Coon Rapids eye clinic doubles its office space

North Suburban Eye Specialists’ new clinic in Coon Rapids doubles the space it had at its previous office.

The new North Suburban Eye Specialists clinic named the Cameron Medical Center in Coon Rapids.

The new North Suburban Eye Specialists clinic named the Cameron Medical Center in Coon Rapids.

A ribbon cutting ceremony took place July 18 to mark the grand opening of the clinic’s new 132,000 square-foot building at Coon Rapids and Round Lake boulevards.

North Suburban Eye Specialists first opened in Coon Rapids 36 years ago and Dr. James Cameron, who cut the ribbon to mark the opening of the new building, was one of the founders of the practice.

Indeed, his fellow partners in the practice have named the new building in his honor, the Cameron Medical Center.

North Suburban Eye Specialists had been at its previous location right across Coon Rapids Boulevard from the new clinic for 10 years, but had outgrown the space, according to Rikki Popsum, human resources manager.

The clinic employs 55 full- and part-time people, including nine doctors – five ophthalmologists and four optometrists, Popsum said.

Besides the Coon Rapids location, North Suburban Eye Specialists has had an office in the Blaine Medical Center for past five years with the clinic’s doctors rotating between the two sites, she said.

The clinic is occupying most of the space in the new building, with a few rooms without equipment and not being used at this time to allow the practice to grow, according to Popsum.

But it will also be leasing out two areas on the west end of the building, Popsum said.

A dialysis clinic will be moving into one space; the other area is at present not leased, she said.

According to Delta Jorgensen, practice administrator at North Suburban Eye Specialists, the new clinic provides expanded space to continue to treat and serve patients in a strategically-designed and comfortable environment.

“We believe that great medical care depends not only on using the best technology but also on building strong patient relationships in an environment that fosters health and healing,” Jorgensen said.

“We are committed to providing the best quality eye care and services that patients need – this new building is a testament to that commitment.”

Dr. Patrick Johnson, a partner at North Suburban Eye Specialists, emceed the ribbon cutting ceremony, introducing speakers Dr. Mark Lobanoff, another partner; Coon Rapids Mayor Tim Howe; and Cameron.

Lobanoff is proud of the new clinic because it will enhance the “great eye care” that patients receive and the commitment to care that the clinic and its staff have, he said.

“I have worked all over the country and this clinic has a different feel,” Lobanoff. “It really is all about the patient.”

Over the years, North Suburban Eye Specialists has invested in advanced eye care equipment, according to Lobanoff.

That is continuing with the planned purchase of two new pieces of laser equipment, which will put North Suburban Eye Specialists on the cutting edge  treatment of eye disease, Lobanoff said.

The opening of the North Suburban Eye Specialists is a “great day,” said Howe.

“It has been very exciting to watch this building go up,” he said.

This is a huge step and a tremendous boost to the city’s vision for development and redevelopment along Coon Rapids Boulevard.

The North Suburban Eye Specialists Clinic has been built on property that was formerly home to the McKay Lincoln Mercury dealership that closed some years ago.

“This really means a lot to us,” Howe said. “It is a tremendous shot in the arm.”

Having the clinic building named for him was a “great honor,” according to Cameron.

“You really don’t have to be dead to have a building named after you,” Cameron said.

In fact, thank you words are too small, he said.

Cameron told the story of his father, who was a country doctor in the small town of Erskine in northern Minnesota and would make house calls at all hours of the night and day, no matter the weather.

“He desperately cared about the people and the people cared about him,” Cameron said.

When it came time for his father to “move on,” the town named its lake, Cameron Lake, which meant a great deal to his father, he said.

And Cameron was glad that his partners had chosen “center” rather than “building” in the name of the clinic.

“This is more than a building, but a center where men and women serve people and care for them with compassion and kindness,” Cameron said.

Partners with North Suburban Eye Specialists in the construction of the new clinic were RJM Construction, Sperides Reiners Architects Inc. and United Properties.

According to its website, North Suburban Eye Specialists provides conveniently accessible and comprehensive eye care services in general ophthalmology, refractive surgery, cataract surgery, glaucoma surgery and eye-related disease treatments. For more information go to nseyespecialists.com.

Peter Bodley is at peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com

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