Kimberly Landwehr, OD

We’re celebrating Dr. Kimberly Landwehr’s 17th anniversary at Valley Eye Associates!

What is your favorite thing about being an optometrist?

My favorite thing is my patients! I have met so many people, each with a different story. I look forward to catching up on their family and adventures every visit!

What are your hobbies?

Right now, my hobbies are my three kids! I watch a lot of basketball, baseball, and softball games. I also love going to Brewer games and crafting with my daughter.

What’s your favorite holiday and why?

My favorite holiday is Halloween. My middle child was also born on Halloween!

Where would you love to travel to?

I’d love to travel to Australia!

What has been your favorite thing about working at VEA?

I have the best co-workers! I also love that every appointment is something different, could be an exam, a surgery evaluation, a post-op, foreign body removal, contact lens fitting, the list goes on!

Valley Eye Associates staff and the Best of the Valley and Best of the Winnebago logos

At Valley Eye Associates, we are honored to be voted “Best of the Valley” and “Best of Winnebago” in the LASIK Surgery Center category for 14 years in a row. The Appleton Post Crescent and Oshkosh Northwestern publishers have hosted the contest over the past several years. We are humbled and value the confidence the community has placed in us.

“For the doctors and staff at Valley Eye Associates, it means the world to us to be able to share our expertise with our neighbors and friends who have entrusted us with their eyecare. We take the responsibility seriously. Since 1981, we have proudly served the Fox Valley and beyond with a singular focus on eye care excellence for each of our patients,” says Dr. Michael Vrabec.

We bring together state-of-the-art technology, leading doctors, and a fantastic staff to ensure you receive the best vision care available. Whether you’re interested in routine eye care to help maintain good ocular health, LASIK and other surgical options to help reduce your dependence on glasses and contact lenses, or advanced cataract treatments, Valley Eye Associates is here to ensure your vision is maintained for a lifetime.

Thank you to everyone who voted for Valley Eye Associates in this year’s “Best of the Valley” and “Best of Winnebago County” contests! We’re extremely grateful for all your support and we will continue to strive to provide the best care possible.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has issued a month-long safer at home order that prohibits all ”non-essential business“ and prohibits all ”non-essential travel“ in the state during the coronavirus outbreak.

The order goes into effect at 8:00 am on Wednesday, March 25 and remains in effect until 8:00 am on Friday, April 24, unless the governor announces otherwise.

Valley Eye Associates is open for emergency care only, which includes the following:

  • Eye pain
  • Chemical in eye(s)
  • Loss of vision
  • Double vision
  • Foreign body
  • Flashes/floaters/cobwebs/curtains

Some post-op and follow-up appointments are still occurring per each individual doctor’s instructions (injections for patients with macular degeneration, for example, or care following corneal transplant surgeries). Patients are being contacted appropriately, whether appointments are still occurring or being rescheduled.

We have a comprehensive team ready to assist and answer questions (ophthalmologist, optometrist, technician, surgery counselor, and more). Of course things are evolving more and more every day, so we will continue to keep everyone up-to-date.

Dr. Salm, Dr. Vrabec, and Dr. Nowak wearing Christmas jackets

Get to know Dr. Daniel Nowak (pictured right), one of the optometrists on our Valley Eye Associates team!

What has been your favorite thing about working at Valley Eye Associates?

I like the variety. I may see something as straightforward as a routine eye exam, to someone with glaucoma, or other potentially blinding conditions and helping them. It makes me keep up-to-date in eye care to provide the best possible care I can. Plus, I like the great staff we have throughout the clinic, from the business office to patient services, techs and surgery schedulers, and to the doctors, who are easily accessible to consult with when asked.

How do you relax after a long day at work?

It depends on the time of year. During the warm-weather season, I like being outside doing yard work and keeping the yard looking sharp. During the cold-weather season, I like doing woodworking, which I am just starting to take up.

What is your favorite holiday and why?

Christmas—the season for goodwill. The time of year that holds hope for humanity.

