COA Vision Blog

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July 9, 2020 Uncategorized

For the past year, Dr. Lauren Davis has served as our Ocular Disease Resident. And, now that she has completed her COA residency, she is returning to Texas to work in private practice. Dr. Davis has been a truly valuable member of our team, and we wish her all the best as she leaves Ohio!

During the past few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Davis’s dedication, talent, and efforts were especially appreciated by all the team members who worked with her and all the patients who she helped. Though we will miss having her in both of our offices, we know she will continue to do wonderful things. We have gathered some words from Dr. Davis, herself, along with notes from our COA team as we wish Dr. Davis all the best in the next chapter of her optometry career! 

A Note from Dr. Lauren Davis:

“I cannot believe that my year here at COA has come to an end. First and foremost, I want to say a heartfelt thank you to every member of the COA family. The doctors, technicians, and staff made me feel welcome from the start and have played a huge part in making this year so special.

I chose a residency because I wanted to be able to provide the most comprehensive care to my patients throughout my career. This meant specializing in ocular disease diagnosis and management in addition to prescribing glasses and contact lenses. I came into this experience unsure of what to expect, but hoping to learn as much as I could from both the doctors and the patients during my year-long program. Looking back, I can honestly say I had no idea I could come so far in such a short time. 

I had the privilege of observing every surgeon here at COA—both in the operating room and the clinic. From cataract surgery to blepharoplasty and corneal transplants, watching these procedures live while also having surgeons walk me through every step was an invaluable experience. Working in the clinic involved a mix of standard optometry patients as well as more complex pre- and post-operative management cases. My favorite part of this experience was that every morning was an opportunity to learn. This work taught me how to think on my feet and allowed me to see a variety of conditions.

I could not be more thankful for this year and what I have experienced. I am forever grateful to the doctors and staff of COA and will take what I learned into my career and beyond!”

A Note from COA’s Founder, Dr. Richard Orlando:

“One of the things I enjoyed the most in my 40 years as a physician was teaching the next generation of doctors. It was my good fortune that Dr. Lauren Davis was the very last resident I worked with during my career. Dr. Davis exhibits everything you would want in a doctor…she is insightful, curious, and a self-starter. She researches and studies for long hours after work in the clinic to learn about the disease process and its management. 

Dr. Davis lecturing at the East West Destinations Conference.

Dr. Davis and I presented at the East West Destinations Conference this past winter on post-operative management of cataract surgery, and it was a pleasure to be able to discuss our findings together. I wish her all the best as she moves back to Texas, and I know she will be a great asset to any practice lucky enough to hire her!”

A Note from COA President, Dr. Robert Derick:

“Dr. Davis was a great addition to the COA team! We will miss her and certainly wish her the best as she continues her career. She was extremely helpful in the clinic—always willing to help out in any way that she could. During the shutdown, she worked every day seeing and working up patients when we only had a skeleton crew. Her personality is fantastic, and she always has a smile on her face and a positive attitude. Our next resident will have big shoes to fill!”

A Note from COA’s Director of Optometry, Dr. Dawn Hartman:

“Dr. Davis is the epitome of hard work and a positive attitude. We enjoyed sharing our experiences with her and having her for the past year while she completed COA’s Ocular Disease Residency. The year went by so fast, and we wish she could stay with us longer. We will miss her but know that she has a wonderful future of caring for patients ahead of her. We wish the best of luck to Dr. Lauren Davis!”

Our COA Optometry Team: Dr. Davis, Dr. Hoepf, Dr. Burns, and Dr. Hartman


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June 22, 2020 Uncategorized

This June is Cataract Awareness Month. And, in honor of this month, we sat down with COA’s Director of Cataract Services, Dr. James McHale, to ask him everything you need to know about cataract treatment.

Do young patients get cataracts? If so, what are the causes?

Young people do get cataracts from time to time. The peak age or most common age of cataract surgery in America is 73. Younger patients oftentimes present with a cataract that is most likely in just one eye. This can be due to previous trauma, infection, or inflammation of that eye. Steroids are the most common medication that causes cataracts in younger patients and are often related to underlying diseases such as arthritis and lupus or linked to those who take chronic steroids due to an organ transplant. There are also some genetic or metabolic diseases that can also lead to the early development of cataracts. It’s quite rare, but sometimes even newborn children are born with cataracts and require surgery shortly after birth to prevent a permanent loss of vision.

