Interview with Roxane Wade – Managing Director, Wade’s Optical
Ms. Roxane Wade, tell me what is your relationship with Wade’s Optical today.
I am part owner of Wade’s Optical and also the Managing Director. Basically, I am here to ensure that what Dr. Wade has started continues to meet the expectation of all, as it relates to eye care in Grenada. We are here to provide a customer-oriented service to the people of Grenada by demonstrating credibility and by providing excellent customer service and also quality products to all. We want to continue our full service eye care by being committed and by offering personalized service and products in a patient and friendly manner.
How would you summarize your culture?
I would say it’s one that is welcoming. A comfortable environment where we want patients to know that they are welcomed at Wade’s Optical Ltd. They are human beings and we are here to listen to them and to provide for them in the best way possible.
Dr. Wade was a trained Optician and you’re providing the service that he provided. What qualifies you to provide that service?
Dr. Wade was an Optometrist, not an Optician. We have a full-time Optometrist and Ophthalmologist, who are both very experienced in their field. They are very passionate about what they do, with over 22 years of experience and very credible. They are thorough and with the two professionals on board, we know that we are able to continue the legacy that Dr. Wade has established. We are basically here for the people of Grenada and we continue to grow with excellent service and quality.
You’ve been here for close to half of a century, have you been able to achieve the objectives that you’ve set yourself?
I began with Wade’s Optical in April 2016 and based on what Dr. Wade had provided, we are continuing with his legacy. We have a set of goals and plans for the future which we intend to implement very soon. We do not want people to think about going to the Optometrist to purchase a pair of glasses, it is more than that; it is about eye care and prevention. It’s about ensuring that the eyes are healthy, conditions are detected early and taking preventative measures.
How challenging is it for you to make sure that Wade’s Optical remains the business of choice for Grenadians seeking eye treatment and care?
Well, we will always encounter challenges. The question is, how would I deal with the challenges I’m faced with? Some people may say, I’m basically living on my dad’s reputation. However, I’m here to prove that my energy and my determination will surpass all this and I’m a hard working individual, who is very confident in what I do and very focused in ensuring that Wade’s Optical Ltd. moves forward. Focusing on what the others are doing is not our priority, but striving to improve what we do and ensuring that the best quality is attained for all.
What is your mission as the Manager?
My mission is to ensure that the human resources on board are very knowledgeable of the products and services being offered and are fully trained in their area. Ultimately, we are here to provide the best that we can in eye care. For me, your eyesight is your wealth and as we say: “Our focus is your vision”.
Wade’s Optical has opened a branch in St. Andrew. What prompted that move and how has it benefitted the people in that area?
Since joining the team in 2016, many customers expressed the need for an Optometry service full-time, catering for the residents of St. Patrick and St. Andrew. We thought about it, we did some research and we found that this is something that could be beneficial to the people. For most, their concern was the commuting; having to take two buses to get to St. George’s, based on the distance they travelled from. Also, in years gone by, Dr. Wade worked in Grenville every Saturday afternoon for a number of years. We opened a branch on Gladstone Road, Grenville, in December 2016 and so far the response has been wonderful. We have had a bit of a challenge in that we had to utilize the one Optometrist in the beginning to service both locations. Now, with the Ophthalmologist on board, the two locations are now fully operational, so people will get the opportunity now to make an appointment or walk in to Grenville, Monday to Friday and on Saturdays.
What is the role of the Optometrist and the Ophthalmologist?
The Optometrist’s role is to test eye to ensure what type of lens one will be required to use, whether the person has myopia, presbyopia (that’s farsightedness, shortsightedness), astigmatism. If you are interested in Contact Lenses, the Optometrist is trained to do testing and fitting. She will prescribe the glasses and if there are any diseases or condition that needs further evaluation, she will refer the patient to the Ophthalmologist.
The Ophthalmologist is the one who does all the surgeries. She can diagnose and treat popular illnesses. She is the one to evaluate and basically educate people on the different types of diseases and what preventative measures are needed. She ensures that patients do their regular follow-ups. She does surgery also; so in the near future, this is something we are looking into.
Your Ophthalmologist and your Optometrist, are they as a result of cases that you’ve seen or are you forward-looking or are you are just going to put Wade in the way that a professional eye care set up is supposed to be?
