GR native joins Desert View Eye Care
September 14, 2023
A Green River native who set his sights on home again is now ready to help the community with their sight.
Dr. Amasa Mecham has joined Dr. Jeffrey Wilson's team at Desert View Eye Care and will be bringing over a decade of experience in optometry back to his home community.
Dr. Mecham grew up in Green River, graduating from Green River High School in 1998. He ran cross country track in college, attending BYU Idaho and the University of Wyoming, where he met his wife. The couple eventually moved to Houston, Texas, where Mecham got a degree in psychology.
"And you can't really do much with a bachelor's degree in psychology," Mecham said with a laugh. "So I ended up going to optometry school at the University of Houston and I got my doctorate in optometry."
After Mecham and his wife had their first children, Mecham made the decision to join the military.
"When I graduated optometry school I went on active duty in the army, where I've been for the last 13 years, and we've kind of been all over with the army," he explained.
Going "all over" took Mecham and his family to upstate New York, North Carolina, and Texas, where Mecham did speciality training and his fellowship in optometry, so he is a residency-trained optometrist. He and his family then spent three years in Germany and the last four years in South Carolina.
"It's been quite the journey," Mecham said of his time in the military.
That journey came to an end about a year ago, however, when Mecham found out he has rheumatoid arthritis and he was medically retired from the army. But that change opened up a new path that led back home.
"We decided it was time to come back home to Wyoming," Mecham explained.
Roughly half a year ago, Mecham started talking with Dr. Wilson at Desert View. The two decided that Mecham was a good fit for the team, and the process to bring him on board started. The team at Desert View started getting things in place so that his arrival and starting work was a smooth transition.
Mecham and his family moved back to Green River at the beginning of August and he started work on the first day of September.
So far, working at Desert View has been going well for Mecham. The optometry itself is easy, he explained, but there are still some adjustments to be made.
"The difficult part is just learning some of the things that they do a little bit different in the civilian world versus the military world," Mecham said.
One of the biggest differences is the patient demographic, which is more diverse in a community than on a military base. Mecham explained that his last job with the army was at a basic training site, so he mostly saw brand new recruits, doing required eye exams and getting them glasses so they could see the targets when they tried to shoot them. Of course, there were times in the military when Mecham saw family members and retirees, but the age range he sees in Green River now is wider and the patients are more diverse than he usually saw in the army.
"I'm looking forward to the new challenges that come with that as well," Mecham said.
Another exciting part of his new job is working with the rest of the team at Desert View.
"They have a great staff here," Mecham said. "That was one of the things that drew me to want to come here is how friendly everyone was and how much they wanted me to be here, which made me feel very welcome when I got here."
The team is definitely thankful to have Mecham - especially Dr. Wilson, who won't be providing services on his own anymore.
"He's super excited because now he gets to take a break every now and then, because we can cover for each other and help each other out," Mecham said.
Even in the first few weeks of Mecham being at Desert View, the two doctors have already been working together on some patients, helping each other out and combining their knowledge and experience.
"Dr. Wilson has a very strong skill set, and hopefully my training and background can bring in some additional skills to help him out," Mecham said. "I think together it's going to be a really great team that we got here."
In addition to being excited for his new job, Mecham is also just excited to be home again. While his parents live in Fort Bridger now, Mecham is happy to be closer to family in general, and he's already having fun running into old friends and people he used to go to school with, including some of the other Desert View staff members.
Since it's been roughly two decades since he was in Green River last, Mecham is having fun seeing what has changed and what has stayed the same, as well as sharing his memories with his children. Now that he's here, one of the changes can be the addition of another skilled optometrist to serve the community.