WHEELING - Associates in Ophthalmology Chief Operating Officer Michael Lutz said the West Mifflin-based company came to Wheeling Hospital in 2010 because they deemed the Ohio Valley an ideal place to offer their services in general and specialized eye care.
Three years later, the people of the Ohio Valley answered by voting AIO as first place ophthalmologist and optometrist service provider in the The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register's Readers' Choice Awards.
"We found a need in this area for our services," Lutz said.
Photo by Daniel Dorsch
Associates in Ophthalmology Cataract Surgeon K. Anne Jacobs, left, and COO Michael Lutz welcome patients to their eye care practice at Wheeling Hospital.
"Nobody else was really offering (specialized eye care) in the area."
AIO Cataract Surgeon K. Anne Jacobs said the Wheeling office provides general eye care, cataract surgery including the kind using laser technology, glaucoma management and surgery, corneal services and vision correction using laser technology.
"Just the fact we do have the highest technology, a big support staff and ophthalmologists in multiple specialties, that's very important to providing total patient eye care," Jacobs said.
Lutz agreed, saying patients can begin and end their eye care with Associates in Opthalmology's 10-physician group, eliminating much of the running around that eye care often demands of patients.
The practice serves about 5,000 patients in the tri-state area from Weirton to Moundsville and Sistersville, Belmont County in Ohio and some parts of Pennsylvania.
As a native of West Virginia growing up in Charleston, Jacobs said she was happy to be hired on as a full-time cataract surgeon with AIO in January and return to her home state.
She said she was attracted to the practice after 26 years working solo in a Cleveland practice of her own because of AIO's access to the latest technology and their personal approach to patient care.
"I actually feel really honored that we were chosen as first place," Jacobs said.
"We're going to continue to provide our patients with high-quality service," she said.
"We treat our patients as we would our family," Lutz added.
"It carries over to staff relationships with patients. We really do have a really close relationship with our patients."
Jacobs and Lutz said the practice will continue offering the highest quality service while working with Wheeling Hospital to bring in even more technology and services to benefit their patients.