Eyeland EyeDoc Will Suspend Pahoa Operations After Thursday
As the June 27 lava flow continues to advance towards the Pahoa Marketplace, businesses in the area continue to make plans for evacuation, despite no formal evacuation notice from Hawai’i County Civil Defense.
Eyeland EyeDoc LLC is among the businesses leaving the area. According to a release on Tuesday, the company, which is the Big Island’s only locally owned full service eye clinic and optical boutique chain, will suspend operations at the Pahoa Marketplace after Thursday, Dec. 18.
“My husband and I are the first eye doctors to ever be in Puna where we have a full service eye clinic and optical boutique with onsite lab. We have very heavy hearts for our wonderful patients and for our community here. We truly are a big ‘ohana here in Pahoa,” said Dr. Meali’inani Duarte-Hernandez, an optometric physician who co-owns the practice with her husband.
Beginning in January, the practice will be relocating to its newest location in Downtown Hilo. Services will continue on as usual in its Kealakekua location.
“My dad reminded me that we were not allowed to save absolutely any of our possessions when we left communism in Cuba when I was a child, so the fact that Tutu Pele has given us the opportunity to save our stuff gives us confidence that we will prevail and bounce back. In the end, stuff is just stuff anyway, and we are more concerned for the health and safety of our patients who are losing quick medical care for eye emergencies in Puna and other medical services and we are also very grateful for the support from our parents and family and friends,” said Dr. Sandor Hernandez Morales, co-owner of Eyeland EyeDoc.
Special “Lava Clinic Days” that are available by appointment only will be set up at the Pahoa Community Center to deliver eyewear and offer medical services for patients who cannot access their new full service eye clinic in Hilo.
“Our hearts are broken but our spirits are full of aloha and full of resolve to rise again for Puna; we’ll see everyone again soon, we just love Pahoa,” said Dr. Hernandez Morales.