VisionAmerica – Birmingham, AL
VisionAmerica of Birmingham
250 State Farm Parkway
Birmingham, AL 35209
Phone: (205) 943-4600
Matthew Albright, M.D.
Paul Batson, O.D.
Dale Brown, M.D.
Trenton Cleghern, O.D.
Michael Eddins, M.D.
Jeffrey Fuller, M.D.
A. Jill Helton, O.D.
Irene H. Ludwig, M.D.
Kristin Madonia, M.D.
James W. Marbourg, O.D.
Donald P. McCurdy, M.D.
Rodney Nowakowski, O.D
Dr. Karen Shelton, M.D.
Darrell E. Wolfley, M.D.
Dr. Matthew Albright is a fellowship-trained and board-certified ophthalmologist who specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of diseases affecting the cornea, ocular surface and anterior segment. In addition, Dr. Albright performs refractive surgery procedures.
Offering innovative surgical options for corneal transplantation, Dr. Albright performs partial-thickness procedures such as Descemet’s stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK) for patients who suffer from conditions such as endothelial dysfunction, Fuchs’ corneal dystrophy and corneal swelling.
Dr. Albright also performs deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty (DALK) to treat corneal scars and keratoconus. He also performs procedures for ocular surface diseases, such as pterygium excision and amniotic membrane transplantation.
In addition to complex corneal procedures, Dr. Albright performs micro-incision cataract surgery with multiple options for intraocular lens implantation, including aspheric, toric, and multifocal lenses. Utilizing the most up-to-date technology, he also performs laser-assisted cataract surgery with femtosecond laser.
For laser vision correction, Dr. Albright offers the latest technology in custom, wavefront-guided LASIK, utilizing the IntraLase platform for flap creation, or “all-laser” LASIK. This eliminates the need for a microkeratome, a sharp surgical device used during flap creation in traditional LASIK.
After graduating Summa Cum Laude from Auburn University, where he was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa national honor society, Dr. Albright then received his medical degree, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Alabama School of Medicine. In recognition of his academic excellence, Dr. Albright was inducted into the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. He completed his ophthalmology residency at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, where he was selected as the Chief Resident his final year. Dr. Albright then completed a fellowship in cornea, external diseases and refractive surgery at the Washington University Eye Center in St. Louis, Missouri. He is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.
Dr. Albright is married with three daughters.
Dr. Matthew Albright is independently contracted exclusively with Eye Health Partners of Alabama, Inc.
Paul Batson, O.D.
Center Director of Birmingham
Dr. Paul Batson serves as Center Director for VisionAmerica’s Birmingham office where he specializes in the diagnosis and management of complex eye diseases, as well as the pre- and post-operative management of a variety of surgical procedures.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Samford University and his Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry. While at UAB, he was elected to membership of the Phi Kappa Alpha Honor Society.
In addition to his duties as Center Director, Dr. Batson serves on the UAB School of Optometry faculty as Assistant Clinical Professor in their Ocular Disease Clinic as well as serving as the Ocular Disease Residency Supervisor. He lectures on a variety of topics including cataract and refractive surgery and management of ocular diseases.
He is a member of the American Optometric Association, Alabama Optometric Association and the Birmingham Area Optometric Society. Dr. Batson has served as Chairman of the Continuing Education Committee for the Alabama Optometric Association and is a past president of the Association. In 2003, Dr. Batson was recognized by his peers as the Alabama Young Optometrist of the Year.
Dr. Batson was again recognized by his peers in 2015 and awarded the Alabama Optometrist of the Year Award for his outstanding services on behalf of the profession and the visual welfare of the public.
Dr. Batson is married and has two daughters. In his spare time, he enjoys golf and spending time with his family. He usually leads several mission trips each year and has served in a variety of places including numerous trips to the Philippines, Africa and Haiti. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Altar84, a non-profit organization that advocates for orphan care. Through this organization, he is helping to serve and develop a heathcare strategy for over 1500 orphan and vulnerable children in Haiti.
