Fry Eye Associates in Garden City has relocated to a new clinic facility adjacent to its surgery center. The new facility offers not only more conveniences, but also allows the practice to grow, says co-owner and ophthalmology specialist Bill Clifford, MD.
For nearly 30 years, the eye clinic had been located at 310 E. Walnut St. and was physically connected to St. Catherine Hospital, about one mile away from the practice’s surgery center that was built about 20 years ago.
The move proved timely, Dr. Clifford says, because the hospital needed the space to relocate its obstetrics and gynecology providers after heavy snow in early May 2017 caused a partial collapse of the roof of its Women’s Clinic.
Fry Eye Associates’ new $3.5 million clinic, located at 502 College St., is directly west of Fry Eye Surgery Center, located at 411 N. Campus Drive. When designing the new, larger 12,500-square-foot clinic, the co-owners not only added space to allow for the hiring of another physician but also took into consideration convenience and safety amenities, such as more parking, heated sidewalks and a basement storm shelter. The practice moved from its former 10,000-square-foot clinic in late 2018.
“We’d renovated the previous clinic so many times, and we just couldn’t push the walls out for more space,” Dr. Clifford says.
(Left to Right) Drs. William Clifford, Eric Fry, Luther Fry and Reed McAtee celebrate the grand opening of the new Fry Eye Associates’ clinic at the ribbon cutting ceremony held Dec. 8, 2018.
Fry Eye Associates was founded in 1978 by Luther Fry, MD, who continues to see patients after retiring from his surgical career in 2016. Dr. Clifford joined the practice in 1995 and co-owns the practice with Dr. Fry’s son, Eric Fry, MD.
For years, the practice has tried recruiting a pediatric ophthalmologist, Dr. Clifford says. A new facility could help entice such a specialist, he says, and add to healthcare options in rural, western Kansas.
“There are five fewer ophthalmologists practicing west of Wichita than when I joined the practice,” Dr. Clifford notes. Once a week, specialists from Vitreo-Retinal Consultants in Wichita see patients at Fry Eye Associates’ Garden City facility.
“We look forward to being around the next 40 years, and this facility will carry us into the future,” Dr. Clifford says.