Whipple Eye Center Celebrates 25 Years In Avon
Writer / Christy Heitger-Ewing
Twenty-five years ago, Hendricks County was a relatively underserved area for eye care. That all changed in July 1992 when Dan Whipple opened the Whipple Eye Center in Avon. His first office was at Prestwick. Then, in 1993, he moved to the Hendricks Regional Health building at Dan Jones Road and Highway 36. At that facility he can now see patients for office visits upstairs and perform surgeries downstairs in the Hibbeln Surgery Center.
“I like being able to bring cutting-edge technology to Hendricks County so that my patients don’t have to travel to Indianapolis or elsewhere for the most up-to-date eye care,” Whipple says.
He was the first eye surgeon in central Indiana to introduce laser-assisted cataract surgery with the LenSx femtosecond laser. That laser is run by a computer at a quadrillionth of a second precision to allow customization of the patient’s prescription during cataract surgery and provide more independence from glasses as a result.
Another example of the state-of-the-art care that is offered by Whipple Eye Center is MIGS, micro-invasive glaucoma surgery, a surgery that combines cataract surgery with glaucoma surgery. In 2012, Whipple implanted the first commercial iStent in the United States used to perform MIGS surgery. Since then, more than 300,000 of these procedures have been done nationwide.
Whipple also provides Avastin injections for his patients with macular degeneration or diabetes.
“Over the past six years, this has become a great convenience for our patients, saving them a 30-mile trip to a retina specialist every month or so,” Whipple says. “I’m proud of what we’ve been able to bring to Hendricks County because I’m a big fan of taking care of people locally.”
In an era of medical practices becoming more hospital-owned and operated, Whipple’s practice has continued to be independently owned and operated for 25 years. It’s important to Whipple that his office provides state-of-the-art care in a friendly environment where the phone is still answered by a real person.
Whipple has always surrounded himself with a patient-focused eye care team. His optician, Rebecca Williams, and optometrist, Elise Smith, will have been at the practice 20 years next January. Dr. Daniel Spitzberg has been practicing ophthalmology in the central Indianapolis area for more than 40 years.
“It was his attraction to offering the most state-of-the-art care that brought him to join our team,” Whipple says.
The latest addition to the team, Rob McPike, is an Avon High School graduate (2008), who received his optometry degree (OD) from Indiana University in 2016. McPike scored second highest in the country on the “Patient Assessment and Management” optometry board exam.
“It’s convenient having all three services — ophthalmologist, optometrist and optician—in the same office,” says Whipple, who originally opened his practice in Avon because his wife, Libby, wanted to raise their children near her hometown of Plainfield.
“The kids are all grown, and we’re waiting on grandkids,” Whipple says. “Avon has been a great place to raise a family and own a business. I’ve watched the community grow up all around me. Although we utilize the latest technology, we still provide old-fashioned care and concern for our patients.”