Every square foot of 20/20 Vision Care’s downtown optometry practice is buzzing. Technicians are filling prescriptions in the back room, reception is ushering patients to the examination rooms and shoppers are searching for the perfect spectacles.
Optician Jim Stewart attributes the busy optometry practice to customer care.
“I think the reason we continue to be so busy is our dedication to our customers,” said Stewart. “We strive to ensure that everyone leaves with eye care that suits their needs.”
After more than 30 years in business, the optometry clinic is doubling its downtown footprint to provide an office dedicated to emergency eye care and children’s optometry experiences. Optometrist Dr. Clark Hyde and Stewart spotted the opportunity to focus on children’s eye care as a unique service in Medicine Hat.
“The new space will give us more flexibility for walk-in patients and meet the needs of children, who are sometimes scared of getting their eyes checked,” said Dr. Hyde. “We are hoping that the new kids’ area will make eye exams a positive experience for them.”
Covered by the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan, children’s eye exams are a crucial step in detecting vision issues that could affect their learning, as 80% of a child’s learning is visual. 20/20 Kids will go a step farther than providing children’s eyewear with child-friendly services and a waiting area to help make visits to the optometrist a positive experience.
“Parents can also feel comfortable knowing that the kids have a really cool place to explore and feel welcome” said Stewart.
Currently under construction on 4th Street Southeast, the 3,300 square foot 20/20 Urgent Eyecare and 20/20 Kids will be the third business to move onto the block in less than a year. Swell Private Wealth and Little Owl Learning Centre have moved into newly built and renovated buildings that are giving the street new life and expanding the footprint of Medicine Hat’s downtown core.
20/20 Vision Care has added approximately two new staff members every year since it opened in 1996, growing from two to approximately 19. The new location will start out with a full-time optometrist while support and retail staff will be hired. Spotting opportunities to serve kids and provide urgent eye care is driving 20/20 Vision’s growth into a second downtown facility, which is expected to open in September.