What made you interested in working for Valley Eye Associates?

I was working as a veterinary assistant and realized it was not my “jam”. I previously had worked as a receptionist at my dad’s chiropractic office, so I applied to VEA for a receptionist position until I figured out what I wanted to do when I grow up… and HERE I AM!!

What do you like most about working for Valley Eye Associates?

I love my VEA family! In the last 15 years I have been through a lot with this group and everyone here always has each other’s backs and look out for one another I feel like I have made the best of friends here over the years.

What is your favorite part about your role?

I love being a part of our patients LASIK experience, it brings a lot of happiness to me just knowing I can share that life-changing surgery with them.

How has your role evolved over the years?

Well you see, I started working here at the good ol’ age of 12 (that’s just what I tell patients at least)… But for real, I went from working in patient services right into teching with Dr. Vrabec and then becoming the LASIK leader. It’s been an adventure!

Do you have a favorite memory from the last 15 years?

It’s a toss-up between going to San Francisco to a Johnson & Johnson meeting/tour and Lana booking our hotel rooms in the same hotel as the Furry Convention OR going to the Blizzard game for a work retreat and people waking up with endless all-you-can-eat hot dogs in their purses the next morning.

What is your favorite thing about being an eye doctor?

I love everything about being an eye doctor — from helping patients improve their vision, to the art of surgery, to the sounds the slit lamp makes as I examine a patient — all of it! I feel very fortunate to have “found” ophthalmology and oculoplastics.

What is your favorite holiday and why?

Definitely Christmas. It’s such a joyful time. There’s a chill in the air and eggnog lattes – what more could you ask for?

Where would you like to travel to someday?

The Dead Sea. An elementary school teacher shared her experience of floating in the sea with us and it’s been on my travel list ever since.

What is your favorite thing about working at VEA?

It’s the people who make up VEA! Staff members care about helping patients have a good experience. It’s really encouraging to see.

What is your favorite thing about being an optometrist?

I really enjoy getting to know my patients. I also love that it allows me to help people with something as important as their eyesight.

What are your hobbies?

A few of my favorite hobbies are fishing, hunting, golfing, and skiing.

What is your favorite holiday and why?

I would probably go with Thanksgiving because it combines family, food, and hunting all into one day.

Where has been your favorite place you’ve traveled and where would you like to travel to someday?

My favorite place would either be Big Sky, Montana or Ontario, Canada. I would love to go skiing in British Columbia someday.

What is your favorite thing about working at VEA?

It is absolutely the great staff and office environment that makes VEA an excellent place to be.

Valley Eye Associates feels extremely fortunate to have worked alongside Dr. Daniel L. Dale throughout the last several years. He has played an integral role in furthering the field of oculoplastics, and we are honored to have witnessed his contributions firsthand. We will always admire his unwavering commitment to patients as he constantly strived to better patients’ quality of life by improving their vision.

A Note of thanks From Dr. Dale

To the patients,

I wish to thank you for the opportunity to provide your oculoplastic eye care over the past 31 years, both in Appleton and Green Bay, Wisconsin. Among you, I have made many acquaintances and a number of friends, which makes saying farewell bitter sweet. I feel particularly blessed to have been able to provide service to you and relieve your concerns, which I tried to tackle to the best of my ability. I feel honored that you entrusted me with your care for this management. I just want to say that you have made my dream of being a physician very special, and you will not soon be forgotten. Best wishes to you all!

Facts About Me

I have practiced as a physician for 41 years, an ophthalmologist and oculoplastic surgeon for 37 years and have provided care in Wisconsin for 31 years.

I consider my professional highlights to be developing oculoplastic care in northeast Wisconsin, starting and growing my own private practice, building surgery centers, and conceiving and assisting in creating BayCare Clinic.

My personal highlights include raising my son with my wife, Boy Scout service, and getting to travel and see much of the world.

My favorite thing in oculoplastics has been the patients! I have also enjoyed the surgical challenges and trying to both solve and better problems. (I have a strong desire to try to fix things!)

Our team is excited to see Dr. Dale take on this new chapter of his life. We will certainly miss his incredible talent and joyful personality around the clinic and will always consider him a part of our team. Dr. Dale, we wish you a happy retirement. Enjoy time spent with your family and the outdoors!

What is your favorite thing about being an optometrist?

Helping people. The best day at work for me is the day that I’ve improved someone’s vision or eye health.

What are your hobbies?

There are many. If I had more time, there would be more! I enjoy home improvement projects, gardening, reading, kayaking, hiking, cross country skiing, the calligraphic arts, and homebrewing.

What is your favorite holiday and why?

Easter. It is my greatest hope.

Where would you love to travel to?

Rome. I studied Classical Latin in high school and would love to see the places I read about. Additionally, I am a practicing Catholic and would love to see all of the Station churches.

What has been your favorite thing about working at VEA so far?

There’s always a colleague nearby to ask questions to or to learn from.

All Valley Eye Associates’ locations are ready to serve you. Please call ahead for an appointment. In addition, all Park Place Optical locations are open to take care of your glasses and contact lens needs. No appointment is necessary at Park Place Optical.

Below are a few frequently asked questions to help you prepare for your appointment:

What measures has Valley Eye Associates taken to protect patients and visitors?

