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Home » Tri-Cities Edition » Looking Back and Looking Forward: Johnson City Eye Clinic Celebrates 75 Years

Looking Back and Looking Forward: Johnson City Eye Clinic Celebrates 75 Years

By Johnson City Eye Clinic

Looking Back and Looking ForwardThe Johnson City Eye Clinic has proudly celebrated 75 years of revolutionary and innovative eye care history in 2017. We look forward to the next 75 years as we continue to provide our region with top-quality comprehensive eye care.

Johnson City Eye Clinic’s illustrious history began in 1942, when Dr. Tom McKee founded the McKee Eye Hospital, in a white two-story house located on Watauga Avenue. The hospital quickly earned a reputation for medical excellence and dedication to patient care that has only grown over its many years of service

Though a house may seem ill-suited for a hospital setting, Dr. McKee made it work. The house’s first floor held exam rooms, administration, and the optical department, while the operating room and patient rooms were located upstairs. In those days, patients were admitted to the hospital the day before surgery and postoperative hospital stays ranged from five days to as long as three weeks.

Today, cataract surgery is the most commonly performed outpatient procedure in the U.S. There are nearly five million procedures performed each year and most patients resume regular daily activities in as little as 24-48 hours!

The original Eye Hospital continued to expand throughout the 40’s and 50’s with the addition of several physicians, staff, and space to accommodate the hospital’s rapidly growing patient base. In the late 1970’s, the team of eye care physicians now known as the Johnson City Eye Hospital joined a group of ear, nose, and throat specialists to build The Johnson City Eye and Ear Hospital. The new hospital featured three modern surgery suites, a post-op recovery room, kitchen facilities, and beds for 39 patients. This facility would continue to expand and eventually become known as the Johnson City Specialty Hospital.

In 1982 the eye care partners built a new 14,000-square-foot facility with 12 exam rooms, doctors’ offices, an optical department, and administrative space. The Johnson City Eye Clinic opened its doors at 222 Unaka Avenue and remained there until moving to the current facility in Med Tech Park.

The Johnson City Eye Clinic and Ambulatory Surgery Center, and Cosmetic Laser Skin Care, the clinic’s med spa, welcomed its first patients on December 8, 2003. The current location provides one stop convenience for eye care and surgery services as well as cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgeries and medical spa procedures.

The Johnson City Eye Surgery Center is recognized annually for outstanding patient care by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, Inc. (AAAHC) and utilizes the latest in ophthalmic technology.

Cosmetic Laser Skincare, the Med Spa @ Johnson City Eye Clinic, specializes in an array of services ranging from lavish facials, skin rejuvenating and anti-aging treatments, to non- and minimally-invasive cosmetic treatments, such as fillers and Botox® as part of post-eyelid surgery maintenance.

Each of the Clinic’s physicians specializes in one or more aspects of ophthalmology, including pediatrics, laser assisted cataract and refractive surgeries, and the treatment of macular degeneration, retinal disease, and glaucoma. Five of the doctors have received additional intensive medical training through fellowship programs. Many of the 100+ ophthalmic staff members employed at the Johnson City Eye Clinic have been with the clinic for decades. The Clinic provides extensive training and strongly encourages non-specialized healthcare professionals to become certified specifically in ophthalmic testing, techniques, and services.

The Johnson City Eye Clinic has been going strong for 75 years, rolling with the changes and keeping up-to-date each time a new ophthalmic technology or technique is introduced. The physicians and staff have faith that its legacy and impact will continue for another 75 years.

Johnson City Eye Center

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