Dr. Dale Brown is a fellowship-trained and board-certified ophthalmologist, sub-specializing in medical and surgical treatment of conditions affecting the retina and vitreous. Dr. Brown has a personal interest in many retinal and vitreous diseases, including research on treatment of retinal macroaneurysms, which he presented at the national Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) meeting.
Dr. Brown completed his undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham while on a football scholarship. He also completed a Masters degree at the University of Alabama before obtaining his medical degree at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine. Dr. Brown’s internship was completed at Baptist Medical Center Trinity/Princeton in Birmingham, Alabama. After completing his residency in ophthalmology at the University of Maryland, Department of Ophthalmology in Baltimore, Maryland, he then completed two years of fellowship training in Vitreoretinal Disease at the Vitreoretinal Foundation in Memphis, TN, where he worked with an extensive optometric referral network encompassing the surrounding states. In addition, Dr. Brown worked closely with the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis during his fellowship training. Prior to returning to Birmingham, Dr. Brown was part of a retina practice in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Dr. Brown is a member of the American Society of Retinal Surgeons, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, The American Board of Ophthalmology, the American Medical Association of Alabama, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, and other professional organizations. His connections to Alabama are strong, as he and his wife were both born and raised in areas right outside of Birmingham. They have three children – two boys and a girl. His hobbies include running, watching college football, and spending time with his family. He and his family are actively involved in their church.
Dr. Dale Brown is independently contracted exclusively with Eye Health Partners of Alabama, Inc.
Trenton Cleghern, O.D.
Dr. Trenton Cleghern specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of complex eye diseases, with special interests in anterior segment, uveitis, and neuro-ophthalmic conditions. He also is experienced in the pre- and post-operative management of a wide variety of surgical procedures.
Dr. Cleghern completed his undergraduate education at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, TN, where he graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in biology. He received his Doctorate of Optometry from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry. While at UAB, Dr. Cleghern served as an academic tutor and was a member of the Beta Sigma Kappa Honor Society. After optometry school, Dr. Cleghern completed a residency in ocular disease at VisionAmerica of Birmingham, Alabama.
Dr. Cleghern is a member of the American Optometric Association, Alabama Optometric Association, and Birmingham Area Optometric Association. He presented a paper at the Academy of Optometry in 2015 and also gives continuing education lectures on various topics. He has been involved in several mission trips to Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica. He is married to Sarah Cleghern. In his spare time, Dr. Cleghern enjoys golf, basketball, tennis, and the outdoors.
2010-2014 M.D., University of Alabama School of Medicine; Birmingham, Alabama
2006-2010 B.S., Chemistry, summa cum laude, The University of Alabama; Tuscaloosa, Alabama
2015-2018 Ophthalmology, Medical College of Wisconsin; Milwaukee, WI
2016-2017 Member of the Housestaff Health and Welfare Committee
2014-2015 Transitional Year, Baptist Health Systems; Birmingham, AL
2017 Patient Safety/Quality Improvement – Decisional Capacity
2017 Patient Safety/Quality Improvement – Comparison of Applanation Tonometer Tips
2017 Grand Rounds – Medication-Induced Choroidal Effusions
2016 Patient Safety/Quality Improvement – Avoiding Preventable Errors in Outpatient
2016 Oculoplastics Subspecialty Conference – Malpositioned Orbital Floor Plates
2015-2017 Provided yearly teaching session and hands-on training on the eye exam to MCW
2015 Grand Rounds – Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension
2015 Patient Safety/Quality Improvement – Inpatient Management of Frequent Eye Drops
2014 Poster Presentation – Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome, Baptist Health Systems
2015-2017 American Academy of Ophthalmology
2015-2017 American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
2010-2017 American Medical Association
Dr. Jeffrey Fuller is a fellowship-trained and board-certified ophthalmologist sub-specializing in medical and surgical treatment of conditions affecting the retina and vitreous. He thoroughly enjoys interacting with patients and treating their visual disease, coordinating his care with their referring eye care professional. Dr. Fuller is also the recipient of numerous awards and scientific grants, and his research has lead to numerous publications in ophthalmological and basic science journals. He has lectured at national and international professional society meetings including, The Macula Society, the American Society of Retinal Specialists (ASRS), the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the Association of Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), The Iowa Eye Meeting, and the Joint Commission on Allied Health Professionals in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO). Dr. Fuller has worked under mentors Peter Detloff, PhD., James Folk, M.D., Dennis Marcus, M.D. and Ed Stone, M.D., PhD.
