Vision for community

Posted on 16 April 2014



Story by Ashley Johnson

Lisa Martin

If you don’t find Dr. Lisa Martin coaching her children’s tee ball team on a Saturday afternoon, you may want to try Fellowship Baptist Church where she teaches the Wee Kids program — or maybe she is in a classroom at Bainbridge Middle School dissecting cow eyeballs with students.

Dr. Lisa Martin, an optometrist with Bainbridge Ophthalmology and Memorial Hospital and Manor, serves the community as well as her family of five — which will soon be a family of six when her newborn arrives this spring.

A native of Climax and Bainbridge, Martin graduated from Bainbridge High School, earned an Associate’s Degree in Biology from Bainbridge State College and then pursued her Bachelor’s Degree and Doctorate, going to Valdosta State and the College of Optometry at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

But despite all the prestigious degrees displayed in her office, Martin said the most valuable experiences in her education came in Bainbridge.

“In high school I did the apprenticeship program and that really helped me learn that I wanted to go into medicine,” Martin said, who now is part of the program herself, letting students of all levels shadow her and learn about her profession in hopes the outcome will be the same — they will be inspired to go into medicine as well. “I was part of the school system here and I know what it meant for me growing up to have people come to speak to me and be in the apprenticeship program. Hopefully one day these students in the program now will go off and go into the medical field and maybe one day they will want to follow in my footsteps and practice in their hometown.”

Martin and husband Brent decided to return to Bainbridge for her practice “because Bainbridge is home” for them both, but she also wanted to sew into the community what she was given educationally.

She works in the school system mentoring children of all ages hoping to give them just that — hope.  Martin said she tries to give children a positive view of Bainbridge and teach them to value their upbringing here. She speaks to classrooms across the schools system, mentors, teaches classes at church and was previously a coordinator for the Pilot Club.

“I just had such an amazing childhood in Bainbridge, I want to give some of that back and show these students that you don’t have to go away to get your core classes to get to medical school, you can do it right here at Bainbridge State College,” Martin said.

Martin left her own private practice to join the Memorial team where she now partners with Dr. Aric Aldridge. She said she now has the best of both worlds — she treats patients throughout the day but still has time for her growing family and all of their activities.

Her passion for faith and raising her children to be community servants resonates in her belief in medicine.

“Medicine sometimes can only take you so far,” Martin said. “But you have to have faith to go even farther.”

Martin is not afraid to hold the hand of a patient and pray with them after a diagnosis.

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