When it comes to eyecare, experience matters. With the management team led by John D. Sheppard, M.D., M.M.Sc, the Founding Partner of Virginia Eye Consultants, VEC has become one of the fastest-growing ophthalmology practices in the nation, providing a comprehensive collection of solutions to a broad range of eye care needs.
Virginia Eye Consultants (VEC) is the practice most recommended by other eye experts for their patients. Headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, VEC takes pride in its world-class team of providers and surgeons who care for patients and perform procedures ranging from Laser Cataract Surgery with Lifestyle Lenses, Dry Eye Disease, Glaucoma, Diabetic Eye Disease, and many others.
An Established Practice
Virginia Eye Consultants is part of Eyecare Partners, a national medical group of ophthalmology and optometry clinics and surgery centers. Established in 1963, Virginia Eye Consultants is one of the largest ophthalmic medical and surgical specialty practices in the southeastern United States and is among the most recognized in the nation for clinical excellence and surgical outcomes.
Journey to Ophthalmology
Growing up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Dr. John Sheppard decided to become a doctor in fifth grade after writing a report on the human heart. By age 18, he had assisted a glaucoma specialist with research and observed several eye surgeries.
He earned undergraduate, medical, and master’s degrees from Brown University on a full Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship. During four years in the Navy, his posts included the 6th Fleet Medical Officer, where he gained valuable experience in trauma surgery. He then completed an ophthalmology residency at the University of Pittsburgh Eye and Ear Institute and a 30-month fellowship in corneal diseases and uveitis at the Proctor Foundation for Research in Ophthalmology at the University of California San Francisco.
Dr. Sheppard is an acclaimed researcher, author, and instructor who has held his post at Virginia Eye Consultants for over 30 years. He also serves as president of the Virginia Eye Foundation, which raises money for individual patients; delivers grants and optical equipment to free clinics; offers workshops on medical advances to local providers; and awards college scholarships to gifted high school students interested in medical careers. He has also served as a volunteer faculty member at Eastern Virginia Medical School since 1989.
Mission, Vision, and Value
The following are the mission, vision, and values that VEC abides by in order to run its everyday operations.
Mission: To enhance vision, advance eye care, and improve lives.
Vision: To be the nation’s leading provider of clinically integrated eye care.
Values: To believe in clinical excellence, personalized patient focus, outstanding service, inclusive culture, and collaborative innovation.
Providing Eye Integrated Care
Clinically Integrated Eye Care is what differentiates the company from others in the market. At VEC, Clinically Eye Integrated Care means providing the full continuum of eye care seamlessly by working together with referring optometrists to deliver care.
“We provide clinically integrated eye care by collaborating on referrals and patient management; working together as a team to provide the absolute best patient care,” explains John.
Meeting the Needs of Eye Care
VEC is a leading comprehensive and subspecialty ophthalmology practice. “We are a high volume, high pathology practice with an impeccable reputation, internationally known doctors, and a nationally renowned referral network,” emphasizes John.
Being a physician-led organization, VEC’s providers make all clinical decisions and innovate with research and data to continuously improve patient outcomes and advocate for the value of annual comprehensive eye exams.
Technology: A Generational Need
Virginia Eye Consultants has always placed a strong emphasis on technology and innovation, which has contributed to its reputation as a national leader within its branches of clinical, academic, and surgical expertise,.
VEC, being a centerpiece for eye care advances, is committed to educating current and future eye care professionals at every level of training, starting and building careers to fuel the profession for the next generation.
“We believe our community is best served through education and preparation to tackle the eye care needs of patients and the training of future ophthalmologists, optometrists, scientists, and technicians who will care for the people of our community for decades to come,” states John.
Envisioning 2022 and Beyond
With the position that VEC has attained, John envisions its operations in 2022 and beyond and says, “As a national medical group of optometrists and ophthalmologists working alongside VEC’s Medical Executive Board, EyeCare Partners is uniquely positioned to lead the way in clinical integration. This will allow out patients to receive the best eye care for life.”
Building Recognition Over the Course of Years
Looking back at the history of VEC, the practice reflects its pride by doing its best at what it could do. Evidence for its world-class specialty care is highlighted below:
I have been a patient at Virginia Eye Consultants since 2009 and a patient of Dr. Sheppard for nearly three years. I have a serious autoimmune disease that affects my eyes, and Dr. Sheppard has done everything possible to protect my vision. I’m so grateful. – Carole B.
Dr. Sheppard and his staff are very professional and friendly. I am very pleased with the quality of care I received at Virginia Eye Consultants. He is an awesome surgeon who is extremely knowledgeable. – Beverly C.
Dr. Sheppard is by far the very best ophthalmologist I have ever been to, and I am blessed to be in his care. I am extremely happy with the experience as well as the results. I cannot speak highly enough about his knowledge and professionalism. – John M.
In 2019, VEC was awarded a Community Impact Award by CoVaBiz Magazine in recognition of its generosity and compassion for those in our community.
In 2019, VEC was honored with a Workplace Wellness Award by the American Diabetes Association in recognition of its commitment to fostering a healthy workplace.
In 2019, 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2011, VEC was recognized with a Roaring 20 Award by Inside Business for being among the top 20 fastest growing companies in the region.
In 2019, John Sheppard, M.D. was recognized as a Top Doctor by Coastal Virginia Magazine.