On Monday, June 15 the Trinidad and Las Animas County Chamber of Commerce, with help from Pueblo West, Pueblo, and Pueblo Latino Chambers of Commerce hosted a unique virtual ribbon cutting and virtual tour live via Facebook for the opening of Rocky Mountain Eye Center’s (RMEC) Trinidad location. Goal Academy helped by broadcasting the well-organized, special Zoom meeting.
Steven Trujillo, with the Pueblo Latino Chamber of Commerce, acted as facilitator of the event and began by acknowledging RMEC’s commitment to the communities in which they serve.
“Rocky Mountain Eye Center has been a dedicated community partner throughout the southern Colorado region for a number of years,” said Trujillo. “They have made sure that we as communities have the health of our eyes taken care of and are always passionate and dedicated. Just a few months back, we were able to celebrate one of their newest locations in the Pueblo community and today we’ll be celebrating the Trinidad area.”
One of the founding members of RMEC, Dr. Donald Schlomer took a moment to reminisce on the humble, small beginnings of the now multi-community company.
“I moved to Pueblo in 1985 after having served in the Army and joined a nice practice,” said Schlomer. “As we grew in that office it was becoming too tight for us and eventually we decided to start the idea of merging with several other local ophthalmologists and make a larger facility so that we could better serve our patients. In 1992 we met with six different ophthalmologists and in the winter of 1993 we formed Rocky Mountain Eye Center and we entered our first building up on the north part of Pueblo. Since then we’ve grown to multiple locations in all of southern Colorado.”
Dr. Schlomer also added that RMEC has been serving the Raton and Trinidad areas since 2003.
“We’re happy to say we’ve now moved only about two doors down so it’s in the same complex and will be easy to find,” Schlomer said.
The video then transitioned to RMEC’s Executive Director Scott Wilson in the new Trinidad RMEC location and Wilson led viewers through a tour of the spacious facilities.
“We’ve doubled the size, doubled the exam rooms, and increased all of our offerings including testing and optical shop,” said Wilson. “We’re very excited about the expansion here in Trinidad. We’re also excited to be offering some new job opportunities in the local region with the addition of two to four more jobs as we increase business.”
Wilson then introduced the numerous doctors that work at RMEC, including Dr. George Hagan who sold his practice to RMEC after announcing his plans for retirement. Hagan said RMEC seemed to be the best choice to keep his patients taken care of.
“One of my main concerns was that your records be taken care of properly, that they were safe, and maintained the way they should be,” said Hagan, “and RMEC was the logical choice to do that. I did have a chance to meet some of their doctors and they’re some of the nicest doctors you’ll ever meet and have your best interest at heart.”
Doctors Nathan Stevens, Anna Clark and Cory Smith also shared their enthusiasm for the new location and the abilities it would continue to provide for the community to receive great eye care.
“I think it’s a great benefit for me to be able to offer for my patients to have their surgery here in town,” said Stevens. “It just makes the whole day easier for patients and their families.”
Also present for the ribbon cutting was Colorado State Representative Donald Valdez who offered his congratulations and expressed how impressed he was with the virtual first-of-it’s kind event.
“It’s people like you who come together to make it happen here in the community,” said Valdez. “It’s amazing to see so many chambers of commerce come together for this virtual moment in history. Congratulations on your expansion RMEC and thank you for all that you do. You truly set the standard for your profession.”
While the Trinidad and Las Animas County Chamber of Commerce served as the local host of the event, the numerous chambers mentioned above worked together to make the event come to fruition amidst COVID-19 difficulties with hosting public in-person events. TLAC Chamber Executive Director Nicia Crosson was pleased with the teamwork and expressed that as the Trinidad area grows with the opening of Fishers Peak, businesses like RMEC would be vital to keeping up with the growth.
“I know that this took a lot of time and effort and we just want to say that we’re so honored to have a small business that has expanded in such a beautiful way and represents the best of the small business community,” said Crosson. “All of us recognize the COVID pandemic affected our small businesses but it’s businesses like RMEC that remind us that it starts small and that foundation of a business is so important to our society and our community. I see good things coming out of this and see a business like RMEC as crucial to the expansion of our region.”
To see the full ribbon cutting video, visit the Pueblo Latino Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page. For more information on RMEC in Trinidad, give them a call at 719-846-3768.