For more than 50 years and two generations, the doctors at Premier Optometry Group have helped Marion patients see more clearly. Dr. Jerry Ferrell started his local practice in 1978. His son, Greg Ferrell, eventually followed in his father’s footsteps after graduating from River Valley High School.
Dr. Matt Axline, another lifelong Marion resident and River Valley alumnus, bought Victorian House Optical on Delaware Avenue from Dr. Paul Wolfe.
“Marion is home!” Matt said. “I wanted to come home to practice. The community has been wonderful in helping us grow our business.”
In 2006, Matt merged his practice with Dr. Jerry Ferrell’s to form Premier Optometry Group.
“While we provide the latest technology, the focus in on caring for the eye health of our patients so they can see for life,” Matt said. “We do it with friendly doctors and staff.”
Sports Sparks Interest in Optometry
Matt became interested in eye health as a teenager playing baseball for River Valley.
“As a catcher in high school, I had to track balls being thrown to me. I was having a little trouble seeing the ball, so I got an eye exam. The field was interesting, and I could see the connection to sports performance which was my first love,” Matt said. “I always knew I wanted to be a doctor. Being an optometrist provided the opportunity to have work-life balance, so I could have a family life as well.”
Doctors with Deep Local Roots
Matt and his wife, Sara, have been married for 23 years and are raising three boys here. Dr. Greg Ferrell and his wife, Kristen, have two boys and live in Marion.
The practice added three more graduates of The Ohio State College of Optometry. Dr. Shane Jones, an Elgin graduate, lives in Marion with his wife, Hannah. Dr. Jill Danker graduated from Olentangy Liberty High School. She is a newlywed who lives in Powell with her wife, Lindsay.
In 2014, Premier Optometry expanded into the Bucyrus area when they purchased Dr. Wayne Collier’s practice. Wayne, a Vietnam veteran who opened his practice in 1969, lives there with his wife, Chris. He sees patients in the Bucyrus office part-time. Altogether, 20 people work for Premier.
From helping children see white boards to helping seniors detect and treat health problems from glaucoma, high blood pressure and diabetic damage to the eyes, these doctors help patients at their office at 399 E. Church Street in Marion as well as an office at 905 S. Poplar St. in Bucyrus.
Patients Give Rave Reviews
“Premier Optometry is a tremendous company to work with. The staff are knowledgeable. They are attentive and address all your concerns and needs,” said Charlene Latham. “Thanks to Dr. Greg Ferrell and all for always providing great service and care!”
“The staff is always helpful and friendly. Dr. Ferrell is easy to talk to and very informative. I have always enjoyed my appointments,” said Larry Honaker.
Doctors Donate Time
In addition to caring for the health of local patients, these doctors give back.
“We’re doing our part to pay it forward and make Marion a great place to live,” Matt said.
Jerry, Greg and Wayne have taken mission trips to serve people. From education and screening of local children to partnering with the local Lions Clubs to help local patients in need, the doctors at Premier give back. They also support local sports teams and music groups.
Owner Excited for Marion’s Future
While the practice navigated some challenges, including the sudden death of Dr. Jerry Ferrell and the COVID-19 pandemic, Matt is excited for Marion’s future, which he anticipates will grow along with the practice.
“Central Ohio is growing. Columbus seems to be coming closer every day. I want to help the local schools and our community to be a destination where families want to live,” Matt said.
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