Restoration Eye Care recently moved into the new Forum Medical Park, which you also own. Tell us about the new digs: We designed our new facility to be a place that’s wonderful to come to as a patient and an efficient place to provide high-quality care. People from all over mid-Missouri come to Columbia to receive medical care, and we believe that our world-class facilities and treatments make Restoration Eye Care the center of advanced vision care in the area.
What services do you offer there? We’re very proud of the treatments that we offer in our facility, and we’ve introduced some of the most cutting edge vision treatment technologies available to Columbia. Through our advanced testing cataract surgery, we’re able to offer patients a wide range of options for cataract treatment, including options that can lessen dependency on glasses in everyday life. For patients who are interested in permanent vision correction, we’re the only practice in 90 miles to offer iLasik, an all-laser, blade-free custom vision correction procedure. This past year, we also introduced our Ocular Surface Center of Excellence, which utilizes cutting edge therapies to treat dry eye and other ocular surface conditions.
What about ophthalmology first interested you? The importance of people’s vision to their daily living and the ability to impact patient’s lives positively by providing a service to them. It sounds obvious, but people have no idea how much they depend on their vision until they start to lose it. The opportunity to help people regain freedom through vision was very attractive to me.
What drew you into private practice? I saw the opportunity to invest in the community here and make a positive impact while being the captain of my own ship, so to speak. While there are definite benefits to being a part of a large medical organization, I’ve found that the freedom and flexibility of a private practice can allow you to care for patients more effectively — whenever we see a need or opportunity to better care for a patient, we’re able to act immediately. My family and I love all that Columbia has to offer and have found Columbia to be a great environment for a small business owner.
Did owning a business come naturally to you? How to own a practice, and all that comes with that, is not something that is necessarily covered in medical school, so there was a bit of a learning curve. Fortunately, I’ve had great employees and great mentors that helped with the transition. Having said that, while owning a practice has come fairly naturally to me, I’ve definitely had to work hard to become someone who’s good to work for.
Before Restoration Eye Care, you worked at the MU Medical School. How did your career develop there? One of the best ways to learn is by teaching, and I was blessed with the opportunity to teach a number of residents how to be both skilled surgeons and compassionate physicians. I was also able to see the demand for great ophthalmic care here in mid-Missouri and identify what I could do to better help people as a physician.
How has the business changed since you took over? We’ve rapidly grown over the past few years, and the medical field is always changing due to constantly shifting regulations and medical advancements. But even with all of these constant changes, our mission is always the same: to provide our patients with world-class care. As long as that stays at the forefront of our business, we’ll be able to navigate the constant change in our industry.
What made you want to move Restoration Eye Care to a new facility? We had reached a point in our old space where we were unable to take care of our patients in a timely manner, so we had to make a decision. After taking a look at all the needs of our patients and what we wanted our practice to become, it just made sense to develop our own clinical and surgical facility. We’ve been in our new location for 18 months now, and it has been amazing to see how our practice has grown in that time.
In a 2015 interview with CBT, you said a patient’s fear was one of the biggest obstacles in ophthalmology. How do you overcome that? One of our primary goals with all of our patients is to educate them and give them the resources they need to make informed decisions about their vision. This education helps build a trusting and respectful relationship between us and our patients, and that can go a long way to help overcome any fear a patient may be experiencing.
What’s your industry’s biggest challenge in mid-Missouri? As mid-Missouri’s population ages, we’re constantly looking for new ways to educate patients about what to expect. Many ophthalmic issues can be either prevented or managed through early detection by an eye care professional. Once you get into mid-Missouri’s more sparsely populated areas, it can be difficult to get that educational message out.
What do you wish the community knew about your business? When you come to Restoration Eye Care, every member of our staff is going to work very hard to make sure that you receive the treatment that you deserve. We’re truly appreciative that we get to be involved in so many mid-Missourians’ vision care, and we want to earn every patient’s trust.