Our Members

Melissa Barnett

Melissa Barnett

OD, FAAO

Dr. Barnett is a Principal Optometrist at the UC Davis Eye Center in Sacramento. She is internationally recognized key opinion leader, focused on anterior segment disease and specialty contact lenses. Dr. Barnett lectures and publishes extensively on topics including dry eye, anterior segment disease, contact lenses and creating a healthy balance between work and home life for women in optometry. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, a Diplomate of the American Board of Certification in Medical Optometry (ABCMO) and serves on the Board of Women of Vision (WOV), Gas Permeable Lens Institute (GPLI), Ocular Surface Society of Optometry (OSSO) and The Scleral Lens Education Society (SLS). Dr. Barnett is a spokesperson for the California Optometric Association and a guest lecturer for the STAPLE program. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, yoga, hiking and spending time with her family, Todd Erickson, also an optometrist, and two sons, Alex and Drew.

Matthew Burkart

Matthew Burkart

OD

Dr. Burkart practices in a primary care setting, with a focus on treatment and management of ocular surface disease, in the Indianapolis area. He graduated from Indiana University School of Optometry in 2012, during which he was part of the Beta Sigma Kappa Optometric Honor Society. While practicing, Dr. Burkart realized his passion for business, and earned his MBA from Anderson University in 2015, graduating as a member of the Delta Mu Delta International Honor Society in Business. He has had an article published in Review of Optometry and won the Ossip Doctor of the Year award in 2014.  Dr. Burkart is a member of the Indiana Optometric Association, Central Indiana Optometric Society, and the American Optometric Association.

Michael S. Cooper

Michael S. Cooper

OD

Dr. Cooper is the Medical Optometrist/Chief of Contact Lens services at Windham Eye Group in Willimantic, CT. His main focus is on anterior segment disease treating a variety of conditions including dry eye and lid diseases, allergy, and uveitis. He has produced research, participated on expert ocular surface disease roundtables, and lectured domestically on topics such as corneal disease states, uveitis management, grading conjunctival inflammation, sports-related eye injuries in children, and AMD pedigree relationships. Dr. Cooper is published in journals such as Advanced Ocular Care, Optometry Times, Review of Optometry, and Optometric Management. Additionally, he has collaborated with EyetubeOD on a variety of digital media segments including “Managing the Surgical Patient.” Currently, he is actively involved in clinical studies for ocular surface diagnostic validation and AMD genetic research.

Vin T. Dang

Vin T. Dang

OD, FAAO

Dr. Dang is an optometrist practicing in a multi-speciality eye clinic in Bakersfield, California. His clinical practice covers a broad spectrum of ocular care with a unique clinical focus on ocular surface disease and dry eye.

Born and raised in Paris, France, Dr. Dang immigrated to the United States at the age of 16. He attended University of California San Diego where he graduated with a degree in Biochemistry. Dr. Dang earned his Doctorate of Optometry degree from Southern California College of Optometry. In 2016, he received his Fellowship with the American Academy of Optometry.

As Director of Dry Eye Center at Empire Eye and Laser Center, Dr. Dang has established himself as a specialist in the areas of diagnosis and management of ocular surface diseases, as well as providing advanced refractive eye surgery consultation and care, and medical eye exams.

In addition to practicing full scope optometry, Dr. Dang has contributed to several optometric journals and has presented lectures on incorporation ocular surface disease treatment and management into clinical practice. Dr. Dang serves on the advisory board of several eye care companies assisting in the research and development of dry eye therapies, and helping craft medical disease management protocols.

Dr. Dang is a member of the American Optometric Association, California Optometric Association, and current president-elect of the Kern County Optometric Society. In addition to his participation in organized optometry, Dr. Dang is also a Clinical Assistant Professor for optometric schools and colleges an auxiliary faculty position where he supervises clinical interns from Western University and Southern CA College of Optometry. In his spare time, Dr. Dang volunteers with OneSight to provide free eye exams to the underserved in his local community as well as internationally.

Dr. Dang is a trilingual speaker fluent in English, French, and Cantonese and enjoys caring for patients of all ages and backgrounds. When he is not pursuing his passions within eye care, he travels the world with his wife and two young sons. In his free time, Dr. Dang is always on the lookout for the latest tech gadget and spends his leisure time playing Pickleball—the fastest growing sport in America.

