Diversity in our History
 

At VSP Global, our goal to be a diverse, equitable, and inclusive company isn't a fixed destination; but rather a constant endeavor to improve, learn, grow, and impact change each day. We strive continually to make impactful change that enhances the lives of our employees, members, stakeholders, and communities.

2020

2019

  • VSP, the Dr. Poston Foundation, and the National Optometric Association (NOA) partner to create Visioning the Future. Dr. Sheryl Reynolds, NOA President, along with Dr. Poston's daughter, Marlene Poston Bell, unveil the new NOA mentorship program, Visioning the Future. Designed to increase awareness of the optometric profession to minority communities, this mentorship program targets health-minded students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). NOA doctors serve as mentors to college students, highlighting the importance optometrists play in the healthcare continuum.
  • The National Optometric Association (NOA) presents the first-ever Community Service Award to VSP for our consistent commitment to providing eyecare to communities in need.
  • California State University, Sacramento and VSP formalize a strategic partnership establishing a training and scholarship program for historically marginalized populations, veterans, and foster youth.

2018

  • VSP Eyes of Hope® partners with GLAM4GOOD and Dr. Héctor Santiago at the Intra American University of Puerto Rico to provide disaster relief following Hurricane Maria.

2017

  • VSP expands support of the Dr. Poston Leadership Award to four $4,000 scholarships (given to one student in each year of schooling) and becomes the National Optometric Association's (NOA) top industry sponsor. The NOA is comprised primarily of underrepresented minority optometrists and students of optometry (particularly Black) throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.
  • The VSP Student Outreach Committee (SOC) is formed to act as school-to-work champions with a focus on historically marginalized high school and college students by offering training, programs, funding, internships, and full-time employment opportunities.

2016

  • VSP Global launches a partnership with the U.S. Conference of Mayors to identify and reach out to communities in need as part of the VSP Eyes of Hope® #MillionMore campaign.
  • VSP Eyes of Hope® partners with Dr. Keith Smithson and the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy to provide free vision care and sunwear to student-athletes from underserved communities in Washington, D.C.
  • VSP becomes the sole-supporter of UC Berkeley’s Opto-Camp, a five-day “in-residence” program that provides participants who are historically underrepresented in the profession and/or first-generation college students with opportunities to learn about optometry and the process of becoming an optometrist.
  • VSP partners with Cordova High School, which has a primarily Latinx population and is located in a low-income community, to create Professional Pathways, a school-to-work and grant program to provide the skills, training, financial assistance, and resources to prepare for the transition into college or the work-world.
  • In support of VSP’s corporate membership with the Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce, members of the Black Heritage BRG volunteer as workshop facilitators for the Chamber’s Young Leadership Collaborative.

2015

  • VSP kicks-off a partnership with California State University, Sacramento to support diversity outreach and prepare students for their job searches through workshops, speaker panels, and internship opportunities.

2014

  • The Asian Pacific Islander (API) BRG launches a VSP-wide Student Outreach Program to help diversify the candidate pool for incoming interns and entry-level positions.
  • The Abilities Beyond Limited Expectations (ABLE) BRG is established to advocate for quality, positive eye care experiences for patients with impairments as part of their overall health, as well as provide resources for employees with impairments and employees associated with people with impairments. The group also seeks to help grow the diversity of VSP employees and promote VSP Global as a cognitive and physical impairment-friendly environment.
  • VSP launches We See, A Child Eye Health Project, a multiyear initiative to increase vision care access for students in Soweto, South Africa, which results in sustainable access to eye care for the community.
  • VSP Global employee, Alfred Koala, partners with a VSP network doctor and VSP Eyes of Hope® to bring eye care access to his West African home country of Burkina Faso.
  • VSP Eyes of Hope® begins twice-annual visits to provide free on-site eye exams and glasses at Monarch School in San Diego, California, which provides an education and other resources for K-12 students affected by homelessness.
  • VSP announces Alexis Broussard, a 2nd-year optometry student and president of the National Optometric Student Association (NOSA) chapter at Nova Southeastern University, College of Optometry in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, as the winner of the first-ever Dr. Marvin R. Poston Leadership Award. Today, the $4,000 scholarship is awarded to four optometric students per year in association with the National Optometric Association (NOA). The NOA is comprised primarily of underrepresented minority optometrists and students of optometry (particularly Black) throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

2013

  • The Military and Veterans BRG is established to provide support, awareness, and networking for military veterans, veterans with disabilities, active military reserve, national guard, and their families.
  • The first cultural health literacy and language interpretation toolkit launches for VSP network doctors via social media.
  • Recognizing the inherent value of a diverse workforce, the Employee Resource Groups become Business Resource Groups (BRGs), focusing on opportunities and ways to grow diversity and inclusion within the business space. The BRGs enhance the future of VSP Global by influencing workforce, marketplace, and product innovation based on the unique qualities and perspectives of diverse communities.
  • VSP invests in scholarship and work opportunities for first-time college students from historically marginalized communities.

