Sandy Smart is a Registered Nurse (RN) who has assisted the Indiana Eye Clinic medical team in a number of capacities, helping ensure patients receive the best possible vision outcomes, while also seeing that they receive excellent care and customer service.
At times, she has worked in the Ambulatory Surgery Center operating room, assisting IEC physicians with delicate and complex eye procedures. Currently, she is in charge of overseeing the preoperative and postoperative operations of the surgery center.
In this capacity, Sandy helps patients get ready for their surgery, ensures the proper medications have been given, and helps make sure they have everything they need for a quick and desirable recovery.
“I love the contact with the patients and sharing their amazement at how great their vision is, and what a difference it has made in their life,” she says.
Sandy received her nursing degree from Indiana Central University, now known as the University of Indianapolis. Before coming to IEC 18 years ago, she worked as an RN in other healthcare fields, including obstetrics, pediatrics and even a stint as a school nurse.
She came to IEC through her friendship with Paula Baker, who was then director of the ambulatory surgery center. She began working as a part-time employee, but it soon turned into a full-time position.
“I guess it was a match made in heaven!” Sandy says. She’s stayed so long because of the great team and the satisfaction of delivering a consistently excellent level of care.
“Our doctors are the best in the state, and I feel like we are always on the cutting edge of new technology,” Sandy says.
On her off days, Sandy enjoys sharing time with her family, especially her three granddaughters, as well as exercising, shopping and traveling.
Indiana Eye Clinic is now performing iStent® implantation during cataract surgery, an innovative new technique that can reduce the effects of glaucoma and lower the chance of progression.
iStent is a tiny medical implant that can help restore the eye’s natural fluid outflow and reduce pressure inside the eye. Intraocular pressure (IOP) is one of the most important risk factors for glaucoma. iStent is the world’s smallest medical implant, only about 1-millimeter long.
Patients who have cataracts and glaucoma, or are at risk for glaucoma onset, now have a chance to have both conditions addressed during a single procedure.
Most glaucoma patients who receive the implant can reduce and sometimes eliminate the need for daily eyedrop medication. iStent® has an excellent safety record, and is covered by Medicare and most private insurance companies.
“Indiana Eye Clinic becomes one of the first ophthalmic practices in Central Indiana to offer iStent,” said Dr. Nicholas Rader, co-founder of IEC. “We’re proud to have been leaders in bringing the newest eye procedures to this area for more than 30 years.”
Four pre-med students from Marian University have begun working at Indiana Eye Clinic to fill a gap for ophthalmic assistants and technicians. This innovative solution came about with the help of our Ambulatory Surgical Center Director, Nathan Gehlhausen, who went to Marian and reached out to his alma mater when the challenge presented itself.
While attending the recent American Academy of Ophthalmology national conference, the IEC leadership team was presented with the problem of all of the Indiana schools for ophthalmic assistants and technicians closing their doors. These had helped produce a fresh stream of young, talented people to fill these positions, who perform may technical tasks that allow our veteran eye surgeons to focus on conducting procedures and delivering the best vision care possible.
Other solutions have been floating around the industry, including creating training programs to transition healthcare workers from other fields into these roles. But the IEC had a better idea: hire aspiring medical students during their first or second year of college. These are some of the brightest, most dedicated students out there, and they often are expected to work for free in healthcare just to have something to put on their medical school application.
This way, students can get hands-on experience while earning money to help pay for their expensive education to become physicians. We’re hoping some of them will eventually choose a specialty in ophthalmology are the great experience they have at IEC. In return, the clinic obtains critical support staff to assist us in our mission.
After meeting with the Marian Director of Career Development and the Sponsor for the Pre-Med program, Indiana Eye Clinic presented its opportunity to students, and were rewarded with a quick and positive response. Four of them — Luke Elsener, Baylen Shoemaker, Annie Getzin and Madelyn Lindsay — were interviewed and offered positions. They were thrilled about the chance to have a part-time job while pursuing their education. The Sponsor for the Pre-Med program also allowed them to receive credits towards graduating from this opportunity.
All four of our pre-med students/assistants are progressing quickly and are on track to become Certified Ophthalmic Assistants (CAO). Sometimes thinking out of the box can deliver a win-win for everybody!
Check out our new billboard, which can be seen along southbound Interstate 65 near the 100-mile marker, just north of Greenwood city limits. We think it clearly shows the benefits of seeing the Indiana Eye Clinic team for all your vision needs!
The 14-foot-by-48-foot digital display will show our sign approximately 75 times per hour, or more than 50,000 times during the four-week contract. With a daily traffic volume of more than 90,000 vehicles on that stretch or road, that’s a lot of eyeballs!
As an Account Services Representative, Pam Chase works closely with insurance providers on behalf of patients to ensure they receive the best coverage and prices for all their vision needs – tests, checkups and procedures. After 18 years with Indiana Eye Clinic, she knows the ins and outs of the complicated health insurance market, and works hard to head off or resolve any conflicts over payments, surgery charges, etc.
Pam was looking for a job closer to home when she applied at IEC in 1999. What she found was a team of close-knit people that has become like family to her.
Pam is known for lighting up every room she’s in with her sense of humor and joy. It’s the sort of attitude you need to have when you have a large family like hers. She and her husband, Bob, have six children, three from each side of the marriage.
“It’s kind of like the Brady Bunch,” she said. “Before we got married, I had three kids of my own and my husband had three kids of his own. Now we have five grandkids and everyone is one big happy family. I love to spend time with my grandchildren.”
Something her coworkers may not know is how much she loves music – listening to it and playing on the piano. And she has other hidden skills.
