Dr. J grew up in Idaho where she developed a love and a passion for the outdoors. She attended undergraduate school at Idaho State University, financing her education by working for the BLM as a wildland firefighter in the summers. She completed her doctorate training near Portland, Oregon at Pacific University College of Optometry. She completed an internship in Bethel, Alaska at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Regional Hospital which served the Yupik tribe by taking bush planes into the different fishing villages to provide eye care for the residents. She moved to Colorado in 2008, accepting a job in Colorado Springs with a company who's goal is to provide vision care to the underprivileged and underserved children in the community. Wanting to continue a life/profession of service, she also joined the Colorado Air National Guard and currently serves as the Chief of Optometry for the 140th Wing at Buckley Air Force Base. She has represented Colorado and the Air Force on several humanitarian missions including missions to Morocco and Mongolia. She also deployed with a medical team to provide assistance during Hurricane Harvey.
Dr. J is married to a Colorado Native and has two adult children. She has a lot of hobbies that continually brought them up to Summit County almost every weekend. She and her family enjoy biking, hiking, kayaking and backpacking in the summers and back-country hut trips and resort skiing in the winter. Missing the smaller community and wanting to be in the outdoors that they love, Dr. J and her husband moved up to Silverthorne in 2017. Their mission is to improve the lives in the community through caring and advanced eye care. They are looking to continue the life/profession of service and to become an integral part of this mountain community and a staple in the Town of Silverthorne.
Stephanie comes to Blue River Vision from a small town near Albuquerque. Living in the mountains of New Mexico, she discovered her love for hiking and the outdoors. She is very family-oriented, friendly and loves working with kids. She moved to Denver, ten years ago, taking a job at the same company that Dr. J worked for. There, she was trained as an optician and medical translator, servicing the underprivileged pediatric community. She found she had a passion for helping people and she enjoyed seeing kiddos put on glasses for the first time, and finally seeing their world clearly.
Stepnanie returned to Albuquerque to take an optical management position and worked there for two years. John Muir's quote seemed to strike her heart: "The Mountains are calling and I must go." She missed the mountains of Colorado and sought an opportunity to move back. In the Spring of 2019, she heard Dr. J was looking to expand her team and jumped at the opportunity, reaching out and applying for the job. She moved to Silverthorne and joined the team in May of 2019. You may see her in the evenings working out at the Silverthorne Rec Center.
Stephanie is very driven to provide the best optical care to our patients. She has received her National ABO certification as an Optician and her certification as a ParaOptometric Assistant. We are excited to have Stephanie as part of our team. We hope her optical experience, her friendly, light-hearted personality, and her excellent customer care will help us to better serve our community.
In Summit County, it seems like everyone made there way here from somewhere. Michelle is no exception. She grew up in Las Lunas, New Mexico, known for its green chilies. She has always been independent, taking on challenges and trying new things. That was what lead her to make the move from New Mexico to Colorado. And Colorado was an adventure worth taking. She has survived three winters here and is enjoying snowboarding, paddleboarding, and biking. (Still trying to convince her that skiing is better than boarding :) )
Michelle did not have a background in eye care, only a strong interest to learn and to improve the lives of others. Her grandfather went blind from diabetic retinopathy, creating a passion in Michelle for helping people to understand how important their eye health is, and helping them understand how to take care of their eyes. We hired her for her passion, dedication, attention to detail, and her overall caring attitude. We hope you see these attributes in her as well.
Michelle continues to work on her advanced certifications as a para-optometric assistant and vision therapist certification.
If you have been in the County for a while, you have probably seen Tamara around. Her infectious smile and amazing personality are hard to miss. Tamara moved here from Detroit about 8 years ago, looking to start a new life in the mountains of Colorado. It is impossible not to fall in love with this place.
Some people live to work, but Tamara works to live. So full of life and adventure, you are more likely to find her rafting on the river or mountain biking in the summer than anywhere else. She has a hunger for living life to the fullest and traveling to broaden her horizons.
We are excited to have Tamara working for us. She is always looking to learn and brings a breath of optical knowledge to our office. She also is pursuing her advanced paraoptometric and vision therapist certification.
Karen is the only person on our team who can truly say they are from here. She was born and raised here in Summit County. Having difficulty with her vision, she came to our clinic first as a patient, utilizing our vision therapy program. That sparked her interest in the eyes and she came back to learn more. The summer before her Senior year of high school, Karen began to work for us part time.
Don't let her quiet demeanor fool you. Karen learned very quickly and is extremely knowledgable about eye care. We are excited to have her while we can, as she continues to look forward to college and a career in the medical field.