James Deom

James Deom

OD

Dr. Deom lives in Drums, PA with his wife Jillian Stark who is physical therapy brain injury specialist. Dr. Deom graduated from Wilkes University with a Bachelor’s degree in biology and then went on to the Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University. While at PCO, Dr. Deom served as the AOSA National President as well as many other service rolls. Dr. Deom graduated in 2014 as the first dual degree OD/MPH student from PCO. Dr. Deom’s MPH studies were focused on brain injury and vision rehabilitation.

Upon graduation from Dr. Deom joined the practice of Hazleton and Stroudsburg Eye Specialists. Shortly after joining the practice, Dr. Deom founded the Scleral Lens institute of which he is the Medical Director. Dr. Deom enjoys treating anterior segment pathology including Dry Eye Disease and fitting scleral contact lenses. Dr. Deom works with Valley Contax to bring quality scleral lens education to the Colleges of Optometry on the east coast as the Northeast Region Educational Consultant.

Dr. Deom is Vice President of his local optometric society and serves on the POA POPAC committee and student new grad committee. Dr. Deom is sitting for AAO fellowship at Academy 2015 and is a fellow of the Scleral Lens Society. Dr. Deom enjoys running, biking, and swimming in his spare time and has completed seven marathons and two full-distance Ironman triathlons.

Damon Dierker

Damon Dierker

OD, FAAO

Dr. Dierker is the Director of Optometric Services at Eye Surgeons of Indiana and an adjunct faculty member at the Indiana University School of Optometry. He practices consultative optometry with special interests in ocular surface disease and retinal disorders. He has developed a dedicated dry eye clinic within his practice and helps colleagues across the country in this area with “Dry Eye Boot Camp” educational courses. He also is passionate about age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and the need to improve the standard of care to reduce the risk of poor patient outcomes. Additionally, he serves as a member of the executive board for the Indiana Optometric Association.

John D. Gelles

John D. Gelles

OD

Dr. Gelles is the director of the specialty contact lens division at the Cornea and Laser Eye Institute-Hersh Vision Group and the CLEI Center for Keratoconus in Teaneck, NJ. He is also the Chief Emerging Technology Officer at EyeCareLive and PeerMed. He is a graduate of Pennsylvania College of Optometry and is an adjunct clinical instructor for State University of New York College of Optometry and New England College of Optometry. Additionally, he is an optometric consultant and serves on the executive board of the International Keratoconus Academy of Eye Care Professionals and the advisory board of the Gas Permeable Lens Institute. He is a Fellow in the International Academy of Orthokeratology, the Contact Lens Society of America, and the Scleral Lens Education Society. His clinical work is dedicated exclusively to specialty contact lenses and surgical co-management of corneal disease (predominantly keratoconus), ocular surface disease, and post-surgical corneal conditions. He is a sub investigator for multiple keratoconus specific clinical trials.

Derek Hamilton

Derek Hamilton

OD

Dr. Hamilton is the owner and clinical director of Wells Branch Vision Care in Austin, Texas. His main focus is on primary care, anterior segment pathology and corneal refractive surgery management. His time is equally spent between clinic management and patient care. With a recent expansion, Wells Branch Vision now employees three optometrists and continues to grow. The community based practice offers full services from primary care and specialty contact lenses to medical eye care and refractive surgery management. Dr. Hamilton is a member of the Texas Optometric Association and the American Optometric Association. He is past president of the Central Texas Optometric Association and is currently a member of the AOA’s Optometry’s Meeting Education Committee. Additionally, he has served on advisory boards for Allergan and Valeant. Dr. Hamilton is a native of Rochester, MI and graduated from the Michigan College of Optometry in 2006. In his spare time, Dr. Hamilton enjoys cooking, fishing, skiing, and playing with his dogs.

Whitney Hauser

Whitney Hauser

OD

Dr. Hauser received her Doctor of Optometry degree in 2001 from Southern College of Optometry. She completed a postgraduate residency in Primary Care Optometry at the Southern College of Optometry in 2003.

