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Fleet Week Forever: A Fighter Pilot’s Story

POSTED ON May 5th, 2017  - POSTED IN Lasik, Press

Fleet Week is here in South Florida and it brings to mind a patient of Rand Eye Institute who today is soaring high. Here’s his story:

It’s not often that a growing boy will turn down the chance to dive into a huge summer picnic basket, but that’s exactly what a young Steven Hollender did. Attending an air show with his grandparents many years ago, he was called away to lunch. “Not now. I want to see the planes”, shouted Steven.
Ever since that day, and even before, Steven’s career has been looking up. From as far back as Steven’s mother Carmelann Hollender can remember, “He always had an interest in planes and spaceships.”


When he graduated from Hunterdon Central Regional High School in Flemington, NJ in 2006, he announced to the family that he wanted to fly and knew just the flight school he planned to attend: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL, where he was awarded a three and a half year scholarship.

He graduated from Embry-Riddle with Dean’s List honors three of his four years. Before he could become a pilot, though, Steven had one obstacle to overcome: His less than perfect vision was preventing him from sitting in the #1 seat. At his grandmother Joan Di Maio’s request, her optometrist, Dr. Steven Koganovsky from Margate, FL made a personal call to Rand Eye Institute’s Medical Director, Dr. William J, Rand. Dr. Koganovsky asked if he would please see Steven, “I want you to treat Steven like he’s your grandson”, Dr. Koganosky told Dr. Rand, and that’s exactly what he did.

Steven came to the Rand Eye Institute on July 7, 2008, where Dr. William J. Rand had the honor of personally performing the Advanced Surface Laser Procedure, or No-Flap LASIK on Steven, which restored his vision to crystal clarity, a requirement to fly for the US Navy. Almost a decade has passed and Steven’s vision keeps his eagle eyes trained on his passion.

While Steven’s future was looking up, today he’s looking down, from the cockpit of an F-18 fighter jet, where he’s a pilot in the U.S. Navy. Steven recently returned from deployment in the South China Sea and is now living back in California.


“Dr. Rand, I just want to thank you for all you have done for me in correcting my eye problems,” said Steven. “If it wasn’t for you and your staff, I would not be a naval aviator.” Steven’s mother Carmelann backs him up, “Without Dr. Rand’s help, it wouldn’t have been possible.”

Now that Steven’s deployment overseas has ended, he’s back at his home base, The Naval Air Station in Lemoore, CA, where every August, thousands of young boys just like Steven once was, put their lunch to the side to be mesmerized at the Wings over Camarillo air show.

Thank you, Steven, for trusting Dr. Rand with your LASEK at Rand Eye Institute. We’re honored to have played a small role in your vision, launching your career as a fighter pilot. We salute YOU!

For more info on the Ft. Lauderdale Fleet Week schedule here.

Rand Eye Foundation Charity Event

POSTED ON December 7th, 2015  - POSTED IN Press

Rand Eye Foundation Charity Event.  Thanks to all who attended, and supported the Rand Eye Foundation!  Dedicated to the Prevention of Blindness.


KEEP an ‘EYE’ on Hurricane Related Injuries

POSTED ON May 30th, 2014  - POSTED IN Eye Safety, Press

For Immediate Release: May 30, 2014

Rand Eye Institute offers Hurricane Eye Safety Tips in an Effort to Reduce and Prevent Pre- and Post- Storm Eye Injuries

Deerfield Beach, Fla. — In response to the rising number of hurricane related injuries over the past hurricane seasons, the Rand Eye Institute, a comprehensive eye care and surgical facility in Deerfield Beach, is assisting South Florida residents anticipate and prepare for an increasing number of storm related eye injuries. Rand Eye Institute’s “Hurricane Eye Safety Tips” can be found at:

While a number of injuries are directly caused by the storm’s landfall and deteriorating weather conditions, the majority of reported incidents are caused indirectly, occurring as a result of pre- and post-storm preparation and recovery efforts. Of these, 90 percent are avoidable. By taking steps laid out by Rand Eye Institute, before, during and after a storm, many of these potential hazards can be reduced and potentially prevented.

“Eye injuries have increased in past storms. Anticipating and preparing for risks that can potentially lead to an eye injury should be part of any emergency disaster plan,” says William J. Rand, MD chief surgeon and medical director of the Rand Eye Institute.

Because flying fragments of metal, wood, concrete and other building materials, along with windblown dust and debris account for the highest number of eye injuries, one of the simplest ways to prevent eye injuries is to wear protective eye goggles or safety glasses, which should be included with other hurricane supplies. Wearing protective eyewear, even when putting up shutters, removing debris or working with both hand and power tools, can reduce the risk of injuring the eye.


The Rand Eye Institute also recommends:

  • Avoid rubbing or touching irritated areas of the eye – especially if you suspect the presence of debris particles or chemical solutions. Wash and rinse with clean, preferably bottled water.
  • Having essential medications, including preservative-free eye drops on hand
  • Sterilizing contact lenses more frequently – especially when dealing with unsanitary conditions
  • Current prescription eye glasses and copy of original prescription
  • Preparing a list of all physician emergency contact numbers, including your ophthalmologist and/or optometrist
  • Seeking immediate medical attention if you experience a serious eye injury or problem.


Call 954-782-1700 or toll-free 1-800-782-1711

With a compliment of Board Certified Ophthalmologists, who are on call to address your most immediate concerns, the Rand Eye Institute, an emergency generator-powered facility, provides 24-hour emergency care, with an on-site, fully licensed and Joint Commission accredited ambulatory and surgical center, capable of treating a full-range of eye injuries.

Specializing in refractive surgeries such as custom no-flap laser vision correction, lens exchange procedures, custom laser cataract surgery, vitreo-retinal surgery and corneal transplantation; the Rand Eye Institute is a comprehensive eye care and surgical facility, which offers a full-range of patient services, including routine eye examinations, treatment for dry eye syndrome, advanced testing and sophisticated ophthalmic treatments for various eye conditions. The Rand Eye Institute’s compliment of qualified, Board certified doctors and professional staff provide patients with quality and compassionate care.

Located on the first floor is the Rand Surgical Pavilion, a state-of-the-art fully licensed and Joint Commission accredited surgical facility, which offers the highest level of surgical care, surpassing nationally accepted standards for safety, sterility, technology, and quality outcomes.

Founded in 1979 by William J. Rand, M.D., one of the most experienced eye surgeons in the country, the Rand Eye Institute is centrally located in Southeast Florida at 5 West Sample Road in Deerfield Beach, FL 33064. For more information about the Rand Eye Institute, please visit or call Jacqueline Sandoval, Director of Community Relations at 800-782-1711.


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