Hayes Center Awards Announced
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Hayes Center Awards Announced

The Hayes Center for Practice Excellence at Southern College of Optometry is pleased to announce the inaugural recipients of its Practice of Excellence Award. The award identifies and rewards successful practices, recognizes achievements of SCO graduates and helps foster joint relationships that benefit SCO’s alumni and current optometry students.

Three different $5,000 awards were designated to honor recent alumni at different stages of their optometric careers. All three recipients own their own practices and exemplify the private practice principles embodied in the Hayes Center’s mission encouraging practice success. Recipients include:

  • Dr. David Hite, Class of 2013, recipient of the Recent Graduate Award for the years 2010-2012. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from SCO and practices at North Range Eye Care in Commerce City, Colorado.
  • Dr. Micah Thomason, Class of 2009, recipient of the Mid-term Graduate Award for the years 2007-2009. Dr. Thomason practices at Advanced Family Eye Care in Springdale, Arkansas.
  • Dr. David Mitchell, Class of 2004, recipient of the Long-Term Graduate Award for the years 2003-2006. Dr. Mitchell practices at Mitchell Family Eye Care in Thibodaux, Louisiana.

“These alumni demonstrate the qualities and attitudes of successful private practitioners who excel at managing the business side of their practices,” said Dr. Jerry Eisenstatt, Executive Director of the Hayes Center for Practice Excellence at SCO. He noted that the awards process attracted nearly 20 initial nominations, all of whom are highly successful in their practices. The inaugural awards were selected by three members of the Hayes Center Advisory Board, made up of alumni private practitioners, and Dr. Eisenstatt in his role as director.

"I want to thank all the applicants and congratulate the three outstanding young ODs who have distinguished themselves as the winners of our first annual Practice of Excellence Awards by demonstrating financial and business success in the private practice of optometry,” said Dr. Jerry Hayes, who co-founded the Hayes Center at his alma mater with his wife, Cris, in 2005.

“While optometry is our profession, private practice is a business in every sense of the word. It’s our mission at the Hayes Center to help students and graduates learn how to do a great job of managing the business side of practice so they can thrive in the real world and maintain the heritage of independent optometry.”

Recipients were judged on their practice’s ability to excel as documented via profit and loss statements, most recent balance sheet, office meeting agendas or minutes, and other key metrics, including gross collected receipts, proper staff management, and a written explanation of how the practice maximizes net income. All three recipients will share their private practice experiences with SCO’s graduating class during the college’s Capstone educational program prior to commencement in May.

The Hayes Center’s creation marked one of the first educational centers based at an optometric college dedicated specifically for the purpose of teaching current and future optometrists how to manage the business side of practice.  Visit http://www.sco.edu/hayescenter to learn more about the resources offered to SCO’s students and alumni, including reading room materials, podcasts and other information. 

Posted by Amy Dunbar at 3:27 PM


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