The path to better vision will soon be much shorter for North Bryan County residents as Southeastern Eye Center, a private practice currently operating in Hinesville, will be branching out to include a second location in Pembroke.
The vision center will occupy part of the commercial building located on South Railroad Street. The site was prepared for commercial development about 10 years ago but has never been used. As such, there have been a few delays along the long way, but Dr. Nacondus Gamble O.D., proprietor of SEC, hopes to start seeing patients there in July of this year.
“The first of July is when we are looking at a grand opening of sorts and I’m super excited … this has truly been a labor of love,” Gamble said.
Gamble, who is herself from a rural upbringing in South Carolina, wants to set up shop in a small town environment and chose Pembroke for that reason. She also felt an instant connection with the building and really wants to see it put to use.
“I think like a lot of people – and this sounds corny – but I’ve seen that building and there’s just so much potential there, and I wanted to be in a space where I could do some good,” Gamble said. “I know there are a lot of kids in Pembroke and I love working with kids. So when I saw the building I was like, ‘yes, I want to be there.’”
Gamble also hopes other professionals will follow her lead.
“Hopefully it will spark an interest in other providers to come into the area as well,” she said.
SEC will be a full-service eye care center, including optometry care and an optical store. Once fully operational, the center will even be able to provide emergency eye care, including foreign body removal.
Business hours are not finalized yet, but the center will likely be open Monday-Friday with some Saturdays as well.
Gamble realizes that many of the area residents commute out of town for work and hopes to be able to offer some flexible scheduling hours for those who could benefit from having an appointment early in the morning.
“Then you could get an exam, possibly purchase your glasses and still get to work … you haven’t lost a work day,” Gamble explained. “I just know how it is to commute … why not just have that luxury at home and then just drive to work like you normally would?”