Prior to joining the SCO faculty as an Assistant Professor, Dr. Hauser served as Clinical Director and Research Coordinator at an ophthalmology referral center in Memphis, TN. Dr. Hauser has authored several articles focusing on the management and treatment of ocular surface disease, the anterior segment, and practice management. She has been an invited speaker across the United States and internationally.

Dr. Hauser is the Clinical Development Consultant of TearWell: Advance Dry Eye Treatment Center at Southern College of Optometry. She is also the founder and senior consultant for Signal Ophthalmic Consulting (SOC). SOC designs premier care plans for optometry and ophthalmology practices with an emphasis on dry eye care and cataract/refractive surgery.

Scott Hauswirth

Scott Hauswirth

OD, FAAO

Dr. Hauswirth is an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, where he is coordinating Director of the Ocular Surface Center, and a key leader in the development of the collaborative care model within the Department of Ophthalmology. He is a founding member of the Intrepid Eye Society.

He graduated from the Southern California College of Optometry with honors and completed his residency in Cornea, Glaucoma, and Surgical Management at Minnesota Eye Consultants in Minneapolis, MN. He went on to practice for seventeen years as a consultative optometrist with Minnesota Eye Consultants, where he led the optometric externship program, mentoring future optometrists in their last year of clinical training. He was also active in numerous research projects, and was instrumental in the development of their dry eye program.

He is on the editorial board of five publications including the Journal of Dry Eye Disease, and has authored several journal articles, publications, and texts. He is active in the Academy of Optometry and has twice been an invited lecturer for the Anterior Segment Symposium Section, lecturing on the impacts of drug delivery on ocular surface disease and corneal neuropathic pain in dry eye.

He is currently leading research in meibomian gland dysfunction, corneal neuropathic pain, and immunologic pathways of dry eye disease at the University of Colorado, and is medical advisor for Terrapin Ocular and TearRestore, in addition to having multiple consultative roles for various pharmaceutical and medical device companies in the eye care industry.  He was selected as one of the Primary Care Optometry News 250 Innovators in Optometry in 2016.

Josh Johnston

Josh Johnston

OD, FAAO

Dr. Johnston’s clinical areas of interest consist of ocular surface diseases, including dry eye and other corneal diseases. His background reflects extensive experience co-managing surgical patients before and after LASIK, cataract and other advanced corneal and refractive surgical procedures. Dr. Johnston practices medical optometry and renders care for patients with many ocular diseases such as glaucoma, ocular injuries, keratoconus, diabetic retinopathy, uveitis, macular degeneration, and various other systemic disease related ocular conditions.

Dr. Johnston pursued his undergraduate studies at Texas Christian University, earning his B.S. degree. He then graduated from the Illinois College of Optometry, in Chicago. Dr. Johnston is an Adjunct Clinical Professor at the Southern College of Optometry and regularly lectures on dry eye disease and refractive surgery subject matter to his colleagues, nationwide. Dr. Johnston is currently the Residency Director and the Clinical Director at Georgia Eye Partners in Atlanta, GA.

Brett J. King

Brett J. King

OD, FAAO

Dr. King received his doctor of optometry degree from Indiana University. He then strengthened his medical experience by completing an optometric fellowship with Hunkeler Eye Centers in Kansas City, affiliated with the Pennsylvania College of Optometry. During his fellowship, Dr. King developed an interest in clinical research where he learned to incorporate it into his practice. Over the past 15 years, he has worked as a consultative optometrist in glaucoma and retinal disease referral practice in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

Dr. King has returned to Indiana University to provide consultative and medical care at Indiana University School of Optometry where he continues an interest in research. In addition to his clinic, Dr. King regularly develops and presents lectures on glaucoma management and retinal disease. He has helped conduct over 40 clinical trials and now focuses on translational research specifically in ocular hemodynamics, glaucoma progression, and retinal atrophy. His work has been published in Primary Care Optometry News, the Journal of the American Optometric Association, and Review of Optometry. Dr. King is actively involved in the profession of optometry as Immediate Past-President of the Heart of America Contact Lens Society and Primary Eye Care Congress.

Dr. King is a member of the American Optometric Association, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, and board-certified in Medical Optometry by the American Board of Certification in Medical Optometry.

