Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category


Eye Partners Offices Participate in Giving Tuesday

Friday, December 7th, 2018 
   

South Georgia/ North Florida first wants to begin by saying how proud we are of each of our offices for embracing #givingtuesday! We hope to make this part of our annual tradition at SGNF Eye Partners during the holiday season moving forward. Each office has been so proactive in this project and has given back in such BIG ways!

The Tifton office donated to the Tifton Rehabilitation Center items such as blankets, grip socks, games, and books. Staff will be offering up their cosmetology skills, while others will clean glasses and adjust frames, all spending quality time with the residents/patients.

Our Moultrie office donated food to the oncology department at Tift Regional for those patients and their families. Thanks ladies for your golden hearts!

Madison is collecting canned food items for donation to Dr. Hill’s church in Tallahassee, FL. Thank you Madison for your support and giving hearts.

Valdosta collected hygiene products and put together individual gift bags filled with toothpaste, toothbrushes, germx, deodorant, and bottled water to donate to Project Rescue Outreach Ministries who will use these gift bags as they help out the homeless here in Valdosta. Valdosta is also hosting a special clinic Friday afternoon for the women and children of The Haven battered women’s shelter. Proud of you Valdosta for the effort and time you’re donating in giving back to your community in such a meaningful way!

Last, but certainly not least, Douglas has also been busy with their #givingtuesday initiative. They spent time with the residents of Vista Park assisted living home, placed American Flags in downtown Douglas as part of the Lion’s Club initiative honoring and saluting our veterans, and lastly – donating time ringing the salvation army bell.

Our Eye Partners offices continue to be such a shining light in our communities!


Dr. Wes Ross Joins Mission Trip to Honduras

Monday, November 12th, 2018 
   

This September, South Georgia/ North Florida Ophthalmologist Dr. Wes Ross traveled to Honduras with a mission group to conduct medical clinics and volunteer construction in several rural villages.  The group is called IC13; they’re based in Nashville, TN and they make a few trips a year to hold these clinics and help with infrastructure.

Dr. Ross and his wife, Shannon – a registered nurse – joined the group that included two ER doctors, a cardiologist, dentists, nurses and technicians.  The two worked in 4 villages over 4 days – each day riding 1-2 hours into some mountainous regions to get there.

“Generally around 700 people came to each clinic each day for medical exams, medicines, dental procedures, and we say over 100-150 people in the eye clinic each day,” recalls Dr. Ross.

The clinics took place in open-air school buildings in the center of the villages, and most of the work that Dr. Ross was involved in was determining which glasses (of the over 500 pairs of prescriptions glasses donated and several hundred pairs of over-the-counter reader glasses) would help the person the most and matching a pair of donated glasses to them.

Dr. Ross said that there were a few people that had issues requiring surgery, and the IC13 organization was able to pay for them to go to the ophthalmology clinic at the nearest city to be treated.

“We found lots of cataracts, some glaucoma, a few congenital issues, and a retinal detachment that we were able to refer,” says Dr. Ross. “Shannon has helped me run our eye clinics on our previous trips to Uganda, so we were able to really run things efficiently together.”

Our Eye Partners family is so proud to have Dr. Ross as a part of our team – he truly gives back in every way.

 


Our Optometrists: The Heart of Our Practice

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018 
   

Here at South Georgia/ North Florida Eye Partners, our optometrists are at the heart of our practice…and their expertise and compassion shine through with each and every patient.  We are lucky to have a team of eye doctors that not only work together, but work with YOU to make a difference in how you see the world.

Our optometrists at Eye Partners include: Dr. Eric Kolisz, Dr. Valerie Ferrell, Dr. Lauren Rowe, Dr. Melanie Hill and Dr. Jodie Norman.  With five board-certified eye doctors (not including our three highly skilled ophthalmologists), and our team of eye care specialists, we are more than equipped to handle all of your vision needs.

Our optometrists not only perform the standard eye exams used to diagnose and treat many vision issues, they also use the latest in technology (such as Optomap imaging) and are trained to treat pediatric patients, patients with glaucoma, run the Low Vision Clinic and much much more.

Above all, Eye Partners optometrists build relationships with our patients.  The better we know you, and the more comfortable you are with us, the better we can help you see the world in a whole new light.  Click here to learn more about our team and call us for an appointment today!


