Visionworks to Begin Reopening Locations with Enhanced Safety Protocols to Better Serve Essential and Emergency Eye Care Needs

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San Antonio, Texas, April 3, 2020 – Visionworks, a VSP Global® company, announced it will begin reopening locations starting April 6 to better serve increased needs for essential and emergency eye care, but will not provide routine eye care. Up to 60 percent of Visionworks locations could reopen in the coming weeks. All will reopen with enhanced safety protocols, including personal protective equipment (PPE) for employees.

As healthcare providers, optometrists were recently included as essential critical infrastructure workers as part of guidance from the United States Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

“Our top priority is the health and safety of our associates, doctors, and the patients we serve, and we have taken all necessary measures to ensure their well-being,” said Pete Bridgman, President of Visionworks. “We continue to see rising needs for essential eye care, and by reopening we can ensure those needs are safely met and optometrists can help reduce the number of patients seeking eye care from overwhelmed emergency rooms and hospitals during COVID-19.”

As not all Visionworks locations are reopening, the organization also announced it must reduce a portion of its workforce through employee furloughs for the next 60 days. Furloughed employees will retain their benefits, with Visionworks paying the employee portion of premiums during this time. Additionally, impacted employees will receive assistance from Visionworks in expediting unemployment claims to help them access benefits.

“Like so many other organizations, we continue to face significant economic challenges and impact from COVID-19,” added Bridgman. “We understand what an incredibly painful decision this is. Ultimately, it was necessary to ensure the viability of our operations and our ability to weather this difficult economic storm, while also allowing our doctors to continue providing essential eye care and relieve demand on emergency rooms at this critical time. It is our goal to welcome back as many of our impacted Visionworks family as possible in the months ahead.”

Following the temporary closure of its locations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Visionworks activated a telehealth offering to connect patients and doctors. To date, nearly 3,500 patients – from first responders to nurses and others in need of care – have utilized the offering. Through the free video or phone consultation, doctors evaluate how best to meet urgent patient eye care needs.

 

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About Visionworks

Visionworks is the sixth largest optical chain in the United States. A leading provider of eyewear and eye care services, the company proudly serves customers through more than 700 locations in nearly 40 states and the District of Columbia. With high quality products and expert associates, Visionworks helps its patients maintain their vision with comprehensive eye exams and with over 1,500 frame options at every location. Visionworks prides itself in helping every customer find a look that fits with their personal style. At Visionworks, we stand for more than just eyeglasses. We are over 8,000 people strong who are in some way in charge of one of humankind’s most precious senses – sight. We are devoted to healthy eyes and passionate about delivering flawless vision by ensuring every person who visits our locations and affiliated doctors has an incredible experience that is unexpectedly simple and safe. We believe in our commitment and promise to make sure our patients and customers always see great.

About VSP Global
VSP Global is a doctor-governed company that exists to create value for members and opportunities for VSP network doctors. Our industry-leading businesses include VSP® Vision Care, the only national not-for-profit vision benefits company, which provides access to eye care for nearly 90 million members through a network of over 40,000 doctors worldwide; Marchon® Eyewear Inc., one of the world’s largest designers, manufacturers and distributors of high-quality eyewear and sunwear; VSP Optics, industry leaders in ophthalmic technology and lab services, providing custom lens solutions for the vision and lifestyle needs of patients; Eyefinity®, the industry leader in practice management and electronic health record software; VSP Retail, which focuses on increasing access to eye care and eyewear through multiple channels, and VSP® Ventures, which offers care-focused, customized choices for doctors looking to transition their practice.

 

 

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