The staff at McFarland Clinic's Boone Eye Center are celebrating its 20-year anniversary in July. L to R: Carol Nelson; James Barker, DO; Deanna Nost; Mary Marley. Not pictured: Julie Barker.
McFarland Clinic’s Boone Eye Center and its staff are celebrating their 20-year anniversary in July.
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The McFarland Clinic Boone Eye Center opened its doors on July 15, 1999 after purchasing the former practice in that building. Many of the prior practice’s staff joined McFarland, and to date, the Boone Eye Center staff has a combined 151 years of experience providing extraordinary care.
Meet the Staff
James Barker, OD – Optometrist
Dr. Barker worked with Dr. Marion Parks in the same building until Dr. Parks’ retirement in 1984. Dr. Barker continued to share the practice with Dr. Dennis Kollbaum. Once the prior practice became McFarland Eye Center in 1999, Dr. Barker began working with the clinic as an optometrist.
Mary Farley – Optician
Mary began working as an optician with the independent practice in 1997, before it became McFarland. She left the Boone Eye Center to become a float optician for all McFarland Eye Centers in 2006. She returned to the Boone office full time in 2014.
Deanna Nost – Certified Paraoptometric
Deanna began working for the independent practice in 1987 as an optician, eventually becoming a certified paraoptometric. She worked in the prior practice for 12 years before McFarland’s Boone Eye Center was opened.
Carol Nelson – Paraoptometric & Insurance Billing
Carol Nelson started at the prior practice in 1976. She worked in the prior practice for 23 years and has continued working for McFarland Eye Center ever since as a paraoptometric, insurance specialist and billing specialist.
Julie Barker – Optometry Assistant
Julie Barker began as a float optometric assistant when McFarland opened the Boone Eye Center. During her 20 years with McFarland she has helped the eye center when another staff member is out of the office, on vacation or sick.
Nelson said the team has seen the practice change from operations ranging from basic eye exams to medical eye care.
“We have watched the practice evolve from basic eye exams without being able to even remove foreign bodies or use prescription drugs to where we are today,” she said. “Taking care of all aspects of eye care including minor surgical procedures and treating eye diseases is what we do today.”
Things such as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyeglass frames, multifocal lenses and lens materials continue to improve and change the process of optometry – something that the staff has appreciated and embraced.
Dr. Barker said a part of that change was switching from independent practice to a collaborative environment.
“It’s kind of nice (to work with other doctors),” he said. “When you are on your own with (independent) practice, you don’t really associate with many other doctors unless it’s at a conference.”
From Coworkers to Life-Long Friends
Working for 20 years together at McFarland, and as much as 35 years together total, has created a strong bond between the staff. From babysitting each other’s kids to giving house hunting advice, the group has been through many momentous life events together.
“We are kind of like a big family,” Nost said. “We all take care of each other.”
Even after Farley left to become a float optician at other locations, she said when she came back to the Boone office their friendship was as strong as ever.
“I was gone for five, six (years),” Farley said. “And then I came back and it’s like I was never gone.”
To More Extraordinary Years
After 20 years, medical innovation, good memories, and a great workplace, the staff looks forward to more years with the people they work with and extraordinary care they provide.
“It’s been a good ride so far, but we’re not done yet.” – Dr. James Barker
“Hopefully the next 20 is as good as the last 20.” – Deanna Nost
“I’m glad we could all stay together.” – Carol Nelson
“We see each other every day and, you know, everybody still enjoys each other.” – Mary Farley