About The Eye Institute

About The Eye Institute

Welcome to The Eye Institute! Our optometrists and staff in Knightdale, Raleigh and Wake Forest, North Carolina, are dedicated to giving you superior vision care. Your satisfaction and comfort are our priorities. We know you have a busy life, so we’ll do our best to accommodate you by setting appointments that fit in with your schedule. If finances are a concern, we will help you to understand your vision insurance plan and coverage and can offer alternative financial plans to make sure that cost is never a barrier to getting the vision care you need.

Each one of our highly trained team members is personally chosen by our doctors, based on his/her experience and education, professional care they exhibit, and willingness to give individual attention to each of our patients.

Meet the Doctors

Adam J. Palo

OD, FAAO

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Adam J. Palo

OD, FAAO

Dr. Palo obtained his Doctor of Optometry and Vision Science degree from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University in 2011 graduating with clinical honors, after completing a Bachelors Degree in Biology and Human Nutrition at North Carolina State University in 2006. Dr.Palo completed a residency in Primary Care at WG (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center in Salisbury, NC. During his residency, in addition to his clinical responsibilities, Dr. Palo gave several lectures to local physicians varying from anterior/posterior segment disease to neuro-ophthalmic disease as well as volunteering his time giving eye exams to people of the Wake County community. Upon completion of residency in Primary Care, he became an associate optometrist at Tarboro Eye Associates before joining The Eye Center of Central Pennsylvania as Medical Director of Ocular Surface Disease. In 2016 Dr.Palo proudly moved back to North Carolina to join The Eye Institute (formerly Knightdale Eye Care). He concentrates his practice in medical optometry, specialty contact lens, and low vision. Dr. Palo is a member of the American Optometric Association, Optometry Giving Sight, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry. Outside of the clinic he enjoys traveling and experiencing new cultures, crafting delicious home brews, practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, CrossFit, swimming, and biking. Favorite quote: “Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward.” – Victor Kiam

Timothy Poirier

OD

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Timothy Poirier

OD

Dr. Tim Poirier was born in California and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. He graduated from Auburn University in 1988 with a degree in Biological Science. Dr. Poirier earned his Doctor of Optometry from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1992. He has extensive experience in the treatment and management of ocular disease, contact lenses, and corneal reshaping therapy. He lives in Knightdale with his wife Kristin and their four children Blair, Brooks, Brett, and Ben. He served on the Knightdale Town Council for 14 years and has served as a past president of the Knightdale Chamber of Commerce. He enjoys coaching his children’s soccer, baseball, and basketball teams and playing golf.”

Kajal Dhebaria

OD

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Kajal Dhebaria

OD

Dr. Kajal Dhebaria completed her Doctor of Optometry degree from Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University in 2012. She is originally from New Jersey where she received her Bachelors Degree in Biological Sciences from Rutgers University. After graduating school, she lead the Raleigh branch for an Ophthalmology practice focusing on a range of ocular disease to routine eye care. She brings a wealth of experience to The Eye Institute from her training in surgical pre- and post-operative care, management, and treatment of ocular disease, with a special focus on Dry Eye Syndrome. She also fits contact lenses and enjoys pediatric eye care. Dr. Dhebaria moved to North Carolina in 2012 with her husband and they firmly call Raleigh home, where they are raising their daughter. She enjoys traveling, fitness classes, crafts and family time. Dr. Dhebaria is fluent in Gujarati and speaks Hindi.

Dan Yoakum

OD

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Dan Yoakum

OD

Dr. Dan Yoakum, a native of Indiana, moved to Raleigh in 1985. He graduated cum laude from NC State with a Bachelors degree in Microbiology and a minor in Genetics. He attended the prestigious Pennsylvania College of Optometry where he graduated in 1995 with Clinical Honors. He completed general Optometric externships at Quantico Naval base and Hahnemann University School of Medicine, and a Pediatric externship at The Eye Institute of Philadelphia. Dr. Yoakum has been practicing as a licensed Optometrist for over 25 years. He is a member of the American Optometric Association and NC State Optometric Society.

Dr. Yoakum is married to Kim, who works in our optical department. They have four children, three of whom are triplets. Dr. Yoakum is active in his church and in his spare time he enjoys working out, hiking, reading and learning to play the banjo. He is also an avid N.C. State fan….Go Pack!

Aleshia Luu

OD, FAAO

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Aleshia Luu

OD, FAAO

Dr. Aleshia Luu is a native of Pennsylvania, and recently relocated to Raleigh in 2016. She received her undergraduate degree from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, majoring in Biology and completed the accelerated program at the prestigious Pennsylvania College of Optometry where she graduated with clinical honors in 2009. After graduation Dr. Luu spent seven years working in ophthalmology where she gained experience in the treatment and management of ocular diseases, including dry eye, glaucoma, macular degeneration, corneal disease, and pre- and post-surgical care of LASIK and cataract patients. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and an active member of the American Optometric Association and the North Carolina Optometric Society.

Dr. Luu is married to Dr. Adam Palo who is a fellow optometrist in the Raleigh area. They have an energetic fur baby named Rocky who occupies their time at home. She enjoys running, cooking, outdoor activities, and immersing herself in family.

Andrew Halton

OD

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Andrew Halton

OD

Andrew Halton OD graduated from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University with clinical honors and advanced studies in contact lenses in 2021. Andrew is originally from Philadelphia and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Neuroscience. After completing optometry school, Andrew completed a 1-year post-graduate training program at Rochester Regional Health|Reed Eye Associates in Rochester, NY. This training focused on ocular diseases and specialty contact lens fitting. Andrew fits a variety of lenses, ranging from soft lenses to more advanced cases requiring gas permeable, hybrid, or scleral lenses. Andrew’s training provides knowledge and experience to help those with conditions including keratoconus, post-surgical ectasia, high myopia and irregular astigmatism.

Andrew is committed to providing compassionate care and comprehensive vision treatment to all patients in the community. Andrew sees every patient as an individual, offering personalized care in a warm, welcoming environment. Andrew’s significant other, Dr. Sharon Guarino, and their dog, Boots have also moved down to NC. The trio looks forward to exploring, hiking, and enjoying all the outdoor adventures that NC has to offer. You can schedule an appointment with Andrew at the North Raleigh and Knightdale locations.

Meet Our TEI Team

Lindsay

Operations Director

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Lindsay

Operations Director

A native of the East Coast. Born and raised in Gloucester, VA she moved to Charleston SC in 1997 and pursued her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at The College of Charleston. After working in that field for several years she went on to receive her Master’s Degree in HR Management in 2006. In 2008 Lindsay moved to Raleigh NC and started her family. She is the proud mother of Landon and Zachary. Lindsay has been in Management and Leadership roles in both the Mental Health and Optical industries since 2002. She joined The Eye Institute in September 2017 as the Operations Director and she is very excited to assist with the growth of The Eye Institute.

Roberto (“Rob”)

Lab Manager, Licensed Optician

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Roberto (“Rob”)

Lab Manager, Licensed Optician

Started in the Optical Industry in 1988 as a lab technician for Pearle Vision Centers in Virginia Beach, Virginia. After two years he went to work for New City Optical, a wholesale lab in Virginia Beach, where he worked as a Lab Supervisor for 12 years. While there he attended and graduated from the Opticians Apprenticeship Program at Norfolk Vocational/Technical School where he received his ABO Certification and his Optician License from the state of Virginia. Three years after graduating he became an instructor at the Opticians Apprenticeship Program. In 2002 he relocated to the Raleigh area and became the General Manager at Southern Optical Co. in Morrisville. In July of 2007, He joined The Eye Institute (formerly Knightdale Eye Care) staff. Rob lives in Knightdale with his wife Lori who is also an Optician. He is also very involved in his church and enjoys serving in different areas of need. In his spare time, he enjoys the outdoors, running and spending time with his grandson.

Ashley

Financial Coordinator

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Ashley

Financial Coordinator

Ashley started in the optical industry in 2003. She graduated from North Carolina State University in 2006 with a degree in Agricultural Management. She joined Knightdale Eye Care in 2009. After graduating she decided to pursue her North Carolina optician’s license and completed the Durham Technical Community College optician program in May of 2011. Ashley then went on to pass the American Board of Opticianry and National Contact Lens Examiner’s exams in 2012 followed by the North Carolina State Board of Optician’s Exam in 2014 and earned her NC Optician’s License. Ashley and her husband Trey, along with their daughter Avery, live in Archer’s Lodge. Ashley and her family enjoy traveling and spending time at Kerr Lake along with their dogs, Jed and JJ.

Maria

Billing Manager

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Maria

Billing Manager

Maria was born in Silver Springs, MD and came to North Carolina with her family in 1998. She entered the eye care industry in 2009, where she gained experience in customer service and insurance verification. Maria joined The Eye Institute family in 2018 expanding her knowledge as an optometric technician. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Luis, and her children, Kimberly, Kayley, Kelsey, and Kamilla.

Tiffany

Office Manager

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Tiffany

Office Manager

Tiffany is originally from a small town in Western Massachusetts. In 2016 she relocated with her husband, Justin to North Carolina. Tiffany joined the optical field in 2013 as a receptionist and over the years has spent time within each role in the field. In 2018, Tiffany joined The Eye Institute as part of the inaugural team of TEI North Raleigh. She has since grown to become the location manager of our North Raleigh practice. In her spare time, you’ll find Tiffany exploring new places with her husband, baking sweet treats, and hanging out with their dog Noodles and two cats Schmidt and Phoebe.

Dustin

Office Manager

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Dustin

Office Manager

Originally from Riverside, CA, Dustin’s family moved to NC in 1998. His optical career began in 2011 as an Optometric Technician. A year later, he accepted a position as a Lab Technician where he spent the next three years before attending the Calvary Chapel Bible College in Murrieta, CA and the CC School of Worship in Costa Mesa, CA. Upon returning from school in 2017, Dustin transitioned back into the optical industry and into his current role as an Optical Sales Consultant. In his spare time, Dustin enjoys trying new restaurants, frequenting coffee shops, reading, playing guitar and frequenting more coffee shops. He is also actively involved in his church where he oversees the Worship/Media Ministries. Did we mention he likes coffee?

Nate

Office Manager

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Nate

Office Manager

Nate was born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas. After high school, Nate attended Kansas State University and graduated with a B.S in Mass Communication. Because Nate enjoys learning he also obtained a Real Estate license and a Life and Health License. He started in the Optical industry in 2017 working as a General Manager. While working in Electronics retail Nate developed a passion for people and Human Resource Operations. Since working in the optical industry Nate has enjoyed managing some large optometry offices spanning from Cary NC to North Raleigh. When not at TEI you can find Nate spending time with his family, running Marathons, and enjoying all the outdoor amenities North Carolina has to offer.

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