Christmas, Ancestry.com, and why “It Matters Who You See”!

Amidst the hustle and bustle of the busy, holiday season that is upon us, we hope that you have time to relax and enjoy the blessings of Christmas. Our West Georgia Eye Care Center celebrations include an annual Christmas party that was held just this last week.  The expansion of WGECC to three locations (Main Office on Warm Springs Rd, North Office on Whittlesey Blvd. and Midtown location on 10th Ave.) means that our parties are growing bigger too!

Though our celebration is larger, some of our traditions have not changed much over the years; and of course, every Christmas party has gifts! The physicians are very generous, and have a gift for every staff member, which adds up to a lot of gifts!  In turn, there is a collection from the staff to purchase gifts for the providers, and this year we gave them a DNA Ancestry kit from Ancestry.com!  Our theme was “What Makes ‘Us’ Uniquely ‘Us’ is What Makes West Georgia Eye Care Center Great”!   We know that our providers are great because we work with them every day, and get to see how they continually strive to put patient care first.  We wanted them to know a little more about what makes them uniquely them: their DNA!

Another tradition at our party is prayer. We always have a group prayer led by our Administrator, Mark Holloway.  At West Georgia Eye Care Center we try to remember and recognize the true reason for the season, and offer up thanks to the Creator for the many blessings that He has provided for us throughout the year.  It is God’s providence that has allowed us to grow and to serve you, our patients.

Though our DNA is an amazing and complex chemical, there is no ancestry test which reveals our spiritual heritage. Additionally, though our DNA may have variations, we believe that each of us is “wonderfully and fearfully made”!  Our prayer is that each of you will enjoy this Christmas season, remember and reflect upon the reason that we celebrate, and connect to the Creator who gives and sustains all things.  That is the most important ancestry of all, and the reason that we believe that it matters Who you see in Christmas!  Merry Christmas!

Keep Thanksgiving Going with an Attitude of Gratitude!

 

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”

                                                   –  William Arthur Ward

 

Common days can be thanksgiving days for any and all of us who have blessings to count. For, in reality, who among us does not have some blessing to count?  Even those of us suffering can find something for which we are thankful, perhaps even the lesson we learn from the suffering itself.  This ‘attitude of gratitude’ should not be reserved for a single designated day of the year, but could be the start to each and every day.

 

An ‘attitude of gratitude’ can turn routine jobs into joy.  Many of our tasks at West Georgia Eye Care Center are a routine part of how we try to live out our motto: “Commitment to Excellence, Spirit of Service”.  With a perspective from a point of gratitude, those routine elements of eye care can transcend into something much more, and our patients often bring us opportunities for joy!  Take for example, April Hopson, who wanted iLASIK for freedom from glasses and contact lenses in time to run in the Soldier Marathon, where she ran in memory of six lost warriors from her husband’s unit.  Yes, our patients transcend routine eye care into moments that inspire us, and for that we are truly grateful.  Thanks April!

 

In the time since we awakened this morning, until the moment we read this, how many blessings have we let pass without awareness?   The ordinary opportunities that can be changed into blessings abound, but the choice of perspective is ours.  Will we continue on with thanksgiving beyond the holiday?  It is a worthy challenge to determine to live each day with an ‘attitude of gratitude’!

Our Top 5 Thanksgiving List!

God has blessed us with another wonderful year of caring for the needs of our patients!  We have so much to offer Thanks for! The West Georgia Eye Care Center Thanksgiving prayer could span pages and pages but we shortened it to the Top 5 to fit it into our blog. We first posted our Thanksgiving Top 5 last November.  It is worth sharing again!  We are Thankful for, counting down…

Fifth – Expansion – While there have certainly been some growing pains (we apologize again for the inconvenience), we are thankful for our new locations. Being able to care for more patients in a wider area of Columbus is a blessing.

