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We are OPEN for your eye health needs.

Safe Places, Trusted Care

Gainesville Eye Associates has a long-standing commitment to the eye care health needs of our communities. Your safety is our highest priority. Gainesville Eye Associates is committed to giving you a safe, reliable place to receive eye care.

Reopening Our Clinics and Services

Thanks to the efforts of Georgia residents to practice social distancing, effectively controlling the spread of the virus, we can begin offering broader services to meet the eye care needs to patients.

How We’re Keeping Patients Safe During the COVID-19 Recovery

Guided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local government, we have taken several steps in addition to our standard infection control measures to ensure our practice remains a safe place for you to receive care confidently.

In-Person Appointments and Procedures

For some of our patients, being seen in-person or scheduled for surgery. Our commitment to you is to provide the care you need, when you need it, as safely and conveniently as possible. Each patient’s circumstances will be evaluated by their doctor to determine how soon that patient should return for in-person care or a scheduled procedure, or if their care needs could be handled through TeleMedicine.

Restricting Guests

We are restricting guests to reduce the number of people in our practice to eliminate the risk of exposure between patients and staff. We are asking that patients do not bring guests or family members with you to our office. Please have them wait in the car. We understand this can be difficult and appreciate your understanding.

Masks and Hand Sanitizer

  • Masks for Staff: All staff wear masks. The type of mask staff members wear is determined by the type of care they provide best to ensure their safety and the safety of our patients.
  • Masks for Patients: All patients are asked to wear a mask or cloth face covering while in our office.
  • Hand Sanitizer: Hand sanitizer is available at numerous locations throughout the office. Everyone is asked to sanitize their hands when they enter the building. Also, each member of our health care staff sanitizes their hands before and after each patient encounter.

Cleaning and Reorganization

  • Common Areas: Areas such as waiting rooms, lobbies, and restrooms are cleaned often with special attention to frequently touched surfaces, including doorknobs, armrests, and handrails.
  • Exam Rooms: These are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between each patient.
  • Floor Markings and Furniture Rearrangement: We have made special arrangements to support social distancing. You may see markers on the floors to show where people should stand for check-in and check-out. We have rearranged furniture in our waiting area to create more space between patients, and are scheduling appointments to ensure that fewer people are in our office at any given time. We have also removed all magazines and books from the waiting area.

Give Gainesville Eye Associates a call at (770) 532-4444 and our staff will schedule you for an in-office or telemedicine visit.

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Gainesville Eye Associates Offers Telemedicine

Gainesville Eye Associates Offers Telemedicine

GAINESVILLE, Ga. (May  2020) – To do its part to serve the community and limit the strain on the healthcare system, Gainesville Eye Associates (GEA) is now offering telemedicine services.  Telemedicine visits are being scheduled for urgent/emergent matters, prescription refills, contact lens reorders and for other clinical care needs.

“We added telemedicine services during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep our patients safe,” Gainesville Eye ophthalmologist Dr. Jack Chapman said. “Many of our patients are in the age group at risk for contracting the virus. They still needed our services and telemedicine appointments allowed us to provide that.”By improving all three areas of vision, most patients do not have to use glasses after having the surgery.

Medicare and most commercial insurance plans have substantially broadened access to telemedicine services, including waiving copays for telemedicine visits.

4 Steps to set-up a telemedicine visit with a Gainesville Eye Associates doctor:

  1. Call Gainesville Eye Associates at (770) 532-4444.
  2. GEA staff will schedule and ensure patients are set-up for their telemedicine appointment and verify insurance information.
  3. Relax and wait for a phone call from a GEA technician to start the appointment.
    • It is important to be ready for the call to start the telemedicine visit.
    • GEA staff may call from an unfamiliar or blocked number.
    • If a call is missed, patients should return it as soon as possible.
  4. The technician will provide instructions for starting the video call (FaceTime, Google Duo, or Doximity) with your doctor.

June Lewis of Cumming had never seen a physician through telemedicine services. When she had an eye problem come up recently, she was concerned about leaving the house due to social distancing requirements, but wanted to have her problem addressed.  She heard that Gainesville Eye Associates was offering telemedicine services to keep patients and staff healthy during COVID-19 and decided to give them a call.

