By Camille Gillies
The “vision” (pun intended) for Dr. Samuel Teske, O.D.’s vision for a redesigned and expanded New Tampa optometry office recently became crystal clear.
After serving patients since 2007 in a 1,500-sq.-ft. office in the Publix-anchored New Tampa Center shopping center at the corner of Cross Creek/ New Tampa Blvd. and Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvds., Dr. Teske at press time was moving his Eye Doctors of New Tampa office into the much roomier 3,000-sq.-ft. space formerly occupied by a Blockbuster video store located a couple of spaces away from its original location in the plaza.
He says the expansion is part of an effort to make patients more comfortable and the practice more efficient.
“We are a patient-centric practice,” Dr. Teske explains. “We want to make the experience here as pleasant and convenient as possible.”
That’s one of the reasons a coffee bar graces the reception area of the sleek new space. Patients will now be able to enjoy complimentary coffee drinks, such as iced lattes, from the FLAVIA beverage system, and they’ll have the opportunity to check their email using the office’s free Wi-Fi. Televisions will be another new feature.
“We have added televisions to the waiting area, which will run videos to help educate our patients,” Dr. Teske says. “We are also excited to be able to display our entire frame line. The original office space limited the number of frames that we could make visible to patients, and some patients were unaware of the full extent of our selection because we didn’t have room to display all of them.” The office has added Oakley, Maui Jim and Tiffany a& Co. to its existing line of stylish and high-quality frames.
He adds that the office’s technology also received an upgrade with the addition of an optical coherence tomography (OCT) machine. This machine delivers high-resolution images of the tissues within the retina.
“It’s like an MRI for the eye,” Dr. Teske explains. “In the past, we had to refer patients elsewhere for the test, but now we can do it right in our office. It gives us the ability to provide more full-scope optometry.”
The office also is equipped with an Optomap machine, which provides a thorough screening of the retina to determine if your eye is healthy. The test can lead to the early detection of diseases such as glaucoma, diabetes, macular degeneration and even cancers of the eye.
Another diagnostic tool used in optometry is the visual field machine (VFM), which aids in the early detection of glaucoma, stroke, diabetes and high blood pressure. Dr. Teske has added a state-of-the-art VFM to the Eye Doctors office.
“We (optometrists) can identify health problems people might not know they have,” Dr. Teske says, pointing out that this often happens with male patients because men tend to avoid going to a primary care physician. “Some patients don’t find out they have high blood pressure until it’s revealed in an eye exam.”
Diagnosing vision problems in infancy is extremely important, too, which is why Dr. Teske recommends taking children six-months-old and older for an eye exam.
“Twenty-five percent of kids have some kind of vision disorder,” Dr. Teske states, explaining that optometrists can address such problems as eye alignment and focusing ability. The new Eye Doctors office is kid-friendly, using electronic eye charts that feature cartoons, making eye exams a fun experience for children.
Dr. Teske is no stranger to young children — he and his wife, Dr. Lisa Teske, a veterinarian at the nearby Pebble Creek Animal & Bird Hospital, this summer celebrated the birth of their third child. The couple and their children — all under age 4 — live in New Tampa.
The Eye Doctors also includes Dr. Erin Cooper, O.D., who joined the practice a year ago. Dr. Cooper received her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia, Athens, and her Doctor of Optometry degree from the Southern College of Optometry, Memphis. She graduated with honors in pediatrics, adult primary care and ocular disease. Dr. Cooper speaks fluent Spanish and has volunteered her professional skills in Colombia. She and her husband, Dr. Seth Cooper, an orthopedic surgeon, live in South Tampa.
Meanwhile, Dr. Teske’s education includes an undergraduate degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University, Lincoln, and a Doctor of Optometry degree from the Illinois College of Optometry, Chicago. He graduated with honors in ocular disease, pediatrics, contact lenses, geriatrics and primary care. Dr. Teske received much of his clinical training at the Illinois Eye Institute, which is affiliated with the University of Chicago.
The busy optometrists are proud to have their own in-house lab, which greatly speeds up the production time necessary for patients to receive top-quality lenses. Dr. Teske, who refers to his staff as a hand-selected “all-star team,” employs nine “stars” in the New Tampa office. Among them is lab manager Jason Paoli, one of only two technicians in the state certified to build and repair the edging equipment he uses to make lenses.
“Having an in-house lab not only speeds up the process, but we have better control over the quality of the product, too,” Jason explains. “Our equipment is calibrated and in better condition than any place that is mass-producing lenses. Those places may be less expensive, but the workmanship of our products is better and more precise.”
Dr. Teske adds, “We focus on patient convenience and saving the patient time.” The office also utilizes electronic records and interoffice messaging to speed up the flow of work.
“I take my time with my patients, so I do whatever I can elsewhere in the office to speed up the pace of the appointment,” he says.
Along the lines of that same focus-on-service commitment, The Eye Doctors of New Tampa plan to extend their Saturday office hours and are now accepting additional medical insurance plans, as well as several new vision insurance plans.
The Eye Doctors also have opened an office in the Trinity area of New Port Richey. Dr. Teske doesn’t rule out further expansion, stressing that his primary goal is to, “bring quality care to the Tampa Bay area.”
To make an appointment or learn more about The Eye Doctors of New Tampa, call 632-2020 or visit TheEyeDocs.com. You’re also welcome to stop by the new office at 19066 Bruce B. Downs Blvd, next to Pinch-A-Penny, in the New Tampa Center shopping plaza.
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