STEUBENVILLE - A telephone rang in the Hollywood Family Eyecare Center for the first time.
"We just had the phone installed last Friday. I think that is our first business call. The word is getting out that we are close to opening for business," declared Dr. David Sullivan.
After 18 years as an independent optometrist at the Sears Optical Center at the Fort Steuben Mall, Sullivan is ready to open his own Hollywood Family Eyecare Center in the Hollywood City Center.
TESTING — Dr. David Sullivan, left, of the Hollywood Family Eyecare looks over his Visual Acuity Fixation System with Chuck Alker of Beitler-McKee Optical of Pittsburgh. Sullivan and his staff at the new Eyecare center in the Hollywood City Center will be opening the new business this week. After 18 years as an independent optometrist at the Sears Optical Center, Sullivan is opening his own eye care center. An open house is planned for Oct. 29.
-- Dave Gossett
"I want to put the patient back into patient care. The last couple of years the eye care environment seemed to be more focused on numbers, our percentages and goals set by the parent corporation. I was an independent optometrist and I believed the patients are people. They are fathers, mothers, children and grandchildren. There was no personal environment," he said.
"I felt I could do better and provide quality, affordable patient-based eye care. My staff feels the same way. We are passionate about taking care of our patients. I have been treating some of my patients since they were young kids," said Sullivan.
"I want to maintain the old fashioned personal relationship that has been lost in the country over the years. I want to go back to the old school way of taking care of patients. I want to be the old fashioned doctor who takes care of his patients and knows his patients," Sullivan said.
Sullivan, a native of Monaca, Pa, will be joined by Patti Sferrella and Sharon Burdick who also worked at the Sears Optical Center.
"Patti brings 27 years as a licensed optician and Sharon will bring 18 years of experience as a licensed optician to our office," Sullivan added.
"I made the decision to open my own office and I am optimistically confident as we prepare for our first day. I believe when word gets out about the patient experience here everything will be taken care of. Growing up, my mother always told me to never do anything to jepordize my father's name. My father had a pretty good reputation in Monaca and I always wanted to do the right thing to make my parents proud. I still live by that philosophy," remarked Sullivan.
"If I have to canvass all of Jefferson County, I will. I want to put the word out that I have opened my own business and want to focus on patient care. We want to make enough money to keep our doors open. But we also want to make our patients feel comfortable and welcome when they come here," Sullivan said.
Sullivan attended Gannon University in Erie and then spent four years at the Pennsylvania School of Optometry in Philadelphia.
"A friend of mine at the School of Optometry had taken the job at the Sears Optical Center but then had a chance to move to the Pittsburgh area. He called and told me about the opening here. I came down for a visit and found Steubenville was very much like Monaca, people with a good work ethic, a love of sports and great people," related Sullivan.
"I am passionate about serving patients. That's why I wanted to start my own business. I believe my passion for serving patients was instilled in me from a young age by my parents. My mother and father were always willing to help others without expecting something in return," stated Sullivan.
After Sullivan started his career at the Sears Optical Center he would walk in the mall during his lunch hour.
"That's when I met a young woman who worked at Kaufmann's Department store. I asked her out and we found out we had a lot of things in common. And she became my wife," Sullivan said.
Three years after starting his optometrist job at Sears Sullivan took the Civil Service exam for a city firefighter position.
"I was a volunteer firefighter with my father in Monaca and always loved the work. I have been very fortunate to have a dual career in optometry and firefighting...two jobs I love," he noted.
"I have always been humbled and appreciative knowing patients have chosen to come to me for their eye care. Patients have a wide selection of optometrists. So knowing patients have returned to me and recommended me to their friends and relatives is a very humbling experience. I want to see patients here from 4 years of age to 104 years," commented Sullivan.
Sullivan credited Domenick Teramana and his staff at the Hollywood City Center for assisting in the transition from the Sears Optical Center to the Hollywood Family Eyecare Center.
"They were very instrumental in helping us to get started here. I think I am in the prime location in the City Center. This location is fantastic," said Sullivan.
Sullivan said he and his staff will offer full service eye care that will include eye exams, designer as well as value-priced frame options and total contact lens care.
"All past patient records will be transferred to the Hollywood City Center location. Appointments are available by calling (740) 264-1220. We welcome outside prescriptions and will offer free adjustments and cleanings," said Sullivan.
"We are planning an open house Oct. 29 from noon until 6 p.m. but we will open for patients the first week of October," he said.
(Gossett can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)