For more than a half century, a group of dedicated ophthalmologists has carried forward the vision of one early leader in Paducah eye care and treatment.

In 1951, Dr. George H. Widener opened a practice of ophthalmology in Paducah. In 1954, the practice relocated to 1903 Broadway, the present day location of the continuation of his practice, The Ophthalmology Group. • After 18 years of going it virtually alone, Dr. Widener invited Dr. Jeff Johnson to join him as his partner. Drs. Widener and Johnson performed the first phacoemulsification and intraocular lens implant surgeries for cataracts in Paducah in the mid-1970s.

Dr. Ted Borodofsky joined the practice in 1977 after completing a fellowship in cornea and cataract implant surgery in Houston, Texas. He further promulgated modern-day eye care for the community and this trend is now an established tradition of the Ophthalmology Group.

In 1978, Dr. Widener passed away and Dr. Roland Myers (now retired) was added to the team of physicians. The medical culture of Paducah and the surrounding region began to expand in more and more dramatic ways. Consequently, Dr. Mark Gillespie, Dr. Carl Baker, Dr. Jeff Taylor, and Dr. Ron Tilford joined the medical team to provide complete ophthalmic care for patients in a broad geographic area.

Drs. Baker and Tilford are both Paducah natives and graduates of Heath High School. Both physicians have brought greater expertise and technology for retinal care to our region and are also involved with clinical trials focusing on macular degeneration and diabetic eye disease.

Certified Ophthalmic Technician and Office Administrator, Joy Woodford, speaks to the reasons that The Ophthalmology Group counts many loyal patients for decades along with loyal staff members as well. Joy joined the practice in 1969, the same year that Dr. Johnson joined the group. “At that point, we had two physicians and six people on staff. We have now grown to six doctors and 40 employees, many of whom have been with the practice for more than 25 years.” That includes two veteran staff members: retired bookkeeper Betty Lawrence with 43 years at the practice, and Linda Meadows, an ophthalmic technician of 42 years, who still fills in from time to time. The building, too, has grown. The Ophthalmology Group location now encompasses 15,000 square feet.

In July 1990, the group opened the area’s first dedicated eye surgery center offering procedures such as cataract surgery, corneal transplants, glaucoma and retinal procedures, Lasik vision correction, and eyelid surgery. Also on Broadway is the Ophthalmology Group’s Keene Optical, a retail outlet for prescription and non-prescription eyewear. With the addition of the Paducah Retinal Center, the Ophthalmology Group of Paducah provides a broad range of medical and surgical care for eye disease. “My experience here has shown me time and again,” says Joy, “that these are a group of physicians who ultimately want only the best possible results for their patients.” The physicians have consistently made investments in specialized diagnostic equipment and trained personnel.

Dr. Ted Borodofsky adds to that sentiment. “There are many aspects to our field of work,” he adds. “We treat the many various eye diseases that affect the vision of our patients. We want to build confidence and trust with every patient, because preserving and improving our patients’ vision is a lifelong mission for each of us as ophthalmic physicians and surgeons.”