Shopko Optical Names Hengel as Director of Managed Vision Care

By Staff
Monday, March 30, 2020 12:24 AM GREEN BAY, Wis.—Shopko Optical has named Roberta Hengel to its management team as director of managed vision care. Hengel has worked in the managed care industry for more than 25 years and joins the team with proven experience in managed care network administration, contract negotiation, and developing growth strategies. Before accepting the position with Shopko Optical, Hengel served as director of managed care for UnitedHealth Group for more than 15 years. “I am pleased to welcome Roberta to the Shopko Optical team,” Kirk Lauterback, chief operating officer, said in a recent announcement. “Roberta’s unique experience will bring strong leadership and support with our insurance plan partners and enable us to provide additional benefits to our patients.”

Eye Health America Acquires Two Medical Optometric Practices in Pee Dee Region of South Carolina

By Staff
Wednesday, March 25, 2020 12:21 AM ATLANTA—Eye Health America (EHA), a leading eyecare practice management services organization in the Southeast, has acquired Dillon Eyecare Associates (DEA) and Pee Dee Eye Associates (PDEA), two “fabric of the community” optometry practices located in the Pee Dee region (between Columbia and Myrtle Beach) of South Carolina, according to an announcement this week. With locations in Dillon, Hartsville and Sumter, S.C., the DEA and PDEA practices are both “the go-to primary eyecare providers in their communities,” according to the announcement.

Retina Consultants of America Announces Addition of California Group as a ‘Founding Practice’

By Staff
Friday, March 20, 2020 12:30 AM SOUTHLAKE, Texas—Retina Consultants of America (RCA), a private equity-backed comprehensive physician management services organization, announced Thursday that an additional founding practice, California Retina Consultants, has become a member of the recently formed consortium. California Retina Consultants is comprised of 10 retina specialists with a staff of more than 140 people across 12 offices serving the central valley and coast of California. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. RCA is backed by Webster Equity Partners, which was founded in 2003 to invest in health care services companies with high-impact growth strategies.

Shopko Optical Reinforces Leadership With Appointment of Susan Buckna as General Counsel

By Staff
Friday, March 13, 2020 12:15 AM GREEN BAY, Wis.—Shopko Optical, in a move that reflects its ongoing effort to build out its leadership team, has named Susan Buckna as general counsel. Buckna joins the Shopko Optical team with almost 30 years of legal expertise in corporate legal and regulatory matters, including health care operations, employment, information technology, intellectual property and corporate governance, according to the company’s announcement. “I am thrilled Susan has chosen to join the Shopko Optical team,” chief executive officer Russ Steinhorst said. “With experience in both the retail and health care sectors, she is a steadfast business and legal partner who will be instrumental in supporting and advocating for the company’s growth.”

FYidoctors Continues Expansion in British Columbia With Addition of Kootenay Optometry

By Staff
Wednesday, March 11, 2020 12:30 AM CALGARY, Alberta—FYidoctors, a leading optometrist-controlled eyecare company, announced that Kootenay Optometry is the latest clinic to join the FYidoctors organization. The addition marks the company’s continued expansion into British Columbia, where FYidoctors now operates 33 clinics across the province. This is the first addition to the FYidoctors group to be announced since the company reported last week that the private equity firm L Catterton had made a strategic minority equity investment in FYidoctors, as VMAIL reported

David Heitmeier, Louisiana’s First OD State Senator, Joins Keplr Vision

By Staff
Friday, March 6, 2020 12:18 AM BLOOMINGTON, Ill.—Keplr Vision, an operating group formed in mid-2019 to support eyecare practices, announced that it has partnered with Dr. David Heitmeier. Dr. Heitmeier has been recognized with numerous awards for his service to optometry, including the University of Houston College of Optometry’s (UHCO) Distinguished Alumnus Award, the Southern Council of Optometrists’ OD of the South Award, and the 2015 AOA National Optometrist of the Year, according to the announcement this week. The partnership was effective as of February.

Shopko Optical Adds Two Regional Managers as it Expands Leadership Team

By Staff
Wednesday, March 4, 2020 12:15 AM GREEN BAY, Wis.—Shopko Optical, the retailer that emerged from the bankruptcy of Shopko Stores in mid-2019, has named Shawn Jorgensen and Michelle Bender as regional managers. The retailer also has promoted Angelique Sims, a general manager for the Dixon, Ill., location, to market manager, according to an announcement this week. Shopko Optical, the trade name of Shoptikal LLC, is a portfolio company of investment firm Monarch Alternative Capital LP, has a team of nearly 700 optometrists and opticians (independent ODs in Iowa, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota and Washington).

