About Koch Eye Associates
Koch Eye Associates started from scratch in 1981, in a small building on Tollgate Road. Back then there were only three people working in the office. Drs. Paul and Patricia Koch saw what few patients there were and Dr. Paul’s wife answered the phone and handled the front desk. Things were slow at the start and we averaged seeing only four patients a day. Sometimes we didn’t have a single patient to see for an entire day. This is a true story: shortly after the movie “E.T.” came out there was an afternoon when our schedule was completely empty. We didn’t have a single patient scheduled. We put the office on answering service, locked the door and we all went to see the movie at afternoon matinee.
Things got busier, and by 1983 we finally had to add an employee to help out, and in 1985 we were busy enough to add a third doctor.
Now Koch Eye Associates is one of New Englands largest practices, with twenty doctors treating patients at our eight office locations, three laser vision centers, and surgery center.
Koch Eye Associates is a regional training center for eye care professionals. We have trained post-graduate fellows from the United States, Colombia and China. We have hosted visiting doctors from Central and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. We are one of the clinical training sites for the New England College of Optometry. Our doctors have performed clinical research, and have written scientific articles, chapters and textbooks. They have been granted patents for their inventions in the field of eye care, and have garnered many awards including Honor Awards and Lifetime Achievement Awards.
In 2005 we moved our surgery center from Tollgate Road to a new freestanding location on Quaker Lane. In the St. James Surgery Center we were able to develop a facility unmatched in its dedication to the most modern equipment and technology for modern cataract and laser surgery. At the same time we were able to house this facility in a warm and comfortable setting, influenced by our church in West Warwick. When the Diocese of Providence decided to close St. James Church in Arctic it broke our hearts, because that was the parish where the Koch family grew up. We approached the Diocese, got permission to salvage the interior of the church, and used photographs and furnishings throughout our surgery center. It reminds us that surgical results are not an earthly outcome, but a blessing from above.
Koch Eye Associates has grown from a tiny start-up office to a major regional Center of Excellence. We do many things, but we do them one at a time. We combine highly technical science with personal care and attention. That has been the basis of our past successes, and it continues to lead us into the future.