Meet Our Doctors

Jeffrey Payne, MD
L. Jeffrey Payne, M.D.Cataract Surgeon, Ophthalmologist
Location: Gainesville

Dr. Jeffrey Payne is one of the most experienced ophthalmologists in North Georgia. Currently he is the Medical Director of North Georgia Eye and its’ affiliated businesses, North Georgia Optical, North Georgia Aesthetics, and North Georgia Eye Surgery Center. Dr. Payne graduated magna cum laude from North Georgia College in Dahlonega, with a B.S. in biology. Following completion of his undergraduate work he enrolled in the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. Dr. Payne was the Desiree Franklin Scholar, received the Shephard Award for Outstanding Research and a pathology research fellowship. After earning his Doctorate of Medicine (MD), he completed his internship at the Medical College of Georgia hospitals and clinics followed by a residency in ophthalmology, where he was named Chief Resident.

Dr. Payne is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ASCRS), and the Georgia Society of Ophthalmology (GSO). He serves as Chairman of Health Partners Board at Northeast Georgia Medical Center. Dr. Payne is a Diplomat of the American Board of Ophthalmology and a board member of the Georgia Society of Ophthalmology. Dr. Jeffrey Payne has privileges at Northeast Georgia Medical Center and North Georgia Eye Surgery Center. Jeff Payne and his family are members of Gainesville First United Methodist Church in Gainesville, Georgia.

Matthew B. Kaufman, M.D.Refractive Surgeon, Cataract Surgeon, Ophthalmologist
Locations: Cumming, and Hamilton Mill

Matthew B. Kaufman, M.D., a leading ophthalmologist in Northern Georgia, is the director of refractive surgery at North Georgia Eye Clinic. Fellowship-trained to sub-specialize in LASIK and refractive surgery, corneal disorders and treatments, and cataract surgery, Dr. Kaufman received his education and training from some of the most advanced medical facilities in the nation. He graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University; following the completion of his undergraduate degree, Dr. Kaufman enrolled in the Vanderbilt University Medical School and received his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree. Dr. Kaufman completed an internship in internal medicine at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, and a residency in ophthalmology at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. During his residency, he was Baylor’s first resident physician ever to perform LASIK surgery. Dr. Kaufman elected to further his training by accepting a fellowship in cornea, anterior segment, and refractive surgery at the University of California. While in California, he had the privilege to train directly with Dr. Peter McDonnell, the current chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, widely regarded as the premier ophthalmology program in the world. Dr. Kaufman has served as a clinical instructor at the University of California and the Veterans Administration Hospital in Long Beach, California. He was also a faculty instructor for the University of California Residency Microsurgery Course.

Dr. Kaufman has published articles in several medical journals, with topics including LASIK and cataract surgery. He has been the recipient of many awards and honors throughout his professional and academic careers. These honors include a fellowship with Diabetes Research and Training Center at Vanderbilt University, the Phi Beta Kappa award, membership in the College Scholars Program, and membership in the Mortar Board Honor Society. Dr. Kaufman is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and the Georgia Society of Ophthalmology. He is board-certified in ophthalmology and his hospital affiliations include Northside Hospital and North Georgia Eye Surgery Center.

Brent Hayek, MD, FACSOculoplastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, Ophthalmologist
Locations: Gainesville and Braselton

Brent Hayek, MD, is an oculoplastic and reconstructive surgeon and delighted to join North Georgia Eye. Prior to joining, Dr. Hayek was Associate Professor in Oculoplastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Ophthalmology at the Emory University School of Medicine. He brings a decade of expertise in the care of adults and children including reconstructive and cosmetic procedures of the eyelids, face, orbit, and tear drainage system. He graduated summa cum laude from Oral Roberts University and worked for 5 years as an analytical chemist. He graduated the University of Iowa School of Medicine AOA and then completed his internship in General Surgery, followed by residency in Ophthalmology at Loyola School of Medicine in Chicago. He completed his Oculoplastic Surgery fellowship training at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Dr. Hayek’s research interests involve improvements and innovative drug therapy for thyroid eye disease, as well as more predictable facial fat transfer techniques for peri-orbital rejuvenation. These interests were highlighted by his work as Emory principal investigator for a novel drug treatment for severe thyroid eye disease. published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Dr. Hayek has served in clinical and research capacities to advance global eye health, including the Emory Global Ophthalmology Committee, Orbis International and Himalayan Cataract Project. As an integral member of the Emory Eye Center team deployed to West Africa to understand eye disease in Ebola survivors, Dr. Hayek has also provided eye care for patients in Sierra Leone and Liberia since 2015. He has been part of numerous medical teams helping diagnose and treat patients, and train healthcare workers in Madagascar, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Swaziland.