Once a cataract has been discovered, what types of tests are necessary to conduct before surgery? Why are these important?

Before cataract surgery, a comprehensive, dilated examination of the eye is required. Notes are made regarding a variety of things, including ocular dominance, pupil size, and visual acuity. Other more high-tech measurements are taken like the length of the eye, the curvature of the cornea, the positioning of the cataract inside the eye, and scans of the retina. All of these factors will then help a surgeon determine the most appropriate treatment option. 

Dr. McHale poses with long-time, twin patients who came in for pre-operative cataract evaluations. (Don’t worry…this mask-free picture was taken before coronavirus!)

If I had LASIK when I was younger, can I still have cataract surgery?

Absolutely. Everyone develops cataracts if they live long enough. Having LASIK will not prevent cataracts and does not change the way we perform cataract operations. However, having had LASIK previously can impact your focus following surgery and will be a vital factor in determining which type of lens implant your surgeon recommends for you. 

What type of lens implants will provide me with the greatest freedom from glasses?

In reality, all of the lens implants that we use for cataract surgery will reduce your dependence on glasses to some degree. In most patients, we give them freedom from glasses for distance vision. We have lens implants that correct both nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism to accomplish this task. There are also more advanced lens implants that can help people see up close and far away, which delivers the greatest freedom from glasses. Some of these even come in a form that corrects astigmatism at the same time. These continue to improve with each generation of lens implants and about 35% of our patients choose these lenses.

What are some of the rare types of complications that occur with cataract surgery?

Fortunately, cataract treatment is the most successful and has one of the lowest complication rates of all surgeries that are performed today. It’s also the most common surgery in America, with over 3 million performed every year. Of course, there are risks, which are typically confined to the eye. Things like blurred vision, infection, bleeding, elevated eye pressure, and the need for additional surgery following your procedure are possible but unlikely. 

Can you explain technically what you are doing during the procedure?

During a cataract extraction, a microscope and advanced equipment are used to fracture the cloudy lens into small particles. These particles are then aspirated from the inside of the eye. Because of advanced technology, we’re able to do this through the tiniest of incisions. Once the cataract has been removed, we implant a microscopic, synthetic lens into the eye and replace it right where your original lens was situated. This is all typically done without sutures and with a nice and comfortable recovery.

Why do I need to use drops after cataract surgery?

Drops are used after surgery to help reduce inflammation in the eye, make the eye feel more comfortable, and prevent infection.

Can a cataract come back after surgery?

Once a cataract has been removed, it will never come back. Surgery is a permanent solution to the problem. Sometimes scar tissue can build up behind the lens implant in an eye and cause blurring of vision. However, another cataract surgery is not required for this. There’s a very simple in-office laser procedure that we do that removes the film from behind the lens implant and enhances the vision greatly. This laser is completely comfortable, and the procedure takes less than one minute to perform.


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June 14, 2020 Uncategorized

This June is Cataract Awareness Month. And, in honor of the month, we sat down with Dr. Charles Hickey, our talented ophthalmologist who has been performing cataract surgery for over 30 years.

Dr. Hickey, what are some of the biggest changes in cataract surgery that have helped improve outcomes?

The two most important changes in cataract procedures have been the elimination of sutures and the ability to fine-tune refractive outcomes. Pre-operative testing of the anatomical shape and length of the eye allows us to completely eliminate distance glasses in many of our patients. We also have the option of correcting astigmatism as well as improving near vision along with good distance correction similar to what you have when wearing a pair of bifocal glasses.  These are the result of improvements in the design of the small plastic lenses we place in the eye at the time of surgery. 

Dr. Hickey examining patients.

What are some of the symptoms patients complain about with cataracts—besides a general blurring of vision?

Symptoms of cataracts can include difficulty distinguishing color, especially the color blue. Some cataracts act like yellow sunglasses, and people cannot distinguish navy blue from black. Having trouble with glare from bright lights is also common and can cause problems both with driving and reading. As cataracts worsen, the blur increases, making it difficult to see in all lighting conditions. It can also increase the risk of falling as patients may not see a step or curb in dim light. 

