Essilor International has acquired 50% of Shamir Optical and will now enter into a joint ownership with Kibbutz Shamir. Headquartered in Israel, Shamir Optical had a reported $142 million in revenue in 2009. France-based Essilor is the leading ophthalmic lens manufacturer worldwide. Under the agreement, the existing management team of Shamir Optical will remain in place. The transaction—subject to regulatory approvals, rulings, the support of Shamir Optical’s shareholders and final consent by the district court of Nazareth, Israel—is expected to close mid-2011.

The Illinois Eye Institute has launched Chicago Vision Outreach, a pilot initiative to improve eye care in underserved and needy patients. The program will connect optometrists to often times uninsured patients suffering from vision and eye care problems caused by chronic illnesses such as diabetes or glaucoma. Over $350,000 in private grants will finance this community-focused initiative. The program has started at the Alivio Medical Center in the Pilsen neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side and will expand to the Erie Family Health Center in Humboldt Park.

Eyefinity’s OfficeMate/ExamWriter version 10 and First Insight’s MaximEyes SQL EHR, version, are 2011/2012 compliant and certified by the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT). The 2011/2012 criteria support the Stage 1 meaningful use measures required to qualify eligible providers and hospitals for funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.