Lewis was a new patient to Gainesville Eye Associates and to Dr. Chapman.  When she called the office, she found that it was a very easy process to set up the appointment.

“The telemedicine call was done through FaceTime on my iPhone,” said Lewis.  “Dr. Chapman was able to see my eye up close through the phone and diagnose my issue.”

Lewis added that it was also easy to schedule the second appointment to follow up on her eye issue. “Telemedicine is a wonderful option to be seen by a physician without having to leave home,” Lewis said.

Mary Beth Kiddie of Flowery Branch has been a patient and employee of Gainesville Eye Associates for 12 years.  Before the state-wide shelter in place mandate, Kiddie was a test patient to ensure that the telemedicine services worked correctly.  Since then, Kiddie has completed a routine exam with Dr. Chapman.

“Telemedicine offers a wonderful alternative to an in-office visit, said Kiddie.  “I am in the at-risk age group, so I appreciate the option to be seen by Dr. Chapman without putting my health at risk.”

GEA has an exam room dedicated to telemedicine visits.  Video appointments with a doctor are conducted through FaceTime, Google Duo or Doximity.

“Going forward in our new normal, patients will be contacted prior to their appointment to update information and get their chief complaint,” said Dr. Chapman.  “Telemedicine will be a big part of our future to limit exposure and make visits more efficient.”

Gainesville Eye Associates has clinics in Gainesville; Braselton; and Cornelia; with consulting offices in Blairsville; Clayton; Hiawassee, Ga.; and Hayesville and Franklin, N.C. Gainesville Eye Associates offers laser cataract surgery, cataract eye surgery, ReSTOR Lens, TECNIS®, cataract education, eyelid plastic surgery, Latisse, eye conditions, dry eye, and contact lenses. To find out more about Gainesville Eye Associates, or to schedule an appointment, contact their office at 770-532-4444. You can also learn more about the services offered by Gainesville Eye Associates by following them on Facebook (www.facebook.com/gainesvilleeye), Twitter (@GainesvilleEye), Instagram (gainesville_eye_associates) or YouTube (www.youtube.com/GainesvilleEyetube).

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New Trifocal Intraocular Lens Technology Offered in Northeast Georgia

Gainesville Eye Associates Offers cutting edge technology for cataract surgery patients

Patients in Northeast Georgia now have access to the Alcon AcrySof® IQ PanOptix® trifocal intraocular lens that gives patients improved near (reading), intermediate (computer) and distance vision after cataract surgery.

By improving all three areas of vision, most patients do not have to use glasses after having the surgery.

PanOptix is the first and only FDA approved trifocal lens in cataract surgery. Gainesville Eye Associates is one of the first practices in Northeast Georgia to offer the PanOptix lens, and ophthalmologist Dr. Zach Balest was one of the first surgeons in the area to use the new technology which was released in September.

“Our cataract surgery patients want a replacement lens that delivers the vision they need to live full, active lives without always being dependent on glasses,” Balest said. “PanOptix is an excellent lens option to address these needs and is clinically proven to deliver an outstanding range of vision.”

In addition to Dr. Balest, Gainesville Eye Associates ophthalmologists Dr. Jack Chapman, Dr. Clayton Blehm and Dr. Lori Lebow all use the new technology.

Alcon’s AcrySof IQ PanOptix technology has served cataract patients worldwide for a number of years before receiving FDA approval after field trials in the U.S.

“We are proud to bring this new class of IOLs to the U.S. eye care market,” said David J. Endicott, chief executive officer of Alcon. “We are leveraging Alcon’s years of experience with PanOptix in other countries to provide the best possible training and support for U.S. surgeons. Our goal is to ensure optimal outcomes for cataract patients looking to correct their vision at all distances, with the vast majority of them never needing to wear glasses post-surgery.”

