Longtime Houghton eye clinic joins Aspirus, welcomes new doctor

HOUGHTON – The eye clinic offices and practice of ophthalmologist Dr. Paul Leep have formally joined Aspirus. Dr. Leep’s clinic, located at 404 East Sharon Ave. in Houghton, has been serving patients for more than 30 years, with all surgical procedures performed at Aspirus in Laurium.

“I could not think of a better organization to partner with other than Aspirus,” Dr. Leep said. “It allows us to continue our excellent level of care while being fully supported by a fantastic health care system.”

As part of the transition, Dr. Leep and the Aspirus medical team have expanded the clinic services with the addition of ophthalmologist Dr. Shalini Johnson to the practice. Dr. Johnson specializes in medical and surgical diseases of the eye for all ages. Specialties include: routine and advanced diabetic eye care, glaucoma care, including medical and laser treatments, and minimally invasive surgery, including no-stitch, no-injection cataract surgery for faster recovery times. Dr. Johnson also administers Avastin injections for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss in people over 60.

AMD is an eye condition in which the small central portion of the retina deteriorates causing vision loss. There are two types dry and wet AMD. Wet AMD is characterized by the formation of abnormal blood vessels at the back of the eye that leak fluid or blood. It is a more severe form of AMG and can lead to severe vision loss.

Dr. Johnson is currently the only local ophthalmologist administering Avastin injections for the effective treatment of wet AMD. The injections are performed as an outpatient procedure at Aspirus Eye Clinic. Injections are administered in a series of three treatments at a minimum, spread out over the course of four to six weeks. Patients, who normally travel as far as Ironwood or Green Bay for treatments, no longer have to make the drive for regular injections. “I’m really glad that I can bring Avastin here,” Dr. Johnson said. “Especially with winter not far off, the idea of having to drive every four to six weeks for an Avastin injection is a little scary.”

Prior to Aspirus, Dr. Johnson worked as a comprehensive ophthalmologist at Lansing Ophthalmology in Mount Pleasant and Virdi Eye Clinic in Clinton, Iowa. She earned her medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria and completed her residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She completed her fellowship in ophthalmic pathology at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Originally from the suburbs of Chicago, Dr. Johnson said she’s excited to be in the Upper Peninsula, working for a health care organization that allows her to grow as a physician.

“I was looking for a place that would allow me the opportunity to utilize all of my skills as a trained ophthalmologist,” she said. “Aspirus gives me that opportunity so

I’m very excited to be here to provide excellent care to the residents of this community.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Johnson, please call Aspirus Eye Clinic at 906.482.5230.

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