While it may vary from one person to another, when is the best time to have a cataract removed?

The time to have cataract surgery is when a person is having difficulty seeing and enjoying any activity that is important to them. This varies greatly from person to person. Some cataracts blur distance vision but not reading vision. Some of these patients do not realize they have any problems at all until they flunk their vision test when renewing their driver’s license. Other cataracts cause glare and blur with reading, and these patients will often seek surgery early. It is usually an individual and personal decision made in consultation with their ophthalmologist. 

Briefly, what should a patient expect on the day of surgery?

The day of surgery now starts with a COVID screening upon entering the surgical center. If all is well in this regard, patients recline on a cart, retaining their street clothes and shoes. An intravenous is started, a sedative is infused, and the area around the eye is blocked with injection medicine that the patient neither feels nor remembers receiving. They then move into the operating room on the same cart, and the surgery takes about fifteen minutes. The gentle sedative is continued, and Mozart and Beethoven play softly on WOSU radio (at least in my operating room!). The patient returns to the front area for a beverage and a snack and then leaves for home. We expect little to no pain, but some people can feel a bit of scratchiness as the eye begins to heal.

If I have had astigmatism all my life, can cataract surgery help improve that?

Patients who have lifelong astigmatism have the choice of a toric lens implant that not only corrects their distance vision but also corrects their astigmatism. This correction works much better than astigmatic glasses as the implant moves with eye movement, and patients are always using the optical center of the correction. Some of our happiest patients are those who opt to correct their astigmatism in this fashion.

Dr. Hickey with a patient.

What are the lenses you put in the eye during surgery made of?

Lens implant materials have been greatly refined over the last thirty years and currently include synthetic materials such as acrylic and silicone. These lenses are foldable and can be inserted through very tiny surgical incisions, most under 3 mm. The lenses are permanent and should last fifty years or longer.

How successful is cataract surgery for most patients?

Cataract surgery is the most common procedure funded by Medicare, and it is the most successful. Infections and hemorrhage can be an issue, but they are quite rare. If any problem is noted during or after a procedure, prompt treatment will still result in good outcomes in most cases. It is very important however to use all pre- and post-operative eye drop medications to ensure the best results.

Dr. Hickey and a happy patient.

Can you do cataract surgery if I have macular degeneration?

Cataract surgery is commonly performed in the setting of macular degeneration. Removing the cataract will help vision but to no better than the condition that the macula allows. There are continued new improvements and medications for wet macular degeneration, and much work is being done to help dry macular degeneration as well. In time, there is hope that both types of macular degeneration can be more successfully treated.


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June 4, 2020 Uncategorized

During this unprecedented time with COVID-19, Columbus Ophthalmology Associates is proud to be a leader in our community. As a practice, we take safety and excellence in eye care seriously. We recently sat down with COA President, Dr. Robert Derick, to talk to him about COA’s newest safety measures and what phase 2 of reopening entails.

An Interview with Dr. Derick

Dr. Derick, this recent “Stay at Home” order has affected health care in ways few people understand.  How has the shutdown affected your patients? Specifically, are you seeing issues that are a result of delayed treatment? 

Even though we were open during the 5-week shutdown and saw emergency patients, we definitely have seen patients who have put off treatments that are potentially vision-threatening—specifically delaying glaucoma and retina surgery that has resulted in significant vision loss.

You opened in a slow but deliberate manner to allow your staff, doctors, and patients time to get used to this new way of providing care.  What have you learned from this method that has allowed you to set the bar high for other practices? 

We put our patients’ and staff members’ safety as our top priorities. That allowed us to develop protocols that were consistent with those goals. Our Academy of Ophthalmology and the CDC were good resources, and our staff was instrumental in putting in place the new manner that we are able to safely treat our patients. We intentionally started with a reduced schedule to make sure our protocols were working, adjusted staffing as we slowly increased patient numbers and tweaked our clinic flow. One example of the tweaking was to have a patient stay in one exam room as much as possible. This reduced patients in our waiting area.

 What specific changes have you made to ensure the safety of the staff and patients? 

