Practice Transitions

A Practice Partner that Delivered On All Its Promises

Dr. Ruggiero, middle, with Naomi Clay, OD, to her left (as you are looking at photo) and Elizabeth Hannigan, OD, FCOVD, to her right. Dr. Ruggiero says AEG Vision was just the partner she was looking for to continue growing professionally in the next phase of her career.

A partner that allows ODs to grow in their practice specialties while adding new ones.

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Sept. 20, 2023

By Theresa J. Ruggiero, OD, FCOVD

When you look for a practice partner, you are looking for an organization with integrity. You want to know that this organization will live up to the vision it has painted for you, so you can continue doing what you love, experience new career opportunities and ensure continuity of care for your patients. The organization that did this for me was AEG Vision.

A Partner that Knows How to Listen

I had spoken with, and been courted by, other organizations prior to signing on with AEG. What stood out to me was their professionalism and respect for the practice I had built over the course of many years.

The practice, Northampton Vision Specialists, specializes in neuro-developmental optometric services such as vision therapy, photo therapy and neuro-visual rehabilitation. AEG listened, and quickly showed an understanding and appreciation for what we do. They wanted us to be able to keep doing what we do best–working with children and adults in need of vision therapy and individuals who have experienced neurological events such as concussion and stroke.

Our patient care has not suffered as a result of partnering with AEG. If anything, we have expanded access to care, thanks to additional investments in our office.

Growing New Practice Niches & Enhancing Medical Eyecare

In recent years we have expanded our practice focus to include myopia management. AEG enabled us to add advanced instrumentation such as a topographer that also measures axial length and a brand-new retinal camera with phenomenal scanning capabilities.

This kind of support makes us better at providing myopia management and screening our patients for eye disease. Our next area of growth is the treatment of dry eye. AEG is working with us to add appropriate instrumentation such as Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) equipment in the near future.

Chance to Focus on Becoming an Even Better Doctor & More Free Time

Not having to run the business side of the practice means getting to focus my attention on patient care. This is easier to do when you are a part of an organization like AEG, which has a large network of doctors in nearly every specialized area of optometry. Not only can I learn from ODs who may be more experienced than me in areas like myopia management; I can share my own experience in neuro-optometry and vision therapy to help other doctors provide these much needed, valuable services.

AEG supports my desire to educate other doctors about neuro-developmental optometric care. I’ve had doctors within AEG reach out to me for guidance in bringing vision therapy and optometric phototherapy into their practices.

Of course, without running the business side of the practice, I have so much more free time to do things I enjoy with friends and family. In fact, I am writing this while at the beach!

Promises Kept to Both Doctors & Support Staff

We have a large staff, and several of them have been with us for many years. I always have felt in growing a practice that the benefits should go to all. We have two associate doctors. Elizabeth Hannigan, OD, FCOVD, has been with us for 12 years and Naomi Clay, OD, for six years.

Right from the start, AEG was very clear that they wanted us to keep our team, and I was clear that I wanted my team, as well as me, to benefit from this new partnership. We have not lost a single person since the transition. It has been more than a year and no one has left.

Quick to Respond & Provide Communication

There are some organizations you can partner with that you never hear from after you sign the contract. In the case of AEG, the lines of communication are always open, and answers to questions are almost always quickly answered.

The AEG team did a very good job communicating with and supporting us during the transition period. If a question or concern arose, and we reached out to someone who did not know the answer or solution themselves, we were quickly redirected to a person who could help us.

People First

One of AEG’s mottos is People First, and that’s really the thread that runs throughout everything they do. Meeting patients’ needs and caring for staff and doctors is just who they are. This philosophy was a perfect fit for us because our motto as always been caring for patients first.

There’s this integrity in AEG’s process that has impressed me every step of the way. AEG’s team is true to what they say their culture is. In our earliest conversations, they acknowledged my expertise, and made it clear that they would value my input, and they have. They have trusted me to guide the clinical part of the practice, and to continue being the doctor my patients need.

An optometrist poses for the camera. She says AEG has been a great career choice.Theresa J. Ruggiero, OD, FCOVD, practices with Northampton Vision Specialists, now a part of AEG Vision, in Northampton, Mass. To contact her:


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