From about 7 p.m. on Wednesday until about 9 p.m. Thursday as Hurricane Matthew was approaching Florida, Laurie Lesser, OD, of Weston, Florida, was almost constantly on the phone, sending text and emails and checking the weather reports. Dr. Lesser is an Area Doctor for South Florida Regional Eye Associates, affiliated with 21 America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses stores in Florida’s southern Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.
“As we watched the storm track, there were a lot of quick decisions being made about which of the 30 doctors with South Florida Regional Eye Associates, which handles the professional services, could be available to work in which offices. Initially, we thought we’d be closing all the offices for two days, but as it became apparent that the storm was going east and north of us, we were scrambling to see who could work where.”
The decision about whether the America’s Best stores themselves were closing or reopening were being made by district managers, in conversations with the corporate office. But obviously, if a store was being reopened, Dr. Lesser wanted to be sure that an OD would be available to come in. On Friday, 16 of the 21 stores and doctors’ offices were open. Those in Palm Beach County remained closed for the day, as the region was still feeling the effects of the storm.
Dr. Lesser anticipates that patient flow will be steady today and this weekend. First of all, residents who hunkered down all day yesterday might be itching for an excuse to get out. Kids have been out of school since Wednesday (because of the threat to school buses on the roads in windy conditions). So parents and teachers and others are finding themselves with an open “business” day to get tasks completed.