Grayling Vision Center moving forward under new ownership
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
An optometrist who recently took over an established practice in Grayling is expanding eye care services for patients of all ages in the community.
Dr. Kelly Drake purchased the Grayling Vision Center, located at 110 E. Michigan Avenue, from Dr. Mark Noss. Noss established the office in 1992 in the historic Salling, Hanson & Co Office building in downtown Grayling.
Drake has worked as an optometrist for Walmart for about nine years.
“It was time to do something different,” she said.
Drake attended the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University with Noss’ daughter, Dr. Rebekah Noss Lynch. She learned that the practice was on the market through their friendship.
Drake, who grew up in Onaway and has a home in Indian River, was inspired to pursue a career serving as an eye doctor since her grandfather had macular degeneration.
Nothing could be done in his case since the disease was not diagnosed until later in his life.
“That kind of spurred my interest, and I just like helping people that can’t see, see,” she said.
Drake had an interest in the medical field, but was not up to doing surgeries.
“Optometry kind of fit the bill, plus we get to be more involved with our patients rather than being in a big medical facility,” she said.
Drake is available to see patients on Wednesdays, and will expand to having Monday appointments on April 24. She is also available to see patients on Saturday by appointment.
“We will eventually be full-time here as we build,” Drake said.
Since taking over the practice, Drake said business has been good. The Grayling Vision Center added three new eye glass frame lines, two of which it carries exclusively in northern Michigan.
“That has been a big hit because you’re not going to see other people walking around with the same frame that you have on your face,” Drake said. “People like that.”
Grayling Vision Center is expanding services to draw in more patients.
The practice offers low vision evaluations.
“We can help fit patients that glasses alone won’t help with special devices to help them see better for reading and closed-circuit televisions and things like that,” she said.
Drake is also planning to introduce treatment for myopia – short-sightedness – which can slow the progression of myopia in children so that prescriptions for eyeglasses are not as strong as they become adults.
Finally, new diagnostic tests can be done for dry eye syndrome with patients to detect problems earlier before symptoms occur.
“That can help steer your treatment to be a little more aggressive,” Drake said.
“Instead of just sending them home with artificial tears, you can build a plan for them.”
Drake plans for renovations and updates at the Grayling Vision Center, and hopes to find a second residence in Crawford County for herself and her family.
“We’ve always wanted to have a cabin on a lake,” she said.