Primary Care/Health/LV

Wyoming VA Health Care Center

Site 1: Department of Veterans Affairs
            Wyoming Health Care Center (WHCC)
            5838 Metro Way
            Wyoming, MI  49519

Phone: 616-249-5300
          ** Formerly the Grand Rapids VA Outpatient Clinic

Site 2: Mercy Health Saint Mary's Health Care
            Diabetes and Endocrine Center (DEC)*

            Mark Swan, OD
            300 Lafayette AVE, SE
            Grand Rapids, MI 49503
            Phone: 616-685-3098
            Fax: 616-685-3095

Site 3:  Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired
             456 Cherry S.E.
             Grand Rapids, MI  49503
             Phone:  616-458-1187
             Fax:  616-458-7113

*Each intern will rotate for approximately 4 weeks to Mercy Health Saint Mary’s on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  On Tuesday will go to ABVI, and Friday to WHCC.  For more information about DEC, click on the DEC link.

Type of Practice:
Veterans Administration Health Care Center; Multidisciplinary


The optometric externship at the Wyoming VA Health Care Center will provide clinical education in medical optometry.  The program will provide the challenging cases and attending expertise needed to help develop the student’s ocular disease skills.  An interdisciplinary approach for providing care for patients with systemic disease and ocular complications will be emphasized. 

Number of MCO students per rotation: 4

Orientation Instructions:

Dr. Kerns will contact you via email 4 -6 weeks prior to the first day of the rotation to verify dates, times, directions, parking, and any other instructions.  The email you receive will contain important information regarding your in-processing with the VA system.  There will be forms that need to be completed and returned to our HR department and you will also ned to schedule fingerprinting.  This will all need to be completed well before your first day here.  Completion of hepatitis B series is required and annual TB testing must be completed.  A FLU shot is also required at this site and Mercy Health St. Mary's, make sure you have this requirement done and a copy to Elizabeth Spedoske, MCO 137C.

If you have any questions, please contact our office at (231) 591-2202 (Elizabeth Spedoske, Assistant Dean's Office) or (231) 591-3845 (Dr. David Durkee, Director of Externships).

Contact Person: 
Joy Kerns, OD, FAAO   EXT: 30564

Douglas A. Coon, OD, FAAO   EXT:  30565

Jordan Kuipers, OD       EXT 30563

Clinical Teaching Faculty:
Douglas Coon, OD, Joy Kerns, OD Jordan Kuipers, OD, Mark Swan, OD
Lori Smolinski, OD 
Other Clinical Mentors: 
Wyoming VA Ocular Disease Resident 
Support Staff: 
Several clerks, nurses, and technicians

Operating Hours: 
Monday - Friday,  8:00am-4:30pm (No Federal Holidays)

Hours of direct patient care for extern per day:   8 (40 per week)

Number of patients seen by extern per day:   12

Educational Objectives:

Scope of the Externship:   FORMERLY KNOWN AS GRAND RAPIDS VAMC-  2014

Chart of Patient Examinations


Chart of Patient Examinations




InstrumentationWell equipped with the latest in ophthalmic equipment.

Multi-Disciplinary Health Services 

Biographical Sketches of Primary Faculty Members

Douglas CoonDouglas A. Coon, O.D. graduated with honors from the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University in May of 2001 and then completed a residency in ocular disease at the Battle Creek VA Medical Center.  Following his residency, he became an Assistant Professor of Optometry at the University of Houston College of Optometry where he lectured in ocular disease courses and was an attending in the Ocular Diagnostic and Medical Eye Service.  He worked with numerous optometry residents (primary care, contact lens, and pediatrics), 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year optometry students and Family Practice M.D. residents. He worked alongside sub-specialist ophthalmologists in the area of glaucoma, retina, and neuro-ophthalmology and has been certified as an Optometric Glaucoma Specialist by the state of Texas.  The College of Optometry voted Dr. Coon the Clinical Faculty of the Year for Outstanding Leadership and Instruction in the Clinic for the year of 2002-2003.  He joined the Grand Rapids VA Outpatient Clinic in August of 2003 and holds full time appointment. Dr. Coon is one of a handful of optometrists accredited by the National Board of Optometry in Advanced Competence in Medical Optometry (ACMO.)  He is an Associate Clinical Professor at the Michigan College of Optometry and is director of the student teaching program at Grand Rapids VA.

Joy KernsJoy A. Kerns, OD graduated with honors from the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University in May 2004.  She completed internships at Grand Rapids Ophthalmology, Grand Rapids VA and the University Eye Clinic at Michigan College of Optometry.  Following graduation, she completed her residency training in ocular disease at the Battle Creek VA Medical Center in June 2005. Dr. Kerns spent a short amount of time as an independent primary care optometrist prior to joining the Grand Rapids VA Outpatient Clinic in December 2005 as a full-time staff optometrist.  She is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Michigan College of Optometry and is responsible for proctoring fourth year optometry interns and also lecturing to the third year ocular disease class.

Grand RapidsThe City of Grand Rapids:

Located on the banks of the Grand River, Grand Rapids is rated among the top cities in the U.S., and combines sophisticated charm with midwestern friendliness. Known for being safe and clean, it’s a “walking” city. The downtown features a major new convention center with five star experiences: hotels, restaurants, and relaxation.  Minutes away from spectacular Lake Michigan beaches and beach towns, Grand Rapids is known for its major art and cultural events, plays, museums, and a world-class botanical garden.
Visit this Website to Find Out More: