Optometric Journeys >
A Family Adventure
Growing up, my dad was always there for our family—coaching our sports teams, attending our events, and playing an active and involved role in all our lives. He was a Doctor of Optometry with a thriving practice that helped a lot of people; yet he managed to balance his career with a fulfilling family life. As early as middle school, I knew I wanted that for myself and my future family. I wanted to enhance the lives of others but still have a quality of life outside of work, and my father showed me I could find that in optometry.
A Family Affair
Twenty-one years ago, I opened a practice with my wife, who is also a Doctor of Optometry. Over the years, we have grown to eight doctors at two locations and are treating multiple generations of families. Being in private practice, we have the flexibility to venture out into areas of eye care that can help our patients live better lives. We explore future technologies and care modalities, and partner with our colleagues in ophthalmology to provide comprehensive care. Advances in our industry have allowed us to expand our scope, enabling us to maximize our education and experience so we can play an integral role on a patient’s overall healthcare team.
Most importantly, being in private practice optometry enables us to treat our patients how we choose—in our case, like family (hence the practice name, Family Eyecare Associates). We believe in treating our patients holistically, and our range of expertise enables us to provide care from infancy to geriatric. Recently, a young patient came in complaining of blurred vision in one eye. After detecting an APD (afferent pupillary defect), we sent her to get an MRI and discovered she has early Multiple Sclerosis. Being able to provide that early detection and subsequent intervention not only improves her visual prognosis—it paves the way for a higher quality of life. And, like we do with everyone in our family of patients, we plan to be with her every step of the way.
Preserving the Family Legacy
As our practice grew to multiple locations and doctors, we had many conversations about how to ensure its continued success well into the future. It was important to us that the practice continue to serve our patients and community even after retirement, and we really liked the path offered by VSP Ventures.
My relationship with VSP began when I was a little guy, running around VSP board meetings chaired by my father, Dr. Dennis Humphreys. So, when it became time to consider a transition plan for the practice, VSP Ventures was an obvious choice. VSP has been in the eye care business from day one, evolving with the industry and enhancing their portfolio to support Doctors of Optometry throughout their careers. Their Ventures offering was especially appealing because, unlike other models we were presented, Ventures is focused on enhancing the practice, not on increasing their own bottom line. They aren’t going to come in and “change the house”—they’re going to keep the foundation we worked so hard to build and make the house stronger and better.
As I see it, my main goal for the practice is to preserve the legacy started by my father and our predecessors who helped us evolve to the full-scope healthcare providers we are today. Knowing that the practice will stay in “the family” while it continues to provide excellent care to our patients for generations to come is the ultimate reassurance that our legacy will continue.