Coronavirus: How We’re Taking Precautions

The safety of our patients and staff is of the utmost importance to The Eye Center of North Florida; therefore, in light of the issues surrounding COVID-19, commonly referred to as Coronavirus, we wanted to let our patients know about the precautionary steps we are taking. 

Our leadership team pro-actively developed a plan to deal with COVID-19; we believe preparing our staff and providing information to patients are positive steps to avoid spreading the virus.

  • Patients are being asked to reschedule their appointments if they have a respiratory infection, fever, or if they have traveled outside the US in the previous 30 days.
  • Team members who have respiratory issues or fever are instructed to stay at home.
  • We have removed magazines in all waiting rooms, for now, to avoid having items that are shared among patients.
  • For further protection, patients are being asked to wear a mask upon arrival to our offices if they are recovering from cold symptoms.  Any patient with fever is asked not to enter the office and to call prior to the visit.

While the overall risk of COVID-19 to the general public remains low, elderly people and individuals with chronic medical conditions may have increased risk for COVID-19. The best prevention measures for any respiratory virus are:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. 

We encourage you to take steps to protect you and your family; if you are concerned that you have been exposed to COVID-19 or if you have symptoms, please see your physician to be tested – and be sure to follow their guidelines to avoid spreading the virus. 

If you have any questions or concerns related to COVID-19 and an upcoming appointment at our office, please call us at 850-784-3937.

Please understand that The Eye Center of North Florida is not a governing body, and we encourage our patients to use the following official resources to find current information on appropriate courses of action and to track new cases:



Spring break is right around the corner, but before you check out for the week, we want to make sure you’ve packed all the essentials. We have a few last-minute reminders when it comes to eye safety that you need to remember.   


Pack your sunglasses. They help protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.  Water often has a glare that can damage your eyes if they aren’t properly protected by polarized eyewear. Excessive UV exposure can cause severe damage and eye pain. It can even lead to macular degeneration and cataracts.


Your eyes need a break too. Take out your contact lenses before you sleep, shower, or swim. Wearing contact lenses to bed or exposing them to water increases the risk of painful eye infections.

Don’t swim or shower while wearing contact lenses because germs can be carried from the water into your eye. To be safe, remove your contact lenses and pack your goggles! It’s a sure way to protect your eyes and enjoy your vacation.

Replace your contact lenses as often as recommended by your eye care provider. 

Use only fresh contact lens solution – never water – to put lenses in your eyes and to store your lenses after each use.


As you are packing for your fun filled spring break vacation, or planning a relaxing staycation, don’t forget to pack your eyecare essentials. Be sure to have contact solution, extra contacts, your spare glasses and a lens cleaning cloth.

Again… Be prepared, have plenty of eye care supplies on hand.  Please don’t forget your sunglasses, protect your eyes from harmful UV Rays. If you don’t have a pair, come see us!  Our optical department has all the latest styles, fashion from great brands you know and love like Costa Del Mar, Ray Ban and many more!

Important Insurance Announcement- Superior Vision

The Eye Center of North Florida will no longer be a participating provider with Superior Vision, also known as Versant Healthcare after 1/31/2020.

Important Announcement for Medicare Patients

Attention Medicare Patients: You must present your new Medicare cards showing the new numbers when you visit our office. Effective 1/1/2020 all claims to Medicare must have the new numbers.

LASIK For Hero Winner Announced

On Friday November 8, 2019 the Eye Center was proud to present our 2019 LASIK for Heroes award at the annual Bay County Chamber of Commerce First Responder Appreciation Luncheon.

Our award recipient primary job is to manage and maintain the County’s Communication Call Center equipment and to manage and maintain all the main 911 services.  For her, it is not unusual to receive calls to troubleshoot issues in the dead of night.  It is also not unusual for her to have to crawl into areas where having glasses is problematic.  In hot, steamy conditions her glasses fog up.  Because of computer work, her glasses also cause eye strain and headache.      Both effect how she is able to perform her daily duties.   Our LASIK for Local Heroes recipient is Bay County Emergency Services Lesil Taylor.


