As a child growing up in West Hartford, Alan Solinsky went door to door collecting money for Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War and organized neighborhood “Summer Fun Fairs” to raise funds for the American Heart Association to honor his grandmother.
That young boy would grow up to be an ophthalmologist and medical
director of Solinsky EyeCare, a thriving practice located on Farmington Avenue in West Hartford Center. But he hasn’t forgotten the college essay he wrote that stated: “One should strive to reach their fullest potential for the benefit of others as well as themselves.”
For Solinsky, being a doctor not only means treating and helping patients but also giving back to the communities where medical professionals practice and live.
Solinsky’s ophthalmology practice is “deeply committed to community service,” according to practice manager Carra Zukowski. The “missionary work” focuses on Hartford’s inner city, with the many underprivileged Medicaid and uninsured patients constituting a third of the practice’s 30,000 patient visits each year, according to materials supplied by Solinsky EyeCare to Patch.
Solinsky is proud of playing a role in creating three full-service eye clinics at Community Health Services of Hartford and East Hartford and the Charter Oak Health Center in Hartford. Solinsky EyeCare has 11 satellite locations in the Greater Hartford area, where optometrists serve the needy with donated equipment. Solinsky hired bilingual optometrists to staff the clinics.
“We are proud to provide ‘Eyecare for Hartford,’” he said.
Through the “Gift of Sight Program,” Solinsky’s practice arranges for patients to receive free or low-cost eye surgery on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. “We do follow-ups with patients on Thanksgiving Day and staff members volunteer to come into the office to assist,” added Zukowski.
The staff is also fully committed to charity work. Once a month, staff members donate money for dress down charity days and Solinsky doubles or triples the donation, said Zukowski. Staff members then are allowed to select their favorite charities.
Alan and his wife Susan, who is a geriatric nurse practitioner at the UConn Health Center, have three children who graduated from the Solomon Schechter Day School in West Hartford. Solinsky served as the school’s chairman of the board, the chair of its scholarship committee and chairman of fund development. He was instrumental in securing funding for the annual eighth grade class trip to Israel and helped underwrite numerous events, including funding for coaches for the school’s basketball team. All three of the Solinsky children — Lara, Brian and Jason — were recipients of the Jewish day school’s annual award honoring the child who most demonstrates kindness to others.
The son of Frances and Norman Solinsky of West Hartford, Alan is a graduate of Brandeis University and the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. He has been selected by Consumer’s Research as one of America’s best ophthalmologists.
At age 52, he works long hours. He is driven and focused, yet he is soft-spoken and radiates warmth and calm. In his free time, he travels, loves to ski and is an avid New York Yankees fan. He often generously donates his season tickets to other baseball fans.
“I am motivated to give money and time to charitable organizations that are able to achieve greater good than individuals working alone can accomplish,” said Solinsky. “It is rewarding to see how people coming together to do good things can better their communities and in some cases, the wider world.”