After more than 35 years as a solo practitioner on East Brainerd
Road, local optometrist Gene Rudnick, O.D. is joining Kapperman and White Eyecare on Gunbarrel Road
near the mall.
Dr. Rudnick set up practice in 1977 after graduating from the University of Houston School of Optometry.
He chose Chattanooga because it was just the right size, still close to bigger cities like Atlanta, and
offered great outdoor recreation.
“I started from ground zero over 35 years ago. It took some time to establish myself, but we grew into a
nice, family practice,” he said.
“I find that if you own something, you’re a little more concerned with the final product and outcome.
The patients I see are appreciative of this approach. I feel that this philosophy causes me to spend more
time listening to the patients concerns and needs."
He decided to merge with Mark Kapperman, O.D. , Troy White, O.D. and Rob McGarvey, O.D. because
his location was sold to developers and the move would bring advantages to his patients.
“Kapperman and White Eyecare have diagnostic instruments I don’t have, they have an expanded frame
selection, and they have state-of-the-art exam rooms,” Dr. Rudnick said. “It made sense to me to combine
our efforts for the good of the patients. Our philosophies of care are very similar and I know my patients will get great personal service here. Staying in private practice has always been the most important part of my career.”
In an age when most physicians are part of a large system, these four optometrists have remained in
private practice for decades. Being locally-owned and operated, they make their own management and
marketing decisions and are very hands on in their practice.
Dr. Mark Kapperman set up practice on Gunbarrel Road in 1988. It was moved to its current location in
the Gunbarrel Professional Center in 1995. In 1999, Chattanooga native Dr. Troy White joined the
practice and the name was changed to Kapperman and White Eyecare. In 2008 they added Dr. Rob
“Our practice growth is a testament to the vibrant Chattanooga area,” Dr. Kapperman said. “Our team does
their part by working hard to provide great eye care and the town does its part by attracting jobs and
economic growth to our area. In these days of large retail chains and health care systems we are glad
we are staying private. All of us are vested in making this practice the best it can be.”
All four are doctors of optometry. The American Optometric Association (AOA) defines doctors of
optometry (ODs) as primary health care professionals for the eye. Optometrists examine, diagnose,
treat, and manage diseases, injuries, and disorders of the visual system, the eye, and associated
structures, as well as identify related systemic conditions affecting the eye. ODs prescribe medications,
low vision rehabilitation, vision therapy, spectacle lenses, contact lenses, and perform minor in-office
According to the AOA there are about 36,000 optometrists performing about two-thirds of the primary
eye care in this country. A majority of their practices are still locally-owned and operated like
Kapperman and White Eyecare.
Kapperman and White Eyecare is at 1720 Gunbarrel Rd. and is open Monday through Friday
from 7:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.