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Optical Shop Now Open!******
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You could think of Dr. Terry Curran as the Tom Sawyer of Southwest Boulevard Family Health Care. He's an ophthalmologist, sure. But more importantly, he's a fence-painter. “ I want everybody to paint the fence with me,” he said. “I want them all to want to paint the fence.” *
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Over the past several months, he's proven persuasive. Earlier this year, after the clinic moved into its new addition, one of the new rooms was equipped with machinery for diagnosing vision deficits and eye diseases. The source of the pricey equipment, according to Curran: “Me and my friends.” *
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The clinic hired an optician, Dennis Moyers. This past summer, he and a volunteer optician, Ben Moyers, set up an optical shop. They began dispensing glasses a few months ago and expect soon to begin fitting patients with contact lenses. And the lenses, according to Moyers, are “the best lenses on the market.” Nothing about the new eye clinic is second-best, said Moyers, who has managed and worked in eye clinics for nearly 20 years. “This is probably one of the most advanced eye clinics I've ever worked in. I've worked in so many offices where the equipment was 10 years old.”
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This clinic has a retinal imager and a digitized eye chart.” Not standard equipment,” Moyers said. “Cutting edge. This is such a treat. A lot of times when you're doing safety net (medical care), you do just what'll get you by.” Not so at this clinic.*
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And the coats of paint just keep coming; Dr. Curran recently confirmed that the Hunkeler Eye Clinic Institute is ready to start doing eye surgeries for free on clinic patients.“ We're up and running,” he said. Dr. Curran anticipates a need for surgical treatment of diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma. “One of the problems with poverty is it leads to people getting older sooner,” he said. “There are a lot of 50-year-olds who need help, but they don't have any insurance.” Dr. Curran is recruiting more ophthalmologists, and expects to expand his stable. “We want everybody to be part of this effort,” he said, sounding like someone who doesn't readily accept “no” for an answer. “We want the doctors to find a way to give back.” *
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Next up, he's got his eye on an operating room for eye patients he expects will open soon at the KU Medical Center just up the road, making it very convenient for other retired KU physicians to do surgeries there. It's only a matter of time before Dr. Curran starts handing out more brushes and rollers. *
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Story by: Karen Uhlenhuth