For more than four decades Eye Care for the Adirondacks has been meeting the vision needs of the North Country. Dr. Kjell Dahlen founded the practice in 1978 and since 1980 operated the practice with Dr. Ben Vilbert. In October of 2016 the doctors sold the practice and retired from surgery. Dr. Dahlen still sees a few patients, while Dr. Vilbert is enjoying full time retirement.
Eye Care was purchased by Dr. Roy Arogyasami and Dr. Joseph Rini, known as Dr. Roy and Dr. Joe. The two met at a conference prior to joining Eye Care. Dr. Joe has been on board since 2012; Dr. Roy since 2015. Since the purchase Arogyasami and Rini , along with Executive Director, Tom Ferris, have been busy expanding the practice. Ferris, who had a successful career managing vision practices in Pennsylvania and New York prior to being recruited in 2014 explained, “The growth we are experiencing is significant. The practice has nearly doubled the number of providers – going from eight to 15 doctors with varying specialties who rotate through all three of our locations – Plattsburgh, Malone and Saranac Lake. We have added exam rooms and increased the size of our waiting rooms. Even our parking lots have been expanded.” Wait times have also been addressed by installing digital kiosks that allow new patients to input their own health insurance and personal information, which cuts down on check in lines. The operational business model, crafted by Arogyasami and Rini, includes a significant investment in new equipment, enabled by increased economies of scale which allows Eye Care to offer patients a wider spectrum of services. The Plattsburgh campus has invested in a California Optos machine which can help doctors diagnose disease and treat a variety of ocular pathologies, including macular degeneration.
One of the things the doctors are most proud of is their employee retention. “We have great people!” Dr. Roy emphasized. “This business would not have been able to grow as it has without our team. We have 170 employees and we value every single one of them. Our goal is to keep our people happy.”
Dr. Roy finished his interview with SB with a tribute to Eye Care of the Adirondack’s founder Kjell Dahlen. “I am in awe of what Dr. Dahlen did by founding the practice. We couldn’t grow like we are without the foundation set by him.”