Patients are asked to wear masks and not have visitors with them unless they need assistance. We screen patients on arrival with both a questionnaire as well as a temperature check. All of our staff also have a daily temperature check. There are shields in place where there is close patient contact. We are meticulous in wiping down surfaces and encouraging both patients and staff to frequently wash their hands and use sanitizer.

How have your first few weeks of surgery gone? Are you now ready to increase the number of procedures and patients you can care for? 

We continue to learn better ways to make our clinic efficient and safe, however, we have found that the time we took to thoughtfully develop the protocols prior to reopening has made our return very uneventful and smooth. Surgery has been uneventful, and we are now back to normal flow.

What changes have been made to your optical department, something that is especially important to your elderly population who love the convenience of having all their eye care needs met in one location? 

Similar to the clinic, every surface is wiped down frequently, and every frame that is touched gets sanitized.

What percentage of patients have continued to postpone surgery just due to the fact they are uneasy being out in public yet? 

I would estimate a small numberperhaps 5%—and we make every effort to reschedule them at their convenience.

What would you tell them to help them be more comfortable coming into the clinic or the surgery center? 

We have received excellent feedback from the patients that have come in about the professional manner in which our staff members conduct themselves. Patients can see the emphasis on safety that we place on our entire clinic. I feel that the patients can help share with their friends and contacts on their comfort level. In short, I would tell patients who are hesitant that we are making every effort to ensure their safety, and so far, the experience at COA has been excellent.

Have you talked to other practices on how they are dealing with this reopening? 

We are fortunate to be a leader in the community and also have great relationships with most practices in town. As a result of these relationships, we have been in contact with other practices throughout the shutdown as well as during the reopening. It is reassuring to know that almost all of the protocols that we have instituted are being used throughout the city.

Your initial effort was to get patients who had surgery canceled back in for their procedures. Now that you have accomplished that, what will phase two be about?  

Most of our optometric colleagues have opened their practices, and as they get busier, our referrals will naturally increase. We are also seeing many patients we had to reschedule during the shutdown in addition to patients that were already on the schedule. Phase 2 will be to slowly reduce the backlog of people that need our help to restore their vision.


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April 30, 2020 Uncategorized

Dear patients,

After many weeks following Ohio’s Stay-At-Home Order, we are looking forward to welcoming you back to our offices. However, health and safety are still our primary concerns. To best protect you and our team, we are implementing several new safety protocols. Please be aware of the following:

Before your appointment:

  1. Please arrive no earlier than 10 minutes before your appointment.
  2. You *MUST* bring a face mask or covering and wear it at all times in our office.
  3. A staff member wearing a mask will meet you to take your temperature. At our Dublin Office, a staff member will meet patients in the lobby—before they enter the elevator to come up to our clinic. And, at our East Office, a staff member will meet patients as they come off the elevator on the fourth floor. Unless you need assistance, please have any companions wait in the car.
  4. If your temperature exceeds 100°F, we will reschedule your appointment. If you have a fever, we recommend you see your family physician for further testing and treatment.

During your appointment:

  1. Once inside, all patients will sanitize their hands and answer a health questionnaire.
  2. Please follow social distancing guidelines while in our office. We will monitor common areas and place signage to help you maintain 6 feet of distance.
  3. Hand sanitizer will be available for your convenience.

Our continued safety protocols:

  1. We disinfect our offices daily and will disinfect common areas and high-touch areas throughout the day.
  2. After every patient, our staff will thoroughly disinfect all surfaces in each exam room for your safety.
  3. Staff members will practice social distancing and wear face masks.
  4. We are encouraging patients to follow CDC guidelines and reschedule if they exhibit any flu-like symptoms or if they have recently traveled to high-risk areas.

We appreciate your understanding and patience as we begin this transition. With these precautions in place, we look forward to welcoming you through our doors while keeping you safe.

Warmly,

The COA Team


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April 24, 2020 Uncategorized

Dear patients,

After many weeks of social distancing, we have an important update to share. This week, Governor DeWine announced that certain procedures, including cataract and glaucoma surgeries, will be permitted during the first wave of healthcare system reopenings—beginning on May 4.

These have been deemed “essential” to improving patients’ quality of life. And, indeed, we are anxious to help restore the vision of hundreds of patients who were originally scheduled for surgery in March and April. We will also begin to see patients who have been referred to us or who have a history of cataracts to determine the next steps in their care.

