Vision Expo West is a great opportunity to reconnect with colleagues and catch up on what’s going on in the world of optometry and optical! This past September, we sat down with friend of the pod and previous guest, Dr. Justin Bazan to get an update on all the new paths his career has been taking. No surprise, he’s been one busy doc.
When he’s not traveling as a lecturer with Bausch and Lomb (many weeks on the road 4 out of 5 days), Dr. Bazan is running his private practice Park Slope Eye with the help of newly hired associate doctor, Dr. Brandon Orr. This past year he’s been busy helping found young OD groups across the country as a place for young doctors to connect and get advice in a judgement-free zone. Starting with Young ODs of New York, the network is now active in states up and down the East Coast and as far west as Colorado.
One of his latest ventures is partnering with eyewear designer Silja Kim and Spinoza Eyewear for a mission to give back to patients in need and grow awareness for what optometrists can provide to our patients both in medical care and the prescription of eyewear as medical devices. Silja Kim grew up wearing glasses, but with her prescription they were always thick frames and so heavy they left deep furrows on her nose. As an eyewear entrepreneur, her goal became to make lightweight glasses that were never short on style or color. The material she uses is a featherlight mixture of medical grade thermo-plastic, titanium and nylon, and she’s even moving into 3D printing capabilities.
The initial launch of Spinoza eyewear was so successful, Kim was left feeling uninspired just a year into her new business start-up. Why was she making these glasses? What did it really matter? She found the inspiration she needed in giving back to those in need. The Lens for Lens (L4L) program is a partnership exclusively with optometrists where 10% of proceeds from each frame sale go towards funding cataract surgery for a patient in need through Orbis International and Christian Ministries. She partnered with industry vets Dr. Justin Bazan, Dr. Alan Glazier, Dr. Eric Dessner, and Dr. John Nguyen to get Spinoza L4L off the ground with the second goal of helping optometrists better reach the greater public about the healthcare they provide and the importance of medical quality eyewear.