Dr. Fuller is a member of the American Society of Retinal Surgeons, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, The American Board of Ophthalmology, the American Medical Association of Alabama, the Iowa Eye Association, and other professional organizations.
Dr. Fuller earned his undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He spent two years in Brazil completing missionary services. He then obtained his medical education at the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham, Alabama. Dr. Fuller’s internship was completed at Baptist Medical Center-Montclair in Birmingham, Alabama. He completed his residency in ophthalmology at the Medical College of Georgia, Department of Ophthalmology in Augusta. He then completed two-years of fellowship training in Vitreoretinal Disease at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics Department of Ophthalmology in Iowa City, Iowa, which is consistently ranked among the top 5 ophthalmology training programs in the nation.
Dr. Fuller’s ties to Alabama are strong, having married an Alabama-native and UA graduate, Laura Morris while a medical student at UAB. They now have six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. His hobbies include cycling, triathlons, following college football and basketball, snow skiing and reading. He completed an Ironman Triathlon in 2011. He and his family are very involved with their church group and are currently fulfilling an assignment to train other church leaders at an inner-city congregation located in Ensley. Dr. Fuller is fluent in Portuguese and conversant in Spanish.
A. Jill Helton, O.D.
Assistant Center Director of Birmingham
Dr. Amanda “Jill” Helton specializes in the pre- and post-operative management of cataract and refractive surgery, as well as the diagnosis and treatment of complex eye diseases.
Dr. Helton attended the University of South Alabama and received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1994. Upon graduation, she attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry where she earned her doctorate.
Dr. Helton graduated with Cum Laude academic honors. Also, while attending optometry school, she was elected as a member into the Beta Sigma Kappa Honor Society. In addition to academic achievements, Dr. Helton chose to help those in need and participated in eye care mission trips while in optometry school, which she has continued to do.
After completing Optometry School, Dr. Helton fulfilled an ocular disease residency at VisionAmerica in Nashville, Tennessee, before becoming the Assistant Center Director of VisionAmerica of Gadsden. She currently serves as Center Director of VisionAmerica of Cullman and Assistant Center Director of VisionAmerica of Birmingham, as well as being a faculty member of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry.
Dr Helton is currently a member of the American Optometric Association. She has also served on various committees for the Alabama Optometric Association. In addition to an active ALOA membership, she is currently a member of the Birmingham Area Optometric Society. Dr. Helton has also served on the board of directors for the UAB School of Optometry Alumni Association.
Dr. Helton is married and in her free time enjoys cooking, reading and crafting.
Irene H. Ludwig earned her M.D. degree from the Cornell University Medical College in 1979. She performed her internship in general surgery at the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville. She then served as a resident in ophthalmology at the Cleveland Clinical Foundation in Cleveland. Following two years of research at the National Eye Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, she then took a fellowship in pediatric ophthalmology at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
In 1986, she joined the staff of Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, New York, where she was appointed to the position of clinical assistant professor of Ophthalmology, Albany Medical College of Union University. In 1992, she joined the faculty at LSU Eye Center in New Orleans, where she was an associate professor, performing research and teaching new surgical techniques.
Dr. Irene Ludwig is widely known for her innovative new technologies in adult and children’s eye surgery. She is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Ophthalmological Society, the American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus and the Costenbader Society and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Ophthalmology. Her accomplishments in the field of pediatric ophthalmology include lecturing at scientific meetings and publishing a number of ophthalmological papers.
In 2016, Dr. Ludwig was named the recipient of the David S. Friendly Honor Award by the Costenbader Society, Inc. Recipients are chosen based on their contributions to children, society, science, and ophthalmology.
Dr. Ludwig has other areas of research interest, including the connection between strabismus and sinus disease, improved surgical techniques of superior oblique palsy and a new repair of diplopia caused by facial trauma.
