Blink Of An Eye

Southern Tier Optometry Increases Efficiency In New Location

The move of Southern Tier Optometry has allowed for increased efficiency in handling patients and more rooms to test their vision. P-J photo by Eric Zavinski

Optometrist Dr. Kara Gibbs and her business, Southern Tier Optometry, has moved shop and set up a new location in the same building as the previous location, albeit with more rooms to handle patients and space for workers to be able to customize their offices.

Not much has changed at Southern Tier, and what has changed has evolved for the better. The former 777 Fairmount Ave. business is now located at 779 Fairmount Ave., complete with double the rooms and twice the square footage than before to handle patients and test their vision.

Before, the patient waiting area and reception were one and the same, but now “patients have much more room to be comfortable,” Gibbs said.

There are now dedicated spaces for vision therapy, the exam rooms and area for patients to try out contact lenses.

“The space that we had before was pretty tight,” Gibbs said.

For the past two months, Southern Tier Optometry has utilized a new, larger space in the same building, on Fairmount Avenue, as their previous location. P-J photo by Eric Zavinski

Southern Tier has been operating out of the larger space for about two months. Work is somewhat slow due to the beginning of the summer season, but Gibbs says once school gets back in session, they’ll be ready for more patients.

Gibbs noted that her employees are happier with the bigger spaces they have and the resulting customizability that comes with it.

“They’re able to have their own dedicated work area,” Gibbs said.

The new Southern Tier location also boasts a break room. Glasses are housed in their own dedicated space for ease of perusal of the patients. Gibbs also mentioned it was important that her patients have this better sense of privacy when looking through eyewear.

“We’re able to be more efficient for the patients,” Gibbs said.

With rooms for different aspects of optometry separated, patients are able to be moved through the process of their appointments at a quicker rate. Those who need visual field testing for example do not hold up those who require a simpler exam because the spaces for both are no longer the same room.

“It works out very well,” Gibbs said.

Gibbs and her team hardly had to rearrange the offices once they settled in because Circulatory Centers, another medical-based operation, was what occupied the space before. The vein center had closed shop at the location, allowing Southern Tier to expand its operations. It took one weekend to move equipment and office amenities from the old space to the new one.

Having graduated from Ohio State University in 2004, Gibbs worked with other doctors before starting Southern Tier Optometry in its former space in 2012. She has since taken care of the eyes of people of all ages, including children of only six months old.

“I specialize in kids,” Gibbs said.

Gibbs noted that children do not have to be able to talk to start having eye exams.

“If they’re not seeing properly, they are going to have trouble when they get to school,” said Gibbs, who explained that 80 percent of learning at young ages is visual.

Southern Tier Optometry accepts most insurance, and patients can typically get scheduled a week after they call.

Gibbs does not want her patients waiting in her office for too long and is focused on the efficiency of getting them taken care of all while in a new comfortable space.