A Family Affair: Couple’s Business Has a Clear Vision for the Health of Knoxville
It’s all in the family. Dr. Travis Thompson stepped in as the owner of Hardin Valley Eyecare & Optical in 2014 and is now eagerly looking forward to expanding his practice with the addition of his wife, Catherine, also an optometrist.
A native of East Tennessee, his goal has always been to move home after graduating from the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee. It brings him joy to serve the members of his hometown community.
Travis’ wife, Dr. Catherine Abbott, previously served the Sweetwater community at a private family practice. She is thrilled to join Travis full-time at Hardin Valley Eyecare & Optical this year. They’re both passionate about overall vision health and improving the quality of life of their patients. The expansion to Hardin Valley Eyecare & Optical means that they can now serve more new patients and even extend their hours of operation. For the first time, Hardin Valley Eyecare & Optical is open on Fridays from 9 am to 3 pm, allowing them to serve more patients in the West Knoxville and Oak Ridge area specifically.
Travis and Catherine are excited to establish their optometry practice as a family-owned business in the Hardin Valley community. Together they specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide array of eye diseases, conditions, and problems for patients of all ages, including correcting vision for children. They only use the most advanced diagnostic technology and vision correction products and are committed to improving the quality of life in the Knoxville community through enhanced vision.
We had the chance to sit down with Catherine for an interview to find out more about her goals at Hardin Valley Eyecare.
EK: We know Travis has called East Tennessee home for the majority of his life. How long have you been in East Tennessee?
Catherine: I’m originally from Virginia! After my undergraduate degree, I went to the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee, where I met my husband, Travis. After I finished my Primary Eyecare Residency at the Salem VA Medical Center in Salem, VA, in 2014, we moved to Knoxville, where we’ve both enjoyed practicing private optometry.
EK: What drew you to become an optometrist?
Catherine: The level of patient care is what initially drew me to optometry. I loved that optometrists have personal time with their patients and develop a relationship that can span years. If someone brings their child to you to correct their vision when they are small, it’s common to continue to see that child as they grow older. I loved the idea of having that type of long-lasting relationship with my patients.
EK: What is your favorite part about practicing optometry?
Catherine: My desire to help people see clearly is my favorite part of practicing optometry. I think eyes and how they work are so interesting, and I love interacting with my patients and finding the best ways to help their overall health through their vision. You can tell so much about a person’s overall health by looking into someone’s eyes.
EK: What has it been like to run a family practice side by side with your husband?
Catherine: It’s been a great experience so far and very rewarding to see the goals that we set when we moved to Knoxville become a reality! I worked at a family practice run by a husband and wife duo in Sweetwater for six years, so I had the chance to see what it would be like to work side by side with Travis. Ultimately, we’re a team that knows we can always depend on each other. This isn’t just great for the business itself, but also for our patients! We’ve called Hardin Valley home since we moved to Knoxville, so we enjoy being able to serve our neighbors by practicing in our own community.
EK: What can patients expect when they visit Hardin Valley Eyecare & Optical for an appointment?
Catherine: We’re both very compassionate doctors. We love our patients, and their vision and comfort is our top priority in everything we do. We were both trained to conduct comprehensive eye exams to ensure we consider your overall health in any recommendations we make. I personally have had a lot of experience with eye diseases and more complicated cases in some of my past experiences in my career, which has made my career and approach to optometry more well-rounded. I’m so excited to bring my experience to Hardin Valley and the Greater Knoxville area.
In their free time, Travis and Catherine enjoy spending time with friends and family, including their sweet dog, Barley. They both love outdoor activities like hiking, which makes East Tennessee the perfect place to call home. Travis is also a huge fan of the Tennessee Volunteers. You can always find him cheering on the Vols on football Saturdays in the fall.
Hardin Valley Eyecare & Optical offers convenient 24/7 appointment requests through their website. They are currently open Mondays through Saturdays with flexible appointments no matter what your schedule looks like. Dr. Travis and Dr. Catherine look forward to serving patients of all ages. Whether your child needs their first eye exam or you need an updated prescription for your contacts or glasses, they are ready to find the right solution for you and your family. For more information on Hardin Valley Eyecare & Optical and the services they provide, call 865-888-0892 or visit www.visionsource-knoxville.com.
Hardin Valley Eyecare & Optical
10904 Spring Bluff Way
Knoxville, TN 37932