KIRTI P. PATEL, MPH, OD, FCOVD
What inspired you to start your business?
It was my very first vision therapy patient in optometry school, an 8-year-old girl who had difficulty with reading. During her first progress evaluation my attending optometrist asked her mother if she was noticing any improvements. Her mother responded that her daughter still hated to read. When he asked my patient, she sat there silently with her backpack on her lap and head down. Her mother proceeded to remove her backpack, only to find my patient was reading a chapter book. At that moment, I realized this is how I’d make my impact on this world.
What sets your business and brand apart?
The quality of my program sets us apart. Because I take a curative approach, patients who graduate from my program, see long-lasting results.
What was your proudest/happiest moment as a business owner?
I was treating a young girl of about 9 years old for exotropia, one eye turned outwards. She was seen by a local pediatric ophthalmologist who recommended surgery. Her mother wasn’t comfortable with the recommendation, researched alternatives and found my office. They drove long distances every week to see me. Before she finished her program, her mother went back to the same pediatric ophthalmologist to get another evaluation. He told her she no longer needed surgery; her eyes were straight.
What do you love most about what you do?
Besides getting to know my patients and their families, I love to see the positive changes my program makes not just visually, but in peoples’ lives. We often hear that people are more confident, happy and successful both academically and professionally in their daily lives.
What’s your most memorable experience when you knew your business was nailing it?
I recall my patient, a senior in high school, had incurred three sports-related concussions. After three months of physical therapy, he was still complaining of daily headaches and began struggling academically. His goal was to get into college, but he couldn’t tolerate the visual demands needed to take the SATs. By the time he completed my vision therapy program, he was headache-free, back to being an A-student and received an early admission offer to his first-choice college. Prior to my vision therapy program, he’d seen numerous specialists including a neuropsychologist. He failed every part of his neuropsychological evaluation. After my program, he passed every part of it except the auditory portion, which I don’t train for.
How do you juggle the business with family demands?
I’m blessed with a supportive husband and three wonderful kids. We work as a team and make daily tasks into family time. For example, we cook together, eat meals together, run errands together and, my favorite, travel together.