PLEASANTON, Calif.—Following a nationwide search for eyecare practices that elevate the profession through innovation, industry leadership and patient experience, CooperVision Inc. said Thursday it has named 10 additions to its Best Practices honorees, a growing group of exceptional optometry practices from around the nation. Now in its fourth year, CooperVision’s Best Practices program recognizes and celebrates practices in the U.S. that go above and beyond to find ways to differentiate themselves and deliver extraordinary care to their patients, even in the face of increasing competition, the announcement noted.

“Best Practices is one of the many ways CooperVision partners with eyecare professionals,” Michele Andrews, OD, senior director of professional and academic affairs, North America, said in the CooperVision announcement. “Year after year, we continue to be captivated by so many optometry practices. From what motivated the honorees to open their doors to the patient lives they have since impacted, from the challenges they have faced to the risks they have taken to overcome them—it is endlessly rewarding to hear their stories, and partner with these practices to share them more broadly.”

Honorees come from practices large and small, newer and well-established. This year’s honorees are:

Azman Eye Care Specialists / Global Complex Eye Care – Timonium, Md.

“Every team member is a key player to the thriving success of the practice.” It is a motto that the team at Azman Eye Care Specialists / Global Complex Eye Care takes very seriously. In 1975, this family-owned private practice began providing personalized, high-quality eyecare services and meticulously searched for the best employees in order to deliver an unmatched patient experience. To help, the practice’s doctors—Irwin Azman, OD, Benjamin Azman, OD, and Thomas Azman, OD—ensure the staff participates in continuing education seminars and are exposed to the latest, cutting-edge technology.

Briggs Vision Group – Dunwoody, Ga.

Practice owners J. Judson Briggs, OD, and Erick H. Smith, OD, firmly believe that vision is one of the most precious gifts bestowed upon humanity. That’s why, in 1984, they opened Briggs Vision Group with the mission of providing superior eye care through innovative technology, a passion for excellence, and unmatched quality and service. Since then, the practice has grown to include six doctors at two locations—the main office having recently undergone an expansion to 5,000 square feet—all while staying true to its original mission. The team takes the patient experience seriously, knowing a great interaction begins as soon as someone walks through the door.

Drs. Quinn, Foster & Associates – Athens, Ohio

According to Drs. Quinn, Foster & Associates, there are several factors to creating an exceptional patient experience—and it starts with its staff. Since 1983, the Ohio-based practice, led by Thomas Quinn, OD, MS, FAAO; Susan Quinn, OD, FAAO; and Shane Foster, OD, has focused on building a collaborative atmosphere by including the full staff on all practice-related decisions. This approach has proven to be a motivational tool that benefits the doctors and patients alike. Another piece is education.

By incentivizing its staff to further their education—through courses and conferences, among other opportunities—the team is positioned to hone their craft and become experts in the field. From there, the practice turns its attention to technology. The doctors embrace the latest contact lens designs, and discuss the benefits of daily disposable contact lenses with their patients, resulting in nearly 70 percent of their contact lens patients wearing daily disposables.

Lakeline Vision Source – Cedar Park, Texas

Music is an important part of life in Cedar Park, Texas, and the team at Lakeline Vision Source has made a point of embracing the city’s eclectic sounds. As patients move about the office—from the relaxing lounge to the clinical “spa” and into the retail center—they receive doses of ambient music, along with Motown and Austin Blues. It all plays into the practice’s mission to “wow” patients. This “wow” factor isn’t limited to music, of course. Patients benefit from state-of-the-art equipment, including devices still in beta testing, all of which position Lakeline Vision Source as a leader in optometry. That’s not to mention the expertise of the practice’s seven doctors, all of whom are members of the Texas Optometric Association and the American Optometric Association.

