In 1969, Dr. Wilfred Yeargan was invited to come to Tuscaloosa by Dr. John Hall Nelson to fill a need for a new ophthalmologist in the community. After renting office space during his first year in practice from Dr. Rufus Partlow, Dr. Yeargan relocated to an office located in the center of town on 17th Street. Here, Dr. Yeargan developed his practice for the next ten years. Dr. Yeargan was progressive in his approach to medical care, opening the first optical shop located in an ophthalmology practice in Tuscaloosa.
As his practice grew, Dr. Yeargan developed a new office site in its current location at 1030 Fairfax Park in the early 1980s to meet the expanding needs of the community. With the goal of offering the highest standard of eyecare, Dr. Yeargan frequently added or upgraded testing and treatment instrumentation throughout the development of his practice. He also supported and encouraged professional certification by his technical and optical staff. During the 1980s the practice became known as Medical Surgical Eyecare.
Having enjoyed his time in this area of the country while doing part of his medical training in South Carolina, when Dr. Eric Sputh began his search for a solo practice to purchase, he looked to the southeast as one of his preferred locations. The timing of Dr. Yeargan’s plan to sell and Dr. Sputh’s goal to assume proprietorship of a solo practice was a perfect fit as has been the transition from Dr. Yeargan’s leadership to Dr. Sputh’s. In 2006, Dr. Sputh purchased the practice and took over the administrative roles while continuing with the same mission to provide excellent eyecare through leading edge technology accompanied by a caring, well-trained office staff. In 2007, the practice was re-named North River Ophthalmology with the subtitle of Medical and Surgical Eyecare.
After practicing optometry in the Tuscaloosa area since 2005, Dr. Michelle Langkawel joined the practice in 2013, providing her expertise in contact lens fitting and family eyecare.
Together, Drs. Sputh, Yeargan, and Langkawel are committed to serving the ophthalmology needs of the community.