Kristin Madonia, M.D., is VisionAmerica’s specialist for neuro-ophthalmology, ophthalmic plastic surgery, reconstructive eyelid surgery, and orbital surgery. This specialty is devoted to the preservation and improvement of vision and improved cosmetic results.
Dr. Madonia completed her undergraduate education Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in biological sciences and a minor in chemistry at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA, and received her medical degree from Louisiana State University School of Medicine in Shreveport. Her internal medicine internship and her ophthalmic residency were completed at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, where she also served as Chief Resident in Ophthalmology. After her residency, Dr. Madonia completed her oculoplastic and neuro-ophthalmology fellowship under the direction of Thomas Spoor, M.D., in Warren, MI. She is a published researcher and member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Dr. Madonia’s scope of practice includes eyelid malignancies, tear drainage problems, dry eye syndrome, orbital inflammation (such as thyroid eye disease), orbital tumors and fractures, optic nerve disease, pseudotumor cerebri, closed head injuries and chronic daily headaches. She is experienced in cosmetic procedures, Botulinum toxin (BOTOX) injections, fillers, ptosis (droopy eyelids) and other facial rejuvenation techniques.
Dr. Kristin Mdonia is independently contracted exclusively with Eye Health Partners of Alabama, Inc.
James W. Marbourg, O.D.
Regional Vice President – VisionAmerica of Alabama
Executive Vice President – Eye Health Partners, Inc.
Dr. Jim Marbourg is the Executive Vice President for Eye Health Partners and Regional Vice President for VisionAmerica. He serves on the Board of Directors for Eye Health Partners and also practices consultative optometry in each of the centers.
Dr. Marbourg received dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Aerospace Engineering and Physiological Optics and his Doctorate of Optometry at the University of Alabama School of Optometry. Before joining VisionAmerica in 1992, Dr. Marbourg enjoyed his own private optometry practice in Birmingham, Alabama. During Dr. Marbourg’s tenure with VisionAmerica, the practice has grown to include centers across Alabama and Tennessee with the goal to provide patients with comprehensive eye care while also serving the optometric community.
Dr. Marbourg maintains his commitment to promoting the optometric profession through his participation in professional organizations including his membership in the Alabama Optometric Association. In addition to serving in multiple capacities in this organization, Dr. Marbourg holds a faculty position at the UAB School of Optometry. His dedication to maximizing education of optometric students opened the door to the externship programs now offered at VisionAmerica and Eye Health Partner centers. These externships provide students from UAB (Alabama), Nova (Florida), and Waterloo (Canada) experience in the treatment and management of a variety of eye conditions.
He is respected by his peers for his unique one handed bevel-down cataract surgery techniques and has performed over 20,000 cataract surgeries in his medical career.
He is board-certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and is also a member of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery as well as the American College of Eye Surgeons.
Dr. McCurdy graduated Cum Laude from the University of North Carolina in 1973. While at UNC, he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society. Upon graduation, he attended the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and graduated in 1977. He completed his residency in ophthalmology in 1981 at North Carolina Memorial Hospital. Following his residency, he practiced at Carolina Eye Associates in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Dr. McCurdy has been treating Birmingham cataract surgery patients since 1993 and also travels to many satellite offices in Northern and Western Alabama.
In his spare time, Dr. McCurdy loves to play golf.
Rodney Nowakowski, O.D
Director, Genetic Eye Disease Clinic
Dr. Nowakowski received the Bachelor of Science and the Master of Arts degrees, both in mathematics, from the University of Miami. He received his Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in 1975 and a Ph.D. in Medical Genetics in 1989, also from UAB. Following nearly 40 years of faculty service at UAB, Dr. Nowakowski retired in 2014 as Dean of UAB School of Optometry. He continues to serve as the only Optometrist on the National Eye Institute’s National Ophthalmic Disease Genotyping and Phenotyping Network (eyeGENE) Steering Committee.
He has published numerous scientific articles in the areas of medical genetics and optometry and has given lectures on low vision rehabilitation, electrodiagnosis, clinical laboratory testing, retinal disease, ophthalmic genetics, and physical diagnosis. He is the author and illustrator of the textbook “Primary Low Vision Care” published by Appleton & Lange in 1994.