2012

  • VSP Global Board Member Matthew Alpert, OD, leads a team on a visit to Soweto, South Africa, with Nike Vision to conduct vision care outreach and learn about the community’s history and healthcare challenges.
  • The Black Heritage BRG creates a Peer Advisor Program to enhance learning and development opportunities through relationship building and sharing business knowledge to increase engagement, retention, and career opportunities.
  • VSP adopts a formal Diversity & Inclusion Plan, confirming that diversity is a business imperative, not a project. A Diversity and Inclusion Action Committee is formed to integrate diversity and inclusion into all aspects of the organization.
  • An enterprise-wide Internship Program is formalized to expose historically marginalized college students to a real-world business environment while gaining skills and allowing the business to hear new perspectives and increase the talent pipeline.

2011

  • The BRGs team up with NBA player Tyreke Evans to offer a free basketball camp for youth in Sacramento, California. The basketball camp later moves to Chester, Pennsylvania, Tyreke’s hometown, where we continued to provide access to vision care through VSP Eyes of Hope®.
  • VSP begins supporting the National Optometric Association (NOA), comprised primarily of underrepresented minority optometrists and students of optometry (particularly Black) throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

2010

  • VSP develops a Diversity & Inclusion Strategy and creates the Asian Pacific Islander (API), Black Heritage, and Latino Employee Resource Groups. The groups are established to foster dialogue between employees with shared interests and values. Later this same year, the Young Professionals and LGBTA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Allies) groups are established.
  • VSP is a founding member of the Sacramento Regional Diversity and Inclusion Council, a key innovator in the greater Sacramento area, championing best practices in workplace diversity, and sponsors the Sacramento Region Diversity Conference.
  • VSP Eyes of Hope® adopts Chester, Pennsylvania, to increase access to vision care in a predominantly Black community that had just one eye doctor for 30,000 residents.
  • The first VSP Eye on Diabetes Campaign launches to raise awareness about the role of eye exams in detecting early signs of diabetes and preventing diabetic eye disease, which disproportionately affects Native American, Hispanic, and Black communities.
  • VSP becomes a sponsor of The Ohio State University's Improving Diversity in Optometric Careers (I-DOC) program. I-DOC is an intensive four-day program that introduces participants to the profession of optometry with the intent to attract ethnically underrepresented minority undergraduate college students to optometric careers.
  • In response to our members, the Hispanic Outreach Team is created and launches the Latino Business Kit to assist doctors in addressing the eye care needs of the Latinx community.

2007

  • VSP begins a three-year sponsorship of the Hugh M. Gloster Society at Morehouse School of Medicine. Founded originally as a part of Morehouse College in 1975, MSM became an independently charted institution in 1981 and was the first medical school established at a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in the 20th century.

2005

  • VSP partners with Dr. Jarrett Johnson and other local optometrists to provide disaster relief to the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The hurricanes damaged or destroyed numerous eye care practices, including Dr. Johnson’s practice—the only eye care practice in the Lower Ninth Ward, a majority Black community that suffered the greatest impact.

2004

  • To increase emerging and diverse talent pools in the technical space, VSP Global's Information Technology division creates an IT Intern Program focusing on software developers and systems infrastructure roles which has evolved into a residency program and, ultimately, full-time hires.

2003

  • Eye Make A Difference®, a VSP Eyes of Hope® program, offers the opportunity for anyone to donate their gently used glasses for VSP network doctors to distribute on global mission trips.

2001

  • VSP's first Diversity Council is formed to celebrate and share the diversity within our workforce.

1997

  • VSP Sight for Students®, the first VSP Eyes of Hope® program to provide access to vision care for uninsured or underinsured students across the US, launches at America’s Promise.

1955

  • A group of seven optometrists, including Dr. Marvin R. Poston, the first Black optometrist west of the Rockies, incorporates California Vision Services, the precursor to VSP Global. The company was the first to offer a prepaid vision benefit that provided high quality, cost-effective eyecare. VSP Vision Care has since grown to become the only national not-for-profit eye healthcare provider in the nation, covering every 1 in 4 people in the US.