Dr. Ryan Trimble has lived in Unionville for about seven years but for all that time he's been running a practice in several Hartford locations. Monday, he brought his work home, opening Union Eye Works next to George's Pizza in Unionville.
Previously, Trimble owned a business where he and three other doctors would staff locations like Harvey & Lewis and Walmart. But opening the Unionville office allows him to stay close to his family - wife Meredith and two young children - while also meeting a need in his own community.
"My son goes to Union School. I like to pick him up for lunch and we know a lot of people here... people kept asking 'do you have an office out here?'" Trimble said.
Not only did he not have an office in town but Trimble saw a need for a practice that accepts all types of insurance, including Husky, Medicaid and Medicare.
"In the Hartford office we do a lot of Medicaid and I looked out here - there’s really no place out here that accepts it," Trimble said. "We're really trying to make sure we can see anybody."
But you don't have to have state insurance to enjoy Union Eye Works. The office offers primary eye care including annual exams, sells glasses and contact lenses and can treat a variety of conditions.
Trimble says the best thing about his job is developing relationships with his patients.
"Being a primary care eye doctor is just like being a regular primary care doctor. I get to talk to people, which I enjoy, and I get the satisfaction of helping people."
In the office, you'll also find Vedra Torres, a licensed optician who makes the glasses and Ryan Shaughnessy, the office manager.
The office space at the end of the plaza on School Street has been completely renovated to be clean, smart and tailored to the business. Just through the front door, customers are greeted by the receptionist's desk and a diverse array of frames and sunglasses. Behind that are several examination offices, waiting areas and a bathroom.
Hidden in the exam rooms is some new technology Trimble says eliminates the pain of going to the eye doctor. In many cases, Trimble can use a retinal camera to take a digital color photograph of the back of patients' eyes so they don't have to have their eyes dilated.
"It allows me to see much better and without dilating. One of the reasons people don’t like to come to the eye doctor is you get the drops that put your vision into a tailspin for a couple hours," he said.
Some cases still require dilation, but, for the most part "I can get a really great view without you being blind for a few hours."
So far, Trimble has seen a few patients - mostly friends - and is hoping to draw in more with an opening special. The first 100 people to have an eye exam receieve $300 off eye glasses.
"For most people, that can give you a complete pair of glasses for no charge," he said.
He's developed relationships with primary care doctors in the area and is also getting involved with the Chamber of Commerce and Unionville groups. Union Eye Works held an open house during the Jingle Bell Jubilee.
Focusing on the community is important, Trimble said, and his office - which was renovated, serviced and designed by local companies - is part of that.
"You don't have to leave [to see an optometrist]. You can come see us and not have to go up to West Hartford or into Avon like people have been doing. You can get everything done here.