The Vision Clinic: Our Story
WOW! We are almost to our 100 year anniversary! Dr. Fred Keller opened his optometry practice in 1923. Not only was he the first optometrist to practice between the cities of Great Falls and Spokane, he was also the mayor of Kalispell. In 1952 Dr. Chauncey Smith joined Dr. Keller and practiced until 1971. The practice was then sold to Dr. Donald Alzner who rapidly grew the practice with his patient centered attitude and willingness to fit the recently developed soft contacts of the day. In 1991 Dr. Stan Smith joined Dr. Alzner and started to build the medical side of the practice. When Dr. Alzner retired in 2002, Dr. Nick Chamberlain partnered with Dr. Smith and The Vision Clinic started to focus it's patient care to include not only the "which is better 1 or 2" side of the practice but also the medical care side of the practice. Because of our committment to the philosophy of patient first centered care we added Dr. Kyle Smalley to the clinic in 2016.
As our patient volume increased and the Flathead Valley continued to grow we knew it was time to build a facility that would allow us to become an optometric center of excellence. We needed a facility that could handle the staff and equipment necessary to efficiently serve our community with our unique style of patient care. In 2019 we joined forces with Dr. Doug Dolan and Dr. Todd Erickson who graciously accepted our invitation to become part of the Vision Clinic. Helena native, Dr. Wyatt Eckert, joined the Vision Clinic team in 2022.
We currently use state of the art equipment and highly trained staff to make our examination procedures as efficient and comprehensive as possible. Unlike many practices, we provide ultra wide field retinal scans and cross sectional scans of the retina at no extra charge as a part of our comprehensive examinations. This allows us to involve every patient in their own care and provide continuity of care between every exam and each doctor.
We also strive to provide an individualized experience in our optical. We have frames and lenses for all budgets. We think it's important that our patient's know all of the lenses we prescribe are fabricated in Montana in optical labs in Helena and Billings.
We have truly been blessed to have a community that has supported our clinic for almost 100 years and thank all of our patients who have entrusted us with their eye care. Whether you are a patient that has seen us for over 50 years or are a new patient considering to take that first leap of faith, we hope that our mission to provide you an optometric center of excellence and serve you with kindness and humility blows your socks off! We hope to see you soon.