You Can See Clearly Now

California Lasik Center redefines patient service

Thursday, February 27, 2014 | 1:13 am

CEO Brett Braun and retina surgeon Kristie Lin at California Lasik Center.

Since its inception and acceptance more than 25 years ago, laser eye surgery has gone from innovation to overload.  One doesn’t have to look far to find discount laser vision correction. There’s probably a Groupon for it out there right now.

That’s not the approach of Pasadena’s California Lasik Center, a division of The Retina Institute, a team of opthalmologists and surgeons out to redefine the whole laser surgery experience.

“We like to think of this as the Nordstrom of laser eye surgery,” says CEO Brett Braun. “Our premise is quality co-managed patient care, a true, vertically integrated model when it comes to eye care.”

Braun continued, “A lot of lasik centers today have become more of a mill-type setting, but with us, we want to create a true co-management relationship between the eye doctor and the patient.”

The Retina Institute is a team of 12 world-class eye surgeons, founded by renowned ophthalmologist Tom Chang. Most of the center’s team of eye specialists have also worked for some of the largest laser clinics in the US.  Laser procedures are done on-site and the Institute also has two Southern California surgery centers for the entire range of retina care and cataract surgery.

As Braun puts it succinctly, “On the laser side, we’re sight givers, and on the retina side, we’re sight savers.”

The center also hosts monthly symposiums to keep doctors informed and up-to-date with trends and training.

Says Braun, “We really like to think of ourselves as education crusaders. In other lasik clinics, they want your money, they want you in and out, they’re incentivized, but here, we just want to give you quality care.”

For Braun, a well-informed patient is a better and happier patient. “I’m a big believer in research, research, and more research,” he said. “In fact, I encourage patients to seek out consultations elsewhere.”

“We provide a different kind of care,” says Pasadena resident and surgeon Kristie Lin, MD, who trained at UC Davis and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and is a former chief resident at St. Vincent’s, New York Medical College.

“I love my patients,” said Lin. “I love working with them. They know where I live, they know my cell phone number. They are always in close contact with us.  I have a patient who just went to Hawaii, and I happened to mention that I love Kona coffee, and she brought it back for me! And, of course I see a lot of patients in my neighborhood, or at parties. At one party, I saw a patient of mine who introduced me to her friends, and as I turn around, the entire table was all my patients! It was so lovely. I feel like they’re all part of my family.”

It’s that type of care and caring that sets the service apart at California Lasik.  In fact, each patient has their doctor’s cell phone number to call at anytime with questions or help. When was the last time your doctor gave you his cell phone number?

Bringing together the patient, the eye doctor, the procedure, and the surgeon if necessary, along with the follow-up and the service, is all part of the “vertical integration” that Braun describes as the center’s goal.

The three-month old center is also the only on-site lasik surgery center in Pasadena, making them even more convenient to the community.

As Braun concluded, “We’re elevating the level of safety and education in the lasik industry. It’s become very commoditized, and it needs to be un-commoditized.”

That’s a fancy way of saying it’s not about the price, it’s about the service.

California Lasik Center is at 100 E. California Boulevard, Pasadena. (800) 432-2020. www.retina2020.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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