnership between the California Optometric Association (COA), Anthem Blue Cross Medi-Cal Health Plan, and community health centers throughout California was successful in connecting diabetes patients with comprehensive care. In this partnership, Anthem Blue Cross Medi-Cal Health Plan reached out to its members with a history of diabetes who had not accessed recommended health screenings, and invited them to the Diabetes Day Clinic at a local health center.

Total ECP Names Dr. Ben Gaddie President and Launches New Shared Services Platform

By Staff
Tuesday, February 19, 2019 9:15 AM CINCINNATI—Total Eye Care Partners (Total ECP), a group of medically focused optometry practices founded in 2017 and based here, has named Dr. Ben Gaddie as president of the organization, according to an announcement Tuesday morning. Dr. Gaddie previously served as chief medical officer of Total ECP, and his Kentucky-based practice group, Gaddie Eye Centers, served as Total ECP’s launch platform in the optometric sector. Toronto-based Imperial Capital Group is the private equity firm that backed the formation of Total ECP in late 2017, as VMAIL reported. Dr. Gaddie succeeds former president and chief executive Bob Barton.

2nd Annual Canadian Frame Study Reveals Opportunities and Threats

By Staff
Tuesday, February 19, 2019 12:15 AM NEW YORK—The results of the second annual Canadian Frame Market internet study, jointly conducted by VuePoint IDS and Jobson Optical Research, are now available. The 2018 study, building upon the inaugural research conducted in 2017, reveals that eyecare professionals are choosing to be more selective and do business with fewer frame suppliers, according to an announcement from VuePoint IDS. The distribution strength of the top players shows signs of weakening compared to the previous year. Only 2 of the top 10 companies showed gains in distribution.

Kno2 and Vision Source Receive 2019 Microsoft Health Innovation Awards

By Staff
Friday, February 15, 2019 12:18 AM BOISE, Idaho and KINGWOOD, Texas—Kno2, in collaboration with Vision Source, has been selected as a recipient of the Empower Your Care Teams and Employees category of Microsoft’s 2019 Health Innovation Awards. The awards were announced at the 2019 HIMSS Annual Conference and Exhibition in Orlando. They were created to recognize health organizations and their technology solution partners for using Microsoft’s intelligent health technologies in innovative ways, which help empower care teams, improve clinical and operational outcomes, and advance precision health care.

February Is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month

By Stephanie Sengwe
Thursday, February 14, 2019 3:31 PM With Valentine’s Day right in the middle of the month, February is, of course, known as the month of love and while there’s sure to be a perfect pair of frames for your loved one at your local eyecare practice, many practitioners are creating awareness for a different cause on social media. This month, ECPs are urging patients to show their eyes a little more love by drawing attention to the fact that February is age-related macular degeneration (AMD) awareness month.

Pearle Vision Seeking to Expand Franchise Reach into Canada

By Staff
Thursday, February 14, 2019 12:24 AM MASON, Ohio—Pearle Vision,  the eyecare practice founded by Dr. Stanley Pearle more than 50 years ago in Georgia, is stepping up efforts to expand its franchise operations in Canada throughout this year, according to an announcement. The eyecare and optical retailer has set its sights on signing up new franchisees across Canada, but with emphasis on the Canadian markets of Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto. Currently, there are 60 Pearle Vision EyeCare Center locations in Canada, most of which are concentrated in the Toronto area, according to a spokeswoman. The company believes there is a lot of opportunity for growing the Pearle Vision brand in Canada.

Janssen Enters Collaboration Agreement With MeiraGTx to Develop Programs for Inherited Retinal Diseases

By Staff
Tuesday, February 12, 2019 12:15 AM RARITAN, N.J.—The Janssen unit of Johnson & Johnson has announced a worldwide collaboration and license agreement with MeiraGTx Holdings (NASDAQ:MGTX), a clinical-stage gene therapy company, to develop, manufacture and commercialize its clinical stage inherited retinal disease portfolio. The portfolio includes leading product candidates for achromatopsia (ACHM) caused by mutations in either CNGB3 or CNGA3, and X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP). Further, the companies have formed a research collaboration to explore new targets for other inherited retinal diseases and further develop adeno-associated virus (AAV) manufacturing technology, according to an announcement.