The Ophthalmologist is based on the number of patients we have seen over the years, and also from the past records of persons who have had serious issues with their eyes which we could not have dealt with. Unfortunately, the waiting process is very long in Grenada for most of these patients. A few them that the Optometrist has seen were referred and they came back to us pleading, because the timeframe they were given was so long to get an appointment for a proper evaluation. I’ve seen two cases where two patients with cataract lost sight in one of the eyes due to the late appointment date given. We did intervene for one patient to avoid loss of sight in the other eye. So, yes, the Ophthalmologist came about because of the vast number of eye diseases we have noticed.
So you’re dealing with the situation as it is today but you are also forward-looking, in terms of operating a professional service.
How do you think people should see an eye care clinic as yours? As a place to get a glasses or should they see it as a professional place where you get all the knowledge and are able to make informed decisions?
We would like people to look at Wade’s Optical as a place where you can be educated on the different types of eye diseases, types of lenses, what type of material for your lens is suitable based on your lifestyle, and ways in which you can treat certain eye conditions. It’s not just about purchasing a pair of glasses; again, it’s about eye care and managing eye diseases/conditions. We just want people to know that we are here and educating people on eye care is very important. The simple thing of asking a patient, what type of lens they use and most of the times, they have no idea. All they know is that they use transitions. Transition is a type of lens that gets dark when you go outdoors. It helps protect a person’s eyes that are sensitive to sunlight. Many customers come in to ask questions and when we try to assist by asking the type of lenses they use they cannot tell us if it is Single Vision, Progressive or Bifocal.
What is your overall plan for advancing the industry? You will be the first to introduce a lot of stuff, so what is your overall plan? Wade’s would be the go-to place. When you think about eye care, you are going to think about Wade’s because you are going to do what?
Again, we will continue to educate people and advance with technology. We want customers to know that we are credible. We want them to feel comfortable when they visit Wade’s. We are looking at investing in state-of-the-art technology that will be determine better and faster test results in terms of diagnosis. We have a policy whereby we call customers to remind them of their appointment and follow-ups. An eye exam should be done at least once a year; however, there are some people who need to return every three months or six months. It is important to get an eye test because we will not know what is happening on the inside.
It’s about educating the public; just continuous education whether it’s through flyers, having forums in the communities or in the schools.
You’re taking eye care to the next level.
Yes, we are.
What level is that?
Advance in technology, such as laser surgery for cataract because this is the most prevalent; this will commence in the not-too-distant future. We just want people to experience the exceptional service that we are here to offer and to again, educate.
I just wrote that at Wade’s Optical, we’ve seen the vision. What is the vision you’ve seen? I mean, when everything comes together, your Ophthalmologist, your Opticians, your good prices, your education in the community, what do you visualize in the future, as far as eye care is concerned; as far as Wade’s is concerned; as far as the Grenadian people are concerned? You’ve seen the vision. Is it clear?
Very clear!! Wade’s Optical should be a practice of choice to all. Currently, Wade’s Optical is a household name and it will continue to be a household name. We continue to put patients first and continue to provide efficient and professional service. Keeping in mind that we are here to put patients first, we continue to deliver quality products at affordable prices and, at the same time, in an environment that is very uplifting and rewarding. With trained and knowledgeable human resources, the vision is certainly clear.
In terms of expansion, besides Grenville, we also operate at C.H.S. (Carriacou Health Service) at Main Street, Carriacou. We started our services in October 2016 and we continue to serve the people of Carriacou and Petite Martinique. Also in 2016, we provided free eye tests in Petite Martinique and in Carriacou. The response from Petite Martinique, it was very well received. We travel to C.H.S. twice a month, whether it is for Optometry or Ophthalmology services.
How do you find the strength on a daily basis to accomplish your tasks? Who gives you that inspiration?
I believe in the Father above. I have encountered many challenges over the last year and I know He brought me through. He really made it possible. I am a determined person and I don’t give up easily. I have a lot of strength which I thank God for daily. Also, my past work experiences have taught me a lot and I continue to develop and grow. I just continue to put God first in everything that I do.
How many staff members do you have?
Currently, we have eight members of staff.
In total – Grenville and Scott Street.
I notice your mother keeps you company here all the time.
Besides God, my mom, I would say, is my source of strength also. She keeps me in check and she is very instrumental in all that happens at Wade’s. In certain situations, she will give her input. I am grateful for the input, as she is more experienced and has more wisdom, which are needed most times in order to take it to the next level. That support is needed and I must say that I have that support.
