Through the Eyes of Experience
The father/son team at Negrey Eye Associates combines a generation of service and expertise with a culture of technology and innovation
by Phil Gianficaro

Dr. John Negrey, M.D., has not so much passed the torch to his son, Dr. Michael Negrey, M.D., as placed it on a mantel within reach.

The senior Negrey founded Negrey Eye Associates in Havertown in 1975. Two years ago, his accomplished son joined the practice after having spent the previous five years honing his skills in the field of ophthalmology, specifically cataract, corneal and refractive surgeries at a large surgical eye practice in New England.

After 37 years in practice, John has not yet reached the point where he’s prepared to exchange looking into the eyes of patients for lining up a birdie putt each day. He may be on the back nine of his medical career, but his love for ophthalmology and his 38-year-old son will keep him around for a while.

“Working with Mike is one of those once-in-a-lifetime thrills,” Dr. John Negrey says. “He’s not only well trained and an extremely good surgeon, but he engages so nicely with the patients and staff, which is a fantastic combination.

“When I first came into practice, my father was not an ophthalmologist; he was a general practitioner. Many of his patients were also coming to my practice for their eyes. Now, with Mike with me, I take every opportunity to introduce him to some of those patients who have been with me for a long period of time. This way, they know that when I’ve retired they’ll be in good hands.”

Dr. Michael Negrey isn’t just his father’s son; he’s a board-certified, top-flight eye surgeon, specializing in tissue-sparing corneal transplants, cataract surgery and laser vision correction, and also provides comprehensive eye exams to patients of all ages.

“Joining my father’s practice and working alongside him has been wonderful,” he says. “Not only do I get to spend time with him, I get to learn more about eye care from someone who has been taking care of people for years. He’s the reason I’ve become an ophthalmologist; he exposed me to it.”

Trained at the prestigious Wills Eye Institute in Philadelphia—where his father also trained—Dr. Negrey completed a one-year fellowship in refractive surgery, cornea and external disease at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He then practiced as an associate ophthalmologist for five years in New England before joining his father’s practice.

Dr. Negrey is a cum laude graduate of Colgate University, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1995. Prior to medical school, he spent a year investigating cancer treatments at the Kimmel Cancer Institute in Philadelphia. He completed medical school at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia in 2000, where he won the Carroll B. Mullen Award for Excellency in Ophthalmology. He then interned at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center in Denver, Colorado.

Together, the Negreys provide unparalleled service and care to patients throughout the Delaware Valley. Services include, but are not limited to, comprehensive eye care and vision screenings, contact lens fittings and evaluations, advanced treatment and continuing care for cataracts, glaucoma, diabetes and macular degeneration, specialized retinal testing, optic nerve analysis, and even minor eyelid surgery.

Among Dr. Michael Negrey’s specialties are LASIK and cataract surgeries.

“LASIK is totally new to our practice,” he says. “We started in January, and it’s all laser. I brought this skill to our practice, as I was performing LASIK when I worked in New England.

“It’s been nice to be able to offer that to our patients, that they can stay within the practice for that service. I’ve done more than 1,000 LASIK surgeries. It’s been amazing to see how patients have gone from not being able to see well at all to having perfect vision.”

Melissa Mitchell had relied on eyeglasses and contact lenses for years. Earlier this year, she made an appointment with Dr. Michael Negrey when she developed an eye infection. It was then that she began asking about LASIK.

“Dr. Negrey was so patient and helpful,” says Mitchell, a 34-year-old Drexel Hill resident. “He explained the procedure, told me what to expect, how much it would cost, everything it entailed. He made me feel so comfortable about the surgery, and just knowing that he’d performed so many of them successfully made me feel even better about it.

“My vision is now 20/20. He was phenomenal, and so were the staff, the nurses—all of them. I don’t have words to describe how phenomenal they are. I have a whole new set of eyes because of him.”

Dr. Negrey performs cataract surgery on an outpatient basis. Like LASIK, the procedure takes about 20 minutes, and most patients are pleasantly surprised at well and how quickly they have visual improvement.

John Cutrefelo can attest to Dr. Michael Negrey’s skill in the area of cataract surgery. The 56-year-old resident of Springfield, Delaware County, had cataracts removed from both eyes during the spring after he began having trouble with nighttime vision.

“It wasn’t just that, but I was having a hard time seeing most of the time,” he says. “Dr. Negrey removed the cataracts and put replacement lenses in my eyes. The improvement was unbelievable; not only could I see clearly, but colors even seemed more vivid.

“I have 20/15 vision in both eyes. Let me tell you how well I can see now: Recently I was able to read the numbers on a state inspection sticker on a garage window from across the street. Dr. Negrey was just fantastic, and the whole staff there really seemed to care about me every step of the way.”

Another recent addition to Negrey Eye Associates is Dr. Karen E. Lamach, O.D. A 2002 magna cum laude graduate of the University of Notre Dame and a 2008 high honors graduate of Pennsylvania College of Optometry, she is highly skilled in primary eye care for children, adolescents and adults. She is trained to evaluate patients with glaucoma, eye infections and eye emergencies, and to diagnose patients with cataracts, macular degeneration and diabetes mellitus.

Dr. Michael Negrey is not the only member of the family who is learning from the other.

“Our practice is driven by technology and innovations,” says Dr. John Negrey. “When dealing with many of my patients, I have to tap into Mike’s experience. I am excited to see our patient’s benefit from these great advancements in LASIK and cataract surgery. He’s a fantastic doctor and as humble as can be. I’m thrilled he’s working with me.”

Negrey Eye Associates
Medical and Surgical Ophthalmology
56 W. Eagle Road
Havertown, PA 19083
Office: 610-446-8080