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Visionworks to participate in American Diabetes Association Annual “Step Out” Walk

Visionworks is teaming up with presenting sponsor IBC to provide free vision screenings

Philadelphia, PA – Visionworks is teaming up with Independence Blue Cross (IBC), the presenting sponsor of the 2012 Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes, to provide free vision screenings Saturday at the Step Out Health Festival at the Philadelphia Museum of Art from 8:00 a.m. until noon. In addition to providing free vision screenings, Visionworks will raise awareness and provide educational materials about the importance of a comprehensive eye exam for the 4,000 event participants and their families.

According to the National Eye Institute, all people with diabetes are at risk for diabetic retinopathy, a disease which can cause severe vision loss or even blindness. Early detection by an annual comprehensive dilated eye exam and early treatment can prevent vision loss.

“Visionworks is passionate about educating the Philadelphia community about the importance of proactive and preventive measures to protect eye health,” said Jim Eisen, president of Visionworks. “Our stores and employee teams throughout the Greater Philadelphia area are committed to providing the best local service, selection and value and we are looking forward to helping the attendees at Step Out learn about how we can partner with them to take care of their vision.”

“At IBC, we are very proud to team up with Visionworks to raise awareness about the importance of vision care for all people with diabetes,” said Rick Neeson, IBC executive vice president and president of expanding markets. “We are excited about Visionworks’ entrance into our market, as we team up with like minded Blues such as Highmark- which owns HVHC Inc., Visionworks’ parent company- through our new financial interest arrangement. Our vision plan customers can now use Visionworks’ convenient optical retail centers to get comprehensive dilated eye exams and personalized one-on-one attention, the best value, and the best service — all at a great price.”

Employee volunteers from Visionworks will offer free vision screenings for event participants and spectators who visit the Step Out Health Festival. They will also receive educational materials and promotional items.

In addition to offering Philadelphians a new choice in vision care, IBC’s arrangement with Visionworks’ retail locations will bring upwards of 600 new jobs to the Philadelphia area. Stores are hiring for both hourly and full-time positions ranging from Lab Technicians to Doctors of Optometry.

To date, San Antonio-based Visionworks has opened eight stores in Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey, with plans to open a total of 25 stores throughout the Greater Philadelphia region by the end of 2013. Currently there are three Visionworks stores operating in Northeast and South Philadelphia, and other stores are now open in Willow Grove, Exton, and Allentown, Pennsylvania, as well as in Deptford and Mays Landing, New Jersey.

To learn more about Visionworks, including a full list of Philadelphia-area locations and upcoming store openings, visit www.visionworks.com/philadelphia.

About Visionworks
Visionworks (formerly Eye Care Centers of America, Inc.) is a leading provider of eye care services with more than 550 optical retail stores in 39 states and the District of Columbia through 12 store names that are leaders in eye care service in each of their respective markets. Visionworks is committed to providing its customers with an excellent shopping experience and high quality products and service with the best value and selection in the industry. All of Visionworks stores offer designer and exclusive brand frames, lenses, sunglasses and accessories along with leading technology in vision correction. Each store’s comprehensive service offerings include in-store labs which provide one-hour service on most prescriptions and contact lenses at nearly all locations and doctors of optometry at or next to every store. Visionworks is a wholly owned subsidiary of HVHC Inc., a Highmark company. For more information about Visionworks, visit www.visionworks.com.

Media contacts:
Karen Godlewski
215.241.3113
karen.godlewski@ibx.com

Laura Hanes
215.241.2736
laura.hanes@ibx.com