Doctors & Staff
Meet the experienced and friendly doctors and staff who make Niles Vision Clinic the leading provider of vision care products and services in Niles.
Jeffrey Becraft, O.D.
Dr. Jeffrey Becraft has served the Niles community since 2000. He graduated with highest honors from the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University. His schooling included clinical rotations at Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute, the Fort Wayne Veterans Administration Hospital and the Saginaw Special Needs Vision Clinic. In 2000, Dr. Becraft completed a residency in geriatric and rehabilitative optometry at the Birmingham (AL) Veterans Administration Hospital. He is licensed at the highest level available to Michigan optometrists.
He has completed international optometric eye care mission trips to Guyana, Ecuador, and Honduras.
Dr. Becraft is a member of the American Optometric Association, the Fellowship of Christian Optometrists, and the Niles Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Becraft has been a lifelong resident of the Michiana area. He graduated from Edwardsburg High School in 1992. Currently, he lives in Niles with his wife and four sons.
Shannon Avena, O.D.
Dr. Shannon Avena graduated from Inter American University in Puerto Rico, located just outside of San Juan. Her schooling included clinical rotations across the island of Puerto Rico, as well as private practice rotations in Miami, FL and Mishawaka, IN. While in Puerto Rico, she became proficient in Spanish and has since used her extra skill set to conduct Spanish eye exams. She completed her rotations in Mishawaka, IN and specialized in pre- and post-op cataract care, as well as advanced ocular disease. She is licensed at the highest level available to Michigan optometrists.
Dr. Avena is a member of the Michigan Optometric Association, American Optometric Association, VOSH (Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity), and Lion’s Club International Service Organization.
Dr. Avena graduated from Michigan City High School in 2006, and later went on to pursue a full ride athletic scholarship at the University of Indianapolis. Here, she was a varsity short sprinter all four years and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and a minor in psychology. She currently lives in Mishawaka with her husband, who is also an optometrist, and her three dogs.
Orlando Avena, O.D.
Dr. Orlando Avena is originally from Hilo, Hawaii. He completed his undergraduate studies at La Sierra University in Riverside, California. He served his externships at various private practices in Miami, Florida and Mishawaka, Indiana. He relocated to the Northern Indiana area following graduation from IAUPR School of Optometry. He is fluent in Spanish and will be caring for all Spanish-speaking patients.
Dr. Avena is a member of the Michigan Optometric Association, American Optometric Association, Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (VOSH) and has completed international eye care mission trips to the Dominican Republic and Mexico.
He practices with an emphasis on ocular disease management, dry eye treatment, pediatric care and diabetic eye exams. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his family and cooking.
Tamara Schwalbe, O.D.
Dr. Tamara Schwalbe started her optometric career right here at Niles Vision Clinic by working in reception for the summer after she graduated from high school. Convinced that this would be a great field, she enrolled in Pre-Med Studies at the University of Notre Dame. After completing her studies, she deferred her enrollment to optometry school for a year in order to complete a mission trip in Australia and Japan.
Returning to the United States, she began optometry school at Indiana University in 2007. Following the four year doctorate program, she began providing optometric care at Mayo Clinic – La Crosse in Wisconsin while her husband Justin completed his training there as a family doctor. At the conclusion of Justin’s training he was provided an opportunity to join South Bend Clinic, relocating them back to the Michiana area in 2014.
Dr. Schwalbe provided optometric care in nursing homes in the northern Indiana region after they returned to Michiana, joining the Niles Vision Clinic in November of 2016. She lives in South Bend with her husband and three daughters.
Deb Searles, O.D.
Dr. Deb Searles, O.D. relocated to Michigan in the summer of 2008 after practicing for several years with Professional Vision Center in Connecticut. She has worked with multiple Michigan practices as part of her education, including Duane L. Waters Hospital, Andersen Eye Associates, Michigan State University, and Lansing Ophthalmology. She is licensed at the highest level available to Michigan optometrists.
Dr. Searles has been active in both the local and global communities. She has seen patients at the Michigan Special Olympics and at clinics in Haiti, Honduras, and Ecuador.
Her professional affiliations include the American Optometric Association. Dr. Searles’ undergraduate studies were completed at Ferris State University, where she was a member of the Honors College, an Academic All-American basketball player, and a summa cum laude graduate.
Our staff at Niles Vision Clinic is well trained and focused on making your patient experience a personal one. All members of our staff attend continuing education classes throughout the year in areas of spectacle lenses, contact lenses and eyewear design.
The office culture at Niles Vision Clinic is one of excellence in patient care and personalized service. We believe and practice doing the right thing to make your experience a good one with long lasting happiness, eye health and optimal vision.