The Vision Eye Institute (VEI) has launched the new not-for-profit Future Vision Foundation to support ophthalmic research, as well as the Vision Hospital Group to bring its day surgery network under one banner, to mark its 20th anniversary.
The largest private provider of specialist eyecare in Australia announced the new initiatives as it celebrated two decades of operation, with the firm officially incorporated on 28 November 2001.
VEI CEO Mr James Thiedeman said the Future Vision Foundation had been created to support the research endeavours of the organisation’s staff and associated clinicians, including those with little-to-no formal research experience.
Support will be in the form of funding, clinical resources, new initiatives and mentoring. The new foundation falls under VEI’s OneVision ESG (environmental, social and governance) program.
“Our scale places us in a privileged position – one that lends itself to giving back to the community,” Thiedeman said.
“The foundation has been a dream since Vision Eye Institute first began and everyone is thrilled to watch it come to life. We are also delighted to have secured several prominent experts for the board of directors, including Professor Fiona Stapleton, Ms Fiona Davies, Mr Joe Redner and Associate Professor Tim Roberts.
“The foundation looks forward to working alongside other research organisations within ophthalmology, optometry and industry and contributing to the excellent research already being undertaken in Australia.”
Day surgeries under same umbrella
Meanwhile, VEI has established the new Vision Hospital Group to align its 10 day surgeries together under a single banner.
In recent years, the company has commissioned several greenfield day hospitals, while expanding its hospital offering beyond ophthalmic to provide a wider range of surgical services.
“We genuinely believe we provide world-class care, along with the infrastructure and know-how to meet the growing needs of local communities. While continuing to work closely with ophthalmologists, we now also partner with surgeons in the fields of gastroenterology, pain management, plastic surgery, dermatology and urology to name a few,” Thiedeman said.
“Vision Hospital Group’s core philosophy is the practice of surgery deserves a highly focused, specialist environment where surgeons are supported to perform at their best and patients experience exemplary, seamless care.”
When it was established in 2001, VEI (then known as Vision Group) was the world’s first publicly listed ophthalmic company and one of the earliest publicly listed group medical practices.
Now privately owned, the company started as a group medical practice in Melbourne, before expanding along the eastern seaboard and, more recently, South Australia.
While VEI was officially established 20 years ago, many of its eye clinics and day surgeries that have become part of the group have been operating for far longer – some for more than 60 years.
The organisation employs ophthalmologists, optometrists, orthoptists, nurses and support staff. Its 130 doctors and nearly 500 ancillary staff care for more than 100,000 patients annually.