About Virginia Beach Eye Center

Our Doctors

Samuel N. Garrett, MD

Samuel N. Garrett, MD
To be praised by your colleagues shows the utmost trust and respect for a professional. Dr. Samuel N. Garrett, founder and President of Virginia Beach Eye Center, is a recognized leader in the Hampton Roads medical community, where he is known as a "physicians' physician" because he cares for such a large number of the area's doctors and their families. Dr. Garrett is also consistently named one of the region's top ophthalmologists by his fellow physicians in polls conducted by Hampton Roads Magazine for its annual "Top Docs" issue and was recently inducted into their "Top Docs Hall of Fame". In addition, he has received four "Top Ophthalmologist" awards in cataract and refractive surgery from the Consumers Research Council of America.

Born and raised in Virginia Beach, Dr. Garrett trained in family medicine in Tacoma, Washington before completing his ophthalmology residency. He trained at Letterman Army Medical Center; the University of California-San Francisco; Pacific Presbyterian Medical Center; Tripler Army Medical Center and attended the Lancaster Course in Ophthalmology at Colby College in Waterville, Maine sponsored by The Massachusetts Eye And Ear Infirmary. Dr. Garrett also received training in eyelid plastic surgery at Duke University Eye Center.

As a major in the U.S. Army, Dr. Garrett completed tours of duty in Seoul, South Korea and Fayetteville, NC. During that posting he helped train ophthalmology residents at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where he was Assistant Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology.

Upon receiving his honorable discharge from the Army, Dr. Garrett returned home to Virginia Beach in 1990 where he opened Virginia Beach Eye Surgery, now Virginia Beach Eye Center. He is a previous Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Eastern Virginia Medical School, a previous Associate Director of the Medical Society of Virginia, and past President of the Virginia Beach Medical Society. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Virginia Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons, a Diplomat of the American Board of Ophthalmology and is published in major ophthalmic journals including Ophthalmology, American Journal of Ophthalmology, American College of Surgeons Program Volume, Journal of Clinical Neuro-ophthalmology, and Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

He served as team eye surgeon for both the Hampton Roads Admirals Ice Hockey team and US National Field Hockey team.

Dr. Garrett lives in Virginia Beach with his wife, Nancy and daughter, Allison. He is a member of Trinity Church where he serves on the missions committee. He is previous board member of the Virginia Beach Rotary Club where he was a Paul Harris fellow. He is currently on the board of directors for Lighthouse for Christ Eye Center in Mombasa, Kenya. He regularly travels to Mombasa as a medical missionary where he performs cataract surgery, participates in rural eye camps, examines patients and treats eye disease. Locally, he treats the homeless in his practice through the Winter Homeless Shelter Program and does cataract surgery on patients with no medical insurance and no ability to pay through our lampstand Cataract Mission



Joy Tomko

Christopher J. Kurz, M.D.
Recently joining Virginia Beach Eye Center, doctor of ophthalmology, Christopher Kurz M.D., caps years of dedicated service as a flight surgeon, field surgeon, instructor and international humanitarian mission leader in the United States Air Force. From his most recent position as director of the USAF Warfighter Laser Refractive Center at Travis Force Base, California, Dr. Kurz brings advanced skills including those of refractive laser surgery, intraocular lens implantation, corneal transplants and cataract extraction. He holds awards for outstanding medical service in this country as well as with Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Dr. Kurz received his M.D. degree from the University of California's San Diego School of Medicine where he received honors in clinical clerkship. Dr. Kurz completed his residency in ophthalmology at the San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium followed by fellowship training in corneal disease and refractive surgery from the John A. Moran Eye Center in Salt lake City, Utah.

Growing up in Huntington Beach, California Dr. Kurz enjoys anything to do with water including sailing, surfing, and volleyball. He and his wife are now happily at home in Virginia Beach with his daughters Tessa and Lucy as well as their first son Warren newly arrived here through the couple's first international adoption.



Joy Tomko

Joy Tomko, OD
Dr. Joy Tomko is a licensed therapeutic optometrist. She was raised in Pennsylvania and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Saint Vincent College. After graduation, she attended Pennsylvania College of Optometry where she received her Bachelors in Visual Science and her Doctorate of Optometry degree.

Dr. Tomko has been practicing optometry in Hampton Roads since receiving her degree. She has extensive training in the treatment of eye diseases, such as dry-eye, ocular allergies, glaucoma and diabetes. Dr. Tomko also has a widespread knowledge in specialty contact lens fittings, pediatric exams and low vision. She also provides comprehensive medical eye care services.

Dr. Tomko is an active member of the American Optometric Association, the Virginia Optometric Association and the Tidewater Optometric Association. She currently resides in Chesapeake with her husband, Paul, a local pediatrician. Her outside interests include reading, cooking and spending time outdoors.

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