Vincenzo Gianfrancesco, OD ‘15 and Kellie McMahon, OD ‘15 in their practice, Modern Eyes.
Jessica Leader Fortin, OD ‘15, Alumni Board Executive Officer, has launched a new series of interviews with alumni to be featured on our website and our alumni newsletter, eyeSPOT!
eyeON: Vincenzo Gianfrancesco, OD '15, and Kellie McMahon, OD '15
In December, Jessica spoke with with classmates Vincenzo Gianfrancesco, OD '15 and Kellie McMahon, OD '15. A NECO connection happened for them when they purchased two Rhode Island practices from NECO alum, John Corvese, OD '82. The two optometrists now own and operate Modern Eyes, LLC in Pawtucket and East Providence Rhode Island.
Please describe your new practice:
Dr. G & Dr. M: “Modern Eyes, LLC, is a private practice in Rhode Island providing general family eye care and eyeglasses. We own and operate two locations in Rhode Island: East Providence and Pawtucket, which are 3 miles apart! We offer specialty contact lens services including, RGPs, scleral lenses, Synergeyes, and CRT lenses. In November, we purchased an Optomap imagining scanner so we now offer retinal screenings to our patients.
The two offices were formerly known as Envisions Eye Care, founded by NECO alumnus, John Corvese, OD ’82, 30 years ago. In July 2018, we purchased the Pawtucket office, and in October 2018 we purchased the East Providence office. We have been making small changes to each office each week. Rome wasn’t built in one day! We have been incorporating new technology, such as our new Optos machine, utilizing an electronic medical records system, and giving each office a little DIY makeover!”
What is the origin story of your partnership?
Dr. G & Dr. M: “The origin of Modern Eyes began with a friendship in 2011 at NECO. As classmates of the graduating class of 2015, it was always a dream of ours to open up our own practice. We were hired as optometrists for the same Private Practice right out of NECO and worked together for three years there, until we finally took the leap of going into business as owners together. Yes we are still friends!
Did you always know you wanted to go into private practice?
Dr. G: Yes, I always knew I wanted to join private practice. My background prior to NECO was strictly in a private practice setting and I enjoy picking out glasses with patients just as much as I do examining their eyes.
Dr. M: Yes and no. I have always pictured myself working in a private practice setting, although, I have to say, I do miss going home every night after work and not worrying about payroll, staff scheduling, QuickBooks, or walls that need to be painted!
Is there anything in particular about your time at NECO that helped you prepare for opening a practice?
Dr. G: Of course! NECO prepares you in so many ways. One major moment in particular occurred as I was on my rotations as a 4th year student. I was able to intern in Miami for an optometrist who had just left a very large practice to open up a private practice for herself. It was amazing to go through the process with her in her first few months of opening and pick her brain on advertising, setting up inventory, and meeting sales reps. I found the whole process really interesting.
Dr. M: My time at NECO showed me that it is possible to be more than just a doctor. The doctors and professors at NECO were amazing, multitasking superstars. They were always tackling several jobs in one day; from teaching a class in the lecture hall, conducting a lab, mentoring students, to caring for their patients. I learned from the NECO community that the responsibilities of a doctor, professor, business owner, or any other title, expand outside of the exam room and that yes, it is possible to do it all!
Any exciting life developments you would like to share with the NECO community?
Dr. G: After moving back to my home state of Rhode Island, my wife Kelly and I welcomed our beautiful baby girl, Katarina, into the world. She was born approximately 3 months prior to opening our first practice and she was 5 months old when we unveiled our second location. If opening a practice in two locations doesn’t keep you up at night, having an infant definitely will!
Dr. M: Upon graduating from NECO, I moved to Rhode Island leaving my home state of New York behind. My husband Nick and I were married in May 2017 and we currently reside in Rhode Island. We have the best Goldendoodle pup named Dak. He would want me to say Go Cowboys, so “Go Cowboys”! Woo!
It was a pleasure to catch up with my classmates and I wish them success on their new venture!