Optometry office to open in Florala

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Dr. Josh Driver and Dr. Andrew Carter are opening an optometry office in Florala next month.

The men, who currently practice optometry in Opp, made the announcement at Monday night’s council meeting.

Dr. Josh Driver

“I have been practicing in Opp for 16 years next month,” Driver said “I had been looking forward to having Dr. Carter with me. He is homegrown, and graduated from Straughn. One of the things we had talked about was opening a satellite clinic. We looked at Luverne, Samson and Florala. This was our best fit.”

The clinic, which initially will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays, will be located next to Piggly Wiggly. As the practice grows, office hours will, too, he said.

“We’ve been working on the building for several weeks now,” Driver said. “We have invested significant money to come here, and we’re here for the long haul. One of the things we said was, ‘when patients come here, what they will see in our office will reflect our commitment to the community.’ ”

Dr. Andrew Carter

Driver said he has purchased equipment over the past year, and will have the tools needed to help patients manage glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. The office will accept Medicare, Medicaid from Alabama and Florida, and Blue Cross Blue Shield from Alabama and Florida. Driver said he hopes to draw patients not just from Florala, but also from Paxton and Laurel Hill.

He has previously conducted vision screenings in local schools, and will continue to do so, he said.

Carter’s emphasis is in pediatric care.

Driver said he has talked with health care practitioners at the new clinic in Florala, and with Dr. Sasikumar Vishwanath.

“Diabetes is prevalent in the community, and those patients need to see an optometrist,” Driver said. “We hope to improve the overall health care for the whole community.”

Mayor Terry Holley, who had been talking with Driver about the possibility of opening a local clinic for months, said he was more than pleased with the announcement.

The number for the Florala clinic, which should be operational beginning the afternoon of Tues., Aug. 15, is 334.858.3000.