Meet Our Doctors
Dr. Christen Allaman, M.D.
Cataract Surgery, Lens Based Refractive Surgery for Myopia, Hyperopia and Presbyopia, Glaucoma, Diabetes and General Ophthalmology.
Dr. Christen Allaman, a Board Certified Ophthalmologist, completed his undergraduate studies at the University of California, San Diego. After receiving his Medical Degree from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, he served a first-year residency in internal medicine at California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco. Realizing his talents and international interests would be best served in the field of ophthalmology; he completed a residency at the Eye and Ear Institute, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. In 1996 he joined Keith McKenzie, M.D., in private practice at Eye Care Medical Group, Santa Cruz, California, and in 1998 became the corporation’s president.
Dr. Christen Allaman is President and Medical Director of Cypress Outpatient Surgical Center ensuring that only state-of-the-art, compassionate care extends throughout his office and the operating theatre.
He has also performed volunteer cataract surgery and diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases in Bolivia, Fiji, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. When he is not taking care of patients, Doctor Allaman enjoys sports, particularly skiing and surfing. He also enjoys adventure travels with his family.
Dr. Allaman specializes in:
- State-of-the-art (small incision, sutureless) cataract and phacorefractive surgery with presbyopia-correcting intraocular lens (IOL) implants.
- Medical laser treatments.
- Diagnosis and treatment of the glaucomas, including the newest treatment options available.
- Dry eye care.
- Macular degeneration management.
- Second opinions.
- Preventive comprehensive eye care.
- 1994 Implanted first Intraocular Lens (IOL) Pittsburgh Eye and Ear Institute
- 1998 Implanted first Multifocal Lens First in Monterey Bay Area
- 2005 Implanted first REZOOM Lens First in Monterey Bay Area
- 2007 Implanted first RESTOR Lens
- 2007 Implanted first TORIC Lens
- 2008 Implanted first CRYSTALENS
- 2009 Center of Excellence Award by Bausch and Lomb
- 2009 Implanted first TECHNIS MF First Surgeon on Central Coast
- 2014 First to perform microinvasive glaucoma surgery with the Istent along the central coast
- 2014 Began to perform pterygium surgery with no stitches using biologic glue and amniotic membrane graft
- 2015 New generation of low add multifocal presbyopic correcting intraocular lenses
- 2017 First to implant the new extended depth of focus presbyopic correcting and astigmatism correcting Symfony lens along the central coast
Dr. Melody Flores, O.D.
Dr. Melody Flores, a Board Certified Optometrist, grew up in Northern California where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior from the University of California, Davis. She then worked as a certified optician and contact lens fitter for four years in Sunnyvale and Santa Clara before deciding to take her career in eye care further. She obtained her optometry degree from Southern California College of Optometry (now known as Michael B. Ketchum University) in Fullerton, CA and went on to work in pediatric eye care before deciding to expand her patient base and join Eye Care Medical Group.
When she is not taking care of patients, Doctor Flores enjoys reading, joining local biking/running events, and traveling with family and friends. She is also a military spouse and mother of two boys.
Dr. Flores Specializes in:
- Pre-op and post-op care for Dr. Allaman’s surgeries/procedures
- Emergent care with access to specialists as needed
- Annual eye exams with an emphasis in ocular disease
- Routine vision care and contact lens evaluations/fits
Dr. Nivedita Chandrasekharan, O.D., FAAO
Dr. Chandrasekharan completed her undergraduate studies at the Illinois Institute of Technology at the top of her class with degrees in Biology and Psychology, then graduated the Illinois College of Optometry with honors in 2012. She completed her residency in ocular disease at Seidenberg Protzko Eye Associates, and subsequently became a Fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. She has been in practice for over eight years, and is passionate about managing ocular vision and pathology among patients of all ages. Dr. Chandrasekharan is happy to be back home in California with our team, and looks forward to a long and rewarding journey working with Allaman Eye Care & Associates.
Dr. Craig Blackwell, M.D. (Retired)
Having grown up in Santa Cruz there seemed to be no more inviting spot to practice and raise a family. After medical school and residency, my wife and I moved back here in 1984, opening an office in the red brick buildings at 550 Water Street. In 1988 we moved to our current location in the Cypress Center adjacent to Dominican Hospital.
Dr. Blackwell retired in 2020 after an illustrious career in providing top quality eye care to the residents of Santa Cruz. We are grateful for his service.
- Undergraduate: University of California at Davis, 1976
- Medical School: St. Louis University, 1980
- Internship: Deaconess Hospital, St. Louis, 1981
- Residency: St. Louis Univ., Bethesda Eye Institute, 1984
- American Board of Ophthalmology: Certified 1986
- Fellow American Academy of Ophthalmology