Northeast Ohio Eye Surgeons – Kent, Stow and Akron, Ohio

For more than 35 years, Northeast Ohio Eye Surgeons has been committed to improving its patients’ eyesight by providing the best medical and surgical care possible in a comforting environment. According to practice owners Lawrence Lohman, MD, Marc Jones, MD, and Matthew Willett, MD, “patients first” is one of the practice’s core competencies, but in order to properly serve the patient, the doctors believe they must instill passion within the culture. That’s why each month, the full team meets for a half-day team-building session. While the topics discussed tend to vary, the end result always leads to improved patient experiences.

Shoreline Optometry – Mountain View, Calif.

For the owners of Shoreline Optometry, it’s more than an eye care practice—it’s literally a family. Ron Seger, OD, FAAO, and his daughter, Jenifer Webb, OD, have been partners in practice since 2008. The family ties go back even further; after graduating from optometry school in 1974, Dr. Seger was in practice with his father and brother in San Luis Obispo. Then, after working in contact lens design, contact lens solution, and ophthalmic solution research and development for 13 years, he established Shoreline Optometry in 1989. Dr. Seger’s father, Charles Seger, OD, always said “Take care of the patients, and the patients will take care of you”—an adage that Dr. Seger and Dr. Webb keep in their hearts and minds as they run their practice.

Spring Hill Eyecare – Spring Hill, Tenn.

Spring Hill Eyecare operates under two key mottos: “What’s good for the patient is good for the practice,” and “See everything we do from the patient’s point of view.” In other words, the patient is always the focal point—and has been since Rob Szeliga, OD, opened the practice in 2005. The practice’s first three employees were Rob’s mother and two sisters, who helped instill a friendly, familial atmosphere. This culture has remained intact, even as the practice expanded into its brand new, 8,300-square-foot facility. It’s now a state-of-the-art operation, complete with a 900-square-foot sports vision and vision therapy suite, a contact lens suite for quick progress exams, and a new dry eye suite with LipiScan and LipiFlow.

Vancouver Vision Clinic – Vancouver, Wash.

Raj Patel, OD, and Derek McTyier, OD, believe a positive attitude can brighten up someone’s day. And at Vancouver Vision Clinic, they are determined to be the best part of their patients’ day by providing an uplifting atmosphere and building genuine relationships with them. It may sound simple, but it has worked for the practice since 1952. Currently, Vancouver Vision Clinic has six doctors on board, one of whom specializes in scleral lenses and another who holds both Doctor of Optometry and Master of Education degrees, giving her a unique background to provide pediatric care and vision therapy.

Vision Source of Farr West – Farr West, Utah

Established in 2004, Vision Source of Farr West has made a point of refining its processes to accommodate the evolving needs of patients. The Utah-based practice delivers an exceptional patient experience by following the “golden rule”—treating everyone the way they wish to be treated in return. In addition to their personal approach, Ian Whipple, OD—who purchased the practice in 2013—regularly meets with industry leaders and representatives to stay up-to-date on the latest technological advancements for the benefit of his patients. By embracing technology such as the Optomap wide-field imaging system, the staff has been able to detect diabetes, macular degeneration, brain tumors, retinal detachments, and in one life-saving case, a stroke that was occurring right in the office.

West Shore Eye Care – Ludington, Mich.

Founded in 1991 by Jennifer Branning, OD, West Shore Eye Care has become a leading provider of comprehensive, personalized medical eye care for all lifestyles. Over the years, Dr. Branning and her team have stressed the importance of customer service, treating everyone who walks through the door as if they were guests in their homes. As such, patients enjoy every convenience: the option to borrow potential frames to take home for input from their families; trials of daily disposable contact lenses for those who have never tried them; reduced paperwork; refreshments—the list goes on and on.

All U.S. optometry practices currently fitting contact lenses were eligible for consideration last fall for this award, CooperVision said in its announcement. Candidates were evaluated and honorees were selected by a panel of judges including past Best Practices honorees, industry experts and CooperVision leaders. A list of judges is available here. The 2019 Best Practices honorees will be broadly recognized throughout the year, and are invited to attend an educational meeting hosted by CooperVision in Austin, Texas this spring.