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Dr. Jeff Lewis (l) and Dr. Eric Schmidt
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.—Keplr Vision announced this week the appointment of key eyecare opinion leaders Dr. Eric Schmidt to vice president of professional development and Dr. Jeff Lewis to director of school engagement. “We are so excited that Dr. Schmidt and Dr. Lewis will be stepping into leadership roles on the Keplr Vision team,” Keplr Vision chief medical officer Dr. Ben Gaddie said in the announcement. “I have every confidence that their expertise and leadership will pave the way for Keplr Vision’s continued success and growth.”

Keplr Vision, which was formed in mid-2019, now has a group that includes more than 170 practices across 30 states, including three new practices that it announced this week, as VMAIL reported.  Keplr Vision offers OD partners robust business support services and supply chain management, allowing doctors to focus on their practice and their patients while retaining their legacy.

As vice president of professional development, Dr. Schmidt will lead a network of more than a dozen regional optometric leaders charged with moving the practice of medical optometry forward through increased communication and best-practices ideas.

“I am very honored to be part of Keplr Vision’s continued growth,” Dr. Schmidt said. “Our doctors are crucial to our success, and my primary focus is to ensure they are presented with challenging opportunities to grow both personally and professionally.”

As director of school engagement, Dr. Lewis will serve as a liaison between Keplr Vision and optometry schools throughout the U.S., providing resources, involvement and support for future optometrists.

Dr. Schmidt is the founder of Omni Eye Specialists and Bladen Eye Center in North Carolina. A Keplr Vision partner since June 2018, he received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and his doctorate from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry. After graduation, Schmidt completed a residency in ocular disease from PCO, followed by a fellowship in glaucoma from the Scheie Eye Institute in Philadelphia.

While maintaining his practices in North Carolina Dr. Schmidt also lectures internationally to his colleagues on ocular disease, has served as an adjunct professor at various colleges of optometry, and has several published works. He is the incoming president of the Optometric Glaucoma Society, where he most recently served as treasurer.

Dr. Lewis joined Keplr Vision in 2012 at the All About Eyes practice in Champaign, Ill., after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Illinois College of Optometry. Additionally, he participates is various community outreach activities, educating the public on ocular disease prevention and mentoring high school and undergraduate students. He recently helped facilitate a vision screening program to be implemented in Egba, Nigeria, by an optometry student and is a newly appointed board member of the Illinois Society for the Prevention of Blindness.

“I became an optometrist to have an immediate, life-changing impact on my patients,” said Dr. Lewis of his career path. Throughout his career, Dr. Lewis has vibrantly educated the community, and in sharing his love for being an optometrist was recently selected to participate in “Optometry Gives Me Life,” a national public awareness campaign led by the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry.

Keplr Vision was formed in July 2019 when two portfolio companies of Canada’s Imperial Capital—Total ECP and Visionary Eye Partners—merged to operate as a combined entity under the Keplr name.