Let me also inform you that my sister, Dr. Alena Wade, is part of this company. Her responsibilities at her workplace don’t allow her much spare time to interact in the daily operations of Wade’s; however, she plays her vital role in the development of Wade’s Optical, behind the scenes.
I just want the public to know that we have available BluSelect lenses, which assist in protecting your eyes from the UV (Ultraviolet light) and blue light. It protects against Retina Damage from HEV (High Energy Visible) light and it relieves digital eye strain. Also, latest research has shown that blocking the UV and HEV light is very important since it protects against cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (conditions from old age). These lenses are available in Single Vision, Office and Progressive lenses. We urge you to protect your eyes in the best way possible with the BluSelect lens.
What can you do for those little boys who stay on the phone all day long?
Let me just say that shorter wavelength light of 380 to 420 nm is more harmful for persons under the age of twenty (20) years. This is due to the fact that they have lower amounts of protective pigments in their eyes. Yes, we do conduct computer eye exams. The Optometrist can advise as to what’s best for individuals to use, as it relates to computers or laptops.
What’s Wade’s Optical Ltd. vision?
Wade’s Optical Ltd. vision is to provide credible, exceptional customer-oriented eye care service and quality products through our dedicated doctors and well-trained knowledgeable human resources; thus, setting us as the best optometry practice on the Island. The mission of Wade’s Optical is to provide a full service eye care facility committed to providing the best eye care throughout Grenada by offering quality personalized services and products in a patient friendly manner and in a comfortable office atmosphere. This can be achieved by investing in state-of-the-art technology, continuous use of high performance lenses, a wide array of frames and professional eye care experts.
What are your short- and long-term goals?
Some of our goals are to provide a professional and efficient office whereby patients feel important. We intend to be the leading eye care practice on the Island; to become the practice of choice to patients of all ages. We also want to continue providing services in a timely manner to medical and surgical patients.
We will continue to ensure that patients receive proper eye care at affordable cost. We definitely will update our practice with world class technology in the near future. We most definitely want to achieve a positive, uplifting and rewarding working environment for all.
What new services are you planning on offering?
We currently offer:
– A comprehensive eye exam
– Contact lenses exam
– IOP (eye pressure) testing
– Children’s eye exam
– Computer user exam
– Lenses for Single Vision, bifocal and multifocal Rx
– High quality high index 1.56 lenses with same-day services
– Eyeglasses production on site by experienced technician with twenty (21) years of experience in the industry
– We accept outside Rx
– We advise on lenses selection and solutions for work and leisure
– Frame selection based on lifestyle.
With our Ophthalmologist on board, we also now offer:
– Diagnosis and treatment of ocular illnesses
– And, within the next four months, Pterygium (flesh removal in the eye)
As we continue to look ahead, in the not-too-distant future we will be offering Biometry services (measurement of the lenses to place inside the eye); Retinal Tomographer (scanning of optic nerve images for glaucoma and other eye diseases); and cataract surgery.
What type of technology would you be employing?
We are in the process of maintaining laser treatment for cataract. Also, technology relating to eye testing and the lab production.
How do you want the Grenadian people to see your company under your management?
We want the public to know that we are here to provide exceptional services, to educate on eye disease and, as simple as it is, educate on types of lenses to use based on age groups. Numerous persons are not aware what type of lenses they use. Most times you will hear “transition lenses”, but the person is not aware if it is Single Vision or Progressive.
You have an Ophthalmologist on your staff; what does that say about your company and what does it allow you to offer the Grenadian people?
Our Ophthalmologist is very experienced with over 17 years of service. Dr. Mabel joined our company in August 2017; however she has worked at the General Hospital previously and is quite knowledgeable of eye issues that we encounter here in Grenada. As previously mentioned, we are now able to provide treatment of ocular illnesses, disease diagnosis and follow up. We want to inform the public that if you have a past medical history or past family history with glaucoma, cataract and hypertension and diabetes, it is important to see the Ophthalmologist to avoid the possibility of an increased loss of vision.
What separates wade’s Optical from other eye care providers on the island?
We are credible. Our prices are affordable. We have unique well-fitted frames; friendly and knowledgeable human resources; and doctors who are very thorough and provide highest quality care. We offer quality lenses that enhance vision.