We will begin this transition slowly, but in a thoughtful, deliberate manner to minimize additional schedule changes. We do plan to resume more “routine” eye care soon—including the reopening of our optical department. Please know that we are taking every safety precaution possible as we move forward to protect you, our doctors, and our staff.

As of this morning, here are the changes that will begin on May 4 at Columbus Ophthalmology Associates:

Our phone and surgery schedulers will begin to call all patients who were “on the books” for surgery. It is important to us that we can reschedule your surgery in a timely, orderly, and convenient fashion and that you have someone to take you to surgery. Please wait for our team to call you rather than trying to reschedule yourself as we do not want to overwhelm the scheduling team with calls. We greatly appreciate your cooperation with this matter.

We are also making accommodations for those who need to visit their eye doctor prior to surgery. To adhere to Governor DeWine’s social distancing orders, we ask that only the patient enters into our building. One of our staff members will greet you in the lobby area with a protective mask on (and we assume all patients will be wearing masks as the governor has suggested). We will screen you to ensure that you do not have a fever or a cough before bringing you into the exam area. After your exam, our doctors will go over your treatment options. If you need surgery, we will arrange to discuss this in more detail with whoever will be bringing you to your surgery. After every patient, we will be disinfecting each exam area. And, we will have hand sanitizer available in all public areas for your convenience.

At Columbus Ophthalmology Associates, we have always strived to provide you with the highest level of surgical techniques and the fastest recovery processes. Your safety and health have always been our top priorities. In these regards, truly nothing has changed.

As we work to comply with official CDC guidelines, recommendations from other governing health organizations, and Governor DeWine’s mandates, we ask for your patience and understanding. We thank you in advance and are truly honored to be your doctors. Be safe—we look forward to seeing you soon.

Warmly,
The COA team


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April 4, 2020 Uncategorized

Dr. Charles Hickey grew up in Parma, Ohio. He majored in chemistry at The Ohio State University before graduating from OSU’s College of Medicine in 1979.  After his internship at Riverside Methodist Hospital, he returned to Ohio State to complete his residency in ophthalmology at The Havener Eye Institute.

For the past 38 years, Dr. Hickey has been performing cataract surgery and managing patients with diabetic eye disease in central Ohio. A strong advocate for patients, he has served as President of The Ohio State Medical Association, Mt. Carmel Hospitals’ Medical Staff, and the Columbus Medical Association. Currently, he sits on the American Medical Association Council on Constitution and Bylaws and is the Chair of the Quality Committee for the Mount Carmel Health System Board. We are so proud to have him affiliated with Columbus Ophthalmology Associates.

Hunter House

A father of nine and grandfather of two, Dr. Hickey has many interests outside of his clinical duties, including botany and gardening. After raising his family in Upper Arlington, where he served as “Tree Commissioner”, Dr. Hickey and his wife, Susan, purchased and restored a homestead that was originally built by physician and businessman, Dr. Obed Horr, in 1850. After Dr. Horr passed away, the home and farm were purchased by Vincent Hunter in 1863 with monies earned by selling grain to the Union Army. The Hunter family occupied the home for seven generations until Dr. Hickey and his wife purchased it in 2009.

Known as “Hunter House”, this unique, Greek Revival/Italianate style home sits on twenty-four acres of original farmland along the banks of the Little Darby Creek. There, Dr. Hickey and his wife are only a walk away from all the Mechanicsburg village amenities and are 24 miles away from the Dublin COA office.

“The Hunter family modified their home extensively from 1863 until approximately 1908, adding French Renaissance detailing in the front parlors and Tiffany-style art glass and quarter sawn oak woodwork in the plainer rear portions of the house.”

Since purchasing the home, Dr. Hickey and his wife have worked hard to update and restore the Hunter House. They’ve added modern touches while retaining the architectural and stylistic details that make Hunter House unique. “We replaced a kitchen/summer kitchen wing with new build construction to accommodate modern kitchen and baths. But, the second floor still has its unaltered Greek Revival architectural finishes.” 

Particularly interesting is Hunter House’s connection to art. In 1879, Vincent Hunter commissioned a painting of his property from the artist, Henry Dousa. The painting depicts the house, outbuildings, and three cows in the front yard. 

