By Doug Hare EBS STAFF
BIG SKY –Big Sky has its very own eye doctor now. On Nov. 5, Dr. Erica Perlman-Henson celebrated the grand opening of Big Sky Eyes, an optometry and eyewear medical and retail business located at 99 Town Center Avenue.
“Since I met Erica and she was in school, her dream was to be an eye doctor, to provide the best care, and own her own practice so that she wasn’t controlled by any corporation that wanted to change the way we do good healthcare,” said Ryan Walker, Dr. Perlman’s husband. “And it finally happened in one of the coolest places in the world.”
Along with a vast selection of the latest trends in eyewear, Big Sky Eyes will use the latest technology to treat and detect ocular disease in a relaxed and professional atmosphere, according to their mission statement. Dr. Perlman has advanced training in fitting specialty contact lenses, such as scleral lenses that help treat keratoconus, corneal transplant patients, dry eye and many other conditions.
“Both my parents are optometrists and they own a private practice in a small farming community in California. So I grew up working in a small practice in an everyone-knows-your-name type of situation. That’s what I wanted to bring to Big Sky,” Dr. Perlman said. “I had the option to open up shop down in Bozeman, but I love the small community here and I wanted to be part of it.”
Dr. Perlman’s fondness for southwest Montana stretches back to her childhood when her family would visit Bridger Canyon every summer, flyfishing and visiting the vistas and wildlife in Yellowstone National Park. She says that when her husband got a job working on the new Montage hotel, things just kind of “fell into place.”
Dr. Perlman attended Bates College in Maine for her undergraduate degree and Boston University for her dual master’s degrees in public health and medical science. She then earned her doctoral degree from the University of California Berkeley School of Optometry, earning accolades for her exceptional clinical skills.
Her training also includes working at several Veteran Administration sites, a community health clinic, the California School of the Blind, and multiple excursions to Nicaragua to provide eye care to the underserved.
“It’s exciting to have an optometrist here because as Big Sky… moves towards becoming a year-round community and a premier place to live, work and play, we need facilities like these for year-round residents,” said Caitlin Quisenberry, programming and events manager for the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce. “The more services that we get here, the less Big Sky locals will have to spend a half day driving to Bozeman—they can just get their eyes checked or pick up a pair of glasses on their lunch break.”