Carrie Rengers

Doerksen & Associates Family Practice Optometry to move, but not far

There’s something that optometrist Russell Doerksen heard years ago that’s pertinent now as he plans a new office for his Doerksen & Associates Family Practice Optometry.

“I was told a long time ago that for every mile your practice moves, you lose a certain percentage of your patients.”

So instead of moving miles from the Reflection Ridge Office Park near 21st and Ridge Road, he’s moving within it.

“I’m moving about 1,000 yards west of here,” Doerksen says. “I wanted to make it the easiest I could for my patient base to find me.”

His office is now the second building on the right, but when he moves, Doerksen says it will be the first building on the left.

“So I’m technically closer to every patient,” he says, laughing.

Currently, the office is 2,700 square feet.

“We’ve kind of outgrown the space,” Doerksen says.

The new office will be 5,000 square feet.

“Right now it’s just me, but we’re going to be bringing another doc into the practice soon.”

That’s because Doerksen, 52, says he’ll probably work another 15 years and is starting to think about someone who could take over the practice.

“I’m kind of a planner,” he says.

Also, he says, he wants to expand the office hours and have an optometrist there when he isn’t.

At the new space, the optical department will more than double in size.

“It gets kind of tight,” says Doerksen, who offers almost 1,000 frames of varying prices.

“There’s a fashion end to this as well as a general health end to this,” he says. More space “makes it a little easier for patients to browse around.”

Doerksen says he told his architect he wants colors of the mountains in the fall for the new space.

“We’re shooting for comfortable,” he says.

“It’s always about customer service,” Doerksen says. “People sometimes get a little bit anxious when they go to a doctor.”

Doerksen says he’ll be breaking ground in the next few weeks, and the new office will be ready by late spring.

“But with the move we’re going to change our name,” he says.

“I’ve been quizzing my patients,” Doerksen says. “I found only about 30, 40 percent knew the name of the practice.”

He says he also asked the opinion of someone who is helping him with a new logo for the business.

“Frankly, honestly, he said, you sound like an accounting firm.”

Doerksen says he’s now thinking of something more like Doerksen Eye Center.

“That’s a little bit easier to say.”

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @CarrieRengers.

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