CommunityHealth volunteer optometrist Dr. David Tabak stepped up at the start of the pandemic, drastically ramping up the quantity of Diabetic Eye Exam reviews he completed so that we could continue to support our patients! When we had to put optometry on hold due to COVID-19 safety protocols, he remained incredibly supportive and focused on patient outcomes. Read more about him in this special National Volunteer Appreciation Month Spotlight.
In a few sentences, tell us more about yourself and your background!
I am a practicing optometrist. I attended the Illinois College of Optometry after graduating from the University of Iowa. I grew up in Dubuque, Iowa. My father practiced optometry in Dubuque and attended the same optometry college in Chicago that I attended. I am married and have an adult son who is engaged. My wife and I have lived in suburban Barrington, where my office is located, for many years.
Outside of volunteering with CommunityHealth, how do you like to spend your free time?
I am an avid pickleball player and golfer. My wife and I enjoy traveling and, if possible, we take our 2 miniature dachshunds.
Why and how did you begin volunteering at CommunityHealth?
Around 2011, I was looking to volunteer my professional skills and I found CommunityHealth on the internet while searching Chicago.
Do you remember your first day? What surprised you?
I was a bit overwhelmed by the electronic medical records but I just “dove” right in!
What has kept you volunteering all this time?
The enjoyment is in using my professional skills to help an underserved population and the “team” at CommunityHealth has made the journey a very enjoyable one.
What is something you’ve learned from volunteering at CommunityHealth?
Language is not a barrier to helping people in need.
How has working with CommunityHealth influenced your perception of healthcare?
The “working poor” are a real part of society and CommunityHealth has allowed me to help them in some small way. This has enhanced my fulfillment as a doctor.
How can CommunityHealth be more supportive of your journey?
Updating old and unreliable equipment when possible helps me to better serve CommunityHealth patients.
What advice would you give to a new volunteer at CommunityHealth?
Don’t be afraid to use your abilities, whatever they are, to help the patients at CommunityHealth. The reward for helping others is worth the effort!
Thank you so much to Dr. Tabak for his commitment to our patients. You make a difference in so many lives and CommunityHealth is so grateful to have you on the team!