In more than 90 years in continuous practice, Columbia Eye Clinic has grown to a 13-physician practice with three locations that see more than 130,000 patients every year and perform nearly 5,000 surgeries and laser procedures each year. Despite the hectic pace, the physicians and staff of the clinic always make time to give back to the community in which they live and work.
“We come to work every day with the notion that we do good things by helping people see,” says Larry Hiebert, CEO. “We take that job very seriously. But while medicine is our first focus, we also want our patients to see that we are invested in the community outside the clinics’ walls.”
Mr. Hiebert came to the Columbia Eye Clinic and Surgery Center 10 years ago with 32 years of experience as a CEO and Sr. Administrator with other prestigious practices in the Southeast and the American Red Cross, and brought with him a commitment to altruism and helping others that he has shared with the 115 staff and physicians. Columbia Eye Clinic and Columbia Eye Surgery Center are proud that in the past 10 years, they have raised me than $120,000 for Palmetto Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
The practices’ physicians see patients referred from the Free Medical Clinic, and were the first partner in Operation Cataract, a project of SC Lions Charitable Services, that provides cataract surgeries to those in need each year.
Each year, Columbia Eye Clinic sponsors a fund raising team in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Walk to Cure Diabetes. In a combined effort selling JDRF paper shoes, physician and employee fundraising, an internal online silent auction, and a used book sale, they raised more than $17,500 this year to help find a cure for juvenile diabetes which can lead to blindness. The clinic also has collected non-perishables for Harvest Hope and has contributed to Pawmetto Lifeline, holds regular blood drives for the Red Cross and is an annual partner in the March of Dimes March for Babies. They have also partnered with Southeastern Guide Dogs to sponsor a seeing-eye dog as a puppy.
“We’re proud of everything we do, both to help people see and to help the community,” Heibert says. “We’re humbled by this Best of Philanthropy Local Business Champion Award presented to us by the Central Carolina Community Foundation. It’s quite an acknowledgement of how we are able to give back and help those in need.”