Rebecca Woodring, OD, and Shannon Mihalacki, OD, opened their practice, Clear Vision Family Eyecare, in Mars, Pennsylvania, almost nine years ago. Becoming practice owners happened at a time and pace that the two partners did not anticipate. Dr. Woodring was working for another practitioner who became ill and needed to take some time away from the practice. Dr. Mihalacki was one of the doctors who helped fill in while he was off. The two women quickly found that they worked very well together and began to talk about owning a practice together one day. “At the time, I didn’t think that it would happen for another five years or so; however, a short two months later, we found ourselves in serious discussion about it.”
In December 2007, Clear Vision Family Eyecare was formed. The two partners saw eye to eye on what they wanted for their patients and for themselves. “Our mission is to provide exceptional patient care in a very family-focused environment. When we opened our practice, we had two children between us, and now we have nine. In 2013, Michael Lacina, OD, joined the practice, adding three more children of his own. So, clearly, family is very important to us,” Dr. Woodring says.
Being able to create a thriving practice while enjoying a full family life was of the utmost importance to them. “We created one doctor’s schedule to start and split it between the two of us, and eventually adding Dr. Lacina has allowed us to create the balance
we desired between our family and work lives.”
“We have patients of all ages. We’ll do eye exams on the floor for toddlers. We have lots of families we see, and one of my retired patients recently told me that he loves coming here because of the environment,” Dr. Woodring says. It all comes down to forming strong relationships with their patients. “We want to serve them and enhance not just their eyes, but their lives.”
She and Dr. Mihalacki enjoy their part-time schedules and shared responsibilities. “Having her as a partner actually makes me step up to the plate more so than if I was doing it alone.” Dr. Mihalacki agrees, saying, “When hard moments come up, having a partner helps you pull through and step up. We’re on this ride together, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Dr. Woodring says that she understands that not all doctors who are working and raising a family are as satisfied, particularly if they are doing it all alone. Often it can be exhausting and overwhelming. “They’re carrying a full load in two different areas of their lives. I love that I have someone else with whom I can share the responsibilities. As we often say, to have it all, ‘it takes a village.’”