Gailmard Eye Center was started in 1976 by Dr. Neil Gailmard immediately after he graduated from Illinois College of Optometry (ICO) in Chicago and passed the National and Indiana board exams. The first office was in the Munster Medical Building at 509 Ridge Road. The office was small at only 560 square feet and there was only one part time employee. Dr. Gailmard also served as a clinical professor at ICO during this time. The practice grew quickly and was moved to larger quarters in the Harrison Ridge Square building at 417 Ridge Road in 1979.
Dr. Susan Gailmard joined the practice upon her graduation from ICO in 1980 as a partner and co-owner. Together, the husband and wife team continued to expand the practice with a larger staff, advanced instrumentation, an in-office optical lab and an extensive frame and lens inventory. They made customer service and patient satisfaction the cornerstone for future growth.
Neil and Susan purchased a one acre parcel of land at 630 Ridge Road in 1985 and they designed and built the current eye center building on that site. The original building was 7,000 square feet, but an adjacent lot was purchased in 1991 and a new optical showroom and lab was added to the building, bringing the total size to 10,500 square feet. Shortly after moving into the larger facility, the practice began adding additional optometrists. Dr. Kathy Moles joined the practice in 1994, Dr. Michelle Millard came on board in 1997 and Dr. Amanda Sprehe joined in 2009.
See how the new building took shape.
Gailmard Eye Center has grown into one of the largest and most successful independent practices of optometry in the United States. The eye center is nationally recognized and has been showcased in professional publications and at educational conferences. GEC is a clinical investigator research site and has conducted dozens of FDA clinical trials to develop new contact lens designs, lens care solutions and pharmaceuticals. The eye center serves as a training center for optometric students and practicing optometrists. Manufacturers of diagnostic instruments, electronic medical record software developers and ophthalmic lens laboratories all work with Gailmard Eye Center to test and evaluate new products.