Transitions Optical, Inc. has honoured Wael Yassein – owner and optician at The Eye Shoppe in Oshawa, Ontario – with the 2013 Transitions Eyecare Professional of the Year award. Yassein was recognized for his outstanding efforts to promote eye health and the benefits of Transitions® lenses in front of more than 1,100 optical professionals from North and South America during the 18th annual Transitions Academy in Orlando, Fla.

“I feel better knowing I’m making a difference in people’s vision,” said Yassein. “It’s always a good feeling to know I’m doing something right – and to win the Transitions Eyecare Professional of the Year award is absolutely gratifying. The full family of Transitions lens products makes it easy to offer the best lens to my patients to improve their eye health.”

The Eye Shoppe has been serving patients premium lens options for nearly 30 years and has been voted “Best Optical Dispensary” in Oshawa. Yassein works alongside a team of optometrists and ophthalmologists – bringing together the “three O’s” of the optical industry and practicing collaborative care.
“Wael’s passion for vision and making sure each patient sees the best he or she possibly can, enables him to stand out from the crowd,” said Christine Underhill, business manager, Transitions Optical, Canada. “He continually educates himself and ensures he is an expert in the latest lens technology, so he can offer only the best to his patients and help improve their overall vision and lifestyle.”

Focus on UV Awareness
Wael believes that “vision is first and foremost” when it comes to his recommendations, which is why he only offers premium lens options, like Transitions lenses. Yassein set a core goal for his practice in 2013: “We should only be dispensing lenses with UV protection by early 2014.” To work toward this goal, Yassein held a “You and Your Eyes” event for a week during UV Awareness Month to emphasize the best ways to protect one’s eyes from UV damage. During the event, every patient who made an appointment could receive Transitions lenses or an AR coating at no cost. The event created a spike in new patients for the practice and helped entice more patients to try Transitions lenses. Yassein is a passionate Transitions lens wearer, and likes to point to his own lenses when explaining how Transitions Optical’s technology has improved.

Patient Education
Yassein believes that patient education is the key to creating a better patient experience. Using the UV demo unit and other point-of-sale materials provided by Transitions Optical, Yassein and The Eye Shoppe staff are able to educate patients on how Transitions lenses will improve their vision and overall lifestyle.

Yassein also makes it a point to have a one-on-one conversation about Transitions lenses with each patient. Additionally, everyone in the building wears Transitions lenses – from the receptionist to the ophthalmologists and everyone in between – helping to plant the seed several times before the patient comes to the dispensary. This helps make it easy for the optician to reinforce the doctor’s recommendation and explain what the product does and why it is beneficial to the patient’s lifestyle and enhanced vision.

“If patients are educated, it makes our jobs so much easier,” said Yassein. “The hardest thing to do is to try to recommend lenses to patients who are uneducated. We use every resource we can get our hands on from Transitions Optical to help educate patients. Additionally the same point-of-sale materials that the patient sees when waiting to see the doctor, are the same materials they see in the dispensary – helping to further reinforce the messaging.”

Additional finalists for the 2013 Transitions Eyecare Professional of the Year award included Sandy Koppe, O.D. from The Eye Care Group – in Edmonton, AB and St. Albert, AB and Pierre Vallee from Clinique D’Optometrie – in Quebec. Eyecare professionals interested in becoming the next Transitions Eyecare Professional of the Year winner should visit for more information.