Gainesville Eye Associates has clinics in Gainesville; Braselton; and Cornelia; with consulting offices in Blairsville; Clayton; Hiawassee, Ga.; and Hayesville and Franklin, N.C. Gainesville Eye Associates offers laser cataract surgery, cataract eye surgery, ReSTOR Lens, TECNIS®, cataract education, eyelid plastic surgery, Latisse, eye conditions, dry eye, and contact lenses. To find out more about Gainesville Eye Associates, or to schedule an appointment, contact their office at 770-532-4444. You can also learn more about the services offered by Gainesville Eye Associates by following them on Facebook (www.facebook.com/gainesvilleeye), Twitter (@GainesvilleEye), Instagram (gainesville_eye_associates) or YouTube (www.youtube.com/GainesvilleEyetube).

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EyeCare Associates Has Merged with Gainesville Eye Associates

Dear Patient,

We are happy to announce that EyeCare Associates recently merged with Gainesville Eye Associates (GEA). Due to this merger, EyeCare Associates relocated to GEA’s current offices at 2061 Beverly Road, Gainesville.

GEA has a long history of serving the medical and surgical needs of the community. Over the years, we have referred many of our patients to their office for surgery.

As part of this merger, our focus has transitioned to medical comprehensive eyecare. We continue to accept all major medical insurances such as Blue Cross, Blue Shield, United Healthcare, Aetna, Cigna, Humana, and Medicare. Most major medical now cover well visits, diabetic eye examinations, medical eye examinations, surgery, and emergency visits. We have DISCONTINUED accepting VISION PLANS such as VSP and EYEMED.

GEA has an optical dispensary for your eyeglass and contact lens needs. Our optician, Laurie Carpenter, also transitioned and continues to assist you with spectacle orders, repairs, and adjustments. We will honor any existing warranties on prior purchases from us. The remainder of our staff, Debra Porter, Maegan Hebebrand, and Phyllis Cosey, have also joined the GEA team.

After 39 years of serving the eyecare needs of the community, Dr. Tom chose to take this opportunity to retire and spend more time with his family, travel, and pursue other interests. However, Dr. Jody is seeing our patients at the new location. All current medical records are kept on-site at Gainesville Eye Associates, and you can continue to reach us at 770.532.7246.  

Thank you for the privilege of being your choice for eyecare all these years. We look forward to serving you in this new endeavor.

Sincerely,

Thomas J. Rossi, O.D.

Jody L. Whisenant, O.D.

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Laser Cataract Surgery Now Offered in Franklin and Highlands Region

Franklin and Highlands residents will no longer need to travel far from home to receive advanced cataracts surgery thanks to the addition of ophthalmologist Dr. Clayton Blehm to the Family Eyecare Team of Franklin.

Dr. Blehm, who focuses his practice on laser cataract surgery, has performed thousands of cataract surgeries in the past 10 years. He specializes in the use of the leading laser cataract removal device with all standard and premium implant lens options.

“I look forward to offering cataract removal for patients in the area,” Blehm said. “They will be able to take advantage of new technology that provides less invasive and much more precise removal of cataracts.”

Dr. Blehm earned his medical degree from the University of Texas-Houston Medical School and served his ophthalmology residency there. He has assisted in numerous research projects, presented findings at national ophthalmology conferences and is published in several national medical journals.

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New Braselton Location Featured in The Times

The Times featured the Gainesville Eye Associates move into new Braselton office in a recent article.

https://www.gainesvilletimes.com/news/gainesville-eye-associates-gets-new-braselton-office/

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Gainesville Eye Associates Moves Office in Braselton to RiverStone Medical Plaza

The Times featured the Gainesville Eye Associates move into new Braselton office.

Gainesville Eye Associates has moved its office in Braselton to the RiverStone Medical Plaza.

The new address is 1255 Friendship Road, Suite 160, Braselton, GA 30517. The practice has had an office in Braselton since 2012.

“Our new location provides greater access and convenience for patients in the Braselton area. It’s a fast-growing area and we’re pleased to be part of the community to better serve our patients who live and work there.”

April Adkins, Gainesville Eye Associates’ Practice Administrator

To schedule an appointment with Gainesville Eye Associates, schedule online or call 770.532.4444.

