Bend is a special place, defined not only by the extraordinary people who choose to make it their home, but also by the businesses that these special folks create. Coffman Vision Clinic is one such business. Located by Fred Meyer South, Coffman Vision Clinic is helmed by Dr. Michael Coffman, Dr. Erin Follen, and Dr. Ron Guiley, all of whom share deep roots in Oregon and a passion for the outdoors.
The practice was created in 1998, when Dr. Coffman first moved to Bend, which makes this their twentieth anniversary! To celebrate this milestone anniversary, Drs. Coffman, Follen, and Guiley are excited to invite everyone to a 20th Anniversary First Friday event at the Crater Lake Spirits Tasting Room on Bond Street on Friday, June 1, between 2 and 8 PM.
Twenty years ago, Dr. Coffman was thrilled to move to Bend from Eugene, where he had grown up. “After working in the valley for three years after optometry school, I realized I needed to own my own business to be able to practice optometry the ‘right’ way. I had gained experience in retail and private practice settings, and I brought the best aspects of both modalities to my new practice.”
Dr. Coffman graduated from Oregon State and then the Pacific University College of Optometry. He chose Bend because his family used to vacation in Bend, and he loves the area. “Although Bend is growing quickly, I still feel it is has a small-town feel. I see my patients and friends at the grocery store or the theater… and the weather is SO much better than in the Valley.” He’s particularly fond of the outdoors. “You’ll find my wife and me on the various hiking trails and kayaking on the high lakes in the summer.”
And Dr. Coffman has several other interesting hobbies that he can pursue in Bend. For one, he is an avid and award-winning epee fencer with the High Desert Fencing Club. He is also an actor and sometimes director at both Cascades and Second Street local community theaters. “My wife and I do local community theater frequently. In fact, that’s where we met!” This breadth of leisure opportunity is one of the things Dr. Coffman loves most about Bend.
Dr. Erin Follen is also a deep devotee of the wilderness around Bend. A three-year resident of the area, Dr. Follen was born and raised in Portland but has come to love this area. “I love that everyone lives in Bend because they enjoy the outdoor lifestyle. I’ve never lived anywhere before where people specifically chose to live there because they love it. I love the sense of community that Bend has. People rally together and although it’s growing significantly, it still has that small-town feel.”
Dr. Follen describes herself as a positive, up-beat person. She specializes in dry eye syndrome, which is particularly prevalent here in the High Desert. And, she finds her job hugely fulfilling. “I love helping people see their world a little clearer. When a patient gets glasses for the first time, the look on their face when they can finally see clearly is priceless.”
A 25-year resident of Bend, Dr. Ron Guiley’s family settled in Eugene in the 1800’s. His father was a pilot in the Air Force, and Dr. Guiley served as a Combat Engineering Officer in the US Army before going to Optometry school. Holding a Master’s in Public Health as well as a Doctor of Optometry, Dr. Guiley is a Fellow in the American Academy of Optometry and an Adjunct Clinical Professor of Optometry at Pacific University.
The most recent doctor to add his skills to the Coffman Vision Clinic, Dr. Guiley commands a deep expertise in medical conditions affecting the eyes to the patients of the Clinic. “My proudest professional accomplishment is the years I spent lecturing on glaucoma for UC Berkeley and several pharmaceutical companies.” He still serves as an instructor for Berkeley’s online courses on glaucoma.
Dr. Guiley shares with Dr. Coffman both a love of the outdoors around Bend – his favorite areas include Broken Top, Tam McArthur Rim, and Whychus Creek – and a passion for the arts. In the case of Dr. Guiley, the arts include writing children’s books. “I have written a series of children’s stories about our 3 poodles and a historical fiction novel about Hawaii. What I love most about Bend is the proximity to wonderful wilderness trails that form the setting for my children’s stories.”
In addition to valuing the patient-centric culture of the practice that they run, the three doctors also share a vision for the best possible future for Bend. Dr. Guiley hopes that folks will adopt a small-town attitude when they move here. “Love Bend for the small town it is.”
Dr. Follen hopes everyone will embrace all that Bend has to offer. “Take advantage of everything: The summer concerts, First Friday, floating the river, hiking, kayaking, and more. Just get out and explore the area.”
And Dr. Coffman is driven both personally and professionally by his mission to try to make a positive difference. “I hope Bend can maintain the small-town feel, even as we gain new people. I hope we can still be free to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalks, and to let cars merge into our lanes with a friendly wave… Whenever possible, I hope people will try to see the world through their neighbor’s eyes.”
These community-oriented doctors are thrilled to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Coffman Vision Clinic with friends and neighbors from Bend. So, please plan to attend their First Friday event on June 1 at the Crater Lakes Spirits Tasting Room next to the Deschutes Pub. The Clinic will offer prizes, music, and giveaways from 2 to 8 PM, and they hope everyone will stop by!
Thanks to Drs. Coffman, Guiley, and Follen for sharing their collaborative story of their practice and their love for Bend. If you want to be profiled in Go Local Bend, or want us to profile someone else, please email email@example.com.