35th Anniversary

Serving Vision Care Needs for 35 years!

Advanced Eyecare Professionals (AEP) is celebrating their 35th Anniversary! In the summer of 1984 ophthalmologist Dr. Michael J. Flohr was recruited by the Pennock Hospital Physician Recruitment Committee in Hastings, Michigan so Barry County could have local ophthalmology care.

Dr. Flohr at the time had just completed his residency at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center in Maryland. Flohr said he was an ambitious ophthalmologist looking for work back in his home state of Wisconsin, but after being contacted by Pennock Hospital thought he should at least travel to Hastings to see what the area had to offer. Flohr was impressed with it. He said he loves the outdoors, and Hastings really spoke to that love. Dr. Flohr decided to move he and his family to Hastings and open an ophthalmology practice there, a decision he said he’s never regretted.

Over the years the practice has grown to service other communities vision care needs as well, including full service offices in Lowell and Ionia and specialty clinics at the local hospitals in Sheridan and Carson City. After opening the second office in Lowell in April of 2002, Dr. Flohr was asked by Ionia County Memorial Hospital now Sparrow Ionia Hospital to start a specialty clinic to offer ophthalmology / cataract surgery locally in June of 2002.

The specialty clinic prospered so in July of 2006 Dr. Flohr opened a full service Advanced Eyecare Professionals office in downtown Ionia that later moved in July of 2012 to the state of the art Blue Water Medical building at 2001 E. Bluewater Hwy / Suite 100 in Ionia.

Dr. Flohr was then also asked by both Sheridan Community Hospital in June of 2011 and then Carson City Hospital in January of 2014 to start specialty clinics to also offer ophthalmology to those communities as well.

The Ionia location was also able to add in December 2018 a monthly visiting retina specialist from VRA to provide further convenience for patients needing specialized retinal services including injections for macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema.

Dr. Flohr over the years has also built an eye care team of doctors that is as committed to eye care excellence as he is. Dr. David Harrell is the other ophthalmologist in the practice. Dr. Flohr and Dr. Harrell rotate between the locations to provide cataract surgery more locally so that patients don’t have to drive as far to receive care. In addition to two ophthalmologists AEP also has three optometrists, Dr. Heather Jones, Dr. Chad Jackson and AEP’s recent addition Dr. Sara Arbutus-Duczkowski. Advanced Eyecare Professionals main locations in Hastings, Lowell and Ionia have full service eye care. Those locations also provide full service optical centers for glasses, sunglasses and contact lenses.

In addition to providing eye care in the Hastings, Lowell, Ionia, Sheridan and Carson City areas, Flohr has been to Honduras and El Salvador on several mission trips with the Lions International to help with “medical management and doing cataract surgery.” Flohr said, “We do not live on an island, isolated and insulated from those around us. A doctor must give as well as receive. I am proud of the effort I have made to help my fellow man.” Dr. Flohr and other Advanced Eyecare Professionals staff are looking into doing another medical & eye care mission trip; this time in Haiti on the island of La Ganave with Starfysh mission group. Dr. Flohr and his staff have also made other charitable contributions locally by holding community eyecare days in each of their offices for the past 12 years. Their community eyecare program has helped over 483 individuals receive a low cost/no cost eye exam and glasses.

To celebrate 35 years of service and to thank each community, Advanced Eyecare Professionals will be serving refreshments and cookies at their main locations in Hastings, Lowell and Ionia during normal office hours the week of July 22nd. Everyone is welcome to stop by and celebrate.

Dr. Flohr also said, “I would like to personally thank all the patients, community members, associate businesses and hospitals that have helped Advanced Eyecare Professionals grow and prosper for the past 35 years. I look forward to many more years of serving each communities vision care needs.”