Dr. Valerie Ferrell’s Story: “My own child was on the verge of a major vision issue.”

Thursday, August 30th, 2018 
   

No one is immune to vision issues, including medical professionals, as our optometrist Dr. Valerie Ferrell of South Georgia/North Florida Eye Partners recently discovered.

Dr. Ferrell’s daughter, Savannah, who is four years old, had the required vision screening and health exam this summer to enter Pre-K.  With no previous concerns about Savannah’s vision, Dr. Ferrell wasn’t surprised when she passed the screening at her pediatrician’s office.  Savannah often pointed out birds and airplanes and could see the television with no problem – her exact words to her mom had always been, “I see fine, Mommy.”  But during the screening, Dr. Ferrell did notice Savannah squinting slightly to see the chart.  And, the test also showed one eye could see a little better than the other, not an uncommon occurrence.

However, because of these small clues, Dr. Ferrell decided to investigate further and give Savannah a complete eye exam.  To “Dr. Mom’s” surprise, she found Savannah has an extremely high amount of astigmatism, something unlikely to be discovered in a standard vision exam at a pediatrician’s office.  In fact, Dr. Ferrell discovered that Savannah’s astigmatism is high enough to cause refractive amblyopia, a condition that prevents the vision from developing normally, in both eyes.  Thankfully, the condition can be prevented if caught early, typically before age six, and glasses are prescribed.

Dr. Ferrell prescribed Savannah glasses, and John Moore the lead optician at Eye Partners, recommended the Miraflex frames designed for small children since they are extra durable and easy to keep on because of a comfortable strap.   Savannah got two pairs (a back up pair is essential for small children!) and was even able to get them in her favorite color…purple!

Savannah loves the way she looks in her glasses and she says, “everything looks bigger now!”  They’re so comfortable she even falls asleep wearing them sometimes.  And after a few weeks of wearing the glasses, Dr. Ferrell performed a recheck, and Savannah’s vision is now 20/20!

Our team at Eye Partners hopes Savannah and Dr. Ferrell’s story to be a cautionary tale to parents of young children.  In Dr. Ferrell’s words, “I urge all parents to get their children’s eyes checked via a complete eye exam with an eye doctor around age 3 or 4 – or sooner if a problem is noticed before then.  All of the doctors at South Georgia/North Florida Eye Partners are trained in prescribing glasses and providing routine care for pediatric patients.”

If you would like to schedule an eye exam for your little one, please call South Georgia / North Florida Eye Partners today.  With five locations including Valdosta, Tifton, Douglas, Moultrie, and Madison, FL, you are sure to find an office near you.  Hope to see you soon!


South Georgia/North Florida Optical Shops: Our Focus is on You

Monday, August 20th, 2018 
   

Ideally, an optical shop would be well-stocked with hundreds of stylish frames, staffed with experts to help fit your glasses and teach you about them as well, and in a convenient location. South Georgia/North Florida is pleased to provide all of these things for our patients – and in five locations!  Currently Eye Partners has Optical Shops in Valdosta, Tifton, Douglas, Moultrie and Madison, Florida.

All of our optical shops offer excellent patient care provided by our knowledgeable and personable Opticians and onsite labs at four of our five shops for quick-turnaround and quality control. We strive to educate our patients about the state of the art Digital High Definition Lenses we carry and the treatments available for their lenses to enhance their visions.  This helps improve the quality of life for our patients in their daily routines – work, home or play!

We carry a large variety of eyewear in all of our shops. Safety and Sports glasses are available for a wide range of task-specific activities.  We also stock contact lenses (whether dailies or soft monthly wear, gas permeable or scleral) and specialty fit contact lenses as well.  BluTech Lenses, both prescription and non prescription, are available and highly recommended by our staff to filter out the harmful Blue Light emitted by all the devices we use on a daily basis such as computers, cell phones, tablets and LED lights.

All optical shop locations also have a huge sunglass wall full of the latest nonprescription sunglasses for your eye protection and eye health.  Our shops carry many brand names as well as basic frames – something for every budget.  Some name brands we carry are:  Tom Ford, Persol, Prada, Tiffany & Co., Tory Burch, Coach, Miu Miu, Versace, Ray Ban, Oakley, Jimmy Choo, Moncler, Silhouette, Tommy Hilfiger, Brooks Brothers, BCBG, Costa del Mar and many others.