Fourth – People – The People we work for and along aside of are a daily blessing. We hear from your stories of our staff; the doctor who prayed with you, the nurse who held your hand, the scheduler who went above and beyond for you and the receptionist who cheered you up. We appreciate the people who provide excellent eye care for our patients!

Third – Patients – The patients who allow us the privilege of providing their eye care are the reason we are here! We are humbled by and grateful for their trust.

Second – Country – We are unashamedly patriotic and we are truly grateful for the blessing of living in and providing eye care in the greatest nation on earth!

First – God – The Creator of all, from Whom all blessings flow! Our prayer is that our actions and our interactions from our thoughts to our words and through the way we care for you will be a blessing to others for the glory of our God.

HIPAA, HIPAA, HOORAY! Your Privacy is Protected!

You have been handed a Summary of West Georgia Eye Care Center’s Privacy Practices if you have been our patient during the past several years. We have provided thousands of these informational pamphlets to our patients and we continue to update them as pertinent information changes.  Protecting your privacy is more to us than just compliance to a standard or a rule of healthcare.  Protecting your privacy is one of the ways that we treat you the way we would like to be treated, or one of the ways we offer eye care according to The Golden Rule.  The HIPAA Privacy Rule is the name given to the requirements set by The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to insure privacy protections to individuals.  The HHS operates a website for free information @ HHS.gov ( https://www.hhs.gov/about/index.html) and describes its role this way:

 

It is the mission of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans. We fulfill that mission by providing for effective health and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health, and social services.”

 

To meet that goal, HHS established the HIPAA Privacy Rule to give individuals the right to be informed of the privacy practices of their health plans and most of their health care providers. The HIPAA Privacy Rule also provides individuals the right to be informed of their privacy rights with respect to their personal health information.  At West Georgia Eye Care Center we are happy to provide every patient with our Summary of Privacy Practices.  We will gladly explain its contents or answer any questions that you may have pertaining to your privacy rights. And because of the HIPPA Privacy Rule, it is very important that you, as the patient, authorize in writing what family members or guardians we are allowed to talk to regarding your care and/or financial matters.  This is a point of frustration for many, but because of the privacy law, patients must tell us who we can talk to if necessary.

West Georgia Eye Care Center takes seriously its responsibility to provide proper protections, training, and monitoring to support its efforts in protecting our patients’ privacy. Employees of covered providers, like WGECC, are required to be trained annually on HIPAA to maintain proper vigilance. Conscientious protection and the highest quality staff-training is another reason why… It Matters Who You See!

The Scary Truth about Costume Contact Lenses

When choosing a Halloween Costume make sure the scary features are just pretend. Make-believe can quickly turn into a truly scary situation if you choose the wrong contact lenses to add to your costume.  Non-prescription enhancing contacts are increasing in availability and so are emergency visits to the ophthalmologist for problems related to them.  Possible complications of improper contact lens use are pain, redness, corneal infection and corneal ulcer.  If left untreated, the result can be permanent vision loss.

The FDA’s Consumer Update page outlines the only safe way to add decorative contact lenses to your costume. According to their advice, you should follow 4 steps important steps:

  • Get an eye exam from a licensed eye doctor (ophthalmologist or optometrist), even if you feel your vision is perfect.
  • Get a valid prescription that includes the brand name, lens measurements, and an expiration date.
  • Don’t buy anime or circle lenses—and don’t expect your eye doctor to prescribe them. These bigger-than-normal lenses that give the wearer a wide-eyed, doll-like look have not been cleared by the FDA.
  • Buy the lenses from a seller that requires you to provide a prescription, whether you purchase them in person or shop online.

(from: https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm275069.htm)

Take note that the number one safety requirement for costume contact lenses is an eye exam! Only a licensed eye doctor can fit you for a safe pair of contact lenses.  The internet offers $20 contact lenses for sale without a doctor’s prescription.  That is beyond scary!  Beware of what may appear to be a big savings because the end cost may be frightening.  Emergency doctor’s visits, pain, blurred vision, prescriptions, and possibly eye surgery can take all the fun out of Halloween.   Don’t take the risk because while it may be spooky, your Halloween should always be safe!