Gainesville Eye Associates has clinics in Gainesville, Braselton, and Cornelia, with consulting offices in Georgia (Blairsville, Clayton, and Hiawassee), and North Carolina (Hayesville and Franklin). Gainesville Eye Associates offers laser and standard cataract surgery, dry eye, diabetic eye care, glaucoma, and routine eye care. To find out more about Gainesville Eye Associates, or to schedule an appointment, contact our office at 770-532-4444. You can also learn more about the services offered by Gainesville Eye Associates on our website at GainesvilleEye.com or by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube.

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Gainesville Eye Associates Provides a Wide Range of Services

Gainesville Eye Associates has been a regional leader in laser cataract surgery for many years, but the practice also provides other services including botox, latisse, eyelid plastic surgery, vision correction, and contacts.

Botox

For patients interested in a botox treatment, Gainesville Eye doctors perform a complete facial analysis to determine if a patient has areas that might benefit from treatment. Normal activity may be resumed immediately. Patients begin to see results two to seven days after treatment, and these results usually last for three to six months.

Ophthalmologists are highly qualified to offer Botox treatments because of their specialized understanding of the anatomy of the muscles, bone and connecting tissue around the eyes.

Botox is a muscle-relaxing agent that reduces wrinkles and fine lines by temporarily paralyzing the muscle. The most common areas of treatment are forehead wrinkles, frown lines between eyes, and crow’s feet.

Latisse

Gainesville Eye was the first practice in the southeast to offer Latisse, the only FDA-approved treatment to produce longer, fuller eyelashes. Latisse can help increase eyelash growth, length, thickness and darkness in as little as eight weeks. The treatment is applied at home once nightly directly to the skin of the upper eyelid. Gainesville Eye physicians are experienced and knowledgeable in latisse treatment and give patients detailed instructions and answer questions during an in-office consultation prior to the at-home treatment.

Contacts

For those wearing contacts, Gainesville Eye provides an extensive range of options ranging from astigmatism correction to breathable lenses the patient can sleep in. Brands offered by Gainesville Eye include Focus Night & Day, Pure Vision, Soflens Toric, Soflens Multifocals, Acuvue, Acuvue Advanced, Oasys and Torics.

Blepharoplasty

Another service provided by Gainesville Eye is blepharoplasty, or eyelid plastic surgery. It is a common procedure where excess skin and fatty tissue is removed from around the eyelids. The procedure can also address droopy eyebrows and can be performed on a patient’s upper and lower eyelids.

Excessive upper eyelid tissue can block the upper field of vision. Correction of the overhanging skin folds will improve the function of the upper eyelid and peripheral vision. Even if vision is not affected, blepharoplasty can be performed to improve a sagging, tired appearance or irritation from eyelashes. Most patients enjoy improved peripheral vision and a more youthful, energetic appearance.


Gainesville Eye Associates has clinics in Gainesville, Braselton, and Cornelia, with consulting offices in Georgia (Blairsville, Clayton, and Hiawassee), and North Carolina (Hayesville and Franklin). Gainesville Eye Associates offers laser and standard cataract surgery, dry eye, diabetic eye care, glaucoma, and routine eye care. To find out more about Gainesville Eye Associates, or to schedule an appointment, contact our office at 770-532-4444. You can also learn more about the services offered by Gainesville Eye Associates on our website at GainesvilleEye.com or by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube.

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Gainesville Eye Associates Sponsors Chamber’s HealthSmart

Gainesville Eye Associates is a platinum sponsor for the Greater Hall Chamber’s 8th Annual HealthSmart Interactive Wellness Expo on October 8 at the Gainesville Civic Center.

We hope everyone comes out to this community event, scheduled from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. It is open to the public and provides individuals the opportunity to obtain free health screenings. We will provide vision screenings in our booth.

The Expo starts with the HealthSmart Kickoff Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Anthony Williamson, President of Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton, will be guest speaker at the breakfast. 

Cataracts and Laser Vision Correction Newspaper clipping: "Laser imaging offers cutting edge technology for cataract surgery"

Gainesville Times: HealthWatch

Gainesville Times Article: Laser Imaging Offers Cutting Edge Technology for Cataract Surgery

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