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Optometrist now calls Bandera home

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  • Optometrist now calls Bandera home
    Jennifer Goldstein, left, and her husband Dr. Thomas J. Goldstein stand outside the full-service optometrist’s office they have opened in Bandera at 628 Highway 16 South. BULLETIN PHOTO/Bill Pack

An optometrist who is licensed to treat eye diseases has been in operation in Bandera for a little more than a month and so far is happy with what he sees.

“We’re getting pretty busy,” said Jennifer Goldstein, who works with her husband, Dr. Thomas J. Goldstein, in the business called Vision Plus that opened at 628 Highway 16 South in Bandera on Aug. 11. “We’re meeting a lot of great people and are glad we made the decision (to open an office).”

If the traffic continues to grow, the outlet could bring Dr. Goldstein to the office for a third day in addition to the Tuesdays and Thursdays he already makes his way to the Bandera office, the first satellite office he has opened since working in San Antonio for 25 years, to conduct eye and contact lense exams, diagnose eye diseases and address other needs.

“It’s been very eye opening,” said Jennifer Goldstein, who grew up in Fredericksburg and is looking forward to getting back to the kind of small-town atmosphere Bandera offers.

Vision Plus is open Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a specialist who can dispense glasses and make adjustments and repairs throughout the week to glasses that have been damaged. Customers also can bring in their

Customers also can bring in their prescriptions from another doctor and see what kind of options Vision Plus has in frames and contact lenses, but the doctor will be available only on Tuesdays and Thursdays for now.

Thomas Goldstein said he is a therapeutic optometrist, which means he can do a full array of eye examinations and treat eye diseases, including glaucoma.

As an optometrist, he cannot perform surgeries, but he works with several ophthalmologists he can refer patients to for surgeries if any is needed.

Thomas Goldstein said he also can’t work with patients under the age of 3 but also knows pediatric specialists he can refer families to with children of that age who are in need of treatment.

Otherwise, he intends to provide comprehensive eye care services to the entire family, with glasses offered at a variety of prices, from upper end to the more affordable.

“I enjoy handling the difficult-to-fit patients,” the doctor said.

His office takes all types of insurance, including Medicare, some Medicaid plans and the insurance program that is targeted to those in the military.

Goldstein and his wife said they got interested in opening a second office when the mall where their existing outlet operates in San Antonio was closed down for six weeks by the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of their patients recommended that they give Bandera a look, and they decided to see what the possibilities were.

A tour of the area showed there was no optometrist currently in operation, which meant patients needed to travel to Kerrville, Boerne and San Antonio for their eye services.

“There’s a huge community out here that’s unserved,” said Jennifer Goldstein.

Her husband said they love coming up to Bandera and look forward to living in a setting where everyone knows everyone. The appeal has been so strong, the couple already is looking for someplace to live in the area.

And the attraction appears to be mutual, if comments from Bandera Mayor Suzanne Schauman and Bandera County Judge Richard Evans are any indication.

“That’s awesome,” Schauman said when she heard the business had come to town. “We had an eye specialist here many years ago. It should be a great addition to the city.”

Evans too said it was great to have an optometrist available in Bandera.

“We’ve been historically underserved by medical business for years,” the judge said.