Help With Debt (Medical or otherwise) Is Available In Columbus for FREE!

According to a recent study, debt is the rule more than the exception in Georgia and Alabama. A report released by the popular credit report and financial advice website, WalletHub, ranked states according to their money management, and both Georgia and Alabama ranked near the bottom of the list. At West Georgia Eye Care Center we hear patients share concerns about managing their medical bills. Often we hear that accumulated debt makes it difficult to manage another payment, no matter how emergent the need.

Emergency reserves are a wise plan for all of us, but sometimes difficult to put in to place. This raises the question of how to be able to manage your money in a way that allows one to meet present needs and still save for unexpected needs such as medical bills? Thankfully, answers are available for Columbus and the surrounding area, and those answers are FREE!

Synovus partners with OPERATION HOPE to offer financial help at no charge to the people they serve! (https://www.operationhope.org/hicolumbus ) They invite anyone interested to join them to learn about establishing or increasing a credit score. Help is available for learning how to create a budget, read a credit report, and they even offer advice on what can be done to correct errors that affect your credit rating. The next credit and money management workshop is scheduled for October 26 at 6 pm, and workshops are located at the Highland Community Church at 3408 5th Ave. in Columbus.

West Georgia Eye Care Center offers options to help patients manage their eye care needs. We recognize that medical care in the US may be technologically advanced, but that technology also comes at a price. To try to alleviate the up-front cost we offer interest-free financing plans through CareCredit for qualified applicants. Information about CareCredit is available on our website at www.wgecc.com .

OPERATION HOPE CALL CENTER (888) 388-4673

Mark Holloway Live on WTVM 10/5/17 at 6:00pm

WTVM News Leader 9 will cover an interview with Mr. Holloway @ 6pm tonight!

Mr. Holloway was well informed on the history of the National Wildlife Federations’ Registered Wildlife Habitat program.   He shared the physician’s vision for a sustainable wildlife habitat at the North Sattelite Office;  and he spoke on the importance of green spaces in the area that was once the Adam’s farmland.  Tune in if you are able, or check our Facebook page for video highlights tomorrow!

West Georgia Eye Care Center Receives National Wildlife Federation Recognition

The National Wildlife Federation has recognized West Georgia Eye Care Center’s North Satellite Office as a Registered Wildlife Habitat!  Mark Holloway, Administrator, said that he hopes patients will enjoy the wildlife that frequents the areas around the buildings.  Patients can catch glimpses of the birds and butterflies from vistas in the buildings’ open areas and from some hallways and rooms.  “Everyone loves the hummingbirds”, Holloway says “and squirrels, chipmunks, and our raccoon ‘Bandit’ are a common sight, too.”  This month marks the one year anniversary of the opening of the 6600 Whittlesey Blvd. location.

The National Wildlife Habitat program allows for privately owned locations to become part of a united effort to sustain wildlife in the United States.  Individual homes are the most commonly registered habitats.  Columbus has 71 certified habitats but only a few of those are awarded to businesses.  Holloway explained that the doctors at West Georgia Eye Care Center made a strategic decision to create a courtyard that would enhance the available green space and support the wildlife habitat.   Visitors to the adjacent Royal Café will be able to enjoy this beautiful outdoor setting.  He adds that the property selected for the office expansion made the decision to apply for registration a simple one.  “We already had the trees, and we added more specific pollinating plants to attract the butterflies.”  A four-season water source is provided by a pair of streams on the property, and the addition of two birdbaths brings the birds in for patients to get a closer view.