National Recognition

Dr. Hayek is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. He is a member of the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS), the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) honor society and Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). Dr. Hayek has published numerous peer-reviewed publications and abstracts, many of which have been presented at national and international meetings. He has served on local and national committees and been a manuscript reviewer for several peer reviewed journals.

Areas of Clinical Interest

Eyelid disorders
• Droopy/puffy lids
• Eyelids turning in or out (entropion/ectropion)
• Eyelid retraction (e.g. birth defects, thyroid eye disease or Graves eye disease)
• Trauma
• Eyelid cancer such as basal and squamous cell carcinoma, sebaceous carcinoma and melanoma
• Mohs reconstruction

Orbital disorders, tumors and trauma
Thyroid eye disease
Tear duct obstruction
Anophthalmic socket/artificial eyes
Facial and eyelid spasm disorders
Cosmetic services include both surgical and non-surgical approaches to help restore a more youthful appearance
• Forehead/brow lifts
• Blepharoplasty
• Cheek advancement
• Injectables and other neuromodulators
• Facial fillers, peels and resurfacing lasers
• Fat transfer for facial rejuvenation/reconstruction

Matthew W. Hollar, M.D.Cataract Surgeon, Ophthalmologist
Locations: Gainesville, Braselton, and Clayton

Dr. Matthew Hollar is the newest member to the team of comprehensive ophthalmologists at North Georgia Eye Clinic, specializing in medical and surgical care of the eye. A native of western North Carolina, he and his family have lived north of Atlanta since 1999. For his undergraduate studies, Dr. Hollar graduated summa cum laude from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN where he was awarded a full academic scholarship and was named the 2003 male United States Presidential Scholar for the state of Georgia. Afterward, Dr. Hollar enrolled in the Duke University School of Medicine where he received his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree and was also awarded a full academic scholarship. During his time in medical school, Dr. Hollar devoted two full-time years to research at the Duke Eye Center studying age-related eye diseases. Following medical school, Dr. Hollar returned to Nashville where he completed an internship in Internal Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He then began residency training in Ophthalmology at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute and Veteran’s Administration Hospital. He has published multiple articles in medical journals with topics including healthcare disparities in ophthalmology, macular degeneration, ocular oncology, infections of the eye, and congenital ophthalmic disease.

Dr. Hollar is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. He holds a hospital appointment at North Georgia Medical Center and is a member of both the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Medical Association. His clinical interests include dry eye syndrome, medical management of glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology, and cataract surgery. Outside of medicine, he enjoys hiking, running, and classical piano. He welcomes new patients to his clinic and looks forward to meeting you.

Sheetal M. Shah, M.D.Ophthalmologist
Location: Gainesville and Braselton

Dr. Sheetal M. Shah, a board certified Ophthalmologist, attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York graduating with honors in biological sciences and applied economics and management. She then received her medical degree from SUNY Downstate Medical College in Brooklyn, NY, where she was actively involved in the local community. Dr. Shah went on further to complete a Cornea, External Disease and Refractive Surgery Fellowship at New York Presbyterian Hospital – Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, NY. During this time, she conducted research on ocular surface disorders and dry eye syndrome.

Her clinical interests include advance dry eye disease, infectious and inflammatory disorders of the cornea, and ocular surface disease. She is currently evaluating patients for dry eye syndrome offering novel therapies including the FDA proved Lipiflow Thermal Pulsation Treatment. In addition, Dr. Shah holds a strong interest in international health, having spent time with Surgical Eye Expeditions in Rajasthan, India. In her free time, she loves to travel and read contemporary Asian literature. She currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and two children.