Home EssilorLuxottica Eye Care Independent Practice Owner Receives Great Support and Even Better Staffing

Independent Practice Owner Receives Great Support and Even Better Staffing

Dr. Helen Park with her family likes the balance of independent Lenscrafters practice and family life
Dr. Park and her family

Helen Park, OD, was drawn to optometry because the profession brings together two of her passions: patient care and running a business. While she was in high school and working for an OD, she began to see the tremendous impact that optometrists can make on the people in their community. The longer she worked there, the more she began to see how an optometric practice can also satisfy an entrepreneurial itch.

After graduating from optometry school, Dr. Park began working as an OD at a LensCrafters location in Palm Springs, California, in 2014. A year later, she transitioned to managing optometrist at HD Optometry, which provides the professional services adjacent to a LensCrafters location in Santa Ana, California. In 2017, she took over the lease at that location. The setup has been ideal for her, she says. Working as a doctor affiliated with LensCrafters has provided her with resources that align with her mission to provide great patient care and grow her practice while balancing her personal life.


As a mother of two young children, having a career that allows her a great work/life balance is important. That means more than simple scheduling flexibility–although she is thankful to her two associate ODs who help make that possible. “I can volunteer for my kids’ schools and catch some Pilates classes. During the pandemic, I joined my golf-crazed husband and took up golf and got bit by the bug,” she says.

When she is out of the office, she is confident that it continues to be well-managed. All practice owners and managers have their share of “frustrations, stresses and chaos,” she says, but the teamwork that she experiences with the LensCrafters staff in the optical and the professional services team minimizes her stress. “Patient care is where we marry the two together. The sublease opportunity allows me to really have flexibility with who I can hire, and that enables my business to grow and I can focus on my passion: pediatrics.

The LensCrafters system of staffing has worked well to fill various positions in the office. HD Optometry can provide additional training on clinical support or cross training as needed, and the result is that Dr. Park does not need to take time out of seeing patients to conduct interviews and complete paperwork. For a business that is open seven days a week for 59 hours, it’s important to have a team she can rely on, she says.


Dr. Park says the secret to ensuring cohesiveness and good morale between team members is “constant communication.” That starts with a focus on the mission and purpose on helping people see first and foremost. “I understand we all have a different lived, educational and professional experience. Trying to keep our mindset as a medical care facility and practicing common sense on how to take care of a patient rather than a customer makes the office run more efficiently. Plus, the patient will feel better taken care of by a doctor and optician who display professionalism,” and that engenders patient loyalty, she says.

She considers herself a part of the team. “It’s important to check in and figure out what’s on the schedule for the day, potential pain points and how to delegate. But at the end of the day, we’re not working in a silo, so we also fill gaps when the other can’t,” she says. I incentivize my staff with certain goals I need to help drive my business and revenue as well. And everybody loves the occasional prizes, snacks, and lunches.”

Mentoring is also a part of that mindset because a staff that is cross trained and curious helps the office function better, she notes. Because of the infrastructure of support that LensCrafters provides, Dr. Park says that she can take the time that private practice doctors might ordinarily spend on staffing, payroll, insurance, management and more, to encourage the team, many of whom are young and looking for meaningful career experiences. As a young OD herself, Dr. Park says it’s been “so encouraging and rewarding to help build their experiences and see them grow.” With LensCrafters, it’s all been possible.

She is proud of the team and grateful for them. It’s her goal to make sure that they receive the same kind of balance from working there that she does. “Their time spent here needs to be valued and respected. Our staff needs to know what their schedule is, and we can be flexible and dynamic when needed, but the foundation must be consistent,” she says. That sets up a good rhythm and allows them to anticipate and stay in front of any problems, ensuring a smoother visit for the patients and a calmer day for the doctors and staff.

Read more stories about women with successful careers at EssilorLuxottica locations here.


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