My Eyelab Sets Plans for Aggressive Expansion in Dallas, Houston Markets

By Staff
Monday, February 11, 2019 12:30 AM PALM SPRINGS, Fla.—My Eyelab, a burgeoning optical retail franchise operator, has recently announced aggressive expansion plans for the state of Texas in 2019. The company late last month disclosed its intention in 2019 to open 28 new stores in the Dallas area, and open an additional 24 new stores in the Houston area in 2019. The company held job fairs in both Dallas and Houston over recent weekends to recruit new employees. My Eyelab said it wants to hire up to 280 new employees in the Dallas area and up to 240 new employees in the Houston area in 2019.

CorneaGen to Acquire KeraLink Domestic Eye Bank Operations

By Staff
Monday, February 11, 2019 12:27 AM SEATTLE AND BALTIMORE—CorneaGen, a company committed to transforming how corneal surgeons treat and care for the cornea and KeraLink International, a leader in corneal transplantation services, supplies and grafts for transplants, have signed a final agreement for CorneaGen to acquire KeraLink’s domestic eye bank operations and related assets, effective March 1. According to the release, KeraLink will continue to operate as an independent, non-profit organization “with its sights set on making vision-restoring treatments for people with corneal blindness possible anywhere in the world.”

CEI Vision Partners Adds Virginia Eye Consultants as Fifth Partner

By Staff
Friday, February 8, 2019 12:30 AM CINCINNATI—CEI Vision Partners (CVP), a portfolio company of Revelstoke Capital Partners LLC , a Denver-based private equity firm, has completed a partnership with Virginia Eye Consultants (VEC) , a premier multi-specialty ophthalmology group comprised of 17 providers that service the Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake markets through four clinic locations and an ambulatory surgery center.

Associated Eye Care of Minnesota and Castling Partners Form New Management Services Organization

By Staff
Friday, February 8, 2019 12:27 AM STILLWATER, Minn.—Associated Eye Care, a longtime diversified practice with offices here and in four other locations in Minnesota and Wisconsin, has teamed up with Castling Partners LLC  of Minneapolis to form Associated Eye Care Partners (AECP), a management services organization (MSO), according to an announcement this week. Castling Partners is a privately held advisory and asset development firm comprised of senior health care professionals with significant experience in the delivery of health care, health care policy and health care operations and financing.

PECAA Launches 2019/2020 Regional Leader Program

By Staff
Friday, February 8, 2019 12:18 AM PORTLAND, Ore.—PECAA, a nationwide doctor alliance group currently serving over 3,500 independent eyecare professionals, announced its 2019/2020 Regional Leader Team to its membership last month. The roles were filled by member doctors who will work to connect PECAA members in their local communities by helping foster doctor camaraderie, peer sharing of best practices and member engagement at regional events. The Regional Leaders, who have committed to serve two-year terms, were flown out to the PECAA headquarters here in January for an in-depth training of PECAA’s programs and what the organization does to support its members.

Services Planned for Eyewear Industry Pioneer, Shelly Lehrer

By Staff
Friday, February 8, 2019 12:15 AM CHATSWORTH, Calif.—Services are planned for Sheldon "Shelly" Lehrer, an early pioneer in the optical frames business, one of the first to import frames and cases to the U.S. eyewear market and arguably one of the industry's first value priced frames provider. Lehrer passed away recently after a long illness. Lehrer was known as a "maverick," a description used by Lehrer himself, along with family, friends, suppliers and competitors who often described the entrepreneurial spirit that guided the company he founded in 1949 to become today a diverse manufacturer, designer and distributor of eyewear and other products to a range of U.S. and international customers. Lehrer initially imported frames from Europe.

The ASCRS Announces 2019 Ophthalmology Hall of Fame Inductees

By Staff
Thursday, February 7, 2019 12:21 AM FAIRFAX, Va.—The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) has announced that it will induct Howard V. Gimbel, MD, MPH, FRCSC, FACS and the late Phillips Thygeson, MD into the ASCRS Ophthalmology Hall of Fame on Saturday, May 4, 2019. The ceremony will be held at 10:00 a.m. at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California, during the ASCRS opening general session of the ASCRS•ASOA Annual Meeting.