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Furloughs end for Vision Clinic Springfield, with employees returning to work

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Vision Clinic says furloughing employees was the last thing it ever thought it would have to do. But once it happened, the company’s next step was getting them back to work once the office re-opened for general patient services.

“It was very scary being furloughed, everything was unsure,” optical and inventory manager Christy Jordan said. 

Christy Jordan has worked at Vision Clinic for the past two years.

“We create bonds with our patients, we see complete families, we see return patients year to year.”

But those bonds were put on hold when Jordan and 78 other employees were furloughed earlier this year due to COVID-19.

“It was something that impacted us significantly,” CEO and managing partner of Vision Clinic Steve Rice said. “We are considered essential healthcare workers, but the CDC had chosen on March 17th to say no preventive or primary eyecare.”

Rice says the clinic did remain open for emergency and urgent care, but unfortunately this wasn’t enough to keep everyone employed.

Jordan said this presented a “new normal” for her and her family. 

“It took a little while to adapt to when you’re used to working 40 hours a week,” Jordan said.

For Jordan, this extra time at home became a blessing in disguise. 

“It allowed me to spend time with my kids and have those conversations and really solidly build our relationships even stronger and connect with them in a way that I realized that “hi, bye” relationship, “what can I do for you?” really wasn’t enough.”

She says she started creating things with her children that they could do on a daily basis.

“As well as my parenting of a student at Republic High School, [it] became me teaching my student because of the virtual learning,” Jordan said. 

There was extra light at the end of the tunnel for Jordan.

“Never in a million years would I imagine that I would have to furlough anyone,” Rice said. “It was a very difficult time.” 

Vision clinic survived its six weeks closure and was able to bring back all of its furloughed employees.

“It was a rewarding feeling that we were able to help out,” Jordan said. 

Jordan says she’s thankful to be back to work tending to the eye health of the people of southwest Missouri.

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