Andrea Knouff

Andrea Knouff

OD

Dr. Knouff graduated from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in Philadelphia, PA and completed a residency in ocular disease at Omni Eye Services in Atlanta, GA. She is board-certified by the American Board of Optometry and is focused on the anterior segment, dry eye, and cataract pre- and post-operative care. She served on the SECO logistics committee for two years. She lectures on various subjects with her most recent focus on femtosecond cataract surgery. She was published in Review of Cornea and Contact Lenses, Northside Women Magazine, and Around Town Magazine.

After several years as an associate in private practice, she then served as a consultative eye care specialist at Omni Eye Services.  Dr. Knouff now owns her own private practice where she specializes in comprehensive optometry with an emphasis in dry eye therapy and high-end eyewear.  She is a member of the Georgia Optometric Association, American Optometric Association, and Greater Atlanta Optometric Association. She also volunteers for the Special Olympics. She and her husband live in Atlanta and are expecting their first child. She enjoys music, traveling, and being involved in her local church.

Cecelia Koetting

Cecelia Koetting

OD, FAAO

Dr. Koetting practices at the secondary tertiary surgical center Virginia Eye Consultants in Norfolk, VA.  Her primary focus is ocular disease specializing in anterior segment and corneal disease, neuro-optometry, and peri-operative care.  She also partakes in clinical research and the maintenance of the referral network alongside the practices other optometrists.  Dr. Koetting serves as the Externship Director and is adjunct faculty for several schools and colleges of optometry including Pacific University, MCPHS, Southern California College of Optometry, Salus University, Southern College of Optometry, and the University of the Incarnate Word.

Dr. Koetting is fellow in the American Academy of Optometry, a diplomate of the American Board of Optometry, communications chair for the Glaucoma Section of AAO, secretary for her local Tidewater Optometric Association, and an active member of AOA.  After graduating from Southern College of Optometry in Memphis,TN in 2012, she completed a residency in Primary Care at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center in Ohio.  Dr. Koetting lectures both locally and at national conferences for optometrists and has been published in Review of Optometry and AOC.

Nathan Lighthizer

Nathan Lighthizer

OD, FAAO

Dr. Lighthizer is a graduate of Pacific University College of Optometry. Upon graduation, he completed a residency in Family Practice Optometry with an emphasis in Ocular Disease through Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry. Dr. Lighthizer has since joined the faculty at the Oklahoma College of Optometry and serves as the Chief of Specialty Care Clinics and the Chief of Electrodiagnostics Clinic. He was recently named the Director of Continuing Education as well as the Assistant Dean for Clinical Care Services at the Oklahoma College of Optometry. Dr. Lighthizer lectures nationally on numerous topics, most notably advanced ophthalmic procedures, electrodiagnostics, and ocular disease.

Leslie O’Dell

Leslie O’Dell

OD, FAAO

Dr. O’Dell focuses on the management of ocular disease including glaucoma, dry eye, and diabetic eye disease at Wheatlyn Eye Care in York, PA.  She is the Director of the Dry Eye Center of Pennsylvania. Dr. O’Dell graduated from Salus College of Optometry in 2003 and completed a residency at the Baltimore VA Hospital. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Optometry, a diplomate of the American Board of Optometry and a member of the Optometric Glaucoma Society, Tear Film, and Ocular Surface Society, AOA and Central PA Optometric Society. Most recently, Dr. O’Dell has been selected to participate in the Dry Eye Workshop (DEWSII) initiative. She has published many articles both nationally and internationally and lectures on topics including glaucoma, advancements in dry eye disease, diabetic eye disease and the management of surgical patients.

Margie Recalde

Margie Recalde

OD, FAAO

Dr. Recalde was born and raised in Madera, California. She attended California State University, Fresno and earned her Bachelor of Science degree and Doctor of Optometry degree at the University of California, Berkeley, where she graduated with honors. She also completed a post-doctorate ocular disease residency at the Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center, Fresno. After completing her residency, Dr. Recalde was hired to work full-time as the staff optometrist and was later promoted to Residency Program Coordinator at VAMC, Fresno. She also served as a clinical instructor for senior year optometry externs rotating through several schools of optometry across the country. Dr. Recalde provides primary eye care to patients at Lifetime Optometric including eye examinations, contact lenses and the treatment and management of ocular disease including glaucoma, diabetes, and macular degeneration. She is also a dry eye specialist and has spoken on the topic across the country. She is an active member of the American Optometric Association, California Optometric Association, and the Central California Optometric Society. She also is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry. Away from the office, Dr. Recalde cherishes her time with her husband and twin sons. She also enjoys traveling, camping, and reading.

