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Mentoring Colleagues and Cultivating Patient Connections in Healthcare: Q&A With John Pignone-Reed

By 20/20 Onsite
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Logging over 13,000 miles since he started in April 2023, Clinic Manager John Pignone-Reed knows what it means to go the extra mile — for our patients and our team alike. With over 34 years of experience in vision care, his passion for mentoring others and fostering a positive patient experience has been paramount to our team’s success. 

Dive into John’s story to learn about his impressive career and how he continues to prioritize the patient experience. 

Tell us about your background in vision care.

I've been in optometry and ophthalmology for about 34 years, spanning areas like general ophthalmology, cornea, glaucoma, and retina. I have done everything under the sun including administrative management and clinic work with patient care, as well as teaching. I am on the faculty with Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO), which is the certifying body in ophthalmology. I'm also on the task force committee with the American Optometric Association (AOA) where we come up with the content that is written into the Paraoptometric Certification testing that our Life Sciences clinic managers just went through. 

Every year at the Academy, I teach specific courses on refraction and retinoscopy, which is how we determine your glasses prescription, and I lecture there as well. In the past, I have been on the Board of Directors with our advocacy group, The Association for Technical Personnel in Ophthalmology (now AAOP), which has allowed me to mentor others and advocate our profession in ophthalmology. 

My passion, though, is to always be with the patients. In my career, even though I have managed many people under me, I have always insisted on being on the floor working with them in unison — always allowing a team approach to patient care.

What brought you to the team at 20/20 Onsite, and what do you do in your role?

When I first joined 20/20 Onsite, I was excited about the prospect of doing something very unique and different from what I've done in my career. Bringing clinical trials directly to the patient in a Mobile Vision Clinic was not something I ever thought I'd see myself doing because I've worked in brick and mortar clinics for my whole 34-year career. 

In my day-to-day, I run the eye care clinics within our Mobile Vision Clinic. We're driving around the country — thousands of miles monthly — to see patients who need access to these amazing trials. We see patients go through testing with drugs and do all of the testing onboard required for each study. 

How do you bring your passion for teaching to 20/20 Onsite?

I have a lot of passion for mentoring and training other individuals in what we do for both Life Sciences and Primary Care. In my role, I get to see our clinic managers grow and gain certifications, allowing them to increase their own skills and have more confidence seeing patients. 

For the team’s recent Paraoptometric Certification, I met with them several times as a group and sometimes individually discussing the many aspects of clinical eye care topics and procedures. We likely did about 25 hours worth of lectures and reviews. We did some practical activities at our last All-Hands meeting, allowing us to put some of the things that we were going over in the lectures into fruition and in the Mobile Vision Clinics themselves. It was a pretty comprehensive program that gave me great pleasure to do!

If you were a patient boarding our Mobile Vision Clinic for the first time, what would impress you the most?

The first thing is the “WOW” factor that I would feel walking up the steps seeing that this is a real live clinic on wheels. Every single patient that steps onto our Mobile Vision Clinic, if they haven't been on it yet, says how unbelievable and cool it is. I would most look forward to seeing the vehicle in person and then having access to that top-notch care right there.

Tell us about a recent patient experience that stands out to you.

Right now, we are participating in a trial that is a study about chronic coughing. It's a very interesting study because there are patients who have unknown reasons for coughing for years at a time. 

There is one patient in particular that I have seen such an amazing change from the trials. It is an awesome feeling to be able to see the drug that we're providing help make them better. We had done this patient’s baseline back in July, and when they stepped foot on the Mobile Vision Clinic, the doctor and I couldn't believe how many times they were coughing. 

Three months later, we saw this patient again. They boarded our Mobile Vision Clinic and the coughing was almost half what it was. Now, they were able to speak words and form sentences without coughing. The doctor and I were both ecstatic about that! However, the patient wasn’t very encouraged and told us that they didn’t feel like anything was working. 

But, we were telling them how amazing they sounded and how far they had come since we last saw them. The fact that we saw this massive difference encouraged the patient and made them feel great. 

And then the journey continued to the next visit, which was just about two or three weeks ago. Again, there was so much progress that the patient is almost not coughing at all anymore. 

Just this one specific instance with this patient has been amazing. The relationships that you form with patients are unique and it's nice because, coming from the 60-patients-a-day clinic in my former job, you don't get to do that. I always wanted to stay longer with patients, and you can’t typically do that in this industry. I love the fact that I’m able to connect with these patients through our trials.

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Discover how 20/20 Onsite can offer innovative solutions tailored to your specific trial needs. Contact us today and let’s work together to achieve your goals!

Want to read more about the rest of our Life Sciences team? Explore our full Employee Spotlight series and learn more about these hard-working individuals driving our mission forward. 


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