South Georgia/North Florida Eye Partners accepts most insurance plans and offer a package for any budget.  We accept outside prescriptions and walk-ins are welcome.  We’d love for you to make us your destination for all your eye care needs. We look forward to meeting you and making your experience with us rise above the rest.  See you there!


Big News! Dr. Garrett Webster Joins South Georgia / North Florida Eye Partners

Friday, July 27th, 2018 
   

We are so excited to announce that we are bringing a new ophthalmologist on board at South Georgia/North Florida Eye Partners! Dr. Garrett Webster is now a part of the Eye Partners family.

Dr. Webster graduated from the University of South Carolina’s School of Medicine in 2014. He specializes in comprehensive cataract surgery.  Dr. Webster grew up on family farm in Augusta, and is looking forward to becoming a part of Valdosta and south Georgia! He and his wife, Sydney, have a daughter, Ginny, who is not quite 2 years old, and a sweet Boykin Spaniel, Brice.

South Georgia/North Florida Eye Partners is thrilled to add this accomplished physician to our staff. The more we grow, the better we can serve our patients.


State-of-the-Art Surgery Center Dedicated to Your Needs

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018 
   

Delivering the latest eye care technology to our patients is important to the physicians at South Georgia / North Florida Eye Partners. We specialize in advanced eye surgeries – such as iLASIK surgery and laser assisted cataract surgery – and stay on the cutting edge of technology that results in better care for our patients. We achieve the optimal experience for our patients through our surgeons, staff and our state-of-the-art surgery center in Valdosta.

Our surgery center – dedicated solely to ophthalmologic procedures – was completed in 2017 and is outfitted with the latest in surgical technology. With a surgery center in Valdosta, patients can receive pre-op and post-op care as well as undergo their actual procedures without having to be admitted into the hospital.

“Being able to perform the types of surgeries that we do for our patients in a state-of-the art facility and in a location that is convenient for them means everything,” says ophthalmologist Dr. Wes Ross. “The patient is the most important part of our practice, and I love knowing we provide top notch service and care.”

Eye Partners provide the expertise, experience, and technology to our patients in South Georgia and North Florida who would otherwise have to travel a much greater distance. Eye Partners’ team of ophthalmologists, Dr. Scott Petermann, Dr. Wes Ross, and Dr. Garrett Webster (joining our practice in August of this year), perform iLASIK surgery and cataract surgery with LenSx® as outpatient procedures at our state-of-the-art surgery center in Valdosta. Pre-op and post-op visits for our patients can be scheduled at any of our locations: Tifton, Valdosta, Douglas, Moultrie, and Madison, FL.


Glaucoma: Early Diagnosis Through Optomap

Tuesday, July 17th, 2018 
   

The American Optometric Association defines glaucoma as a group of eye disorders leading to progressive damage to the optic nerve.  It is characterized by the loss of nerve tissue that results in declining vision and in advanced stages may cause blindness.

Glaucoma most often occurs in people over age 40, although a congenital or infantile form of glaucoma does exist.  People with a family history of glaucoma have a higher risk of developing the disease; other risk factors include thinner corneas, chronic eye inflammation, ocular trauma and using medications that increase pressure in the eyes.

How is glaucoma diagnosed?

“Glaucoma is diagnosed through a comprehensive eye examination,” said Dr. Eric Kolisz, an optometrist with South Georgia North Florida Eye Partners.  “One test method that can reveal glaucoma in the early stage is Optomap, a vision screening tool we use at all five of our SGEP locations in Valdosta, Tifton, Douglas, Moultrie and in Madison, FL.  Simply put, Optomap’s ultra-wide field retinal imaging is a unique technology that captures more than 80% of your retina in one panoramic photo which can help with early detection of everything from vision impairment such as glaucoma to life-threatening diseases such as certain cancers and other health issues.”

The unique Optomap view helps your eye care practitioner detect early signs of eye diseases without having to dilate your eyes; and of course, early detection means successful treatments can be administered reducing the risk to your sight and health.

If glaucoma is detected, treatment often includes either medications to reduce elevated intraocular pressure or in some cases, surgery.  While there is no cure for glaucoma, treatment keeping eye pressure under control is highly successful and can slow damage to the optic nerve meaning the continued loss of your visual field may slow or stop.