Dr. Nowakowski is a member of the American Optometric Association, the Alabama Optometric Association, and the American Society of Human Genetics. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry. He received the 2014 “Aubrey D. Green Humanitarian Award” from the Lions of Alabama in recognition of making a “significant contribution to society beyond the obligations of occupation or profession.” In 1993 he received the “Charles B. Grider Award” for “outstanding, dedicated, and meritorious services rendered to blind and visually impaired citizens of Alabama,” presented by the Alabama Chapter of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired.
“Dr. No” has played semi-professionally as a jazz guitarist, is an instrument rated private pilot, a graduate of the Bill Thomas School of Aerobatics, and an avid artist. Three of his oil paintings were selected by jury for the 2002 Energen Art Competition featuring Alabama artists.
VisionAmerica is excited to announce the addition of Dr. Karen Shelton to the Birmingham/Tuscaloosa area. With over 20-years of experience in ophthalmology, Dr. Shelton specializes in glaucoma and cataract surgery and will be a huge asset to our team!
Originally from Washington, D.C., Dr. Shelton attended Howard University where she finished with a degree in Chemical Engineering. It was at Howard University where she met her husband, who was studying mechanical engineering. After graduating from college, they got married and his job with Ford Motor Company took them to Michigan.
At that time, Dr. Shelton decided she wanted to go to medical school and took the additional pre-med courses required to attend. A few years, she was accepted to medical school and finished her internship at Henry Ford Hospital.
After moving to New Jersey where she did her residency at Harlem Hospital in Affiliation with Columbia Presbyterian, she then did a Glaucoma Fellowship with the internationally-recognized doctors Eve Higginbotham and Alan Robin in Baltimore, Maryland.
Later moving to the Tidewater, Virginia area, she joined Hampton Roads Eye Associates after working at a couple of local Ophthalmology practices. It was at Hampton Roads Eye Associates (a multi-specialty group) that she practiced for almost twenty years.
Upon one of the senior partners retiring and leaving the area, Dr. Shelton decided to look for a change and move closer to her family and hometown of Washington, D.C., since her youngest child was starting college.
Over time, she decided to gravitate south so that her family can be a little closer to her husband’s family and this is when the opportunity with VisionAmerica came about.
Primarily practicing glaucoma and cataract surgery, she has performed multiple glaucoma procedures including: Trabeculectomies, Ahmed Valves, Baerveldt Aqueous Drainage Devices, iStents, and the now recently discontinued Cypass stents.
She has also been performing Cataract surgery using the Femtosecond Laser (LenSx), Multifocal/Accommodating IOLs, and Toric IOLs.
Darrell E. Wolfley, M.D. is an ophthalmic plastic surgeon specializing in eyelid surgery and surgical procedures of the orbit, forehead, cheeks and lacrimal drainage system.
A Cum Laude graduate of the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Science degree, Dr. Wolfley then graduated with honors from Northwest University Medical School where he was elected to membership in Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Society. After completing a straight medicine internship with the University of Washington in Seattle, Dr. Wolfley then completed ophthalmology residency at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee and Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. After completion of his tour of duty in the U.S. Army, Dr. Wolfley then did a fellowship in ophthalmic plastics and reconstructive surgery at New York Medical College in New York, NY.
Prior to joining VisionAmerica, Dr. Wolfley was Professor of Ophthalmology and Director of Ophthalmic Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery at Louisiana State University in New Orleans, Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.
He is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and is a Fellow in the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery. He is one of only twenty ophthalmologists in the United States certified by the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastics Surgery to train younger ophthalmologists in the field of Ophthalmic Plastics and Reconstructive surgery. He is recognized nationally and internationally as an outstanding surgeon and a gifted teacher. He has been visiting professor and guest lecturer in more than thirty different Universities and ten different countries. Dr. Wolfley performs a variety of oculoplastics procedures at numerous locations for Eye Health Partners, including in Birmingham.
Dr. Darrell E. Wolfley is independently contracted exclusively with Eye Health Partners of Alabama, Inc.