Henry Dousa’s painting of Hunter House.

Nearly one hundred and fifty years since that painting was commissioned, Dr. Hickey and Susan had three red wire cow sculptures commissioned in 2016 from the artist, Tim Rietenbach of the Columbus College of Art and Design. “The sculptures spent the summer of 2015 floating in the Scioto River at North Bank Park to celebrate the City of Columbus bicentennial.”

Now, the three cow sculptures reside on Dr. Hickey’s property—placed in the exact locations depicted in the painting. What a wonderful way to recreate and memorialize Henry Dousa’s historic artwork!

Tim Rietenbach’s cow sculptures on Dr. Hickey’s property.

Since purchasing Hunter House, Dr. Hickey has planted and nurtured trees, has tended to his very large garden, and has held numerous private tours of this wonderful property. Enjoying all the benefits of rural life on his homestead, Dr. Hickey is truly a modern Renaissance Man!


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March 26, 2020 Uncategorized

Did you know that it’s World Optometry Week? And, at Columbus Ophthalmology Associates, we’re celebrating optometrists for all their incredible work! Today, we’re paying tribute to COA’s Director of Optometry, Dr. Dawn Hartman. A leader and educator for the next generation of optometry students, she is a wonderful doctor who we are proud to have on our COA team.

Ever since she was 12 years old, Dr. Hartman knew she wanted to be an optometrist. “Science and math were my favorite subjects in school. I felt that helping people see better and caring for the health of their eyes would be a great way to spend my days.”

Today, Dr. Hartman is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Practice for The Ohio State University College of Optometry. She is a clinical instructor for the fourth-year optometry students during their externship and is passionate about preparing her students for an optometric career.

“I really enjoy being able to teach them some of the things I had to learn on my own over the twenty years I have been practicing. COA has amazing doctors and staff (and patients!), and it is an environment that enables them to leave a much more confident clinician than when they arrived.  They also keep me up to date with the latest training and studies at the College of Optometry, so I feel very lucky to work with them, too.”

During their externships, students gain invaluable experiences. One of Dr. Hartman’s recent senior students is Karina Miller. During Karina’s time at our office, she gained experience in all areas of the practice to enhance her ability to diagnose and manage eye disease. She observed our surgeons performing procedures, took patient history, performed diagnostic tests, and reviewed her findings with Dr. Hartman.

Dr. Hartman and one of her senior optometry students, Karina Miller, pose for a picture.

Passionate about education, Dr. Hartman also enjoys lecturing and presenting at various events. She has presented at COA’s annual Hot Topics in Eyecare Continuing Education Event, has spoken at the Optometric Educators, Inc. program, and lectures annually at the East West Destinations Conference. “My favorite topics and cases to discuss are those that require the specialties of both optometrists and ophthalmologists.”

Outside of her clinical duties, Dr. Hartman is a very talented vocalist. “I come from a very musical family and have been singing since age 5 when my mom and brother decided it was time I learn to harmonize. Family time always meant music and those memories are so precious.” 

Dr. Hartman, her husband, Jason, and kids, Nick, Andrew, and Caroline, enjoy the big game!

When she was 16, her a cappella group, the Ypsilanti High School Chamber Singers, won the top honor at The International Youth and Music Festival in Vienna, Austria. “The beauty of so much a cappella harmony echoing in so many cathedrals in Europe is hard to match. I still enjoy performing once in a while, but do not pursue it for myself. I enjoy encouraging my kids in music, and we partner every year for the Hartman Thanksgiving Talent Show!”

This World Optometry Week, we thank Dr. Hartman and all optometrists for their hard work and dedication. We are grateful to have such a talented Director of Optometry at our practice.


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March 22, 2020 Uncategorized

With everything going on around us, it’s more important than ever to celebrate the unsung heroes who help make our world a better place. Today, we’re paying tribute to Denise Allen, our longest serving employee who is celebrating more than 30 years at COA! We recently sat down with Denise to find out more about her experiences at our practice.

