Douglas Franz says this area needed another eye-care clinic.
Douglas Franz has been in charge of six different optometry clinics around the world.
Today, the optometrist is running his very own clinic in Plattsburgh.
“This has been the culmination of four months of hard work and planning with many people helping out in the process,” Franz said at the grand opening of Adirondack Vision Care, 2 Healey Avenue.
But the dream started 22 years ago when he graduated from Optometry School.
Franz joined the military after school and spent 20 years as an officer, three in the Army and 17 in the Air Force.
He worked at and ran clinics around the world.
“From my experiences in those clinics, I always was given the option to make that clinic my own,” he said. “To slightly tweak my patients schedule, to paint the walls, to run the clinics as I see fit.”
After retirement three years ago, he and his wife, Renee, moved to the North Country to be near the mountains and enjoy the four seasons.
“I found civilian life to be much more challenging and regimented than military life,” Franz said. “While working for a corporation and a large group practice gave me experience, I realized that I couldn’t make the changes that I wanted to improve patient care.”
Franz spent time as an optometrist for Eye Care for the Adirondacks.
“I really just needed to create a clinic where I would like to have my eyes examined,” Franz said. “So Renee and I created this, Adirondack Vision Care.”
He thanked his best friend, spouse and business partner and said in retrospect, the starting point was 31 years ago, when he met her.
“Now we are ready to tackle the next big chapter in our lives together,” Franz said.
They did their research and determined it was the right time, and the area needed another eye clinic.
“What you see here is all her,” Franz said of his wife. “She was here every day checking on the contractors, making sure the walls were straight and the cut sheets were available for the electrician.
“I have the easy part. I just have to do a good job seeing patients.”
The team includes Thomas Becht, who brings more than 22 years of optician experience to the practice.
“He is the best optician in the North Country,” Franz said of the Air Force veteran.
Melissa Zielinski is a Plattsburgh State graduate with six years experience as a frame stylist.
“The two of them will assure you that you get the right frame and the best handcrafted lenses in the North Country.”
Some of the services provided include, routine and diabetic eye exams, Glaucoma diagnosis and treatment, dry eye management, urgent eye care and exams for myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, presbyopia, headaches, vision loss, cataracts, macular degeneration and more.
Franz said this is his first experience as a small businessman, or job creator.
“It’s people like us that will pull this country ahead, and I feel very privileged to be one of those individuals who can get America back on track again,” Franz said. “I want to create a clinic where you don’t get a rushed exam. I want to leave the North Country with an eye clinic that will long outlive me.”