Thumbs Up for
this Helping Hand
Paul S. Koch, M.D.
Most ophthalmologists up here in New England know my brother, Peter. He's the CEO of our practice and he does what other CEOs do. He runs the business, looks for new opportunities, makes clever decisions, grows the business, and plays golf.
A lot of those golf rounds are charity events, which I think we can all agree are an excellent reason for being away from the office. He also takes time away from work to mentor a child at one local school. He teaches Junior Achievement at another. This year he stepped down from the boards of several charities after serving for many years. That still leaves him on the boards of eight other charities, and a volunteer with about a dozen more.
He frees up employees during the day if they use the time for volunteerism. On company time they maintain traffic islands, participate in walk-a-thons, and run the phone bank for our PBS station's annual auction. They run food drives, clothing drives, and go on mission trips. In 2004, every single one of our 150 employees participated in one or more charity events of their choosing.
On top of that voluntary participation, Peter mandates one more. Every year, on July 29th, the anniversary of our father's passing, we hold Koch Eye Cares Day. On that day, after months of preparation requiring several employees to work almost full-time on the project, each of our 11 locations is completely closed. Every employee is matched with a local charity and spends the day helping out. This year we cleaned rivers, packed boxes at the food bank, prepared mass mailings, coordinated disaster planning, and helped preserve rotting historic boats awaiting restoration.
This week, the Volunteer Center of Rhode Island awarded Peter Koch and Koch Eye Associates its Volunteer of the Year Award, and next week he receives the Providence Business News' Community Involvement Award.
We Hope He Inspires You, Too
Many CEOs talk about community involvement, but my brother walks it. He inspires the rest of the practice to get involved, and if we are reticent, he makes us. He understands that the community has been very good to Koch Eye, and he sees to it that Koch Eye returns the favor in spades.
I am aware of practices that are so generous we look like
pikers, and others that secretly write generous checks. I hope today to inspire even more to accept your blessings and look about for a neighbor to help.
Ophthamology Management, Issue: December 2004