Dr. Tavel was founded in the 1940s by Dr. David Tavel, a proud Indiana native. He has since passed away but his two sons, Alan and Larry, are continuing his legacy of providing quality and convenient eye care to Hoosiers. Currently, Dr. Alan Tavel is a practicing optometrist with the company, and Larry Tavel, MD, serves as the company president.
Helping Hoosiers see better is the mission at Dr. Tavel.
“When my father opened our first office, he did so with the goal of making 20/20 vision accessible and convenient for everyone,” says Dr. Larry Tavel. “We’re still driven by this mission every day and look forward to serving the Avon community with the addition of our new location on U.S. 36.”
Dr. Tavel, whose practice began in the Claypool Hotel in downtown Indy and expanded over time all around the state, has offices as far north as Elkhart, as far east as Richmond, as far west as Terre Haute and as far south as Columbus. With a dozen locations in the greater Indianapolis metro area, their 22nd store just opened in Avon.
“Over the last 80 years, Dr. Tavel has grown into one of Indiana’s leading privately held practices,” says Kent Iglehart, General Manager.
Not only is Dr. Tavel located all over the state and headquartered on the west side of Indy, their eyewear is assembled right here in Indianapolis.
“We have a manufacturing facility in Indy where we cut the lenses and put them in the frame, so when you buy from us, your work is not being taken out of state,” Iglehart says.
Through January 31st, each patient who visits the newest Dr. Tavel location at 7900 East U.S. Highway 36 and receives an eye exam will also receive a free pair of prescription sunglasses.
One thing that sets Dr. Tavel apart from other eye care centers is that they accept all vision insurance. According to Judy Walrath, OD, Director of Professional Relations, their motto is, “We see everyone.” From a doctor’s standpoint, Dr. Tavel embraces the idea of being a provider that can cover everyone’s vision needs.
Dr. Tavel is a leading provider for VSP, which is the single largest vision insurance plan in the United States.
“We are a Premier Provider for them and we’re really proud of that,” Iglehart says. “That means that when you come to us as a VSP member, you get more value. We help you maximize your insurance benefits.”
They are also proud to take Medicaid and the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP), as well as a variety of other commercial insurances such as Anthem and EyeMed. Plus, they provide outstanding quality service to their patients.
“We truly do embrace the idea of serving entire communities regardless of insurance and socioeconomic status,” Walrath says. “We are focused on making sure the community is taken care of.”
Walrath notes that they do more than just provide glasses and contacts for patients. She stresses the importance of getting regular eye exams in order to check for disease. Though some may scoff at the notion of annual eye exams, Walrath insists that they can make a huge difference in quality of life.
“You may be feeling fine, but without us evaluating the back of the eye to ensure there is no hole or growth or bleed, you won’t know if there’s a problem because you don’t have pain sensors back there,” Walrath adds. “Take diabetes, which is one of the leading causes of blindness. It’s really important that people get checked.”
Even with something as simple as pink eye, for instance, it’s nice to not have to wonder where to go to get that checked out. Urgent Care? The E.R.? No! Simply pay a visit to your local eye doctor.
“Whether you think you have a piece of metal in your eye or if you have a red eye or your contact is bothering you, you can always come to us,” says Walrath, who also recommends yearly exams for school-age children, since their vision changes a lot when they are growing.
“We want to try to find any vision issues that can hinder learning since one in four kids has a vision issue that can easily mess up how they are reading,” she says. “However, 80% of those visual impairments can be prevented or corrected by your eye doctor.”
“We encourage entire families to come in together for an eye exam. Make it a family affair,” Iglehart says. “We are also fully equipped to treat and manage certain diseases, including glaucoma and cataract follow-ups.”
Even when a specialist is needed, Dr. Tavel can usually accommodate you. They can offer specialty pediatric care at two Indy locations and offer expansive, comprehensive testing at two of their medical hub locations.
The Dr. Tavel group is currently entering its third generation of family ownership with the recent addition of Larry’s daughter, Mollie Tavel, Director of Growth Initiatives & Community Engagement. She notes that the family is thrilled meet the residents of Avon and looks forward to addressing their visual needs.
“We are constantly looking for ways to better serve Hoosiers,” she says. “With families growing outward into the Avon area, there’s definitely a need for additional, convenient and affordable vision providers. Given our roots in the Indianapolis area, our goal is to continue to support the neighbors we have grown up with. Please pop in and say hello.”