It has now been a few months since our last newsletter. Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer and all of you had a great Independence Day. I just can’t bring myself to say 4th of July. That’s just a day on the calendar, right? Being a member of a Gold Star family makes Independence Day mean something a little bit deeper to me. I don’t think any of us should take our freedoms for granted. They can easily be eroded or taken away and they have been earned with the lives of some very special people.
I would imagine that most of you are enjoying some family time while your kids are still out of school. Maybe you can still squeeze in a quick trip to Dollywood, throw an impromptu barbecue with family and friends, or at least enjoy a quiet afternoon next to the pool.
Our summer has been anything but relaxed! As most of you know by now, we have added Dr. Caleb Hunt and Dr. Jordan Harrison to our practice. For those of you who haven't read our Spring Newsletter, you can review it here. Michelle and I have stepped back from patient care a bit to allow more of you to meet and get to know our new doctors. So far, the early response to the “new docs” has been fantastic. You can find more about Dr. Hunt and Dr. Harrison here:
Dr. Caleb Hunt
Dr. Jordan Harrison
Michelle now spends most of her time in the Business Office helping Jessica place your orders and troubleshoot any insurance claims or snafus that may come up. I am working more now in the lab grinding lenses and helping Bridgit and Marina troubleshoot any problems that may come up when people pick up their new eyeglasses or contact lenses. This puts me in the ideal place to hear and see how things are going in the back with the new doctors. I get a chance to talk with folks after their exams and I also get to see all of the orders as they come through our lab. This new position allows me to still see most patients, review all prescription changes and iron out any wrinkles before they become a problem.
I am happy to report that I have not seen any uptick in problems or disgruntled patients since we have added Dr. Hunt and Dr. Harrison. If anything, I have had quite a few of my old patients stop and stick their head in the lab to let me know how much they enjoyed their visit. I guess it is normal for patients to be a little nervous when they realize that they are going to see a new doctor. That is understandable for those of you that I have taken care of for so many years. We have a lot of history together, don’t we? Don’t worry. I am still going to make sure that coming to I Care Vision Associates is just as comfortable as it always has been. You are still going to love your new glasses or contact lenses. These guys are really good at what they do. More importantly, they are both very good people. You can train people to be competent, but you can't train someone to be a caring individual. Dr. Hunt and Dr. Harrison both seem to be big hits with our patients mainly because they are both simply good people, trying very hard to take care of you the right way.
Michelle and I are still keeping a hand in the clinic here and there. We both are still seeing patients and filling in when things get backed up. You can all still see us should you ever feel the need. We simply aren’t keeping a rigid daily commitment to see each and every patient like we used to do. I think it is important that Michelle and I still see patients jointly with the new doctors in order for us to learn Dr. Hunt’s and Dr. Harrison’s strengths and weaknesses. It has revitalized my juices to share tips and techniques and talk through the more complex cases with fresh minds that often have fresh perspectives. I now look more forward to my days in the clinic rather than going home every night feeling exhausted and burned out.
I was extremely hesitant to bring strangers into this house that I have shared with all of you for so many years. You never know how that is going to go. With each passing day, I feel better and better about my decision to add the new doctors and share your care with them. I look through and discuss most all of the cases that come through our office. Every day one of the new doctors will say something that gives me a little glimpse into how they think, what kind of a heart they have or how much taking care of all of you means to them. I just smile and nod and think to myself this is going to work out just fine. All of you are going to be taken care of, Michelle and I are going to finally get a little more time off to spend together and we are helping two very deserving young men that have worked very hard to earn their degrees, get started without having to build their own practice up from nothing like Michelle and I did. That is a WIN, WIN, WIN proposition, if you asked me!
Let me tick off a few other news worthy items:
- We are now a registered dealer for Oakley, RayBan and Maui Jim. We were usually able to obtain these products for you. Now, we keep more styles in stock and have a much more robust selection from all of these manufacturers.
- We have expanded our office hours. We are now open 9:00am to 6:00pm Monday through Friday (including ALL DAY on Wednesday) and EVERY Saturday morning 9:00am to 1:00pm. We used to be closed on every other Wednesday and Saturday. This has greatly shortened your wait time to get an appointment.
- Congratulations to Lindsey and Jessica who are both expecting babies this year! Jessica and Lindsey will be taking a little time off as they welcome their new additions to their families.
- Congratulations also to John who has now left our office to begin his optometric career at the University of Alabama School of Optometry in Birmingham. Good luck, John. We are so proud of you.
- We are now fitting most of our eyewear using our Optikam digital eyewear fitting system. This system is so much more accurate than fitting eyeglasses “by hand” or “on-line”. There is just no comparison. We are now taking 10 measurements on every order to make sure your eyeglasses work exactly the way they were prescribed.
- We are reworking our entire Altair eyewear selection to offer you a better selection if you happen to have VSP eyewear insurance. VSP has changed their policies to give you a larger frame allowance if you select your eyewear from their Altair collection which includes: Bebe, Joseph Aboud, Cole Haun, Anne Klein and Genesis frame lines.
- Welcome aboard, James! We have added a new optometric intern to the practice. We will do our best to help James get accepted to Optometry school in a few years. We are looking forward to working with James and introducing him to you.
We will soon be adding Ocular Coherence Tomography to the list of tests and techniques that we can employ to take care of you. The OCT technology is an exciting, extremely high resolution way to look at structures inside your eyes making it easier and more accurate for us to diagnose what may be wrong with your eyes. We currently make an outside referral for this procedure. Soon, we wil be able to use this device “in-house” saving you trips and time going to other offices.
We plan to replace our Visual Field unit. This test has been the mainstay for glaucoma treatment and is a valuable diagnostic tool. We have often had a backup in our office waiting for this instrument to become available. Hopefully, by adding a newer, faster unit we can reduce wait times in the office and also not have to reschedule you to have this test done on a different day.
Enjoy the rest of your summer. As always, we really appreciate your ongoing trust and support. We will talk again when it's time for the kids to go back to school. Until then, best wishes and may God bless you.
Dr. Schwichtenberg and Dr. Hejny