Business Founder Retires and Passes on His Labor of Love to the FEA Team, Led By Dr. Ralph Paylor
Heading into retirement, William Broussard, MD has scores of loyal patients thanking him for his commitment to their comfort and care over the years. He founded Brevard’s largest ophthalmology practice, Florida Eye Associates (FEA), back in 1967 by providing excellent patient care, being of service to the community, and treating employees like family. This has led to Florida Eye Associates’ reputation as one of the best medical practices in the community. From humble beginnings in a two-room office, the practice now consists of four locations, a surgery center, and 12 physicians.
“My motto has always been ‘take care of the patient and everything else falls into place,’” said Dr. Broussard, explaining that his mantra was inspired by a quote from Dr. Norton, founder of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. With an appreciative attitude, he passes this commitment along with his legacy to Dr. Ralph Paylor, who became managing partner a few years ago.
“I’ve had patients make appointments just to come and tell me goodbye,” Dr. Broussard smiled. Over the years he would stay late when necessary and never turned down a patient in need; but his sense of caregiving wasn’t just limited to patients. He advocates heavily for employee well-being, and pioneered one of the area’s first employee wellness programs back when other companies were not offering such a thing. FEA has offered Weight Watchers and sponsored health programs, paid for employee flu shots and was even the first to prohibit smoking in their waiting rooms back in the day.
This commitment to patient and employee care has led to many employees remaining with Florida Eye Associates long term; more than 40 have been employed for over 10 years while others have been there 15 to 20 years or more. “Dr. Broussard makes his employees his extended family,” said Trish Barker, practice administrator, who has been employed with FEA for more than two decades. “We enjoy taking care of the community and each other.” Dr. Paylor, who now leads the practice, agrees that employee care is important, “When the staff is happy and cared for, the patients receive better care.”
Dr. Paylor, while glad to be taking on great responsibilities, remains humble when describing his excitement for the future of FEA. This includes five promising clinical trials FEA is actively participating in and the improvement and development of new drugs to help various eye conditions. “There is no better feeling than repairing someone’s vision and helping them to be able to see better again,” he said.
FEA was the first ophthalmology group practice in Brevard County and now offers more than just full service eye care. Twelve ophthalmologists and optometrists perform a variety of eye care services including cataract surgery, Lasik and cosmetic surgeries, and specialized treatments for the retina and glaucoma. Florida Eye also provides routine eye exams and offers a full-service hearing department.
Dedicated to continued growth here in Brevard, FEA has established a strong reputation of excellence, which is sure to continue. Dr. Broussard’s words to his staff upon retiring are certain to inspire, just as they have all these years: “Take care of the patient. Whatever it takes.”
Florida Eye Associates has offices in Melbourne, Viera, Palm Bay and Cocoa Beach. For more information call (321) 727-2020 or visit FloridaEyeAssociates.com
Dr. Broussard’s big heart extends to all living things. As a tribute to his son, a respected wildlife biologist who died at age 29, Dr. Broussard founded the Allen Broussard Conservancy (ABC). The ABC operates Forever Florida, a 4,700 acre nature preserve in Osceola County that protects Florida’s fragile eco-systems and the endangered species that live there. The preserve includes 6.5 miles of the National Scenic Trail and guests can hike, ride horses, or ride a zipline over the scenic property. The ABC also educates the public about the importance of conservation and helps to preserve Florida’s heritage with a working cattle ranch. For more information, visit AllenBroussardConservancy.org and ForeverFlorida.com