“Regular eye exams, particularly for people over the age of 40, can help detect eye issues, including glaucoma, early,” said Dr. Kolisz. “Of course, if you have a change in your vision between scheduled visits, it is important to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor.  So many vision issues can be corrected or the damage is lessened when treated early.”

South Georgia/North Florida Eye Partners diagnoses and treats all types of glaucoma through medications and surgeries, if necessary.  Call Eye Partners today to set up an appointmentif you feel you are showing signs of glaucoma and would like to start taking control of your eye health.


Physician Spotlight: Dr. Melanie Hill

Tuesday, June 19th, 2018 
   

This month our doctor spotlight is on Dr. Melanie Hill.  Dr. Hill works in our Madison, Florida, office and has been a great addition to the South Georgia/North Florida Eye Partners team.  Dr. Hill graduated from the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee, where she met her husband, Cory.  They graduated together, and moved together to Cory’s native Florida in 2000.  They have now been married for 18 years.

Dr. Hill got her undergraduate degree at the University of Missouri and is a huge sports fan…she loves her Mizzou Tigers!  She also is an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan – as she says, “I take my baseball very seriously.”  She and her husband have two children, Reagan (13) and Cooper (8).  Dr. Hill says most of her free time is spent chasing her kids and being a “typical taxi mom” – taking their kids to ballet and baseball and back again.  The Hills also love to snow ski (they try to take a trip once a year) as well as playing their pool and grilling out.

Dr. Hill and her family are very active at Faith Presbyterian Church in Tallahassee.  She is an Elder at their church and the co-Moderator of the Children and Families Committee as well as a Sunday school teacher.

When reflecting on her adopted hometown of Madison and her team at South Georgia/North Florida Eye Partners, Dr. Hill says, “I grew up in a small town, and in many ways, Madison reminds me of home.  I love that in a small town I am able to take care of generations of families.  Joining SGEP has been a huge blessing.  We have so many more resources available to us now.  Having Dr. Petermann come into the Madison office monthly saves people rom having to travel so far.”  Dr. Hill also added that “there is just a higher level of care that I am so glad can be given to the people in Madison county.”

We are proud to have you on our team, Dr. Hill.  You have added so much to our practice.


June – Cataract Awareness Month

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018 
   
June is Cataract Awareness Month, and South Georgia/North Florida Eye Partners is committed to keeping our patients educated about early detection, treatment and available corrective surgeries.  Most people over 65 have some degree of cataract development.  A cataract is the gradual clouding of the natural lens that is inside your eye.  In order for the eye to work properly, it needs a clear lens to focus light on the retina.
Cataracts, the leading cause of preventable blindness, develop when the eye’s lens becomes cloudy which impairs vision.  Surgery to remove the old lens and replace it with a new clear lens is an effective method for improving poor eyesight due to cataract development.
Eye Partners’ own Dr. Scott Petermann & Dr. Wes Ross perform LenSx® – a blade-free, laser-assisted cataract surgery as well as traditional cataract surgery in our new state-of-the-art surgery center in Valdosta.
This new technology is an advanced alternative to traditional cataract surgery, which utilizes surgical blades.  LenSx® provides the surgeon with micron-level precision and improved predictability.  The procedure is tailored to the surgeon’s specifications and delivers a remarkable degree of accuracy.  By creating the incision and fragmenting the clouded lens with LenSx®, the surgeon creates a precise opening for the new lens to be optimally positioned.  You can watch our patient videos here – hear the stories from actual Eye Partners patients who went through the laster-assisted cataract surgery.
Eye Partners performs cataract surgery with LenSx® as an outpatient procedure at our surgery center in Valdosta.  Pre-op and post-op visits for Eye Partners patients can be scheduled in Valdosta, Tifton, Moultrie and Douglas.  Our South Georgia/North Florida Eye Partners patients can schedule their visits at our Madison, FL location.
South Georgia/North Florida Eye Partners – with locations in Valdosta, Tifton, Moultrie, Douglas & Madison, FL – specializes in LASIK and cataract surgery with premium lens implants, glaucoma diagnosis and treatment, comprehensive eye exams for the whole family and a Dry Eye Clinic.  Eye Partners also has Optical Shops fully stocked with designer frames and sunglasses to fit your style and personality.  To make an appointment with one of Eye Partners’ physicians or find our locations and hours, click here