EYECARE: Coronavirus BRIEFING: Business Updates MyEyeDr. Extends Closings, Compensates and Maintains All Doctors, Furloughs Some Associates, Implements Other Cost Cuts By Staff Thursday, April 2, 2020 12:24 AM VIENNA, Va.—As part of its ongoing community response to prevent the spread of COVID-19, MyEyeDr., (MED) which operates approximately 600 offices around the U.S. has extended the temporary closure of its offices, furloughed some associates and staff and implemented other cost-cutting measures due to the crisis. It is maintaining compensation for all of its 1,000 doctors. In communications this week, MyEyeDr. which updated its response since March 20 as VMAIL reported, said, "We are targeting that we will be able to begin reopening select offices starting on or about the end of April, in cooperation with local and state guidelines."Our top priority remains on operating in a safe environment to protect the health and wellbeing of our associates, doctors, patients and communities. Over the next several weeks, we will continually assess reopening select offices with a continued focus on serving those patients with the most urgent eyecare needs."The company noted, "The current operating environment has had a significant impact on our business, as well as the broader industry. Over the past several weeks, we have implemented a series of actions to reduce expenses to ensure our business is best positioned for the long-term. These include providing all associates and doctors with two week of compensation, maintaining business continuity to ensure patients can receive their ordered glasses or contacts, reschedule appointments, accept deliveries and so forth."The company has also secured cost savings by temporarily eliminating outside consultants, suspending any new hires and forfeiting or reducing executive compensation. For example, Sue Downes, CEO, has gone to drawing a $0 salary for foreseeable future along with a number of executive level staff, who have given up or taken deep reductions in salary," the company said.The company added, " With our office closures, we must temporarily adjust the size of the organization to match our new level of activity. While decisions that impact our people are never easy, these are necessary temporary actions to support the business. Effective April 6, we will enact a furlough for our broad field team, as well as for a significant portion of home office staff."MED added, "To ensure continued service to our patients, all of our [more than 1,000] doctors will remain compensated in their positions. They continue to remain accessible during this period for urgent and emergency patient care. There will also be a small number of home office associates who will remain to help reopen our doors seamlessly as soon as we are able to. ""We remain committed to ensuring our associates are supported through this entire process and, as such, impacted associates will continue to be provided medical benefits. We are confident that the steps we are taking will protect the financial health of the business and ensure that we are able to emerge from this crisis as the industry leader in vision health and wellness."Downes told VMAIL, "As the global COVID-19 health crisis continues to evolve, we are navigating through this unprecedented time for our company, our industry and our country. At MyEyeDr., we are committed to doing our part to protect the health and wellness of our patients, our doctors, or associates, their families and the communities we serve by extending the duration of our office closures, until at least the end of April, in cooperation with local and state guidance. "With all of our offices temporarily closed, we are making difficult decisions to furlough many of our associates and home office staff. We are incredibly appreciative and proud of how the MyEyeDr. team has come together to support one another as we continue to focus on serving our patients now and for the long-term. We are confident that the steps we are taking will protect the financial health of the business and ensure that we are able to emerge from this crisis as the industry leader in vision health and wellness.” Downes added, "Over the past 18 months, we have been committed to strengthening the patient experience through innovation, optimization and training and this period has significantly amplified that focus for us. As we consider the essential nature of the practice of optometry—from a focus on expansion of use cases for our telehealth capabilities to revisiting protocols aligned to social distancing, safety and hygiene, our intention is to emerge from this crisis in a position to meet and exceed the needs of our associates, doctors and patients."