It is hard to believe another year is coming to a close. No one can say that 2016 was not an eventful year for our country and it certainly was not uneventful for Brookside Optometric Group either.
We were the recipients of the 1st place vote as Best Eye Care office in San Joaquin County in both the Best of San Joaquin Magazine and The Best of the Record contests for the 6th year in a row. We are touched and honored to receive this designation once again.
Our office completed its first year of using our new electronic medical records system. Change is always fraught with challenges and this was certainly the case with us. We are happy to report that even some of us older docs have finally become proficient with this new technology so we will look less confused as we record our exams as we enter 2017.
The faces of our family changed a bit this year. Dr Henry Troung has decided to open an office with his fiancé in the Bay Area so we had to say farewell to him this December. However, one of our previous employees, Sylvester Nguyen, had left us four years ago when he was accepted into Optometry School but has returned to us as Dr Sylvester Nguyen and will be taking Dr Troung’s place. We wish nothing but success to Dr Troung and we are thrilled Dr Nguyen has joined our family.
With our growth we have added several new employees to our family-welcome Honey, Ruth, Ashley, Harnoor, Mayra, Yleanne, Bryce, and Monica.
Our Doctors’ families also saw change. Two of our doctors’ mothers passed away this year after long wonderful lives but we also had an addition to our family with the wonderful arrival of Dr Jodie Vo Laurel’s daughter Quinn on September 17 of this year.
Our Doctors were busy keeping up on the continuing changes within our profession. Our doctors plan out their continuing education courses to maximize their exposure to as many different courses as possible in order to share this information with each other. Our doctors attended over 360 hours of continuing education from a variety of sources including the American Academy of Optometry yearly meeting; UC Berkeley provided courses, the Bausch and Lomb Summit, and the VSP SHIFT program in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Dr Vikram Girn has been busy serving on the San Joaquin Optometric Society Board for the last two years and Dr Scheer has been working with special needs children alongside music therapists, speech and language therapists and with occupational therapists on identifying and treating binocular vision disorders of the eye that can impact their educational performance.
Dr Winnick continues to work closely with the VSP organization as a state representative by contributing to committees designed to elevate the quality of care within CA.
Our office continues to maintain close ties to the University of California, Berkeley with Dr Rosie continuing work on the Dean’s Advisory Board at the UC Berkeley School of Optometry. Dr Hisaka continues to teach, as a full Clinical Professor, an academic class for 2nd and 3rd year optometry students, "Patient and Practice Management and Professional Ethics.” We are also proud to announce that the Brookside Optometric Group entered into negotiations with UC to have our office selected to be the first-ever private practice clinical rotation for the fourth year interns at the Optometry School. For the first time in the history of the School of Optometry at UC Berkeley, interns will have exposure to the private practice modality before completing their education. This agreement was made possible by the joint efforts of Brookside Optometric, the University of California, Berkeley and VSP vision insurance company.
Our doctors and staff were also very busy trying to make a difference here in Stockton and elsewhere!
Dr Bob continued serving on the Board of Directors of the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce as well as becoming a CTA in the Stockton Ambassador’s Program. Dr Bob was also elected President of the Stockton Sunrise Rotary Club where he not only travelled to Seoul, Korea for an international convention but his club just completed its 5th annual Christmas Appreciation Dinner for the National Guard troops stationed at the Airport Way armory. His club provided a Christmas dinner, time with Santa (played by our own Dr Bob), carriage rides for the kids, toys for every soldier’s child and a live band for entertainment for over 500 people that day. This project was the brainchild of one of Dr Bob’s patients who, with Dr Bob’s help, brought it to The Stockton Sunrise Rotary Club who adopted it as a yearly community project. The patient, Matt Golden, has since passed, but the event is now named in his honor.
In his spare time Dr Bob also made it to the 5-gallon donation level at the Delta Blood Bank this year. Drs Bob and Rosie also travelled to Africa to meet the student they have been sponsoring for years at the Red Rhino Orphanage. While they were there they, and the other Red Rhino families, went to a neighboring school near the orphanage and not only purchased desperately needed school supplies for the school but also funded a fence to be built for the facility to keep animals out of the children’s play areas for hygienic purposes. Both Drs Melrose were also active on committees for their church this year.
