Jonathan E. Mennucci, O.D.
Phil Smith, M.D.
   
North Valley Eye Care
Taking Time with Dr. Smith
Dr. Phil Smith was always interested in going into medicine but hadn’t considered ophthalmology until one summer during college. He worked with his father, a now retired general contractor, on remodeling an ophthalmologist’s office. Dr. Rush knew Phil was interested in medicine and invited him to observe a cataract surgery he was performing. Dr. Smith says, “I sat in the operating room and watched him perform cataract surgeries for the day, and I was really fascinated by it.” Once Dr. Smith completed his undergraduate degree, Dr. Rush invited him to join the practice as an ophthalmic technician where he worked between undergrad and medical school. He continued to visit Dr. Rush’s practice to learn about ophthalmology throughout his time at Texas Tech University. By the middle of medical school, Dr. Smith was sure ophthalmology was the specialty he wanted to pursue.
Originally from Amarillo, Texas, Dr. Smith returned to his hometown to complete his Internal Medicine Residency through Texas Tech University. He then went on to continue his studies at Maryland General Hospital in Baltimore, where he completed a fellowship in ophthalmology. While practicing in Sacramento, he met Dr. Barthelow of North Valley Eye Care. Dr. Smith says, “I really like the fact that Dr. Barthelow and North Valley Eye Care are very progressive when it comes to treating patients and using the technology that’s available. Our philosophies on care are very similar; we are very patient-centric. We want to make sure patients have the best treatment option, whether it’s surgical or medical, and we always try to stay on the cutting edge of technology.”

Dr. Smith is a comprehensive ophthalmologist, which means he does a little bit of everything, but he shares that he has more of an emphasis on cataract and refractive surgery. “I spend a lot of time honing my surgical skills and doing high-quality cataract surgeries using a lot of intraocular lenses, so patients have many options to choose from for the best refractive outcome.” Cataract surgery used to offer one type of lens for replacement, but there are so many new technologies and lens options available that have revolutionized the field. Patients now have the option to undergo surgery and “essentially have their prescription lenses put directly into their eyes. After surgery, they can have great distance vision without requiring glasses or potentially have lenses that give distance, intermediate, and near vision without any glasses at all.” Dr. Smith states the outcomes from surgeries like these are tremendous. “That ‘wow’ factor when a person goes from being legally blind and totally dependent on others to being able to function without glasses at all a few days after surgery is the most rewarding.”

Throughout his time in graduate school, Jon spent free time reaching out to the local eye care professionals here in Northern California. He met Dr. Isaac Barthelow and Dr. Anthony Rudick, owners of North Valley Eye Care in Chico and Ridge Eye Care in Paradise. He fell right into step with the doctors, and knew it would be a great fit if the opportunity arose to work with them in the future. In May of 2016, he completed optometry school and made his way back to Chico as Dr. Jon Mennucci. He began working at North Valley and Ridge Eye Care shortly thereafter.

Dr. Smith emphasizes the importance of time. During the initial surgical consultation he says, “I’m not in a rush. I want to make sure the patients are educated.” He takes the time to explain the specifics of their condition, what the options for care are, and then explains the agreed upon treatment plan. He ensures he has ample time to answer any questions or concerns they may have. “You don’t rush things; the less you rush, the better outcomes you have whether it’s education or surgery.”

When he’s not in the office, Dr. Smith takes time to enjoy traveling with his wife and experiencing new restaurants, cuisines, and music. He plays the cello, the trombone, and the Scottish great highland bagpipes, and he’s always looking for live music venues to explore.
OFFICE HOURS    
Mon
8:30 - 5:30
Tue
8:30 - 5:30
Wed
8:30 - 5:30
Thu
8:30 - 5:30
Fri
8:30 - 5:30
Sat
Closed
Sun
Closed
North Valley Eye Care
114 Mission Ranch Blvd.
Suite #50
Chico, CA 95926
(530) 891-1900
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North Valley Eye Care 114 Mission Ranch Blvd. Suite #50 Chico, CA 95926 Phone: (530) 891-1900 Fax: (530) 895-1531

North Valley Eye Care proudly serves Chico, CA and the surrounding areas of Red Bluff, Paradise, Oroville, Corning, Orland, Willows, Yuba City and Redding.

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