When Denise first joined our team, COA was considerably smaller—made up of just Dr. Orlando and five other staff members. Over the past three decades, Denise has grown with our practice and is so proud to have “been here through good and bad.” While she began her journey at COA on the operations side, working the front desk, the phones, and helping prepare charts, from there, she trained as an ophthalmic technician so she could continue to serve our patients in the exam rooms. To Denise, “patients come first.” And, in addition to spending time with patients and her work family, “learning how to work new machines in order to service patients better” is one of the best parts of her job.

Denise has been a wonderful constant to our many patients—known for her pleasant smile, demeanor, assistance, and her fluency in ASL. Loyal and flexible, she is always willing to step in to work at any of our offices and has helped train the next generation of COA staff members.

Denise is proud to align herself with COA’s values: “Being kind and considerate, always greeting people with a smile, and bringing patience and listening to patients and each other.” Whether she’s winning Employee of the Year at COA or singing in her local church choir,  we appreciate all that she does at our practice and in the community. We are so grateful to have her on our team!


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March 19, 2020 Uncategorized

Dear Patients,

Since the day Dr. Orlando opened our office in 1983, our mission has been to preserve, protect, and restore vision in a caring atmosphere that always puts our patients and staff first. With that in mind, we must make some significant but short-term changes to allow us to continue this important calling. All elective surgery in the United States is being put on hold so we can protect patients, staff, surgeons, and the greater community—while also making sure vital equipment and medical supplies are available for those on the front lines of this crisis. Beginning Monday, March 23rd we will be making the changes outlined below. We have no firm date as to when we will be back at full operational levels, but we hope that by May 1st we will have a clear idea. Of course, we will update you on a regular basis and also try and provide some useful information to make the most of the downtime.  

1. We will have limited hours at our Dublin office: 8 am – 12 pm, Monday through Thursday. On Fridays, weekends, afternoons, and evenings, there will be a doctor on call for emergencies.

2. We are temporarily closing our East Office. 

3. We will be calling patients shortly to reschedule appointments and surgeries. To help us expedite this process, we ask that you please wait for our call rather than calling to reschedule yourself as we have limited phone operators available. 

4. We will not be seeing annual eye exam patients but will continue to care for all post-operative patients, glaucoma patients, and emergencies. All routine exams will be rescheduled by our operators. 

5. No cataract surgeries will be scheduled and those already scheduled will be moved to dates in May. Again, we will call you to handle all the rescheduling logistics.

6. For any acute problems, such as uncontrollable glaucoma that could cause further vision loss, we will still be performing surgery as those are sight-treating issues that cannot be delayed.

7. Our Optical Shoppes will remain closed. Any orders for glasses already taken will be unboxed after delivery by one of our opticians once a week and sent via FedEx to all patients who have paid in full. Once we re-open, our opticians will be available to adjust your frames. 

8. As always, we will be continuing the safe hygiene practices that were already in place to ensure the safety of our patients, staff, and doctors. 

We shall continue to monitor this situation closely and update you with information from the Ohio Department of Health, the CDC, and other governmental authorities—through email and the COA social media sites on Facebook and Instagram. We welcome you to join our Columbus Ophthalmology Associates community on both locations. 

During this difficult time, there is a wonderful quote by the British author, Simon Sinek, that is so appropriate… “The value of our lives is not determined by what we do for ourselves. The value of our lives is determined by what we do for others.” We look around right now at how our world has changed so quickly, and what stands out are the brave people who are risking their lives to help us get through this crisis. Emergency room physicians trying to triage patients that could potentially carry this deadly virus, nurses in the Intensive Care Unit spending their 10-hour shifts making sure these same folks get through the night safely, and the members of the housekeeping staff that disinfect and sterilize those workplaces… Those are our true heroes. 

As we walk through a grocery store to grab those essentials for our family, there are dozens of people re-stocking the shelves, unloading trucks almost constantly, and cleaning the surfaces with gloves to protect us. We should all make a point to thank them for showing up during this time… of course, making sure that we maintain an acceptable 6 to 8 foot distance! The human spirit is remarkable and the world is filled with good people. Perhaps now we will have a different perspective on how many unsung heroes have always been there—the ones who keep us safe and make our lives easier. 

Together, we will get through this stressful time. We wish you good health and hope to see you soon.

Warmly, 

The Team at COA




Copyright by Columbus Ophthalmology Associates 2018. All rights reserved.