What is your favorite meal of the day? What would you be eating?

Lunch. I like the diverse restaurants in Appleton and getting to try something different.

What made you decide to go into optometry?

I always found vision and the eye to be fascinating. I decided in high school that being an optometrist was my destiny.

Valley Eye Associates is honored to once again partner with the Home Builders Association of the Fox Cities to collect new, unwrapped toys for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program. All toys collected in the Fox Cities will go to children in the Fox Cities area.

2018 Toys for Tots Local Impact: 16,906 toys distributed, 3,346 children supported

Starting Monday, November 11, new, unwrapped toys may be dropped off at the following Valley Eye Associates locations:

West Appleton
21 Park Place
Appleton, WI 54914

East Appleton
2100 S Kensington Drive, Suite 5
Appleton, WI 54915

Encircle Health
2500 E Capitol Drive, Suite 3500
Appleton, WI 54911

Oshkosh
719 Doctors Court
Oshkosh, WI 54901

Donations will be collected through Tuesday, December 10.

To make a financial donation, write a check to Toys for Tots and mail it or drop it off at:

HBA Fox Cities
920 W Association Drive
Appleton, WI 54914

Email toysfortots@hbafoxcities.com for additional information.

Thank you in advance for helping us spread joy to children in need this holiday season!

Mindy Harrington, OD

Mindy Harrington, OD

We’d like to welcome Dr. Mindy Harrington to the Valley Eye Associates team!

Dr. Harrington grew up in Ishpeming, MI. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Michigan Technological University and graduated summa cum laude. She went on to receive her Doctor of Optometry degree from Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University, where she graduated with distinction.

Dr. Harrington was active in many organizations during optometry school, including Student Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (SVOSH). In 2018, she took a mission trip to La Esperanza, Honduras to provide eye care to underserved members of the community. She is currently a member of the American Optometric Association and the Wisconsin Optometric Association.

Dr. Harrington has wanted to be an optometrist since she was in middle school. She loves being able to help patients better understand their eye health.  Her optometric interests include care for the whole family, contact lenses, and ocular disease.

In her free time, Dr. Harrington enjoys any activity that allows her to spend time with her family. She also enjoys being outside, playing tennis, crafting, and reading.

Dr. Harrington wants to help each and every patient achieve and maintain the best vision possible. She is excited to join and serve the community of Northeast Wisconsin.

25 years ago, we welcomed a visionary to our team. In his time at Valley Eye Associates, Dr. Michael Vrabec has led the way for eye care innovation in Wisconsin and completed thousands of surgeries. We’d like to thank Dr. Vrabec for his hard work, success, and incredible ability to care for his patients.

Here are a few special notes from staff members:

“It’s an honor to work with Dr. Vrabec. He is one of the most genuine and kind people you will ever meet. He is a phenomenal surgeon, with skills that are unparalleled to others. I’m proud to work with someone who is an exceptionally talented ophthalmologist and has a heart of gold. I wouldn’t want to work with anyone else. Congratulations, Dr. Vrabec, I look forward to seeing where you take Valley Eye Associates in the future and wish you all the best.”

“I’d like to thank Dr. Vrabec for his 25 years of service to the Fox Valley and beyond! His knowledge and experience are second-to-none. I also greatly appreciate the worldwide mission work he participates in. Dr. Vrabec is truly passionate about providing the best vision possible for every human being.”

“I have worked side by side with Dr. Vrabec 23 of the 25 years he has been here. I have learned so much from him over the years. He continues to teach me new things every day. He is such a skilled surgeon, and his energy and passion for eye care is astonishing. He is a great leader for the VEA team.”

“Dr. Vrabec is an excellent employer. I not only think of him as someone that I work for, but also as a teacher. He is always willing to take a step back with you and show you the “why” behind what we do. He is never too busy for a question and has a way of explaining things that just makes sense. I appreciate the time he takes to thoroughly explain things, as that is just the way my head operates. I have to know why, in order for it to “click”! He is a remarkable surgeon and it’s an honor to work under someone as knowledgeable and as talented as Dr. V!”

