Practice Transitions

The Partnership Securing Our Practice’s Legacy

Dr. Lee celebrating with his team after becoming a VSP Ventures-affiliated practice. He says being a part of VSP Ventures offers staff significant career growth opportunities.

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By Palmer Lee, OD

Dec. 7, 2022

When you build a practice, the level of care and patient experience you consistently deliver becomes a point of pride. You know you did something important for your community, and you want that legacy of service in healthcare to live on.

The challenge becomes finding the right partner when you’re considering selling your practice. You want to align yourself with an organization that will carry on the legacy you created. Our practice was fortunate to find this in VSP Ventures. Here is why we made the decision to partner with VSP Ventures, and how this partnership has resulted in a continuation of the kind of care and services we spent decades developing.

Tools for Independent Practice Success

Independent practices have more challenges than ever. With competition increasing from online retailers and other sellers, practice owners need every available advantage. The VSP Vision Premier Program, which all Ventures-affiliated practices benefit from, provides many much-needed advantages that give independent practices an edge.

The program offers cost-saving benefits, business-building tools, training and other resources to empower and support the long-term success of VSP network doctors. Long term, these resources provide opportunities for enhanced patient flow, greater profitability and staff support.

In nearly every facet of your practice, whether it’s office management, marketing, OD recruitment, or beyond, the VSP Vision Premier Program can help you:

Click HERE to explore the VSP Vision Provider Hub, where you’ll find offers that will help you add more patients to your practice and grow profitability.

Click HERE to access educational resources for your practice’s staff.

Click HERE for help to better market your practice to your community.

Click HERE for practice recruitment needs.


A Focus on Patient Care
As I approached retirement age, I wanted to explore the next phase of my life. I worked hard for many years as CEO of EYEcenter Optometric, which I enjoyed immensely. However, I wanted to see my patients more. And while I still desired to collaborate on major business decisions, I wanted to lessen the day-to-day responsibility.

In discussing the next step with my partners, we all agreed to look at a range of options. We wanted a partner that would value exceptional patient care, allow the name EYEcenter Optometric to continue and provide a seamless transition in which our patients would not notice or sense a change of ownership. Our practice was founded by Fred Fuerst, OD, my partner’s father. The thought of EYEcenter Optometric going away, or changing in name or how it cared for patients, was difficult to wrap our minds around.

VSP Ventures met all of our needs and has allowed our business to continue functioning much as it had for 65 years. We’ve kept our practice name and maintained our approach to patient care, along with our way of operating. It continues to be business as usual for us.

Protection for Both Doctors and Staff
The transition into our partnership with VSP Ventures was easy from the start. For one thing, our staff was retained. With almost 100 employees, that is amazing. There were a lot of conversations had with employees – on what their function was and how their roles would look once a part of VSP Ventures. This was extremely important to us as owners, because in selling our business, we wanted something that was as good for our employees as it was for us.

Additionally, employees have the ability to transfer to other VSP Ventures-affiliated practices. Let’s say an employee is moving out of our area. If a job were available at a VSP Ventures-affiliated office where they were relocating, they would be able to transition to that practice. We have a couple employees on our management team who will transition to the VSP Ventures in-house team.

Further, through the VSP Ventures training program, our staff has more career options in areas where they weren’t previously skilled.

This partnership has added significant opportunity for our staff, from transitioning to other locations to taking their skills and growing within the corporate structure of VSP Ventures.

Commitment to Community
EYEcenter Optometric has always contributed locally. For example, in 2021, we worked closely with an organization that helps troubled teens transition from a group-home setting back into the community. VSP Ventures emphasizes giving back and helping those in need, so we were encouraged to keep doing this kind of work.

This is why we partnered with VSP Ventures in November 2021 – because we knew they would preserve the legacy of EYEcenter Optometric.

Palmer Lee, OD, practices at EYEcenter Optometric, a VSP Ventures-affiliated practice. To contact him:

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