One doctor's mission is to fulfill a vision

Patients don't have to live in Los Angeles, New York, or even Seattle to receive top-notch ophthalmic care. In a bucolic college town located in central Washington State, John Boys Smith, MD, offers patients cutting-edge eye care with state-of-the-art medical technology.

His practice, Boys Smith Vision Center in Ellensburg, WA, which opened in 1991, was the first ophthalmology clinic in the Northwest and only the fifth on the West Coast to use the Optos System for undilated retinal scans. In this spirit, the practice continues to bring central Washington the most up-to-date, comprehensive eye care available with on-site lasers, fast and accurate technology in testing for refractive errors, and an array of high-tech diagnostic systems for glaucoma care.

Dr. Boys Smith, a glaucoma specialist, completed his graduate degrees in medicine at Cambridge University, England. With 25 years of experience in medicine-which include the invention of several medical devices and teaching positions at university hospitals both in the United States and abroad-he is now pursuing his vision with the rapid growth and development of his vision center.

The practice hired the consulting services of Pamela B. Fritz, president of Ophthalmology Resources, Clinton CT, for assistance with developing the optical dispensary.

"Hiring the services of an expert in the field of dispensing ophthalmology has been key to this project," Dr. Boys Smith said. "Fritz has successfully positioned our frame inventory and lab resources, hired the best optical team, developed our pricing structures and marketing strategies, and continues to monitor our dispensary's bottom-line profitability. Her guidance has been critical to our success."

In late 2003, construction was begun on both the north and south ends of the existing building. The plan was to build a temporary reception area on the south end of the building while the north end underwent major construction of the addition of a new reception and waiting area combined with a dispensary.

Additional exam lanes, contact lens lab and fitting area, management suites, and an optical lab adjacent to the new optical dispensary were all part of the north end construction.

When the south end of the building opened in April 2004, the north end construction was under way. As it turned out, the south end extension was large enough to house a "mini" optical department adjacent to the patient waiting area. This served as the springboard for Dr. Boys Smith to begin dispensing.

"Although our dispensing space was limited, we were able to display 400 frames," Dr. Boys Smith said. "This encouraged our patients to take immediate advantage of the convenience and quality of our optical department, with many purchasing their glasses here. It is critical for today's private-practice ophthalmologist to provide the full realm of patient services and this, most importantly, must include eyewear."

For the development of the building's north end, Dr. Boys Smith contracted the design services of Ennco Display Systems, Redmond, WA (