Mark Schaeffer

Mark Schaeffer

OD

Dr. Schaeffer is a University of Georgia graduate and received his doctorate from Southern College of Optometry in May 2011. He completed a residency in Ocular Disease at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, FL. Dr. Schaeffer practices at Schaeffer Eye Center, a sixteen-location, 23-doctor practice in Birmingham, AL. He is currently a member of Alabama and American Optometric Association, American Academy of Optometry, Sports Vision Section, and Ocular Surface Society of Optometry. Dr. Schaeffer has lectured on ocular disease and refractive technology across the country.

Justin Schweitzer

Justin Schweitzer

OD, FAAO

Dr. Schweitzer’s main focuses are in advanced glaucoma, refractive surgical clinical care and anterior segment pathology at Vance Thompson Vision. He graduated from Pacific University College of Optometry in Forest Grove, OR. In 2012, he pursued his dream to focus on glaucoma, advanced anterior segment surgery care, and pathology. He completed his residency at Vance Thompson Vision in 2013. Dr. Schweitzer is a member of the Optometric Glaucoma Society, a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, Scleral Lens Education Society, AOA, and the South Dakota Optometric Society. Dr. Schweitzer has had multiple articles published and has delivered lectures on glaucoma, anterior segment pathology, refractive surgical clinical care, and surgical management. Dr. Schweitzer enjoys running, swimming, and biking in his free time and competes in road races and triathlons.

Patrick A. Scott

Patrick A. Scott

OD, FAAO

Dr. Scott is a clinician-scientist-educator at the University of Louisville (UofL) School of Medicine. He completed an MS in Vision Science as well as a Doctor of Optometry degree at the New England College of Optometry. Afterwards, he completed an MA and a Ph.D. in Anatomy and Neurobiology at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM). Upon finishing his graduate training, Dr. Scott was awarded a postdoctoral research fellowship from Fight for Sight to continue his research training in the Department of Ophthalmology at BUSM. Dr. Scott’s current research focus is on development of novel therapeutic strategies that prevent vision loss in degenerative diseases of the retina such as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related maculopathy. Dr. Scott practices comprehensive optometry and is Director of the Contact Lens Service at the KY Lions Eye Center. He serves as an attending doctor for the ophthalmology residents and lectures on retinal anatomy and embryology of the eye. Dr. Scott also teaches human cadaveric dissection in the medical gross anatomy course at UofL. He is a fellow in the American Academy of Optometry and Optometric Retina Society and is a recipient of numerous awards including the National Glaucoma Society Resident Award, AAO/AOF William C. Ezell Fellowship (three-time recipient), Fight for Sight Grant-in-Aid, and AOF/Beta Sigma Kappa Research Fellowship. Dr. Scott’s most recent accomplishment was the publication of an electronic textbook, Scott’s Anatomy of the Eye and Orbit.

Gina Wesley

Gina Wesley

OD, MS, FAAO

Dr. Wesley attended the Ohio State University where she pursued concurrent degrees in both Clinical Optometry and a Masters in Vision Science. Accolades for Dr. Wesley include the Ohio State University College of Optometry Graduate of the Year and fellowship within the American Academy of Optometry. She was also awarded Minnesota’s Young Optometrist of the Year for 2011 and the Early Professional Achievement Award in 2013 from Ohio State. Currently, she practices at Complete Eye Care in Medina, MN, which Dr. Wesley opened in 2008. She is a member of the Minnesota and American Optometric Associations. Dr. Wesley lectures and publishes on many aspects of the optometric industry and has regular TV appearances discussing public health aspects of vision care. She enjoys all facets of primary care practice including refractive surgery co-management, contact lenses, children and infant exams, practice management, and advanced eyewear education.