Optometrist eyes bright future in Chandler - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Optometrist eyes bright future in Chandler

November 9th, 2022 SanTan Sun News
Optometrist eyes bright future in Chandler

By Josh Ortega
Staff Writer

Perhaps God’s vision helped Dr. Anh Tieu to found her optometry office.

Tieu owns Agape Eye Care, 2055 W. Frye Road, Chandler, choosing the biblical word for unconditional love as its namesake.

Tieu said it perfectly also describes her values and her story, explaining it is “the only kind of love that is not attached to human emotion, and it was my story.”

Her family came to the United States from Vietnam, which was where her great grandparents settled when they migrated from China.

Tieu, whose family arrived in America when she was about 2, she grew up in Orange County, California.

In 1995, she graduated as valedictorian from Artesia High School in Lakewood, California, where she won a science award that earned her two scholarships from Bausch and Lomb eye health company and the University of Rochester.

The first in her family to go to college, Tieu completed her undergrad work at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York, and graduated from the Southern California College of Optometry in Yorba Linda, California, in 1999.

She obtained several internships, including one at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Santa Barbara, California.

An internship on the Gila River Indian Reservation in Sacaton brought her to Arizona and changed her life forever.

At age 25, Tieu said she started to open her eyes to the Christian faith and still remembers purchasing her first Bible at the Barnes and Noble in the Chandler Fashion Center.

Tieu said it wasn’t one person but a series of events in her life that introduced to her faith, and she said it has grown ever since.

“The Lord started showing me signs and almost like almost a cue,” Tieu said. “I saw there was signs of God everywhere I went.”

Tieu moved to Arizona in 2004 and floated around several positions for some time before she focused on one place.

In 2006, she opened Market Street Optometry inside a Costco in Gilbert and built a large practice for 16 years.

“I put all my heart into it,” Tieu said. “And I’ve had so many patients that have followed me through the years that we see each other like family.”

But in February, Tieu said she suddenly received a 30-day notice to vacate the location.

“Unfortunately, something happened and I wasn’t welcomed there anymore now,” Tieu said. “They didn’t give me a reason why.”

Although she holds no animosity against the company now, Tieu said she felt so heartbroken that it felt like a divorce.

Over the course of five months, Tieu said she began frantically looking for a new location.

“Before work, during lunch, after work, I would go and see these locations out,” Tieu said. “But amazingly, I found my location here.”

Three week after she left her previous location, Tieu said she had several people helping her find a new location and one struck pay dirt.

Unfortunately, Tieu said she had a previous appointment that day but the friend insisted on showing her the location at 11 a.m., despite not having an address yet.

After her appointment, Tieu said she had received an address for the potential location and inputted it to her GPS.

“So, I luckily got out at 10:40 a.m. and input it into my GPS,” Tieu said. “And then it said to go straight and turn right, and I said, ‘What?’”

The location was across the street from her appointment.

Tieu said she fell in love with the location, which previously had been a physical therapist’s office.

Despite supply chain issues and contractor cancellations, Tieu built her new home with the help of her faith.

“It’s a miracle to me,” Tieu said, who believes she withstood the disappointments of finding a new shop because “I chose love instead of anger or hate or resentment.”

Though she had testimonies from her patients about her great work at her previous location, Tieu said it feels like fate goaded her out of her comfort zone to something greater.

“It almost gives me a push to do something better that I didn’t realize that I could do,” Tieu said.

Though currently with a staff of about five employees and two part-time doctors, Tieu hopes to expand to offer full-time services.

About two-thirds of her customers have stuck by her for more than 10 years.

Tieu said she’s enjoyed serving them and watching their kids grow up.

Tieu said the biggest struggle is getting the word out about her new location to a large customer base that she considers family, but looks forward to serving them in her new location.

“My heart is always to serve. And I wanat to give the best of what I know that in my capacity to give my patients,” Tieu said. “I want you to be able to serve them and provide them that and just know that it’s always from the heart first.”