Valley Eye Associates has been and always will be committed to providing the best care possible for our patients and visitors. Masks are optional for patients and staff, but we do encourage all visitors and staff to wear a mask if they are experiencing cold/flu symptoms.

Patients may request that the Valley Eye Associates staff wear a mask during their visit. We want patients to feel comfortable and safe, so we are happy to accommodate the request, especially if we are not able to social distance for an extended period of time.

*Encircle Health Patients: Masks will be required to enter the Encircle Health building. Patients may remove their mask, if they choose, upon entering the Valley Eye Associates clinic.

Are there any measures that I as the patient need to take before coming to my appointment?

We have taken many measures on your behalf, including screening to create the safest possible environment. If you are not feeling well or have been in close contact with someone who is sick, we do ask that you please wear a mask or call to reschedule your appointment.

Is it safe to have eye surgery during the pandemic?

Yes, we believe it is. There have been no known cases of COVID-19 (SARSCOV-2) transmission from eye surgery.

Can I get COVID-19 by having surgery?

The virus that causes COVID-19 is spread from person to person. While there have been no known cases of COVID-19 transmission from eye surgery, it is always important to practice pre-surgery precautions like diligent handwashing leading up to and following your surgery.

How does VEA respect social distancing?

We are taking several measures to respect social distancing. We have greatly limited traffic in our lobby areas by spacing out chairs. We have also installed shields at all front desk locations.

May I bring a driver with me to my appointment?

Many times you will be unable to drive following a procedure, so it is recommended that you arrange for a family member or friend to drive you. As of Monday, June 7, all patients may have someone accompany them for appointments.

The holidays are officially here! And that means time with family. Did you know that Valley Eye Associates has multiple internal family connections? We asked them what their favorite holiday traditions are!

Ivy Blue, Surgery Coder/Prior Authorization Specialist
Krystle Blue, COA, Technician

Krystle shared, “I would say our family’s favorite holiday tradition is playing games and watching football!”

Ivy added, “I always make orange Danish with breakfast and we listen to old school Christmas songs. Mitch Miller is what my husband’s family listened to while he was growing up. Christmas wouldn’t be the same without that music!”

Faith Lambie, COA, Surgery Manager
Casey Lambie, Business Office

Casey shared, “My favorite holiday tradition is going to Grandma and Grandpa’s house.”

Cherie Mader, COA, Clinic Administrator
Donna Cummings, Patient Service Representative

Cherie and Donna shared, “Some of our holiday traditions include playing an assortment of holiday games and trying a new recipe each year.”

Kristina Meneau, Patient Service Representative
Rebekah Mikulaj, Patient Service Representative

Tina and Becky shared, “Every family picnic in the summer consists of Tina’s deviled eggs and Becky’s poppyseed tort. We have a lot of fun working together.”

We also see patients as members of our family. For us, it’s all about family! Thank you to all members of the VEA family, for your continuous support year after year.

Happy Holidays!

What is your favorite thing about being an optometrist?

My favorite thing about being an optometrist is working with my patients! It is so rewarding to help people achieve their best vision every day, and I love the interactions I get to have with my patients.

What are your hobbies?

Outside of work, I love spending time with family and friends. I also enjoy hiking and being outdoors, fishing, traveling, cooking, and reading.

What is your favorite holiday and why?

My favorite holiday is the Fourth of July! I love spending time with family and enjoying the warm weather complete with a pool party, cookout, parade, and of course, fireworks!

Where would you love to travel to?

I would love to travel to Italy and Greece again, but Norway and Egypt are next on my bucket list!

What has been your favorite thing about working at VEA so far?

I am enjoying my new co-workers. They have all been very welcoming! I also love the variety of patients that I get to see throughout the day.

What is your favorite thing about being an optometrist?

Being able to educate my patients on their eye conditions and improving their vision

What are your hobbies?

Fishing, playing cards, avid sports fan (Packers, Brewers, and IU basketball)

What is your favorite holiday and why?

Thanksgiving, there’s always a lot of football to watch on TV

Where would you love to travel to?

Europe (Greece, Italy, France, and Germany)

What has been your favorite thing about working at VEA so far?

The people. Everyone who works at VEA is wonderful and they all have made my transition from student to doctor quite enjoyable and easy.

“Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”

Vince Lombardi

Last month, doctors and staff members got together on a Saturday for Valley Eye Associates’ 2021 Staff Retreat. They met at Dave and Buster’s in Green Bay for morning training and team building. A guest speaker presented on patient service and the patient experience. They also participated in a scavenger hunt throughout Dave and Buster’s arcade. All together, the VEA team consists of four ophthalmologists, 16 optometrists, 70+ staff members, and five clinic locations, so when the whole team gets together, it’s a special treat!

Why are staff retreats beneficial?

Kara Plante, the manager of our Business Office, answered, “Our staff retreats allow Valley Eye Associates to become a stronger team as a whole by focusing on practice culture and team-building exercises. They help us build relationships and make sure we are providing the best patient care possible.”

After the morning training session, doctors and staff members met at Sunset Park in Kimberly for some fun in the sun. The after party included food trucks, a kickball tournament, and a charity dunk tank. $186.00 was raised for Feeding America – Eastern Wisconsin. We are grateful for our wonderful team!