Dr Demshar flew with the Flying Samaritans to two health care clinics in San Felipe, Mexico and one in San Quintin, Baja to provide eye care for thousands of people in need. This pushes Dr D’s humanitarian trips to well over the 100 mark. Dr D also raised over $13,000 for the Flying Samaritans at the Summer Fest Tequila Tasting Fundraiser he hosts at his home each year. He fits these trips in between his twice-monthly free Optometry clinic days at the St Mary’s Homeless Shelter. Our partner Dr Vanover has also volunteered his time at the St Mary’s Homeless Shelter on a regular basis for years and continues to do so.
Dr Loo worked tirelessly once again on the UOP Pacific Athletic Foundation fund drive and helped bring in a record $405,000 in donations. His team was the #1 producing team in fundraising this year.
Dr Girn has been assisting our local Lion’s clubs with various school screenings and Dr Chow has been serving Lion’s on the state level as a member of the Board of the Lion’s Eye Foundation of California/Nevada. She is currently the second Vice President of the foundation. Dr Chow has also volunteered as a Junior Achievement teacher for her daughter’s school for the last 7 years.
Dr Skinner and Dr Hsu were active in supporting Pixie Woods and Hospice of San Joaquin to help out locally and they are actively supporting the Quail Lakes Baptist Recycling project that builds wells in Guatemala for those without water. They also support the arts in Stockton with their involvement with the Central Valley Youth Symphony and the music program at Lincoln High School. Their own son Derek played at Carnegie Hall this year with the high school band!
Dr Fujii was busy with his activities at his children’s school by serving as treasurer on the PTSA board and being active with their spring carnival committee. This is in addition to his activities at the Buddhist Church of Stockton where he serves as a director and as a trustee. John serves on boards at the Mary Graham Children’s home, the Youth Athletic Organization and on the Stockton Kendo Club. In his spare time he helps coach YMCA youth basketball here in Stockton.
The office as a whole supported several charitable ventures this year. We sponsored the Red Rhino Orphanage Walk-a-thon as well as the Red Rhino Charity Dinner. Brookside also sponsored a table at the March-of-Dimes Signature Chef dinner at the arena this year to help raise money for these important charities.
We also sponsored our first annual $1,000 College Scholarship for a local student to help defray some of their costs when attending college. We are looking forward to doing this again in 2017. The scholarship will be opened to any graduating senior next year in San Joaquin County. Check out our FB page in the upcoming months for more information.
In keeping with helping students with college expenses, Brookside Optometric was also a major donor in the “UC Big Give” charity day with a sizable donation to the School of Optometry to be used for student scholarships.
Our staff was busy too. They organized a “Brookside Goes Pink” day to raise money for breast cancer research as well as a “Denim Day” to raise money to fight spousal abuse. Our staff also organized our first ever holiday coat drive and blanket drive this year. In December we collected used coats for the homeless and blankets for shelter animals at the Delta Humane Society. Patients or friends that donated a blanket or coat were entered into a raffle to win a free pair of non-prescription sunglasses.
Our office also started an exciting ongoing project to remind Stockton residents just what a great community we live in. Stockton is great city filled with amazing people and offers a variety of activities to do, yet so many people seem to forget about all that this city has to offer. Throughout 2016 and continuing into 2017 our office is providing the incentive for people to get out and enjoy this town by providing Symphony tickets, UOP basketball tickets, Ports’ tickets, Stockton Heat Hockey tickets, Stockton Civic Theater tickets, local restaurant gift cards, etc to our friends who follow us on FB. We are proud to be a part of this city and it is our desire to remind people, even if it is a handful at a time, just what a fantastic town they live in. Like our FB page and watch for our next giveaway in January!
Finally we do wish to express our continued gratitude and appreciation for all the wonderful people of San Joaquin County who extend us the honor of being their doctors. We understand that your trust and continued support of our office is something we need to earn with each and every experience you have with us. We do not take this for granted. We thank you so much and look forward to a wonderful 2017.