“I’m a pianist. I love music and I love to read,” she said. “Another one of my hobbies is American Sign Language. I started over 30 years ago because I made some friends at church who happened to be deaf. I took some classes through Vincennes University and caught on quickly. It has become a very helpful skill to have at the office.”
Lots of people deal with chronic eye and vision problems — including the rich and famous.
For instance, John Goodman took time off from his busy film career a few years ago to have his cataracts removed. Though he had just turned 60, his vision had deteriorated enough to make daily life a challenge.
Goodman chose to have his natural eye lenses replaced with an advanced intraocular lens (IOL). The Indiana Eye Clinic has a number of options on advanced lens for cataract patients.
It’s a common fallacy that cataracts only affects senior citizens. In fact, we frequently see patients in their 50s or even 40s with cataracts!
This article has a list of other well-known people dealing with chronic issues that impact their vision. What’s interesting is that many of these conditions were not even known about until the celebrity chose to share the news themselves. It just goes to show that people can live healthy, happy and productive lives while dealing with eye issues.
Did you know that Mila Kunis was blind in one eye for many years? Her large, dark eyes are undoubtedly her most famous feature. She suffered from iritis, in inflammation of the eye. She eventually underwent surgery to correct the problem, and now has normal vision. This also involved replacing her natural lens with an artificial lens.
Other celebs with eye problems:
- Bono of U2 has glaucoma. This possibly explains his ever-present sunglasses.
- Judi Dench has age-related macular degeneration.
- Missy Elliott sought therapy and treatment for Graves’ Disease, which can cause eyes to bulge or protrude.
- Brittany Howard of the band Alabama Shakes had multiple eye conditions from early childhood, including retinoblastoma, or cancer of the eye, that left her partially blind in one eye.
It just goes to show that wealth or fame doesn’t prevent anyone from having vision problems. Many of these can be prevented or addressed more effectively the earlier they’re detected. If you’re experiencing issues with your eyesight, seek help from a qualified ophthalmic physician right away.
Now that the warm weather is finally here, you can look your best with a little help from the Indiana Eye Clinic!
On April 18 at our Greenwood clinic and on April 20 at your Plainfield clinic, we’ll be hosting Botox Night. Attendees can obtain botox injections at a greatly reduced price. It takes just 10 minutes and is virtually painless.
Dr. Carissa M. Barina is a board-certified ophthalmic surgeon who has more than a decade of experience specializing in Botox® to temporarily soften lines around your eyes, or anywhere else on your face. Results can last for months!
Botox is a safe and effective way to diminish the appearance of facial wrinkles using tiny injections. It is the only treatment of its kind that is approved by the federal Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
Click here for more information and to register!
After seven years in the workforce as a sales representative for different organizations, Nathan Gehlhausen decided to go back to school. Coming from a family of physicians, including his own father, Nathan knew he wanted to work in healthcare. It was a burgeoning field with lots of opportunity to help people, something about which he’s passionate.
“I grew up in and around healthcare. It was just a field I felt comfortable and knowledgeable in,” he said. “It will always be a necessity and in demand.”
After earning his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Marian College (now University), he obtained a master’s degree in healthcare administration from Indiana University. He then worked for a local healthcare network with their resident programs and medical research before joining Indiana Eye Clinic as Director of its Ambulatory Surgery Center in May of 2015.
“We have extremely knowledgeable and experienced owners and surgeons and a dedicated staff. We have a lot of highly satisfied patients, which is very rewarding,” Nathan said. “What I do in a nutshell is to make sure the patients have a great experience, the surgeons have a great day, and we maintain a financially viable future for the surgery center.”
Nathan oversees the daily operations of the surgery center which includes planning, organizing, and directing all activities of the facility according to its policies, procedures, philosophy, and objectives. He also ensures the facility meets all related local, state, federal, and accrediting-body rules and regulations.
In his spare time, Nathan enjoys playing sports and exploring the outdoors, especially with his family and 9-year-old son. He participates in soccer, softball, rock climbing, tennis, racquetball, basketball – “I’ll do pretty much anything that is competitive,” he says. Nathan also coaches his son’s soccer team, enjoys live music, cooking, and traveling.
Indiana Eye Clinic’s Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) was one of the first of its kind to be licensed in the state of Indiana. They have become more popular with the passage of years, in no small part because they can keep costs down — for both patients and doctors — while maintaining the same outcomes as a hospital surgery center.
Recently the Indianapolis Star ran an article on which local hospitals have the cheapest prices for various procedures, including surgical eye procedures. You can read the entire article by clicking here.
In its survey of cataract surgery with lens replacement, the state average to have this procedure at a hospital is $8,582. One area hospital came in below this figure, but four other hospitals were quite a bit above that average. One hospital charged nearly $11,000!
Compared to this, the cost to have cataract surgery at an ASC is much lower.
Here at the Indiana Eye Clinic, you can have the same procedure done for as little as $3,550, which includes physician and facility fee charges.
As you can see, there are ways to cut your medical bills, and ambulatory surgery centers are one vehicle to do just that.
Did you know that your body makes more than one type of tear?
It’s true! We tend to think of tears as being a single type of liquid, like blood or urine. But in fact, the body produces several distinct kinds of tears that depend on our body’s physical or emotional response to situations and stimuli, according to an article on the website of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
For instance, what we consider “normal” tears — the kind that lubricates, nourishes and protects your cornea — are known as basal tears.
Reflex tears are formed when your needs need to wash away harmful irritants. Emotional tears are produced when you are happy or sad, or some other emotional state, and actually contain hormones and proteins not present in other types of tears.
You may also not have known that tears have different layers. Or that the average human produces 15 to 30 gallons of tears every year!
Click here to read the entire article.