Eyes on Canal

This Mid-City optometry clinic has 20/20 vision when it comes to its local patients.

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Eyes on Canal // 4205 Canal Street B, New Orleans
504-777-7780 // EyesOnCanal.com //
facebook.com/eyesoncanal //  @EyesOnCanal

As medical care becomes increasingly centralized and corporate, small, independent clinics often struggle to compete. This means being connected to the surrounding neighborhood helps – a lot.

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“So many of our patients are our neighbors,” noted Ashley Collins, office manager for Eyes on Canal. “We run into them while we’re at lunch or at the grocery store.”

Collins herself lives a block away from the optometry clinic, which is located at 4205 Canal Street in Mid-City. Eyes on Canal offers comprehensive eye exams, including diabetic eye exams; treats diseases such as glaucoma and dry-eye disease; and sells glasses and contact lenses (including outside prescriptions). Walk-in patients are welcome, and most insurance and Medicaid plans are accepted.

As the name suggests, Eyes on Canal is rooted in its unique neighborhood.

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“There are many Mid-City residents who only want to go to businesses in the neighborhood,” Collins observed. “They go shopping, they get a coffee next door, and they come see us.”

The clinic reciprocates by being very client focused.

“Being a private practice sets us apart, allows us to make accommodations for patients that larger centers can’t make,” Collins said. “Being smaller makes it easier for us to adapt to our patients’ needs.”

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As examples of this, Collins pointed out that an artist, a fisherman and someone who works at a computer all day all have different eye-care requirements. In addition to occupation, family history and life circumstances also contribute to making each patient unique. Locating the clinic on Canal, on the streetcar line, was done intentionally to make it convenient for lower-income patients who may not have access to a vehicle.

This community approach comes from Dr. Monique Jackson, the owner and optometrist. Jackson is originally from Alexandria, Louisiana, but after training and practicing in Houston, she and her husband moved back to his home city of New Orleans. They opened the practice in 2017, in a building that had been badly flooded during Hurricane Katrina but restored to help preserve the mixed-use neighborhood on that segment of Canal Street.

“Dr. Jackson really identifies with all her patients, and rather than rattling things off in medical terms, she explains everything in plain English,” said Collins. “She gives everyone individual attention, regardless of their walk of life. If she makes a referral to a specialist, she follows up with the patient, stays in communication.”

Eyes on Canal’s community involvement also extends to a variety of collaborations that help bring eyecare to a broader base of people. Jackson and her staff of seven partner with nearby New Harmony High School to provide free vision exams for students. Additional partnerships with Bridge House and Grace House bring much-needed services to these institutions’ clients.

The clinic also makes good use of social media, not just for marketing, but also for providing eye health information and promoting community giveaways.

Like almost every other small business, the COVID-19 pandemic created a lot of challenges. The optical shop was not available for walk-ins, and much of the care pivoted to telemedicine. But as things return to normal, Eyes on Canal has come back strong.

“We bounced back fairly quickly, thanks to our community,” Collins stated. “We love being in Mid-City, being in the heart of everything.”


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