Space Center Eye Associates Becomes the First Keplr Vision Acquisition in Texas

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Last week Keplr Vision entered into a new frontier with the acquisition of Space Center Eye Associates (SCEA) of Houston, Texas, from Keith Manuel, OD. SCEA marks the first Texas practice in the Keplr portfolio, the company said. For decades, Dr. Manuel was the official optometrist overseeing the NASA Space Shuttle, the International Space Station, and various other vision-related space projects. In 1990, Dr. Manuel was selected by NASA’s Johnson Space Center to perform studies establishing the viability of contact lenses in space flight.

He also worked in tandem with Silhouette to develop a titanium alloy frame that can withstand the extreme conditions of space travel. In addition to being exceptionally lightweight, the frame has no hinge screws, reducing the danger of them loosening and being ingested or causing mechanical failure while astronauts are in their space suits.

“I am honored to welcome American Air Force veteran and patriot Dr. Keith Manuel to Keplr,” said Nick Williams, Keplr CEO. “I have always admired America’s space program and the incredible men and women who risk their lives traveling into space to advance the common cause of humanity. Keith Manuel definitely has “The Right Stuff,” and I am incredibly excited to have him join the Keplr team.”

Dr. Manuel has also participated in several NASA experiments on the effects of space travel on vision in humans. He is a retired Colonel from the United States Air Force, following 28 years of service, during which he served as one of optometry’s first Medical Group commanders and as special assistant to the Surgeon General of the Air Force advising on matters of policy, operations and utilization of Air National Guard assets worldwide.

“Space Center Eye Associates is a medically oriented optometry practice, involving the latest in eyecare technology,” Dr. Manuel said. “We have been successful because our patients know they can expect the best, and it’s clear that partnering with the Keplr team will ensure that legacy not only continues but grows.”

Dr. Manuel is a faculty member at the Baylor College of Medicine Department of Ophthalmology, as well as the University of Houston College of Optometry. He is also a certified glaucoma specialist.

Keplr Vision is a business support services company built to invest in medically focused optometry practices while providing best-in-class optical technology and patient experience with 88 practices across 20 states.