Columbus Ophthalmology Associates was founded in 1984 by Dr. Richard G. Orlando, F.A.C.S., A.B.E.S. A native of Ohio, Dr. Orlando attended Gannon University for his bachelor’s degree and received his medical degree in 1979 from the Ohio State University. From 1979 to 1980, Dr. Orlando served his internship at Riverside Methodist Hospital under the tutelage of Ken Carpenter, M.D., Dublin’s only family practitioner. At that time, Dublin had a population of less than 2000. In 1983 Dr. Orlando completed his ophthalmology residency from the Ohio State University Medical Center and returned to Dublin. By that time, Dr. Carpenter had built a medical building on Frantz Road and moved from his small office located in the Old Historic District of Dublin to better serve Dublin’s growing population. Dr. Orlando moved into the medical building and Columbus Ophthalmology Associates was born.
Realizing the need to make ophthalmological care more convenient for Columbus’ east side, a second location was established in 1991 in Gahanna. A couple of years later Columbus Ophthalmology purchased a laser to be used in the office for the treatment of glaucoma, retinal disease and other surgical issues. Prior to that time, all laser procedures were performed at a local hospital. The convenience of having surgery in the office quickly became apparent due to the ability to have ophthalmologic specific surgical instrumentation and staff and the increased efficiency and lower cost. These factors were very attractive to all concerned; including patients, third-party payers and physicians.
As a result of the success of this small surgery center, discussions began in 1994 with Robert A. Bruce, M.D. of the Retina Group to determine the feasibility of building an ambulatory surgery center. In January 1995 both parties entered into a joint venture to develop the Columbus Eye Surgery Center. The center was located in one of the medical buildings on the campus of Mt. Carmel East Hospital. The center opened in March 1996 and was designed specifically for ophthalmologic procedures. It was designed with three operating rooms, a laser room, and a state of the art video system for taping and viewing surgeries. In addition, it contained the latest technology for cataract, glaucoma, retinal, and oculoplastics surgery. For the convenience of patients and physicians, Columbus Ophthalmology Associates relocated their Gahanna office to the suite adjoining the surgery facility on Mount Carmel’s campus.
In 1999, it was determined that Columbus had a need for pediatric ophthalmologic care. Dr. Michael S. Bloom joined the practice on a part-time basis. He received both his undergraduate and medical degrees from the Ohio State University. After completing his ophthalmology residency at Kresege Eye Institute at Wayne State University he went on to complete a pediatric ophthalmology fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit. Dr. Bloom is board certified by The American Board of Ophthalmology. His specialties include pediatric ophthalmology and eye muscle surgeries.
As the Dublin community continued to grow, it became apparent that the Dublin location required more space. In early 1998 plans began to build a medical building with area dentists, Dr. Richard Scheetz and Dr. Phillip Elmo. The current 10,000 sq. ft. facility located on Bradenton Avenue was opened in January 2000 and Columbus Ophthalmology Associates relocated, closing the Frantz Road office. In response to patient requests, The Optical Shoppe was established to provide one-stop eye care. The Optical Shoppe was designed to offer full service optical care and products, including designer frames and contact lenses.
Always striving to offer comprehensive eye care, a full time glaucoma specialist was added to the practice in March 2000. Dr. Robert J. Derick was born in Chicago, Illinois and received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame, in Indiana. Following completion of his medical degree at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, he performed his residency in ophthalmology at the Ohio State University Hospital. Dr. Derick also completed a glaucoma fellowship at John Hopkins University’s Wilmer Eye Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. Prior to joining Columbus Ophthalmology Associates, he conducted glaucoma research and clinical services for ten years at the Ohio State University. His specialties include glaucoma consultation and surgery, small incision cataract surgery, and general ophthalmology. He lectures and presents glaucoma patient case studies throughout the Midwest. Dr. Derick sees patients in the Dublin and Columbus locations, as well as see patients in Lima and at the Columbus VA.
