Wanting to be in charge, optometrist strikes out with an eye toward serving more young patients
Dr. Marie Peck feels better working on her own.
Peck opened Downtown Vision Center at 315 Lyon St. S. in Albany in April to give herself that opportunity.
“It’s just more comfortable for me,” she said. “I like doing my own thing.”
Peck had been working at Vision Works in the Heritage Mall prior to going to work for herself. She took over the mall facility in 2010, but eventually decided that she wasn’t enjoying the corporate setting.
“Mostly I wanted to be my own boss,” she said. “This gives me that opportunity.”
Peck began moving into the 1,000-square-foot facility in January, acquiring equipment and reworking the interior with new paint.
Her son Zach and daughter Kelly both work part time at Downtown Vision, but Peck does all of the tests, exams and fittings herself.
Kelly is in the office once a week to handle receptionist duties and Zach comes in at night and makes the glasses in the on-site lab.
“We do all of that right here,” Peck said. “I do the rest of it myself.”
Peck, 50, has been an optometrist for 20 years, following her graduation from the Pacific University Optometry School in Forest Grove. She completed her undergraduate work in psychology at the University of Idaho.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Peck came to Idaho to fulfill her dream of seeing the West. She stayed to complete Optometry school, and then returned to her home state and opened a private practice, where she worked for six years.
She wanted to get back to the West and moved to Oregon in 2003 and started working in the Walmart vision centers before coming to Albany.
Downtown Vision provides her with the opportunity to do everything. Full eye exams, contact lenses fittings, medical eye exams, vision therapy and making glasses are all part of the practice.
Open for a little over two months, Peck says she’s starting to get established. She is hoping to attract more young patients.
“I want to do more with the kids,” she said. “We’re offering specials on exams for children.”
That includes $19 eye exams to start.
Peck uses a new digital screen and software to help with exams. The screen can produce a variety of sizes, colors, shade contrasts and shapes for patients.
“It’s impressive software, and I can make adjustments instantaneously,” Peck said. “It provides a greater variety of sets to use.”
Peck has made it a point to get involved with the Albany Downtown Association, and also plans to offer an open room in the back of her building for community activities. She said it’s a good size for group meetings or classes.
The room will also be converted into a spot for vision therapy sessions.
Downtown Vision Center is open three days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays and Fridays, and from noon to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays.
“I use the other two days for special appointments and do paper work,” Peck said.
To book an exam or use of the bonus room at the site call 541-967-8730.
“We’re working on getting established,” Peck said. “I’ve been able to bring some clients with me and there’s room improve on that.”