From the moment Dr. Kevin Johnson put on his first eyeglasses as a kid he knew he wanted to be an optometrist.
“I was honestly inspired by my first eye exam as a child,” Johnson said. “I put the glasses on and was like ‘oh my gosh I can see the leaves instead of a green blur.’ I thought it was fun you could go to the eye doctor and see immediate results.”
That inspiration led Johnson to a career in eye care and the Maryland Optometric Association (MOA) recently named Johnson, who is an eye doctor at Peepers of Severna Park, Young Optometrist of the Year.
Johnson has been at Peepers for four years and the MOA recognized him for his leadership and volunteer work.
“I was flattered,” Johnson said. “I think when you get an award like this especially with the young part it is an inspiration to do more and more.”
The 35-year-old doctor volunteers his time for the Polakoff Foundation, which gives free glaucoma screenings. He also participates in Eye Care for the Homeless, which offers free eye exams to those in need.
While Johnson said he certainly enjoys his volunteer work, and is looking for more ways to give back, it is his home at Peepers in Severna Park that really allows him to excel.
“The practice is filled with a pleasant team of doctors, managers, opticians and technicians who really enjoy their job, and patients who actually look happy to be at a doctor's office,” he said. “When you enjoy what you do, it's not work and that's how I feel about Peepers and serving the Severna Park community.”
Johnson grew up in Indiana outside of Chicago and came to Anne Arundel County for the job at Peepers. He now lives in Annapolis.
The Young Optometrist of the Year award was presented to Johnson on Dec. 2 at an annual convention. Johnson joked that his mom was so proud and supportive he wouldn’t be surprised if she called the local paper in Indiana to brag about her son.
Coming to Severna Park from Indiana was a big change for Johnson, but it is one he said was a perfect fit. He enjoys the community, his job and sees himself at Peepers in Severna Park for a long time.
“I feel like I have really lucked out in life, with the practice, my partners and patients,” Johnson said. “It’s just a wonderful place to be. I will be here for the next 30 years guaranteed.”