Volume 21| July 2018

Dr. Karen Grucci Brown
Chicopee Eyecare welcomes Karen L. Grucci Brown, O.D. to our practice! Dr. Grucci, as we’ll call her in the office, will be joining our practice in July, working three days a week along with helping our colleague and owner of Ludlow Eye Associates, Dr. Katarzyna Babinski, two days a week. (Dr. Babinski, who speaks fluent Polish, works in our practice one Saturday morning a month.)

Dr. Grucci is a native of West Springfield, Massachusetts. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, from Westfield State College in Westfield, Massachusetts IN 1992. She then went on to complete her Doctor of Optometry degree in 1996 at the New England College of Optometry (NECO) in Boston, Massachusetts. 

 Since graduating from NECO, Dr. Grucci has been practicing optometry in North Carolina. She began her career at Coastal Carolina Eye Clinic, a group ophthalmology practice in Wilmington, North Carolina where for 13 years, she was the contact lens specialist. Since 2009, Dr. Grucci has been practicing with Risk Optometric in Hendersonville, just outside of Asheville, in the mountains of North Carolina.

“I will miss my patients in North Carolina, but I feel it is time to come home,” says Dr. Grucci. “Chicopee Eyecare has a longstanding reputation for providing the highest quality and advanced care to its patients. I have known Dr. Momnie and Dr. Latka for many years before becoming an optometrist myself. I am delighted for the opportunity to work with them.”

Dr. Grucci is a member of the North Carolina Optometric Society and former treasurer for the Mountain District chapter. She is also a member of the American Optometric Association. Dr. Grucci has been married for 19 years to David Brown and has 2 children, Connor, 16 and Jillian, 10. She is happy to that she and her family are now able to spend free time with extended family. 

Dr. Grucci looks forward to seeing patients at Chicopee Eyecare starting this summer. 

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Thank you again for choosing our office. Our goal is to safeguard your eyes and help you achieve a lifetime of clear and comfortable vision.

David C. Momnie, O.D.
Camille Guzek-Latka, O.D .
Julianne M. Rapalus, O.D. 
Karen Grucci Brown, O.D.

Brett Burns, Our Current Optometry Intern
O ur current New England College of Optometry (NECO) intern is Brett Burns of Manchester, Connecticut. Brett received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Connecticut in 2015 and will receive his Doctor of Optometry degree from NECO in May 2019. Brett is smart as a whip and has a warm and caring demeanor. We're fortunate to have him most of the summer, before he leaves for a three month rotation at a Veterans Hospital.

Welcome to Chicopee Eyecare, Brett!
Our Optometry Colleague on a
Volunteer Mission to Peru
Dr. Katarzyna Babinski of Ludlow Eyecare sees patients one day a month at Chicopee Eyecare, where her Polish fluency is of great benefit to some of our patients . Dr. Momnie likewise fills in for Dr. Babinski periodically as he did last week when she and her husband Rafal were on a humanitarian mission in Chulucanas, Peru. There, she and her team of optometry interns examined over 500 patients in a little over a week, treating a variety of eye conditions and prescribing glasses to many adult and children residents. With their newly prescribed glasses, some of them would see clearly for the first time! It was the second consecutive year that Dr. Babinski and Rafal made the trip to this small village of Peru.
"How come I failed my driver's license?
I see fine!"

On of the hardest things we have to do as optometrists is to revoke or deny renewing a patient’s driver’s license. As recently as 1927, only five states mandated a vision test for motorists. Losing the right to drive a car often results in a loss of independence for many of our older patients. Who wants to rely on a child, a neighbor or, as often is the case, a city van service to go to the local grocery store or church? And yet, the statistics show that removing people with poor vision from the road results in a significant decline in car fatalities. The number of auto fatalities declined sharply from 1927 and more so from 1960 when virtually every state instituted vision testing. As difficult as it is, we have no choice but to follow state laws and insist that patients who don’t meet the Massachusetts standards of vision have their driver's license revoked. Fortunately, most cities and towns have van services for their elderly residents who no longer can drive.
A Blind patient sees motion
A recent article in Medical Express (June, 2018), reported that neuroscientists at Western University Brain and Mind Institute (BMI) have detailed a case of a blind woman being able to detect the motion of objects. Milena Culham, a 48 year old Scottish woman, woke up from an eight week coma with no vision but somehow developed new pathways around the damaged parts of her brain and she gradually was able to navigate around chairs and detect someone’s hand moving in front of her. “I can’t see like normal people see or like I used to see. There is something happening and my brain is trying to rewire itself” Milena told researchers at BMI.

