1124 S. State Street
Big Rapids, Michigan
Wyoming Health Care Center VA
5838 Metro Way
Wyoming, MI 49519
Student Evaluation of Site
Number of MCO Students per Rotation:
Type of Practice:
Veterans Administration Health Care Center; Multidisciplinary- Primary care/Ocular disease
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.
Starting October 7, 2021 ALL VA's nationwide are requiring the COVID-19 Vaccination. This mandate has been
established by the national VHA Office of Academic Affiliations in conjunction with
the CDC, as it has been added to the CDC guidelines web site: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults/rec-vac/hcw.html
Much like the Influenza vaccine, all Health Professions Trainees (HPT) training in a VA facility must be fully vaccinated or have an exemption filed (medical or religious) with the Office of the Designated Education Officer at the VA using the following VA Form 10-263.
If an HPT is not vaccinated or filed an exemption by October 7, 2021, they cannot come to the VA.
Dr. Kerns will contact you via email 6 -8 weeks prior to the first day of the rotation to verify dates, times, directions, parking, specific health test requirements, and any other instructions. The email received will contain important information regarding in-processing with the VA system. There will be forms to be completed and returned to the HR department and also need to schedule fingerprinting. This will all need to be completed well before the first day here.
Joy Kerns, OD, FAAO - Wyoming VAMC
EXT: 30392 [email protected]
Faculty and Staff
Clinical Teaching Faculty
- Douglas Coon, OD,
- Joy Kerns, OD
- Jordan Kuipers, OD,
- Scott Kass, O.D.
Other Clinical Mentors
- Wyoming VA Ocular Disease Resident
Douglas A. Coon, O.D. graduated with honors from the Michigan College of Optometry 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 joined the Grand Rapids VA Outpatient Clinic in August of 2003 and holds full time appointment. Dr. Coon is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and is also board certified with the ABCMO (American Board of Certification in Medical Optometry). He is an Associate Clinical Professor at the Michigan College of Optometry and is the director of the student teaching program and the residency program at the Wyoming VA.
Joy A. Kerns, OD graduated with honors from the Michigan College of Optometry in May 2004. 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 Associate Professor at the Michigan College of Optometry and is responsible for proctoring fourth year optometry interns. She is a Fellow and member of the American Academy of Optometry and is board certified with ABCMO.
Jordan Kuipers, OD. graduated with honors from the Michigan College of Optometry in May 2011 and then completed his residency training at the Grand Rapids VA Outpatient clinic in 2012. Since completion of his residency, Dr. Kuipers has been a full time employee of the Wyoming (Grand Rapids) VA clinic. He is an Assistant clinical Professor at the Michigan College of Optometry and is responsible for proctoring student externs. He is also co-director of the residency program. Dr. Kuipers is an active consultant for the ACOE and a COPE reviewer. He is board certified with the ABCMO.
Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm (No Federal Holidays)
Hours of direct patient care for extern per day: 8 (40 per week)
Number of patients seen by extern per day: 9
- The intern will be actively involved in several hundred patient encounters through direct care and observation.
- The intern will assist in the care, follow up, and appropriate referrals of their patients under the supervision of the attending optometrists and resident.
- The intern will be involved in an interdisciplinary approach to eye care and participate in a working relationship with internal medicine and other associated specialties to ensure total care of the patient.
- The intern will be responsible for appropriately suggesting and performing/interpreting special testing involved in eye care including visual fields (OCT and FDT Matrix), optical coherence tomography (OCT), pachymetry, gonioscopy, and digital photography.
- The intern will be responsible for appropriately suggesting imaging (CT, MRI, carotid Doppler) and laboratory tests and consulting with other physicians when indicated.
- The intern will become proficient in techniques of physical assessment (ie:blood pressure, pulse, cranial nerve screening, mental status assessment, carotid auscultation).
- The intern will become proficient in examination of ocular structure utilizing a variety of techniques including contact and non-contact lens examination and scleral depression.
Not provided by the facility
Approximate cost: $500 - $600 (Many commute from Big 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 the Experience GR website to learn more.
- Geriatric Medicine
- Infectious Disease
- Internal Medicine
- Laboratory Services
- Physical Therapy
- Social Work
- Wound Care
Well equipped with the latest in ophthalmic equipment.
- Stratus OCT
- FDT Matrix Visual Field Unit
- Sonogage Pachymeter
- Kowa Digital Retinal Imaging System
- Mentor Potential Acuity Meter
- Computerized Patient Record System
- Computer with Internet Access in every exam room
- Goldmann, NCT, and Tonopen Tonometers
- Fundus Camera
- Electronic acuity charts
- Haag-Streit Slit-Lamps
The student will participate in Ocular Disease Grand Rounds
The clinic has a Residency Program in Ocular Disease
If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Daniel Taylor, Director of Externships at (231) 591-3706 or [email protected].
1124 S. State Street