Brevard Eye Center


Staying FOCUSED on the People they Serve

Over 24 years ago, Dr. Paul Befanis, an ophthalmologist who had studied medicine at the University of North Carolina and most recently served a fellowship in vitroretineal diseases at the Washington Hospital Center in the District of Columbia, opened Brevard Eye Center in Melbourne.

Since that time, it has grown with the area it serves and now has seven locations in Brevard and Indian River counties and remains at the forefront with the sophisticated technology and techniques required by an increasingly sophisticated community in need of eye care.  Eleven physicians and surgeons, including four medical doctors, provide that care, which extends from thousands of procedures, including laser vision correction and complex surgeries – Brevard Eye introduced premium intraocular lens implants to this area – to relatively simple eye examinations.

Befanis has performed Lasik corrective eye surgery for five years.  He was also the first physician with offices between Jacksonville and West Palm Beach to receive credentials to perform Crystalens implant surgery, which at once corrects cataracts and gives the patient a full range of vision.  Befanis is one of only 87 physicians in the country and 13 in Florida fully qualified to do the procedure.

Cutting Edge With Traditional Charm

It all makes Gary Hardey, the practice’s chief executive officer, a happy man.

“We have been very blessed to have been part of a rapidly growing community over the years and we are unconditionally committed to providing the very best and highest level of patient care and service,” Hardey commented.

Yet, with surgeons that have performed thousands of vision correction procedures and for all its emphasis on the cutting edge, Brevard Eye’s philosophy of practice-as-business is charmingly traditional.  “We like to keep it simple and straightforward: Never take your eye care and health for granted,” Hardey pointed out.

Defining the Difference

Befanis defines the success of Brevard Eye in typical, clear-cut terms: “What really separates us is the precision, the exactness of our work. You cannot accept anything less.”

Yet a modern ophthalmic practice does come with its challenges, and Befanis and Hardey agree that in order to stay at the pinnacle of an ever-changing field, hard work, constant study and an increasing understanding of, and willingness to invest in, technology are required.

“Our greatest challenge is striving and staying on top . . . to be the very best.  The doctors and staff are constantly training and learning new educational requirements and techniques,” Hardey emphasized.  “Technological advances have allowed us to provide excellent patient care and be more efficient in providing that care.”

Minding Your Business

As a business, Brevard Eye is not likely to shrink, considering the aging population and therefore, the increasing need for its services.  Befanis is mindful of the non-medical needs of his patient base when he discusses it, as well.

“A huge number of people will need cataract surgery, for example, and those people expect to continue to lead active lifestyles. ‘Aging’ no longer means ‘inactive,’ and people now expect a certain quality of life.  They don’t want to be dependent on glasses . . . . So there will be an increasing demand for surgery that can relieve them of that,” he explained.

“We are a one-stop shop for all eye care needs.  It is our greatest satisfaction to continuously assist patients in seeing young again and rejuvenating their visual outcomes,” Hardey added.

Still, the people of Brevard Eye are carefully running the business that they have, by keeping an ear to the ground and an eye on the economy, which, in spite of the downturns, remains pretty optimistic primarily due to the nature of their business and the needs that are so evident in this area.  “Brevard and Indian River counties are very resilient and have an abundance of experience, will and fortitude to succeed,” Hardey said.  “This community tends to pull together and work for what is best together.  A lot of larger cities and communities, from which many of us come, do not do that.”  As for the economy, it “will rebound; it always does,” Hardey added.

Looking Ahead

The future looks bright for the farsighted, figuratively speaking.

Befanis says more new diagnostic and therapeutic procedures are coming on board at Brevard Eye, including new lasers, glaucoma detecting devices and medicines.  He clearly will be delighted to introduce them.

As for expansion, “future development,” as Hardey calls it, will continue, sensibly.

“We at Brevard Eye Center are constantly looking at future development, and everything is always on the proverbial table to discuss,” he mused.  “It if makes sense and is a win-win, we move forward.  It is an exciting time to be in health care and even more exciting to be part of a large and growing successful group of doctors and staff.”


For Healthy Eye Care

  • Have an annual, routine eye exam
  • If you notice any visual changes that are out of your normal pattern, have your eyes looked at immediately.
  • Wear eye protection from the sun
  • Take vitamins

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