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Eye Center of Houston

Compassion & Technology- A Winning Combination

 

Dr. Faheem Inayatali began to shape his ideas of owning a private practice while pursuing his doctorate degree from the University of Houston College of Optometry.  During medical training and rotations, he began to explore different niches as well as develop the designs and philosophies he uses in his practice today. 

With the help of Wallis Bank and a SBA 7(a) loan, Dr. Faheem was able to turn his vision into a reality by utilizing loan funds to purchase medical equipment and build-out a 5,000 square foot facility to open the Eye Center of Houston in July 2015.  Although the business is located on a major bus stop and only minutes from Memorial Hermann Hospital, the largest non-profit healthcare system in Texas, Dr. Faheem would face challenges that came with operating a practice in a low-income area.  Dr. Faheem states, “there were a lot of interesting challenges I didn’t see coming into this, it is very rewarding seeing patients but you have to have a non-judgmental mentality and once we discovered how impactful that is, we have never looked back. We have completely gone to the point where we want to take care of everyone and provide patients with a level of care they didn’t know existed.”  And over time, the Eye Center of Houston has successfully blended a luxurious and welcoming atmosphere tending to patients of all backgrounds.  Dr. Faheem shared an impactful case of a 14 year old child who due to progressive corneal disease had developed scar tissue that was causing sight issues which forced him to drop out of school and football.  Having found the Eye Center of Houston through exceptional online reviews, the child and his family would travel 5 hours each way by bus to see Dr. Faheem.  It took about a week to equip the child with a custom lens allowing him to return to school and to playing football- changing his entire life. 

With technology at the forefront, Dr. Faheem and his team go beyond a typical eye exam and focus on the health of the eye first and prescription second.  Services include medical comprehensive eye exams, diagnostic medical testing for eye disease, specialty services using the latest technologies, and a full service onsite optical laboratory.  In 2017, the Eye Center of Houston was named the fasted growing Vision Source practice in Houston.  Dr. Faheem describes himself as an innovator, and business ownership has allowed him to develop new systems and services that can adapt to rapid growth and set him apart from other optometrists.    For example, the state of the art Dry Eye Center which goes beyond treating dry eyes with drops and the Myopia Control Room where Dr. Faheem has the tools and expertise to help slow the progression of near-sightedness in adolescents, which leads to healthier eyes in adulthood. 

Through normal business operations, Dr. Faheem identified a gap in the community that didn’t qualify for government assistance, which led to starting a non-profit called Eye-Give-Sight.  Dr. Faheem states, “I put sight and life right next to each other, I can’t live without either so something had to be done and I always felt the need to fulfill that.”  For a small $10 donation, a patient in need receives an eye exam, medical testing, and pair of glasses.  And in return, the donor receives a picture of the person they helped so they can see the direct impact they made on someone’s life.  And through volunteer work at local community clinics, he is able to increase the impact of Eye-Give-Sight.  Dr. Faheem and his team also visit local nursing homes to provide eye care and glasses to patients who are in group homes or bed bound. 

You would be surprised to learn the business did suffer a short-term setback when Hurricane Harvey ravished the Houston area in 2017.  But with the help of two SBA Disaster Assistance loans, the practice was able to replace the damaged flooring and medical equipment to avoid any long-term effects.  Over the past several years, the Eye Center of Houston has grown from 1 technician to 14 full-time and part-time employees and by 2020 is projected to see over 5,000 patients.   And in 2017, Dr. Faheem Inayatali was awarded the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award by the SBA Houston District Office for both his business success and commitment to helping the community.

Company Name: 
Eye Center of Houston
Location: 
Houston, TX
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