The conventional definitions of blindness are not as clear as we thought they were!
Springfield College lectures

Dr. Momnie and Brett Burns, the current Chicopee Eyecare intern, last week presented four hours of lectures to about forty Springfield College Physician Assistant students. Here, Momnie and Burns are discussing macular degeneration. In the past, Dr. Momnie and an intern have lectured on various eye topics including glaucoma, eye neurology, eye medications and the eye and systemic diseases
Thank You for Google Reviews

Thank you if you’ve given us a nice Google Review. 
If you were happy with your experience at Chicopee Eyecare, your positive review helps us spread the word and market our practice to potentially new patients. Click Here
Firework safety

Adult and children alike, who doesn’t enjoy fireworks around the Fourth of July? Because the personal use of fireworks is illegal in Massachusetts, the only proper way to enjoy them are at city sponsored professional events. They may seem like harmless lights and sounds but technically they’re explosives. Sparklers burn hotter than 1200 degrees Fahrenheit and hundreds of children suffer injuries every year from them. Over 1000 people end up going to an emergency room every year with fireworks injuries.

We all know that some people do purchase fireworks to set off at home and if you’re one of them, you should read all of the labels carefully, wear protective glasses to protective your eyes from flying shrapnel and keep all children away from your fireworks, including firecrackers and sparklers. In the event that you or a family member or friend does sustain an injury, call our office immediately as one of our doctors is always on call “24/7.” See our case of the month below.
Case Of The Month
 I recall my answering service calling me in the middle of the night many years ago. A firecracker exploded prematurely and my patient’s friend couldn't open his right eye. I got to the office about 2:30 a.m, greeting my new patient in the parking lot. The middle-aged man had a serious eye injury requiring surgery. I treated the eye with medications and a patch and made arrangements the next morning with a local eye surgeon who was able to save the eye.

Please leave fireworks lighting to trained professionals and if you do suffer an injury due to fireworks, seek help immediately and avoid rubbing the eyes.
Optometry Humor
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In Case Of Emergency
Chicopee Eyecare provides
"24/7" coverage for emergency eye care 
for our patients.

We recommend that you do not go to the emergency room for an eye injury or acute eye problem unless it is very serious. Drs. Momnie, Guzek-Latka and Rapalus keep slots open for urgent care visits for new and established patients during normal office hours, and provide around-the clock emergency coverage for our established patients for after-hours and weekends.
Call 592-7777 before calling your PCP or visiting a hospital ER!
Office Hours
We are available when you need us 
Our office and optical department are open during the following hours:
Monday         9:00 am - 5:30 pm
Tuesday        9:00 am - 5:30pm
Wednesday   9:00 am - 5:30pm
Thursday       9:00 am - 6:30pm
Friday           9:00 am - 5:30 pm
Saturday       9:00 am - 12:30 pm

We will be closed Saturdays in July and August, resuming our regular schedule the Saturday after Labor Day .

One of our doctors is always available for emergencies on nights, weekends and holidays. Call (413) 592-7777 and our answering service will put you in touch with an on-call optometrist.

"The people in this office are committed to providing you with the highest quality of eye care and to treating you with kindness and respect. "  
If you would like to share any feedback or comments please email us at  info@chicopeeeyecare.com

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Chicopee Eyecare · 113 Center Street · Chicopee, MA 01013 · (413) 592-7777 info@chicopeeeyecare.com
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