Viewing, of course, is what West Georgia Eye Care Center is all about!  The medical and surgical treatment of eye disease is our specialty, and we are the region’s only multi-specialist eye care provider.  WGECC is committed to the community we serve.   We are invested in protecting and enhancing vision while supporting the quality of life in Columbus and the surrounding areas as well.  To become a haven for sustainable wildlife, WGECC planted, pruned, and placed feeders, habitats, brooding spaces and more.  If you are interested in creating a wildlife habitat that meets the criteria for national registration you may learn more at: http://www.nwf.org/Garden-For-Wildlife/Water.aspx

Eyes and Zippers and Getting Rid-Of Readers… When You Need Closure!

Zipper Closure

Zippers don’t have eyes but they have a featured MSN story from the Business Insider. Apparently, one company on earth manufactures an estimated one-half of all the zippers used on the entire globe!  That is more than 7 billion zippers a year.  And while you won’t find an eye on a zipper, you will likely find a marking “YKK” which are the letters of the manufacturer.  In a quick search of zippers around the office we found them on COACH and KATE SPADE products.  These are high-end zippers!  Go ahead, take a look, you will be surprised at how many of your zippers have this common marking!

 

Hook & Eye Closure

Eyes are not completely left out of the closure gadget category. An early (14th century) device that is still widely used today is the Hook and Eye Clasp.  These fasteners were made by hand for hundreds of years until their first machine-manufacture began in England.  The area recorded with the first manufacturing of Hook and Eyes is in the city of Redditch.  The area was already famous for manufacturing needles and we all know that needles, indeed, do have eyes!

 

Closure on Reading Glasses Hassles

Whether it is searching for small markings on zippers just for the fun factoid appeal of it, trying to manage a hook through an eye, or focusing on the eye of a needle to thread it… you may have trouble bringing these into view if you are over the age of 40. This is almost always related to Presbyopia which is a normal aging change that reduces our ability to bring near objects into focus.  In fact, reading glasses were needed to take the photograph above.  Tired of your reading glasses?  There may be something you can do to get closure from the need for them permanently!  West Georgia Eye Care Center offers the newest inlay technology (RAINDROP).  To find out if you are a likely candidate for the Raindrop Inlay procedure:

 

Call for a free RAINDROP consultation: 706 507 7528

Or, email us: misty@wgecc.com

 

 

Tourette’s Syndrome, Lexicographers and Google Doodles

“Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.”

Samuel Johnson

Google Doodle

Monday’s Google Doodle honors the birthday of Samuel Johnson (author of A Dictionary of the English Language). He single-handedly compiled the dictionary over a period of seven years and it was published in 1755. It was the preeminent English dictionary for over 150 years. His achievement made him welcome in literary circles and he additionally contributed as an accomplished essayist, journalist, biographer, poet and playwright.

Tourette’s Syndrome

His vast journalistic successes have made him a model of the abilities that can be mastered by people facing physical challenges; however, his particular challenge (Tourette’s syndrome) was not defined or diagnosed during his 75 years lifetime. It was only posthumously, through details in biographies and other descriptions of Johnson’s mannerisms that a diagnosis of Tourette’s was applied.

Eyelid Blinking

Today, we recognize Tourette’s syndrome as a common neuropsychiatric disorder that presents in childhood. It is classified along the spectrum with other tic disorders; and patients with Tourette’s characteristically have motor tics and vocal tics. A common eye related tic is eyelid blinking; and vocal tics are unplanned outbursts of grunts or words (sometimes profane). As Samuel Johnson proves, Tourette’s does not affect either life-expectancy or intelligence.

Follow-Up

If you have concerns about a child that has excessive eye blinking or any other questionable eye related habits, it is probably not Tourette’s! If excessive blinking is noted, a trip to the pediatrician is the first order of business. If the child is squinting to see, then it is more likely caused by the child compensating for refractive error (the need for glasses). Of course, it is important to know as early as possible if a child needs glasses to prevent the condition of amblyopia or “lazy-eye”. Children who fail vision screenings in school or during a pediatrician’s exam should follow-up with an eye exam.

Google more or link to:

https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/s/samueljohn121576.html, https://www., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourette_syndrome