(PRESS RELEASE) DALLAS, TX – As part of their ongoing efforts to support optical and local communities and focus on safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, Essilor, the world’s leading ophthalmic lens manufacturer, and Essilor Vision Foundation (EVF) have partnered to donate over 100,000 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospitals and first responders; optometry schools; and Vision Source practices. As local governments ease shelter-in-place orders, Essilor has made available PPE safety kits for any employee who needs one.
“We know that one of the most stressful parts of reopening is having access to enough PPE to keep our employees, their families, our customers and their patients safe,” says Rick Gadd, president of Essilor, North America. “It’s core to our mission to ensure our communities have access to equipment to help them stay well and operate safely.”
Donations made by Essilor and EVF included PPE items which have been in short supply, including surgical and N95 masks as well as protective glasses, all packed with love and care by their employee volunteers.
“Essilor Vision Foundation is honored to take part in this initiative to help protect our first responders, doctors, and employees,” says Becky Palm, president of Essilor Vision Foundation. “Through strong partnership with Essilor, we know we have made an impact in the communities we serve.”
In addition to donating more than 44,000 pieces of PPE to hospitals and first responders, Essilor focused on supporting the optical community, including optometry schools and Vision Source. 19 optometry colleges throughout the United States received more than 14,000 pieces of PPE and 50,000 pieces of PPE were donated to Vision Source. Vision Source leaders encouraged their practices to pass masks along to others in need if they already have sufficient PPE.
Recipients of PPE responded with immense gratitude. Dr. John Flanagan, Dean and Professor at School of Optometry and Vision Science Program, University of California, Berkeley, states, “I want to personally thank Essilor and EVF for their PPE donations to Berkeley Optometry. These thoughtful gifts have enabled us to continue to treat patients and have a significantly greater impact in our community.”The “Employee Safety Kits” Essilor is preparing will ensure their employees have access to PPE as shelter-in-place orders are removed and employees gradually resume activity. Essilor encourages employees to wear masks for both their safety and the safety of others.
As the United States works to recover from the crisis and transition into a new normal, Essilor will continue to lead through its commitment to help keep first responders, employees and optical communities healthy and safe. Safe access to eye care is central to the Essilor mission of improving lives by improving sight.