Dr. Abby Fowler, OD., Head Optometrist at Advanced Vision Center.
February 2019: When veteran optometrists Dr. Norman Hinkle and Dr. David Cash were looking at retiring, the pair were faced with the issue of finding someone to take over the eye care patients, as well as look after their own eye health as well.
As it turned out, the eye care specialists had to look no further than Advanced Vision Center in Claremore and Dr. Abby Fowler, OD.
“Dr. Cash and I have been friends for many years, first of all,” began Dr. Fowler. “He called me one day and told me that he was going to be retiring. He then asked if I would take him as a patient, and then if I would take his family as patients.
“I told him ‘Of course!’ ” she continued. “Then, he asked, ‘Well, will you take all my patients?’ I thought for a second and replied ‘Okay, I do think I can do that.’ ”
But Dr. Cash was hardly done asking Dr. Fowler to look after more patients.
“I have something else to throw at you – Dr. Hinkle is going to retire as well – do you think you could look after him, as well as his patients?” he asked. She answered, “At first, I asked ‘Are you serious?’ but he was, so I told him I’d be happy to look after Dr. Hinkle and his patients as well.”
Dr. Fowler said the building out of which Doctors Hinkle and Cash operated Primary Eye Care in Owasso was going to be converted into a pharmacy, prompting the pair’s decision to retire.
Advanced Vision in Claremore offers courteous and professional eye care for all patients. Head Optometrist Dr. Abby Fowler’s staff includes Alicia Johnson, optician (from left), Casey Murphy, optician, Lora Walker, office manager,
Dr. Fowler (with son, Waylon), Holly Patton, technician, Robi Gayman, doctor’s scribe, and Kristi Tipton, accounting specialist.
“One of the questions I’ve gotten from their patients has been ‘Are you going to keep the location?’ which unfortunately I won’t be – the overhead’s too costly, and there’s only one of me, so it wouldn’t really make sense,” she said. “I asked Dr. Cash if his patients would mind driving to another town, and he reassured me that he felt that directing them to us was more than worth the drive, and I’ve even had some of his (former) patients tell me the same thing.”
Once Dr. Fowler started amassing Primary Eye Care’s patient records, she began sending out notifications to patients seen in the past two years to inform them that she would be taking them over from Doctors Cash and Hinkle.
“I honestly couldn’t tell you how many patients we’ve inherited in all, but just from the past couple of years, we let maybe 2,000 or so patients know about us now handling Dr. Cash and Dr. Hinkle’s patients,” she said.
Dr. Fowler said she’s hopeful that word of mouth will help spread the word about her now seeing Primary Eye Care’s patients, and that the transition for the patients will prove to be “a seamless one.”
“We use the same lab for our eye glasses as Dr. Cash and Dr. Hinkle do, so it’s nice in that we’ve had a couple of patients who’ve scratched their lenses and have had a warranty on them,” she said. “Since we will have their records, we’ll still be able to honor those warranties.”
Dr. Fowler went into business for herself in 2008, opening her own practice, which quickly outgrew itself, necessitating her to build her current, larger building, to offer “one of the biggest opticals around,” as well as an on-site lab to allow her to grind lenses in office, and from where she strives to take care of the individual needs of each patient – whether they be new or returning patients, or former patients of Dr. Cash or Dr. Hinkle.
Dr. Fowler and staff got into the spirit of Christmas last December at their holiday, with a little help from Santa Claus and Buddy the Elf. Yuletide celebrants at Advanced Vision Center included Robi Gayman (from left), Kristi Tipton, Lora Walker, Santa Claus, Dr. Fowler, Buddy the Elf, Holly Patton, Alicia Johnson, and Casey Murphy.
“You know, I had one of Dr. Hinkle’s patients come to me for the first time not long ago and admit that she was nervous, as she’d been seen by him for something like 25 years,” Dr. Fowler said. “But, she told me that Dr. Hinkle himself told her that she would be well taken care of here, and she said that she loves it and already feels at home with me, which is a great compliment.”
Advanced Vision Center offers a variety of eye care, treatments, and products, such as complete family eye care (including pediatrics), emergency and minor eye injury care for all ages, glaucoma treatment and management, laser vision and cataract consultation, one day service on most prescriptions with an on-site lab, a large selection of frames, sun-wear and contact lenses for color, single vision, and bifocal.
Advanced Vision Center is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, and 8 a.m. to noon Friday.
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