• Stories from the Field: An Interview with Heather Modjesky

    Written By:

    Heather Modjesky, COEIn AAOE's first "Stories from the Field" interview, Heather Modjesky, COE, administrator for Conestoga Eye PC in Lancaster, Pa. discusses her most memorable ophthalmic practice experience and what she would choose for a superpower. 

    12 Questions

    1. Your practice name and business title:
      Conestoga Eye - Senior Administrator and Director of Community Outreach
    2. Years in current practice: 
    3. How did you become an ophthalmic practice manager/administrator?
      I was lucky enough to join Dr. Silbert on a medical mission the year before he opened his new practice. My background is in marketing/communications and business management, and we hit it off talking about what an ideal ophthalmology practice could look like.
    4. What has been your biggest challenge in your practice management career?
      The biggest challenge in my practice management career is the continuing frustration that everything is always changing. Many areas of our work have exciting changes – and these I LOVE – but the constant turnover in insurances, provider management communication, best-practice rules and regulations, etc. can always provoke a hair-pulling moment.
    5. What is your most memorable ophthalmic practice experience?
      There was once a mother who thought we picked out her child's glasses for her and just ordered them out of the blue. When we didn't call her to pick them up two months later, I got to handle that delightful phone call. Needless to say, that was a very interesting yellow brick road to walk.
    6. What is the accomplishment you’re most proud of?
      Professionally, I'm very proud of achieving my Certified Ophthalmic Executive (COE) designation with only three years medical or ophthalmic experience. Personally, I'm very proud I can say I've helped provide vision screenings and glasses to more than 4,000 children in Ecuador and locally in Lancaster, Pa., in the last four years. Although some are not doctors, our mission trips really allow the volunteers to make an impact in some part of the screening process. As such, you truly feel like you've connected with each and every one of those kiddos.
    7. What was your first job?
      Retail. I folded tons of shirts – every day, twice – and asked every customer if they'd like a store credit card three times. (Oh yeah, I was that girl.)
    8. If you started a new career, what would it be?
      I'd LOVE to be a charter pilot in Alaska. More realistically, and not totally out of ophthalmology, I very much enjoy study coordinator work and think that would be fun to do full-time.
    9. What do you enjoy doing when you're not working?
      Reading and adventuring to hidden small towns.
    10. Other than your current home, where else in the world would you like to live?
      Sequoia National Park or King's Canyon, California.
    11. If you were famous, what would you want to be famous for?
      I'm supposed to say for being kind here, aren't I? I'd really want to be famous for being a king/queen-maker: being the person that gets the right people in the room together to facilitate change, being the person who manifests actions, not just waxes poetic on visions of what the future could be.
    12. What would you choose for a superpower?
      Telekinesis. Don't we all wish we could move patients through our clinics with our minds? 


    • Color: Orange
    • Movie: Labyrinth (My teenage self knows no shame!)
    • Book: Jane Eyre
    • Vacation spot: Mykonos, Greece 

    Lightning Round

    • Cat or dog? CAT
    • Android or iPhone? iPhone
    • Fries or salad? ... ... salad ...
    • Read a book or go dancing? BOOK!
    • Snapchat or Facebook? Snapchat
    • Twitter or Instagram? Instagram
    • Coffee or Tea? COFFEE
    • Coke or Pepsi? Coke
    • Dark chocolate or milk chocolate? All chocolate
    • Patterns or solids? Solids
    • Minimalist or pack rat? Does it count as a pack rat if all you hoard is books?

    About the Author

    Heather Modjesky, COE is the Senior Administrator and Director of Community Outreach at Conestoga Eye in Lancaster, PA. Prior to joining an ophthalmology practice she did extensive work in nonprofit administrative management, marketing and communications, and media relations. In addition to her work with Conestoga Eye, Heather serves as Director of KinderSee, a partnership of Conestoga Eye with School District of Lancaster that enables students from underprivileged homes to receive vision screenings, eye examinations, glasses and pediatric medical eye care at no cost to them. Heather is also the Study Coordinator for all Conestoga Eye research studies. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in both History and English Literature from Franklin Pierce University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude.