The doctors and staff at The Retina Partners are united in our commitment to a single principle: treating every patient as we would treat our own family member. Driven by this philosophy, we make it our top priority to provide personalized and honest care using the latest and most advanced technology in an environment of warmth, compassion, and respect. We encourage our patients to ask questions because it is the right of every patient to learn about the nature of their disease and the latest that science has to offer in understandable terms. Only in this way can the patient, the doctor, and the staff work together as a team to achieve the best results.
Dr. Thomas Hanscom first began serving patients in 1980, starting on the faculty of the Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA, and as Chief of Ophthalmology at the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration Hospital. He soon developed a reputation as a leader and well-respected clinician, and realizing the need for advanced retinal care on the Westside, Dr. Hanscom founded his practice, The Retina Specialists, in Santa Monica, where we continue to serve a thriving community.
Meanwhile, Valley Retina Associates Medical Group was founded in 2001 by Dr. Robert Engstrom, who had a faculty position at the Jules Stein Eye Institute since 1995. While serving as the Co-Director of the UCLA Ocular Oncology service and Division Chief of Ophthalmology at Olive View/UCLA Medical Center, Dr. Engstrom recognized a need for a state-of-the-art retina center in the San Fernando Valley and thus established his practice in Encino. Through the support of our highly respected referral community, we continue to serve a growing patient population throughout the San Fernando Valley area.
In July 2009, Dr. Hajir Dadgostar joined the Valley Retina team after completing his residency in ophthalmology at the Jules Stein Eye Institute and his vitreoretinal surgery fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute. Soon after, in January 2011, Dr. Engstrom and Dr. Dadgostar opened our Valencia office to serve the Santa Clarita Valley by providing a local center for the increasing number of patients who had been commuting long distances to receive their retina care with us.
As of July 2013, Dr. Amir Guerami joined Valley Retina Associates after serving as the Director of the Retina Division and Clinical Director of Ophthalmology at the University of Maryland. Dr. Guerami's arrival coincided with an opportunity to further expand our Encino office space so that we can continue to provide the most comfortable care experience to our ever-growing patient population.
Seeing an opportunity to better serve their respective communities by working together, the physicians of Valley Retina Associates and The Retinal Specialists decided to join together in the fall of 2014 to form The Retina Partners, and now our team continues to grow, providing excellent care throughout the greater Los Angeles area.
Since then, Dr. Christian Sanfilippo joined our practice in 2018 after completing his ophthalmology residency and vitreoretinal surgery fellowship at the Stein Eye Institute at UCLA. The most recent addition to our team, Dr. Jessica Cao, joined us in 2022 after completing her vitreoretinal surgery fellowship at the highly renowned Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute.
Finally, it is with bittersweet feelings that we congratulate and bid a fond farewell to Dr. Robert Engstrom who, after decades of dedicated and exemplary service to his patients, to our practice, and to the field of retina care, has retired as of 2023. Dr. Engstrom now enjoys traveling and spending time with his family, while pursuing his passion for photography.
As we have grown through the years, we have maintained our core commitment to our patients and community. At The Retina Partners, we pride ourselves on setting the highest standards for prompt accessibility, effective communication, outstanding care, and a positive patient experience with our team of top retina specialists and outstanding staff. We are your partners in the preservation of sight and health.