Dr. Todd McEachren MSc MD FRCSC Medical Director Co-owner - Bense McEachren Cataract Centre
Dr. McEachren was born in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and grew up in the town of Stephenville. Upon completion of a Bachelor of Science degree at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia in 1990, he returned to Newfoundland to obtain a Master of Science in biochemistry at Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1994. Dr. McEachren completed his medical degree at Dalhousie University in 1998 and went on to obtain a fellowship in Ocular Pathology at the University of Ottawa in 1999. From 1999 to 2004 he completed his residency in Ophthalmology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada. Dr. McEachren was certified in iLASIK surgery in 2008.
In 2013 Dr. McEachren attained a fellowship in medical retina at Queen’s University furthering his expertise in various areas of ophthalmology. He has been practicing as a comprehensive ophthalmologist and medical retinal specialist in St. John’s ever since.
Dr. McEachren’s personable approach and dedication to individualized patient care complements his academic and professional qualifications. He brings this commitment to excellence to the Bense McEachren Cataract Centre in his role as Medical Director and surgeon.
Outside of his clinical practice, Dr. McEachren has a passion for collecting and restoring classic cars. He enjoys riding motorcycles and snowmobiles, playing guitar and mountain biking. He also holds a black belt in taekwondo.
Dr. Jon Bense, Optometrist Director – Bense Optical & Optometry Co-owner – Bense McEachren Cataract Centre
Dr. Bense graduated with his Optometry degree in 2003 from the University of Ulster in Coleraine, Northern Ireland.
He founded Bense Optical & Optometry in Elizabeth Towers in 2006 and after discovering the need for optometric services in the town of Paradise a second location was opened in 2016.
Bense Optical is a full scope optometry clinic, offering eye exams for all ages, with patients as young as six months old. Dr. Bense also provides a full optical for glasses and contact lenses. Bense Optical accepts referrals from local physicians for detection and monitoring of diseases including diabetes, glaucoma, macular degeneration and more. In addition Bense Optical provides post operative care to many cataract patients.
Dr. Bense mentors and trains fourth year optometry students throughout the year and he is the only certified teacher in St. John’s.
In his free time, Dr. Bense enjoys country life with his wife and business partner Alex - and their three adorable pugs.
Dr. Brad Murphy was born and raised in Corner Brook, NL. He studied at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College and then Memorial University campus in St. John's. He obtained a Bachelor of Medical Science in 1994 and a Medical Doctorate in 1996 earning a spot on the Dean’s list in every year of his studies. At graduation he was awarded the University Medal for Academic Excellence in Medicine for the top academic performance in his class.
Dr. Murphy completed a residency in Ophthalmology at the University of Ottawa, graduating in 2001. His strong academic performance continued throughout his residency, achieving the 95th percentile or higher in North America each year on the Ophthalmic Knowledge Assessment Program exams. He was admitted to the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in 2001 and remains an active member today. He is also an assistant professor at Memorial University.
Dr. Murphy practices in St. John's and has just completed his twenty-second year of general ophthalmology and cataract surgery care. He is dedicated to ensuring patients receive the best possible eye care available.
In his spare time you can find Dr. Murphy playing the guitar, riding dirt bikes or snowmobiling. He also has a talent for welding!
Andrea Canning Clinical Director | Registered Nurse
Andrea Canning is a nursing graduate from the General Hospital School of Nursing. She has 36 years combined nursing experience in intensive care, coronary care, dermatology and aesthetics, oncology, peri-operative/OR and clinical coordinator for peri-operative surgery at the Health Sciences Centre.
Previous working knowledge and experience in the peri-operative setting has prepared Andrea for her current role as Clinical Director of Bense McEachren Cataract Centre. Andrea supervises daily clinical operations of the ambulatory surgical environment in accordance with established federal, provincial and accreditation regulations and guidelines, as well as established BMCC policies and procedures.
Andrea has two precious grandchildren who bring her so much love and joy during her time away from the office.
Matthew Davis graduated from Memorial University’s Fast-Track Nursing program in 2019. After graduation, Matt spent 2.5 years working in Alberton, PEI.
Since returning home to Newfoundland, Matthew has been working as a surgical nurse in the Health Sciences Centre operating room. Matthew works in all the specialties offered, but always enjoys ophthalmology rooms the most.
