Clinic Expands Staff to Meet Growing Demand

You know your business is successful when you find yourself hiring five new staff members.

That’s just what Dr. Rick Graebe of the Children’s Vision and Learning Center in Versailles is doing.

His practice currently includes three optometrists, four Vision Therapists, five technicians, an optician and an office manager.

Dr. Graebe has added another full-time Vision Therapist, Andrew Chulu, to the staff, and a new optometrist, Dr. Kevin Skidmore, joins the practice in July.

Dr. Graebe also has three new Vision Therapists currently completing their training and are expected to begin working with patients in June.

“We’ve had big demand from our patients and referrals from other doctors,” Dr. Graebe said.

Other optometrists, occupational therapists and teachers have learned that for hard-to-solve cases, Dr. Graebe’s office is the place to turn.

He gives an example of a young high school ballplayer in Barbourville with a vision problem.

The young man’s vision is fine when he looks forward or down, but when he looks up to catch a fly ball, he sees two baseballs coming at him.

The ballplayer’s regular optometrist was stumped and referred the teenager to Dr. Graebe.

“When other doctors say, ‘I don’t know what to do about this,’ that’s when they send patients to us,” Dr. Graebe said.

Dr. Graebe prides himself and his staff on their willingness to take tough cases and learn from patients.

“Not all doctors welcome their patients asking questions, but I say, ‘Please question me.’ That’s the way I keep learning,” he said.

Dr. Graebe, who has been an optometrist since 1984, opened his current practice in Versailles in 2000. His practice now serves patients in more than 300 zip codes.

The practice has grown because patients are educating themselves about Vision Therapy, and optometrists, unburdened by outdated information, are more receptive to the approach.

Vision Therapy is a type of physical therapy for the eyes, brain and body and treats such common visual problems as lazy eye, crossed eyes, double vision, convergence inefficiency and reading and learning disabilities.

“More and more doctors are recognizing the benefit of what we’re doing for their current patients and continue sending us more patients,” Dr. Graebe said.

“Our growth tells me that we are doing a good job, and it is affirmation that we are making a difference in people’s lives.”