You can view the Award Presentation here:

Kristina Williams, Marketing Director with Lesil Taylor, LASIK for Hero Award Winner

EyeSouth Expands into the Florida Panhandle Through Affiliation with the Eye Center of North Florida

EyeSouth Partners (“EyeSouth” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has completed an affiliation with the Eye Center of North Florida (“ECNF”). The affiliation represents EyeSouth’s second in Florida and first in the Panhandle Region. EyeSouth is an eye care-focused management services organization backed by Shore Capital Partners committed to partnering with leading physicians to build a premier network of eye care services in the South. EyeSouth’s affiliate network consists of 14 practices with approximately 90 doctors providing medical and surgical eye care services at approximately 59 locations including 10 surgery centers throughout Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee and Alabama.

The Eye Center of North Florida is led by Dr. Bret Fisher, Dr. Paul Garland, Dr. Jeffrey Pyne, Dr. Anthony Aker, Dr. David Edinger, and Dr. Mark Jones and functions with two additional optometrists, Dr. Lisa and Scott McKim. ECNF employs approximately 100 support staff across four clinical locations in the Florida Panhandle with its headquarters and Ambulatory Surgery Center (“ASC”) located in Panama City. ECNF was formed in 1999 following the merger of the Newberry Eye Clinic and Gulf Coast Eye Clinic, two of the oldest, most established and trusted practices in the Florida Panhandle. Many of the key employees and doctors trace their roots to before the merger with a track record of providing quality care for decades.

Dr. Aker commented on the partnership, “The affiliation with EyeSouth will position the Eye Center to continue to provide quality care for decades to come, ensuring our employees, patients, and the community are taken care of over the long-run.” Dr. Fisher continued, “It was incredibly important to us to find a partner that shared our commitment to providing innovative patient care. When I look at all the high-quality physicians that have joined EyeSouth including many of which I have known for years, it is exciting to think about what we can collectively accomplish.”

“We are extremely excited to partner with the premier eye care provider in the Florida Panhandle,” said Eugene Gabianelli, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of EyeSouth Partners. “Our collective clinical mission is fully aligned, and we look forward to growing ECNF and expanding access to quality patient care throughout the local community.”

The Eye Center of North Florida will continue to operate under its brand, with no changes to staff, physicians or locations.

To learn more about a partnership with EyeSouth Partners, visit or contact Charlie Shreve, VP of Business Development & Strategy,

About EyeSouth Partners

Headquartered in Atlanta, GA, EyeSouth Partners (“EyeSouth”) is an eye care management services organization committed to partnering with leading physicians to build a premier network of eye care services in the South. EyeSouth’s partner practices’ clinical mission is to provide high quality medical and surgical specialty eye care. EyeSouth supports its affiliated practices and physician partners with strategic guidance, administrative resources, operating expertise, and capital with an absolute focus on clinical quality and a patient-first culture. EyeSouth’s affiliate network consists of 14 practices and approximately 90 doctors providing medical and surgical eye care services at approximately 59 locations including 10 surgery centers throughout Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee and Alabama. EyeSouth is backed by Shore Capital Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm focused on microcap healthcare and food & beverage investments. For more information about EyeSouth Partners, please visit:

About Shore Capital Partners

Shore Capital Partners is a Chicago-based private equity firm focused on microcap healthcare and food & beverage investments. Shore supports management partners with capital, business development expertise, and industry knowledge to accelerate growth, fund acquisitions, and generate value to shareholders. Shore targets investments in proven, successful private companies with superior management teams, stable cash flow, and significant growth potential, including organic and growth through industry consolidation. Shore has over $1 billion of equity capital under management through various investment vehicles. More information about Shore Capital Partners can be found at

Dr. Fisher presents on KAMRA at ASCRS

Check out this video of Dr. Bret Fisher providing a booth presentation on KAMRA at ASCRS. 

Main office closed on May 3

Our main office on HWY 77 will be closed on May 3 for our employees to prepare the clinic to fully reopen on May 6.  After many months of restoration we will finally be back in the clinic!

Laser & Surgery Center Receives Accreditation

The Eye Center is pleased to announce that our Laser and Surgery Center was recently accredited for the 11th year by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC).

This is an important milestone in the continuing growth and success of our health care organization. Pursuing accreditation shows our commitment to providing the highest levels of quality care to our patients, and the same high level of quality in our business practices. Achieving accreditation by AAAHC is proof that we have met the rigorous standards of a nationally-recognized third party.

We are proud to have met the challenge of accreditation, and intend to consistently uphold the principles of quality improvement in patient care in the future.