article on Dr Denis in Sparks Tribune
Posted Monday, June 2, 2014 by Umari Duffus
Posted on May 7, 2014
by Farah Vitale
While growing up, Denis Humphreys developed a passion for eye care, which led him to start his practice as an optometrist as well as earn him a seat on the Washoe County District Board of Health.
Humphreys is originally from Montana but he has lived in Sparks since he was 12 years old. He said that as his nearsightedness progressively got worse when he was younger, he started to realize the importance of vision and eye health. During his years in college, Humphreys never had any doubts about choosing his career.
“The more I studied, the more I got into my education of optometry. It made me realize how much I actually enjoyed it,” said Humphreys.
Humphreys graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Pre-Medicine. He then graduated from the College of Optometry at Pacific University in 1974 with a Doctor of Optometry degree. He started practicing optometry in 1974 and went on to start his own practice in Sparks, called Family Eyecare Associates, where he works with his son Troy and daughter-in-law, Becky. His other son, Travis, has been in practice of prosthetic and orthodontics for 17 years and his practice is Ability Prosthetics and Orthodontics in Reno.
Humphreys said the biggest obstacle of his career has been learning to run a business as a health care professional.
“We are trained in the clinical aspects of what we do, but one of the things we don’t receive as much education on is the business part of our practice. Although we are in health care and vision care, it’s still a business,” said Humphreys.
Humphreys was also appointed by the Mayor and city council to the Sparks Planning Commission during it’s first year in 1980 and he continued his service until 1994. In 2002, the Mayor approached Humphreys and asked him to fill the vacancy on the Washoe County District Board of Health. He still continues to serve on that Board.
“I realized working with the public health of the community really fits to a very large degree with what I do everyday, working in eye care and vision. It was something that presented some great interest to me,” said Humphreys.
Humphreys said the District Board of Health addresses and reviews many issues, including air quality, water quality, food safety, immunizations, communicable disease and programs such as the WIC (women, infant, and children program). He said it also works with the emergency medical response system in the community, which includes both the fire department and REMSA.
Humphreys is a member of the Sports Vision Section of the American Optometric Association. His work with athletes began in the late 1970’s, when he provided eye care for Olympic athletes at the Olympic Training Center in Squaw Valley. He has also worked with many University of Nevada, Reno athletes as well as high school and grade school-level athletes.
Humphreys and his wife of 45 years, Rocky, enjoy many outdoor sports themselves, especially golf and Tahoe activities. Humphreys said in the next couple years he plans to keep practicing optometry and doing consulting outside of his practice but he also wants to make more time for his family.
“That’s what I enjoy the most about Sparks. It’s a very family-oriented community,” said Humphreys.
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