About Our Doctors
Dr. Jeffrey R. Ahrns
After completing his studies at The Ohio State University College of Optometry, Dr. Ahrns initiated his career with Primary EyeCare Associates in 1981. Disease evaluation and treatment with emphasis in glaucoma, diabetes, cataract and macular degeneration remain areas of special interest for Dr. Ahrns within the general optometric practice. With the opportunity to access many cutting edge diagnostic technologies and facilities as well as a caring and well trained staff that Primary EyeCare provides, Dr. Ahrns enjoys providing patient care at the height of the optometric profession. He practices in the Sidney and Ft. Loramie offices.
Dr Ahrns is a member of the American and Ohio Optometric Associations. Locally he has served in the Sidney Lions Club, Ft. Loramie Kiwanis, the Ft. Loramie Community Service Club, Chamber of Commerce, GYM Committee and Board of Directors of Arrowhead Golf Club.
Jeff and his wife, Debbie, enjoy their two children Alyson, a publicist in Manhatten and Caleb, who is pursuing a Master of Hospital Administration at the University of Minnesota. Debbie dedicated her efforts in special education as an Early Innervation Specialist for the Auglaize Co. Board of MRDD, and is enjoying her retirement. Together they enjoy traveling, golf, their horses and the experiences shared with their children.
Dr. Denise L. Welker (Gutman)
Denise L. Welker (Gutman), O.D. graduated from the Ohio State University College of Optometry in 1987 as Dr. Gutman. Originally from Piqua, Ohio she moved to Sidney in 1989 to join Primary EyeCare Associates. She specializes in specialty contact lens fittings as well as pediatric eye care, but enjoys the general practice of Optometry at the Sidney and Saint Paris locations.
Dr. Welker (Gutman) has been a member of the American Optometric Association, The Ohio Optometric Association, Contact Lens Section, and Ohio Extension Program for vision therapy and enjoys making Real Eyes presentations for area school children.
Residing in Sidney with her husband Dave and children Tyler and Laura, Dr. Welker (Gutman) enjoys golf, knitting, singing in the church choir and attending community events. Locally Dr. Welker (Gutman) has been a member of The American Red Cross Board of Shelby County, board member of the Sidney Shelby Chamber of Commerce and is current treasurer of Zone 9 of the Ohio Optometric Association.
Dr. John E. Beigel
Born and raised in Sidney, Ohio and graduated from Sidney High School in 1981. He has three brothers (Jeff, Jerry and Joe) all of whom are sons of Dr John and Janis Beigel. He pursued a teaching degree at BGSU before transferring to Wittenberg University to obtain his pre-med training and Bachelor of Science degree in 1985. He went on to Ohio State College of Optometry and graduated in 1989 with his Doctorate degree and joined Primary EyeCare Associates in 1989. He married his high school sweetheart, has two children (Andy and Kristin) and currently serves as president of Primary EyeCare Associates.
He has supported various community and professional organizations over the years including; Lions Club pst president , The Salvation Army-past president, Zone governor for the Ohio Optometric Association, Wilson Memorial Hospital board member, Raise the Roof for the arts- past president, ECPN district advisor and enjoys wood working, making bowls on a lathe, creating stained glass artwork and hopes to add a few more hobbies in the future.
Professionally he enjoys managing refractive surgery patients, diabetics, macular degeneration patients and is planing on obtaining his certification in genetic testing to offer to his patients in the near future. 'I generally just like helping people and that’s pretty much what makes my day’.
Dr. Karen T. Fortman
Dr. Karen Fortman has been enjoying providing vision and eye health care with Primary EyeCare Associates since 1994. She attended Fort Loramie High School and The Ohio State University College of Optometry. She currently sees patients of all ages in our Sidney and Fort Loramie offices, with a special interest in pediatric eye care. Dr. Fortman participates in InfantSEE and Realeyes, volunteer programs to educate parents, children and teachers about the importance of a lifetime of vision and eye health care. She also provides special vision evaluations for the school-age child to assess the development of binocular vision and visual perception. She is an active member of our team of optometrists and vision therapists that provide vision therapy. Her practice of optometry, however, is not limited to pediatric eye care, as she enjoys providing primary eye care services for the entire family.
Dr. Fortman and her husband, Jim, are the parents of two children and reside in Fort Loramie. She has served on a number of community service organizations including Girl Scout Leader, Ft. Loramie Music Booster Organization president, and the Business Education Partnership committee of Shelby County. She is a member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church.
Dr. Scott M. Schwartz
Dr. Scott M. Schwartz has been with Primary EyeCare Associates since 2000. He went to undergraduate school at Wittenberg University and graduated in 1996 with a major in biology and a minor in biochemistry. After Wittenberg, he attended The Ohio State University College of Optometry and graduated in 2000. Dr. Schwartz is trained to manage ocular diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy as well as many other ocular conditions.
He also enjoys fitting astigmatism correcting and bifocal contact lenses. He participates in the Realeyes program which involves speaking to many local elementary students discussing how the eye works and functions.
He is a member of the American Optometric Association, Ohio Optometric Association, Troy Kiwanis Club, St. Patrick Church in Troy, and is a current Board Member of Troy REC. Dr. Schwartz resides in Troy with his wife Alexis, and their two boys, Brayden and Devin.
Dr. Lauren E. Grillot, O.D., M.S., FAAO
Dr. Lauren Grillot grew up in Fort Loramie, Ohio. After graduating from Fort Loramie High School she went on to complete her undergraduate degree with a major in biology from Ohio Northern University were she was also a member of the indoor and outdoor track team. She graduated from The Ohio State College of Optometry in 2010 with a dual OD/MS degree. After graduation she joined a private practice in Troy, Ohio for several years before joining Primary EyeCare Associates in 2015.
Dr. Grillot completed her Fellowship with the American Academy of Optometry in 2014. She is a member of the American Optometric Association, Ohio Optometric Association, American Academy of Optometry, Optometric Extension Program. Her primary interest include working with children with amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus and children who have vision problems that interfere with their ability to read and learn, but welcomes patients of all ages.
Dr. Grillot lives in Fort Loramie with her high school sweetheart Ryan and they have three children and a crazy Labrador. She is a member of St. Michael Catholic Church and enjoys running 5K races, crocheting, gardening and canning.
Amanda L. Eilerman, O.D., M.S.