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About The Eye Center at SCO

The Eye Center, located at 1225 Madison Avenue, is affiliated with Southern College of Optometry, a Memphis healthcare provider since 1932. Since it first opened in 2002, The Eye Center has welcomed more than 40,000 patients each year to our midtown location in the heart of the Memphis Medical Center district.

The Eye Center offers doctors with advanced degrees and training, a renowned reputation for excellence in patient care, and services for all ages, ranging from infants to seniors. The doctors at The Eye Center are also educators, training interns and residents to use the newest techniques and treatment options for diseases and disorders of the eye and visual system.

Our patient care philosophy is “eye care for everyone,” from those with adequate financial means and insurance who choose us for high-quality care and leading-edge technology, to those without adequate insurance whose needs cannot be met without assistance for services. Our clinical program provides uncompensated vision care services to 5,100 patients per year, signifying our commitment to providing care throughout our community.

Patients who call for appointments are generally able to be seen within two hours for emergency care, 24 hours for urgent care and 72 hours for routine care. Beyond our clinical presence at The Eye Center, we provide care in 23 nursing homes, vision screenings to more than 12,000 school children in Shelby County each year, and we partner with other organizations to provide mobile exam units in the community.

We’re proud of our partnerships with other organizations, including School Advocates for Vision & Education (S.A.V.E.), Youth Villages, Shelby County Residential Vocational Services, the Church Health Center, Baptist Operation Outreach, Shelby County Head Start, the Memphis City and Shelby County schools and others who help us bring eye health and vision care to our community.

We invite you to tour this website to learn more about our services, our doctors, and vision health. For appointments, please call 901-722-3250, and visit our Appointments Page for additional information.

Staff at the Eye Center 

The clinical staff at The Eye Center

James Venable

James Venable, O.D., F.C.O.V.D.

Vice President for Clinical Programs

Welcome to the online presence for The Eye Center at Southern College of Optometry. I invite you to use this website to learn more about the different services we offer.

Each year, more than 45,000 patients visit The Eye Center for their eye health and vision care needs. For more than 80 years, generations of patients have received care through Southern College of Optometry's clinical facilities. When The Eye Center opened in 2002, this state-of-the-art clinical facility became the largest eye care facility of its kind in Tennessee.

As Vice President for Clinical Programs, I want you to know that we actively care for our patients. That means we focus on more than just our patients' eyes. Your eye and vision health may be directly related to your overall physical well-being. It's important to us that we establish trust with you in order to provide the best health care possible.

The Eye Center is here to work with you to enhance, protect and preserve your vision. For our new patients, we look forward to meeting you. For existing patients, we thank you for allowing us to serve you. Together, we can help you enjoy the best quality of vision possible through outstanding eye health and vision care.


Christopher Lievens

Christopher Lievens, O.D., M.S.

Chief of Staff

The Eye Center at Southern College of Optometry serves a vital public health role in our community. An eye examination may reveal conditions that can threaten your vision, or even your life. In the Mid-South region, complications from diabetes are a leading cause of blindness. While glaucoma is usually incurable, the disease can be controlled to preserve vision. As the baby boomer generation ages, cataracts and other eye disease can threaten your vision, but proper diagnosis and treatment can help preserve your sight.

Eye and vision health is equally as important for the youngest in our community. Learning experts estimate that more than 70 percent of learning comes from vision. Children with visual problems may have learning problems in school that can be treated with proper eye care. 

In short, we offer a comprehensive range of service areas at The Eye Center. These service areas serve infants to the eldest. Starting with an appointment to schedule an eye examination is the first step to ensuring that your vision health is protected. We look forward to providing you with comprehensive eye health and vision care at our facility.


Gary Snuffin

Gary Snuffin

Director of Clinical Operations

The Eye Center at Southern College of Optometry is pleased to participate in a comprehensive number of various insurance and vision health plans. The Eye Center accepts most major insurance plans, including TennCare, Medicare, and Tennessee Medicaid patients.

A limited amount of funding is available for schoolchildren with financial need and others who require special assistance in meeting their eye health and vision care needs. Our Low Vision Endowment Fund can help certain patients obtain optical devices and equipment not covered by traditional insurance. At The Eye Center, we will do our best to help provide you with the access to insurance plans or other funding sources necessary to provide you with comprehensive, eye health and vision care.