Matt enjoys spending time with his wife and their puppy, Luna. He enjoys brewing craft beer, watching football every Sunday, going to the gym, and travelling.
Vanessa Conran graduated from the College of the North Atlantic’s Licensed Practical Nursing program on the beautiful West Coast of the province.
Vanessa has previously worked at the Leonard A. Miller Centre caring for patients with spinal cord and brain injuries.
Currently Vanessa works at both Bense McEachren Cataract Centre and Dr. McEachren’s private clinic. She prepares injections for patients with Macular Degeneration and Diabetic Retinopathy. Vanessa also assists in the everyday tasks at the private office.
On surgery days at BMCC Vanessa fulfills the roles of both pre/post operative nurse and scrub nurse in the operating room.
On her days off, Vanessa loves exploring new adventures outdoors with her children and enjoys a variety of music.
Sandi Ford graduated from the Centre for Nursing Studies in 2015. She spent her first seven years working in both The Leonard A. Miller Centre, as well as the Caribou Memorial Veterans Pavilion with rehabilitation and end of life care.
In 2022, Sandi made a career change to ophthalmology where she works as an ophthalmologist scrub nurse for cataract surgery, as well as caring for patients in the pre and post operative area for surgery at Bense McEachren Cataract Centre.
In Sandi’s spare time she can usually be found at the soccer or baseball field with her son – or in the gym with her partner. She always looks forward to seeing new faces and meeting new people.
In nearly three decades with the Bense Group, Beverly Byrne has gained extensive experience in the field of medical ophthalmology through her supervisory position as the Director of the iLASIK department. In this position Bev took on many diverse roles, including the supervision of staff, working directly with patients through consultations and education, and assisting in weekly surgery as a certified iLASIK Technician.
Bev’s background has provided an easy transition to fulfil her similar roles with Bense McEachren Cataract Centre. Each year Bev continues to strengthen her skills and knowledge of the latest methods in the field - through professional development conferences and workshops, such as the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ASCRS). These professional development opportunities teach invaluable skills and techniques about technical work in the field and most importantly how to effectively communicate with patients and provide them with the best possible customer experience.
In her spare time Bev loves being with her family and planning the next family get together. She has discovered a new passion of quilting....and buying fabric! Bev enjoys quilting classes to grow her skill and learn from the experts!
Gail Hallett began her career in the medical field working as a nuclear medicine technician at the Health Sciences Centre.
In 2009 Gail joined the Bense Group as a laser technician and patient care coordinator with the iLASIK Centre. Gail loves to socialize with friends and family, therefore her day by day interactions with our many clients makes Gail a wonderful fit for BMCC.
With Gail’s past employment experience and wealth of knowledge in the health care, she is a caring and compassionate presence to our patients and staff. No matter the task, the BMCC team counts on Gail for her attention to detail and her meticulous approach.
Gail is happily married to her wonderful husband and they have three amazing children! When not at work you’ll find Gail relaxing around a campfire, canoeing at the pond or baking and cooking with her sisters!
Rene Penney Reception | Administration | Medical Device Reprocessing
Rene Penney began working with Bense Group in 2021 and loves the atmosphere and the people she gets to work with everyday!
Rene’s past work experience in a busy, fast paced multi specialist office, along with her sixteen years experience in administration, the daily running of the practice and performing medical device reprocessing made Rene the perfect fit to join the BMCC team.
When not at work, Rene is a wife and a proud mom to three awesome kids who keep her busy with all their activities. Rene enjoys the outdoors, hunting and fishing and loves camping and spending time with family including her fur kids; two cats named Rafiki and Cheeseball and two dogs named Toby and Sally.
Rand has been in the ophthalmology/optometry field for over three years now. As she’s cross trained, you may meet her at Bense Optical and Optometry or the Bense McEachren Cataract Centre. Her friendly attitude, diligence and efficiency in the workplace are easily evident. She’s known for providing the utmost care to patients and their loved ones during clinical and surgical appointments. As a matter of fact, Rand’s motivation and dedication is set on advancing her career and pursuing further education in the eye care field.
In her leisure time Rand enjoys spending time with family and friends, attending fitness classes such as yoga, cycling and zumba. Among her artistic pursuits, Rand creates watercolor illustrations and has social media accounts to connect with her followers.