In January 2001, Mark C. Nolan, O.D. joined Columbus Ophthalmology as Director of Optometric Services. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio and received his bachelor’s degree from Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio. Dr. Nolan graduated from the Ohio State University College of Optometry in 1995. Working with The Optical Shoppe staff, he is able to offer comprehensive contact lens and glasses services. His specialties include complex/specialty contact lens fitting, pre- and post-operative cataract and refractive surgery co-management, and corneal refractive therapy. He received his certification in cataract post-op management from Dr. Orlando and his certification in refractive surgery co-management from Dr. Robin Beran. He sees patients in the Dublin and Columbus offices.
Wishing to expand their retinal services, Columbus Ophthalmology added Charles J. Hickey, M.D., F.A.C.S. in November 2001. Also born in Cleveland, he attended the Ohio State University for his undergraduate and medical degrees. He completed his internship at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio and his ophthalmology residency at the Ohio State University Hospital. Dr. Hickey was in private practice for 18 years prior to joining Columbus Ophthalmology. Due to his previous relationship with Fayette County Memorial Hospital and Grove City, the practice established satellite offices to include services to those communities. Always active in the medical community, he has served on the American Medical Association’s Council on Constitution and Bylaws and the Executive Committee for the Mount Carmel System’s Health Board. Dr. Hickey has also served as the President of the Mount Carmel Medical Staff, Assistant Clinical Professor for the Ohio State Department of Medicine, and President of the Ohio State Medical Association. His specialties include small incision cataract surgery, treatment of diabetic retinopathy and retinal laser surgery.
To meet the growing need for diabetic patient and cataract patient care, James A. McHale, M.D. joined the practice in August 2004. Another Cleveland native, he received his bachelor’s degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Dr. McHale completed his medical degree at the Ohio State University and his ophthalmology residency at the Ohio State University Medical Center. He is the current Chairman for the Department of Ophthalmology at Mount Carmel West Hospital. He also serves as a part-time faculty member for the Department of Ophthalmology at the Ohio State University. Resident physicians and medical students learn about ophthalmology through Dr. McHale’s lectures at OSU and through his tutelage during their visits to Columbus Ophthalmology to shadow him in the clinic. His specialties include small incision cataract surgery, treatment of diabetic retinopathy, and retinal laser surgery. He sees patients at the Dublin, Columbus, Grove City and Washington, C.H. locations.
After many years of planning, it was decided in 2011 that the time had arrived to renovate and expand the Columbus location. Construction began in May to increase testing areas, exam rooms, and patient seating areas. The expansion also allowed the addition of a second Optical Shoppe location. In preparation of its opening, Dawn L. Hartman, O.D. joined the practice in May 2011. She received her bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan and completed her optometry degree at the Ohio State University College of Optometry in 1999. Dr. Hartman arrived at Columbus Ophthalmology with over a decade of optometry experience in complex contact lens fitting, comprehensive ocular health examinations, pre- and post-operative cataract and refractive surgery co-management, and treatment of dry eye syndrome. She sees patients at the Dublin and Columbus locations.
The Columbus location renovation and expansion planning process also included the addition of new physicians. The practice had long wanted to add oculoplastic services for its patients and now the facilities were available. Brandon C. Cho, M.D., M.S. joined the practice in the summer of 2012. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri and received his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and his medical school degree from the University of Missouri – Columbia. Dr. Cho completed his ophthalmology residency at the University of South Carolina and attended the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center to complete his fellowship in orbital, oculoplastic and aesthetic surgery. Dr. Cho also has a master’s of science degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Miami. His specialties include treatment and surgery of thyroid eye disease, tumors of the eyelids and orbit, eyelid and orbital reconstructive surgery, and cosmetic eyelid and brow surgery. He sees patients of all ages in the East and Dublin locations.Also joining the practice in the fall of 2012 is Thomas C. Litzinger, M.D. A Columbus native, Dr. Litzinger graduated from Bishop Watterson High School. He attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio for his bachelor’s degree. He received his medical degree from the Ohio State University. He completed his ophthalmology residency at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, California and attended Duke University for his cornea, external disease and refractive surgery fellowship. Dr. Litzinger will be the acting Director of Cornea and Refractive Services. His specialties include corneal transplant surgery, endothelial keratoplasty (DSEK), LASIK laser vision correction, Intacs® and corneal crosslink for keratoconus, management of acute corneal disease, and small incision cataract surgery. Dr. Litzinger will see patients in the Dublin, Columbus, Washington, C.H. and Grove City locations.