Our excellent staff welcomes you with open arms.  We ensure that your needs are our number one priority. Our office is comfortable and we can help you with most of your questions from scheduling to directions, insurance, as well as many other issues.

Please feel free to expand any of these tabs to learn more about each of the members on our staff. There, you can view their short bio. We aim for transparency and we want to ensure that you get the best care.

Dr. Guevarra-Pena

Dr. Michelle Guevarra-Pena is an ophthalmologist in Patchogue, New York. She received her medical degree from Albany Medical College and has been in practice for more than 20 years.


  • Albany Med College Medical School | Graduated 1996
  • Harvard Med School Medical School | Graduated 2014
  • Lenox Hill Hospital Internship Hospital | Completed 1997
  • Lenox Hill Hospital Residency Hospital | Completed 2000
  • NYU Fellowship Hospital | Completed 2002

Board Certifications

  • Ophthalmology - Accredited by American Board of Ophthalmology

James Soque

Our chief retinal imaging specialist, Mr. Soque is a Certified Retinal Angiographer (CRA), Certified OCT technician (OCT-C)and a Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA). He assists in retinal surgery. Mr. Soque serves on the Board of Education for the Ophthalmic Photographers’ Society and is involved in lecturing on the Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). He performs Fluorescein and ICG angiography, B-scans, Optomaps and OCTs. He was the study center coordinator for two clinical macular degeneration trials, and one diabetic macular edema trial. He is certified as a digital imaging specialist for the Fundus Photography Reading Center Wisconsin (FPRC-WI), and the Digital Angiography Reading Center of New York (DARC), and the Duke Reading Center. He is a lecturer for Genentech and he serves as an on-line editor for the American Society of Retina Specialists Retinal Image Bank.

Chery Behrendt

Chery Behrendt is our office and billing administrator and surgical coordinator. She is also an Ophthalmic Assistant and was the Study Center Coordinator for the ETROP study. She is also the unmasked study center coordinator to all of our studies.

Lorie Swain

Lorie Swain is a certified medical assistant and certified ophthalmic assistant. She is also the study center coordinator for all our studies!

AnneMarie Smykowski

Anne Marie has 25 years of experience in Ophthalmology.  She has been a part of our practice for 15 years and is a Certified Ophthalmic Assistant since 1999, as well as being an Ophthalmic Scribe since 2016.  She has been our Certified Visual Acuity Tester for all of our studies including:  The Diabetic studies:  Ampio, Allegro, Rise and Ride.  Our Macular Degeneration studies including:  Eclipse, and L Path where she was the visual acuity tester along with being the study coordinator.  Phase 4 trial:  Harbor, Cedar, Hawk, Paladin, Allegro DME 1 and 2 and PVD studies.  Her latest studies include:  Panda, Greybug, Yosemite, Clearside and Lucerne.

Heather Blaney

Heather is our Front Desk Coordinator.  She is also the Unmasked Clinical Research Coordinator for the Panda, Yosemite and Lucerne Studies.

Dinah Morgan

Dinah Morgan is our billing specialist.

Staff Members:

Matt Cirrone: Technician

Laurie Bowden

Laurie Bowden is our ‘New’ Front Desk Receptionist. She has over 20 years of the front desk and billing experience in general medicine, pediatrics, and neurology. Her duties include office scheduling, surgery, insurance recertification, and medical records. Please help us welcome her to the Island-Retina Team!  

For more detailed information about how Island Retina can help you see a brighter future, call us at one of our 2 convenient locations: Commack, NY 631-486-6672 or Shirley, NY 631-924-4300. You can also reach us by email through our website’s secure contact page.

Contact Us