Dr. Michelle Mumford always knew she wanted to work in the medical field, but it was because she started wearing (very unfashionable) glasses at age seven and contact lenses at age eleven that her interest in Optometry grew. Her father, also a physician, stressed early on to her and her sister that whatever work they chose in life should be their passion – and that’s exactly what eye health and vision is to Dr. Mumford.
“Protecting my patient’s vision and eye health is the most important part of my job – and I take it very seriously – but it’s also very important to me for our patients leave our office happy and confident.”
She obviously recognizes the value in good vision health, but also emphasizes that style can’t be sacrificed. As a kid growing up with glasses that lacked any sort of “style” (and that’s putting it lightly), Dr. Mumford is acutely aware that the right glasses make all the difference. That’s why she’s stocked the Innovative Eye Care boutique with the best selection of designer eyeglasses and sunglasses around PLUS the biggest variety of contact lenses. She’s created a warm, friendly environment that makes patients leaving feeling better about themselves.
“To see a patient’s eyes light up after putting on new glasses or contact lenses is the reason I do what I do – it never gets old.”
Dr. Mumford is also an expert in fitting contact lenses, including specialty lenses. She has successfully fit hundreds of patients with contact lenses in even the most challenging circumstances.
Dr. Mumford graduated from Auburn University with honors and received her Doctor of Optometry from The Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee. She is a member of the American Optometric Association, the North Carolina State Optometric Society, and the Piedmont Optometric Society.
A native Tennessean, Dr. Mumford and her husband, Jeff (her high school sweetheart!), now call their home city Charlotte a “perfect melting pot of newcomers and natives.” And in case you were wondering, even eye doctors have a life outside of the office. Dr. Mumford and her husband stay super busy keeping up with their two very active children, Amelia and Oliver. She also loves to shop, read, exercise, travel, or soak in the sun on the lake (always wearing the most fashionable sunglasses, of course!). She’s thankful EVERYDAY that glasses are once again “cool” – because they definitely weren’t when she was young.
Dr. Kara Barrett is an integral part of the team at Innovative Eye Care. Her priority is to make each patient feel like their voice is heard, and from her first conversation with Dr. Mumford, she knew this was the place she belonged. “Ever since I realized that being an optometrist was my calling, I knew the level of care I wanted to provide. Sight is something that is interpreted differently for each person and I love being able to give each patient all my time and attention to help them achieve their goals.”
So what helped Dr. Barrett decide to pursue optometry? A connection with her neighbors, a visually-impaired man and his sweet golden retriever guide dog, while she was in her first year at Meredith College. Their conversations helped her truly appreciate the value of vision and how precious it is. Dr. Barrett always knew she wanted to pursue a career in healthcare because she loved the idea of interacting and meeting new people every day, but there was one hesitation: she is very squeamish around blood! But after one especially emotional conversation, Dr. Barrett had a “light-bulb moment” and realized that she was meant to help others by enhancing and preserving their vision. She loves that she is now able to do just that, all while forming bonds and relationships with people in her community.
Once Dr. Barrett realized that optometry was her future, she found any opportunity she could to gain experience in the field. Her first position was as a patient care coordinator when she was eighteen, and since then has worked in several different optometry offices in essentially every position there is. She knew she eventually wanted to be in the doctor’s chair, and once she graduated from Meredith she moved to Memphis, Tennessee to attend the Southern College of Optometry. There she received her Doctorate of Optometry with honors. She has since become licensed in North Carolina and is a member of the American Optometric Association as well as the North Carolina Optometric Association.
A native of Jacksonville, North Carolina, Dr. Barrett now lives in Charlotte with her partner Ryan and goldendoodle Obie. When she’s not in the office, Dr. Barrett enjoys trying new workout classes, gardening, and getting in way over her head with home renovation projects. She is also obsessed with organizing and is always trying to find ways to declutter her house – yes, this does bring her joy! Dr. Barrett’s upbeat and bubbly personality is infectious and we can’t wait for you to meet her – she is amazing.
Dr. Sarah Kenning is one of our highly qualified doctors here at Innovative Eye Care. She always knew she was interested in a health sciences career, and after spending time shadowing various healthcare providers during her undergraduate studies, she decided that optometry was the right fit for her. We are so glad she did, because Dr. Kenning is an incredible addition to our team! Her favorite part of the job is “problem-solving with patients,” she says, “and the satisfaction of helping my patients see their best, feel their best, and trust that they’re in good hands.” The thoughtfulness, care, and dedication that she brings to each patient interaction make her a beloved member of our team.
Dr. Kenning hails from Kansas, where she attended the University of Kansas for her undergraduate degree in Biology (Go Jayhawks!). She completed her Doctorate of Optometry degree at the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee. Upon receiving her doctorate, she returned to Kansas for a post-doctoral residency with the Kansas City Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital, where she specialized in ocular disease and low vision. She worked at the VA for several years caring for veterans with ocular disease and precepting students and residents before joining Dr. Mumford in private practice.
Dr. Kenning’s post-doctoral residency and her experience providing vision and medical care for our nation’s Veterans give her a unique, dynamic background that is incredibly beneficial to our patients here at Innovative. She specializes in ocular disease management– from acute conditions to chronic ocular diseases such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.
Dr. Kenning uses her experience with low vision rehabilitation to help patients who have suffered permanent vision loss to maximize their remaining vision and uses her knowledge of ocular diseases to ensure patients understand their conditions. She also loves supporting patients with low vision, and her background in ocular disease ensures every single patient receives the best possible care.
Dr. Kenning loves living in Charlotte, which has been her home for the last several years. Her favorite parts of the city include the Whitewater Center, the mix and rivalry of great college basketball teams, and the absence of brutally cold Kansan winters. She loves exploring Charlotte’s dog-friendly spots with Charlie, her Wheaten Terrier mix, enjoying the fresh air in Freedom Park, and attending local trivia and comedy shows. She is a devoted aunt to her niece and nephew and a skilled, compassionate healthcare provider for her patients here at Innovative Eye Care. We can’t wait for you to get to know Dr. Sarah Kenning!