After graduating from Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry in 2015, Shannon Joseph, OD, knew that she wanted to give back to the community that had helped raise her. She found a good fit at an independent practice next to the Walmart Vision Center in Hallandale Beach, Florida.
“Walmart has publicly stated the company’s commitment to making health care accessible, convenient and affordable in the communities it serves and this fits with my mission too, says Dr. Joseph. “I want to provide access to quality eye care to those who need it. Working next to a Walmart Vision Center is a great combination of options: an independent practice next to an accessible location where my patients can easily find me.”
At the store level, she’s been impressed by the dedication of the technicians who work in her office as well as the Vision Center staff, who operate completely independent of her practice, but who are committed to helping patients. At larger events, whenever she’s met other independent optometrists who have independent practices next to a Walmart Vision Center, she comes away feeling they are just as passionate about providing excellent patient care to their patients and communities as she is.
She has noticed that the store management is also focused on amplifying the messages of good health and preventive care. “Walmart doesn’t just say it’s a goal to help people,” Dr. Joseph says. The company often holds events like Walmart Wellness Days and promotions for associates and patients alike, she says, making access to care easier for all involved.
Dr. Joseph is involved on her own time, too—she gets involved in community outreach programs, and she mentors and speaks to graduating students at her alma mater to discuss balancing being an OD and an independent business owner.
She routinely volunteers her services at health fairs, which she says is a great opportunity for the community to receive necessary vaccines and check-ups which can be beneficial to their overall health.
She says she is grateful to be part of the initiatives. “It’s hard to find a great team,” she says, “but when you do, it makes everything easier.”
She loves what she does, too, she says. Her independent practice allows her to create her own network connections and a flexible schedule, “My contract with Walmart allows me the opportunity to practice eye care as I see fit,” she says.
Helping her patients see better keeps Dr. Joseph motivated, but it’s seeing a difference in her community that really seals the deal. “I love what I do,” she says. “I love to give back. Educate, guide and teach when you can. You can make a difference. The world is a better place when you do.”
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