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A Closer Look: Walter Scase, O.D.

Doctor of the Year

Dr. Walter Scase

Several thousands of patients have passed through the Walmart Vision Center in Marion, Indiana, since Walter Scase, OD, began practicing there in 1998. Because of the effort Dr. Scase makes to connect with patients, they usually leave the practice feeling like family. Dr. Scase’s friendly approach was one of the reasons he was named Walmart’s Optometrist of the Year. He’s been recognized on a regional and district level in the past and appreciates the acknowledgement from the corporation. “I’m honored to be chosen among all of the great doctors working with Walmart,” he says.

Dr. Scase says patients like returning to see familiar faces each year. In addition to his long-term commitment to the practice and store, associate doctor Allison McPhearson, OD, has been with Dr. Scase for almost a decade and many Vision Center associates have been working there for years. “Our patients come back and see the same people who have the skills to help them,” he says.

In the exam room, Dr. Scase starts up a conversation with patients while providing education. “I get involved by talking about their lives during their exam, and my patients see that I care and that brings loyalty,” Dr. Scase says. That loyalty has contributed to the growth the practice saw each year. “Last year, even while the economy was down, our numbers were up 7 percent on exams,” he says. Drs. Scase and McPhearson saw 4,800 patients last year.

In 2009, Dr. Scase picked up a second Walmart store location in nearby Huntington. The store’s Vision Center and doctor’s office had not been performing as well as they could have been. “I organize and run that office, and now it’s making a profit,” he says. While he isn’t in the location very often, he involves doctors who follow his personal approach and who are invested in producing a good profit for the practice and enabling a good flow of patients to the Vision Center.

Dr. Scase has traveled on several mission trips to provide eye care, provides school screenings and has sponsored local sports teams. Dr. Scase’s involvement in his local church also makes connections for his practice.

A Walmart practice setting is ideal for the care Dr. Scase likes to provide his patients. “I have no pressure to sell or promote anything, so my patients know I am telling them honestly whether they need something or not,” he says. He recently added a retinal camera to the practice, and he looks forward to expanding the medical services he provides. While his practice is separate from the Vision Center in his one-door state, he works closely with the Vision Center manager, Jill Dennis. “We share the same goals to increase our profit and maintain the integrity of store, so we will do whatever it takes to make our businesses successful.”