Practice Management

Optometric Family Business: A New Chapter

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By Mark Schaeffer, OD,
and Brooke Schaeffer-Kaplan, OD,

July 25, 2018

Four years ago, our father, Jack Schaeffer, OD, owner of Schaeffer Eye Center in the Birmingham, Ala., area, decided it was time to re-think the future of our practice. The timing was particularly important since the two of us had just joined. Our father wanted to boost the long-term sustainability and profitability of our practice, while ensuring that we would continue to serve patients ourselves.

When MyEyeDr. was mentioned as a potential buyer, we soon understood that becoming part of this network of optometric practices would give us the ability to continue to care for our patients while alleviating the concerns we had about being able to run the administrative and operational functions of the business. In November 2017, we finalized a sale with MyEyeDr.

Enhance Patient Care & Create Opportunities for Staff
Our top priority was that we would continue to take the best possible care of our patients. Beyond that, it was important to us to help our staff to take advantage of the opportunities that come with a larger organization.

We got our wish in both cases, as the majority of our staff before the sale has stayed on, and there was no sacrifice in patient care. The actual transition was quite well executed, with no interruption to the patient experience. And our relationship with our staff remains unchanged; we are all working together to build relationships and produce better outcomes for our patients. Additionally, we continue to utilize cutting-edge technology and full scope of practice to deliver a wide range of ocular health and wellness services. Our care is evolving to incorporate both cultures, that of MyEyeDr. and Schaeffer Eye Center, with a shared purpose.

We are still learning about how to best take advantage of the many new resources available to us as a MyEyeDr. practice, but every day, we see the benefits of having greater administrative and purchasing power.

For instance, our software systems have changed, but we’re not abandoning our core values that aligned with MyEyeDr.

Be a Practice Leader, But With More Time for Patient Care
While transferring ownership to MyEyeDr. has significantly reduced our administrative responsibilities, we have been able to assume leadership roles in our practice. We continue to be part of the team that thinks of ways to enhance care for patients, and plan long-term investments.

Focus on Continuous Improvement
Our family has always been focused on finding ways to better serve our patients, and that hasn’t changed with our new owner.

We strive to continue to evolve. We believe in a changing industry, especially around technology, that those who are quick to utilize and understand can fully adapt to external challenges.

The team at MyEyeDr have proven they are willing to listen, and approach advances in patient care, with an open mind.

There is an emphasis within the MyEyeDr. culture that prioritizes learning and growth. We have relished the opportunity to evolve as a member of the team to help all those around the office succeed.

Boost Your Role in Your Local Community
When a company backed by private equity purchases a practice there can be a fear that the practice will lose its connection to the local people. That has not been our experience. In fact, our ties to our community are stronger than ever.

For instance, we recently partnered with Costa Eyewear for an oyster-fest at our Hoover office, and coordinated a cleanup at a local river. This highlights our continued support of not only eyecare, but of being a part of the larger community in Birmingham. And we continue to support those key local events and community groups that have been core to our business, from the Alabama Symphony Orchestra to sponsoring University of Alabama football! And we look forward to national efforts through MyEyeDr. to be a part of something even bigger!


Mark Schaeffer, OD, and Brooke Schaeffer-Kaplan, OD, practice at Schaeffer Eye Center, a multi-location MyEyeDr. practice in the Birmingham, Ala., area. To contact:

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