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ST. LOUIS—EyeCare Partners LLC (ECP), a leading network of full scope medical optometry and ophthalmology practices and surgery centers, has launched its nonprofit organization dedicated to helping ECP employees in need, the Crisis Aid Relief for Employees (ECP CAREs) Foundation,  according to an announcement this week. The Foundation awards grants to employees across the country that are in need of financial support due to a disaster event, such as a flood, tornado or house fire, or a personal hardship, such as extended illness or domestic violence.

The grants are also designed to create a community among coworkers across the company, the announcement noted. ECP CAREs is a program that began as an organic “employees helping employees” effort during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, it has assisted more than 40 employees and provided over $52,000 in grant funds, the announcement noted.

As a result, ECP decided to extend the effort and to create a permanent relief fund fully backed by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, covering a wide variety of employee emergencies and crisis situations.

The ECP CAREs Foundation was initially funded by very generous personal donations from certain executive professionals, as well as employees, of ECP’s private equity owners, Partners Group.  Partners Group is a global private markets investment manager.

Contributions were made via its Portfolio Employee Support Fund, with additional personal donations from ECP’s executive leadership team and donations from Partners Group as a firm. In the future, all ECP employees will be encouraged to donate a small amount from each paycheck to the Foundation.

“EyeCare Partners has grown enormously as an organization, and it has been our dream to establish ECP CAREs, which will create a network of support for all our teammates across all ECP offices and locations,” ECP chief executive officer Kelly McCrann said in the announcement. “I am extremely proud of our organization for creating this support network.”

“Our vision statement, and the core of our company, is to help people lead healthier lives,” added vice president of patient engagement Pam Krause, who also is director of the ECP CAREs Foundation. “We are dedicated to providing outstanding care for our patients and through this Foundation, our teammates can now help care for one another in a new, meaningful way.”

To learn more about ECP CAREs, please visit the page here.

EyeCare Partners currently offers comprehensive medical eyecare services throughout Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, North Carolina, Indiana, and Michigan.