UPDATED: Four Leading Retina Specialists Launch New Alliance With Backing from Webster Equity Partners

By Staff
Tuesday, March 3, 2020 12:27 AM SOUTHLAKE, Texas—Retina Consultants of America (RCA), a comprehensive physician management services organization formed by Webster Equity Partners, launched Monday with four preeminent retina specialty practices. The practices are: Retina Consultants of HoustonRetina Group of FloridaLong Island Vitreoretinal Consultants,  and Retinal Consultants Serving Northern California, according to an announcement by the new organization. The details on the financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. But RCA said in the announcement that it has created “a business model that enables retina specialists to retain autonomy and ownership, while building around the sharing of best practices and executive management support.”

ReFocus Eye Health Adds Two New Regional Directors

By Staff
Monday, March 2, 2020 12:15 AM RYE BROOK, N.Y.—ReFocus Eye Health, a nationally focused, collaborative health care organization, has added Scott Agatone and Richard Daddona as regional directors, according to an announcement late last week. As a regional director, Agatone will oversee and direct business and operations in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania region, while Daddona will oversee and direct operations throughout the Connecticut region. Agatone joins Refocus Eye Health with more than 15 years of clinical and financial management expertise.

Arbor Centers for Eyecare and Chicago Eye Institute Form New PE-Backed Ocular Partners Inc. Organization

By Staff
Friday, February 28, 2020 12:30 AM CHICAGO and LOS ANGELES—Chicago Eye Institute (CEI) and Arbor Centers for EyeCare, two of the leading ophthalmology practices serving the Chicago market, have entered into a strategic partnership with MoonSail Capital LLC and Plenary Partners to form Ocular Partners Inc., according to an announcement. The new entity formed by this transaction will be “the premier physician-led eyecare group in greater Chicago,” the announcement noted. The investment by Los Angeles-based MoonSail and Plenary of Chicago will support growth initiatives of best-in-class ophthalmic practices throughout the Midwest region. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Vision Innovation Partners Completes 14th Deal in Just Over Two Years With Recent Maryland Acquisition

By Staff
Monday, February 24, 2020 12:24 AM ANNAPOLIS, Md.—Vision Innovation Partners, a portfolio company of the private equity firm Centre Partners, has acquired Busack Eye Center based in Frederick, Md.

Keplr Vision Names Chris Folsom as the Group’s First Chief Financial Officer

By Staff
Thursday, February 20, 2020 12:24 AM BLOOMINGTON, Ill.—Keplr Vision, a management group that provides a comprehensive operational and support platform to optometric practices, has named Chris Folsom as the organization’s first chief financial officer. Folsom, who took on the new responsibilities in January, brings more than 20 years of financial executive leadership experience to the fast-growing Keplr organization, according to an announcement. Folsom began his career with KPMG LLP, a “Big Four” accounting firm and subsequently transitioned into roles within manufacturing and service-based organizations.

Online Retailer Kits Eyecare Names Rob Long as Chief Marketing Officer

By Staff
Tuesday, February 18, 2020 12:24 AM VANCOUVER, British Columbia—Kits Eyecare Ltd., a North American online retailer of eyeglasses and contact lenses, has named former Coastal Contacts executive Rob Long to the role of chief marketing officer. Long joins Kits from Dyson Canada, where he sat on the leadership team and led the direct-to-consumer division. Kits was founded in 2018 by Roger Hardy, who previously had launched one of the groundbreaking brands in omnichannel eyecare, Coastal Contacts Inc., which owned Coastal.com, Clearly.ca and Lensway.se. Hardy is currently the chief executive and chairman of Hardy Capital

Shopko Optical Expands Project Eyecare Program and Opens First of 35 New Locations Planned for 2020

By Staff
Thursday, February 13, 2020 12:21 AM GREEN BAY, Wis.—Shopko Optical said it has expanded its Project Eyecare program and, in partnership with local Lions Clubs, will provide more than 800 deserving children opportunities to receive free eye exams and eyewear this year. As of Monday, Feb. 10, Lions Clubs near Shopko Optical locations will identify and give vouchers to children in need between the ages of 5 and 17 within their communities. These children will receive a free comprehensive eye exam and pair of eyeglasses from Shopko Optical.

ReFocus Eye Health Promotes Nisha Bhalla to Vice President of Operations

By Staff
Thursday, February 13, 2020 12:18 AM RYE BROOK, N.Y.—ReFocus Eye Health, a nationally focused, collaborative health care organization, has promoted director of operations Nisha Bhalla to vice president of operations. In the newly appointed position, Bhalla will continue to lead across all aspects of the company’s strategy and operations, including mergers, acquisitions, business development, leadership, planning, and other executive functions. ReFocus Eye Health, which was founded in 2018, said it takes “a fresh, enlightened approach to health practice ownership and management,” and noted that it acts as “a source of permanent capital” for health practices.