CALUMET - InSight EyeCare of Calumet has welcomed aboard a new doctor.
Dr. Stacey Michaels, who has nearly two decades of experience practicing optometry in the Keweenaw, began seeing patients Oct. 1.
"I'm very excited to be a part of the team," Dr. Michaels said. "I'm looking forward to learning a lot from Dr. Mitchell and I'm just very excited to be here."
The staff at InSight EyeCare in back row from left to right are Marcy Rajala, Mallory Crowley, Cydne Mitchell, Amanda Kauppinen, Jennifer Tikkanen and Beth Nankervis. Seated are Dr. Donald Mitchell and Dr. Stacey Michaels.
Originally from Baraga, Dr. Michaels is a graduate of the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University, where she first became acquainted with Dr. Donald Mitchell.
"We actually graduated the same year from the same class," Dr. Michaels said. "That was 19 years ago."
Dr. Mitchell said he established his private practice in Laurium in 1990. Over the years, his patient volume continued to expand, resulting in their relocating to Calumet in 1997. More recently, he said he's been looking to hire another doctor to help with the increased patient flow.
"I saw an opportunity with Dr. Michaels so I approached her to see if we could work together," he said. "She's been practicing in the area for years so she's very well known and I'm confident in her expertise coming into this practice."
InSight EyeCare, located at 56901 S. Sixth St., offers personalized comprehensive eye care for infants through adults, utilizing state-of-the-art computer technology.
"We cover all health aspects of the eyes and make recommendations for eyewear, whether it's spectacles or contact lenses, based on the needs of the individual patient," Dr. Mitchell said. "Our motto is, 'If it's good for the patient, it's good for the practice.'"
In addition to comprehensive eye exams, Dr. Mitchell provides specialty care including: urgent and emergency care, medical eye evaluations for diabetes, glaucoma treatment and management, as well as offers co-management care for multiple types of surgeries including glaucoma, cataracts, and laser vision correction.
Additional services include low vision and vision therapy, he said.
"When more complex vision therapy cases are discovered, we also have a colleague in Marquette to refer patients to for those who need in-house therapy," Dr. Mitchell said.
Prior to opening his practice, Dr. Mitchell received post-graduate training in low vision care at The Lighthouse in New York, N.Y.
"I worked with those who had lost vision or had impaired vision," he said, adding he received extensive training in utilizing magnification including high powered spectacle lenses, hand and stand magnifying devices, microscopic magnifying lenses, telescope prescribing, and non-optical devices. "Each of the low vision devices have their own application. Someone might end up with five different devices depending on their particular needs such as employment, schooling and hobbies, among others."
Dr. Mitchell said he does prescribe customized telescopic lenses, which are eyeglasses that have telescopes mounted on them.
"They can be designed for computer work, piano or organ playing as well as distance viewing," he said.
One unique application to the telescopic lenses is to allow some individuals to regain driving privilege when they have low vision.
With the addition of Dr. Michaels, Dr. Mitchell said he will now be able to focus more time on low vision care. Unlike a comprehensive eye exam, which lasts about 35 minutes, a low vision evaluation takes an hour or more.
InSight EyeCare is equipped with the latest state-of-the-art instrumentation and technology, allowing for fast and accurate diagnoses.
"I've invested annually in the most sophisticated tools and high-end equipment," he said. "I try to stay abreast of the industry and on the cutting edge of what's being developed in products, instrumentation, and my professional education to provide the best care for the patient. In this remote region we often offer co-management care with distant tertiary care facilities."
Dr. Mitchell said it's helpful that his clinic utilizes some of the same data collection instrumentation.
"Our Cirrus Optical Coherence Tomographer and our retinal imaging Visucam gives us the same information as our colleagues in Green Bay, Marshfield and Mayo Clinic where we co-manage many different types of ocular pathologies," he said.
InSight EyeCare has more than 650 frames on display and the styles are always changing. The clinic also offers the latest in contact lens technology.
Dr. Mitchell said they have several options for eyeglass lenses including: computer eyewear, progressive addition lenses, which is a lens of a multi-focal nature; polarized lenses for sunwear, non-glare or glare reduction lenses; and transition lenses, designed to optimize sight in light or dark situations. All of these designs are recommended to maximize performance vision.
Dr. Mitchell emphasizes the importance of evaluating each patient as a whole as opposed to their eyes alone.
"I encourage a strong, healthy lifestyle," he said. "I'll ask about their level of routine exercise, ask if they're a smoker ... Smoking will predispose the patient to retinal degeneration five to six times the rate of a non-smoker as well as promote cataract formation and compromise night vision."
He also educates his patients on the proper nutrients that can lead to optimum ocular health.
Dr. Mitchell is active in a number of organizations on the national and local level. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and is the current President of the National Coalition of Eye Care, Independent Professional Associations. He is also a long term member of the Calumet Lion's Club.
For more information, call InSight EyeCare at 337-5252 or visit upnortheyecare.com.
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