January 20, 2013

Optician marks one year anniversary


PLATTSBURGH — ADK Vision Care recently marked its one-year anniversary.

Co-owners Dr. Douglas Franz and his wife, Renee Franz, opened the business at 2 Healey Ave. on Dec. 19, 2011. They designed and renovated the former LaBarre’s Meat Market.

“When we got it, it was an empty shell,” Dr. Franz said.

The office features hardwood floors and pleasant, pastel-green walls.

The start of a new practice provided the opportunity to invest in new, state-of-the-art equipment. That includes an optical coherence tomography scanner, a device that allows a doctor to view cross-sectional views of the retina.

“Only about 30 percent of doctors have that. It allows us to check our patients more thoroughly,” he said.

The practice features a waiting room, reception desk, three exam rooms, post-testing room, contact-lens room and break room. They display art from local artists throughout the building, with selections that change every month.

“It’s nice for us. I get to see new art every month,” Dr. Franz said.

ADK Vision Care is a full-service eye-care clinic, Dr. Franz said. Services include routine eye exams, optical services, contact lenses, urgent eye care, dry-eye management, diabetes and glaucoma management, children’s eye care and refractory surgery co-management. 

Dr. Franz said they offer co-management care with Burlington-based Dr. Juli Larson and Saranac Lake-based Dr. Duncan Winter. Dr. Franz said he and Winter are scheduled to give a presentation on the optical coherence tomography technology at CVPH Medical Center on March 1.

They now offer telemedicine with Dr. David Weissgold and Dr. Michelle Yong of the Retina Center of Vermont as well.

The patients mainly visit the Plattsburgh office for post-operative follow-up care. Franz is able to send images to the doctor for

advice on the patient’s progress and future care.

The Franzes moved to the Plattsburgh area four years ago after a 20-year military career. Dr. Franz is a licensed optometrist and Mrs. Franz serves as office manager.

The office is almost completely paperless following conversion to an electronic medical-records system.

A graduate of Rutgers University, Dr. Franz then studied and graduated from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry. He then joined the U.S. Army for three years, followed by 17 years in the Air Force.

One day a month, Dr. Franz continues to work as an optometrist for the Vermont Air National Guard. He is fully licensed to treat eye diseases and glaucoma in New York, Vermont and Pennsylvania.

A job at Eye Care for the Adirondacks brought Dr. Franz to Plattsburgh. He worked there for about 18 months, then held various jobs in Plattsburgh and Burlington.

Dr. Franz even has a 15-minute radio show on WIRY at 10 a.m. on the last Tuesday of every month.

Thomas Becht is the optician at the practice. He has the ability to cut simple prescriptions the same day, although more complicated ones such as bifocals may take a bit longer.

Becht is also an Air Force veteran and was last stationed at Plattsburgh Air Force Base. He has more than 23 years experience as an optician and was formerly the optician and office manager at the Pearle Vision Center in the former Ames Plaza.

Dr. Franz said his goal is to ensure that patient care comes first, not the pursuit of profits.

Melissa Zielinski and Melissa Tourville round out the staff.

“We have a fantastic staff. They are all well trained,” Dr. Franz said. “I’ve known them for several years.”

One of the benefits of owning his own practices is the ability to bring Oliver, his Labradoodle, to work with him.

“He enjoys the patients. He makes them feel more comfortable, especially the children,” Franz said. “He’s been a really great addition to the practice.”

ADK Vision Care is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday. The practice takes most forms of insurance and major credit cards.

For more information, call 561-2352 or visit

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