“I greatly appreciate the opportunity Dr. Vrabec has given me all these years at VEA. I have learned and grown a lot as an employee and person, being in his presence. Congrats on your 25 years with VEA!”

Happy anniversary, Dr. Vrabec!

Doctors and staff members at Valley Eye Associates are getting into the holiday spirit! For the past 8+ years, Valley Eye Associates has been partnering with the Home Builders Association of the Fox Cities to collect new, unwrapped toys for the U.S. Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots program. These toys are then donated to local children in need.

The Toys for Tots program began in 1947. Marine Corps Reserve Major Bill Hendricks’ wife, Diane, asked him to deliver handcrafted dolls she had made to an organization that supports children in need. When Major Hendricks could not find such an organization, Diane advised him to start one. He and the Marines in his reserve unit collected and delivered 5,000 toys in 1947. In 1948, all Marine reserve sites were directed to implement Toys for Tots campaigns.

Toys for Tots Logo

Major Hendricks’ civilian job was Director of Public Relations at Warner Brothers Studios. Many friends and celebrities, including Walt Disney, helped support the new program. In fact, Walt Disney designed the first Toys for Tots poster, which included a miniature three-car train that was later adopted as the Toys for Tots logo. Today, the U.S. Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots program delivers an average of 18 million toys to 7 million children each year. The goal of Toys for Tots is, “through the gift of a new toy, to help bring the joy of Christmas and send a message of hope to America’s less fortunate children.”

Surgery Manager Faith Lambie, has been in charge of the Valley Eye Associates partnership since its beginning: “Valley Eye Associates is a company that likes to pay to forward. Children are very important to us and we want to make sure they have something to look forward to during the holiday season.”

“Valley Eye Associates is a company that likes to pay to forward. Children are very important to us and we want to make sure they have something to look forward to during the holiday season.”

Donations may be dropped off at our West, East, Encircle Health, and Oshkosh offices now through Tuesday, December 11. Thank you in advance for helping us spread holiday cheer to local children in need!

The team at Valley Eye Associates has conceived a new way to help make money for local charities and keep “cool” over the summer months. On these special “Casual Charity Days,” VEA staff members dressed in casual attire and contributed $5 each to support local charities. These three charities were chosen by VEA doctors. Through the generous donation of Dr. Michael Vrabec, who matched the staff’s contributions, the team delivered over $3,700 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Feeding America , and the Children’s Cancer Research Fund. Dr. Douglas Salm, Dr. Jennifer Unger, and Dr. Sara Schalk provided additional donations.

Surgery Coder, Ivy Blue, explains why she thinks giving back is important: “I think it’s so important to give back to the community in any way that you can, by volunteering your time, participating in fundraisers, sponsoring others that are participating in events, or even paying for a casual day at work. I am very fortunate to have a healthy family and the means to provide for our daily needs. I like to do what I can to help others. I love the sense of community when we come together for a positive cause. Positive actions cause positive reactions and this world needs all the positivity it can get.”

”I love the sense of community when we come together for a positive cause. Positive actions cause positive reactions and this world needs all the positivity it can get.”

Ivy was one of the staff members who helped deliver the first donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. “Make-A-Wish is so close to my heart. My husband Bob and I have been involved with Make-A-Wish for many years. When I heard [Make-A-Wish] was a charity we were donating to, I jumped at the chance to go with to present the donation. I love the fact that it grants the wishes of local children. Kris and her staff work so hard for these children and their families. When we presented the donation, Kris took the time to give us a tour and explain what the donation was going to be used for. She also shared stories of past recipients. I had happy tears and sad tears when we left. It was heartwarming to know how hard this organization works for the wishes of the children!”

Valley Eye Associates staff members deliver a check to the the Make-A-Wish Foundation

Dr. Jennifer Unger made the recommendation of Feeding America. “Casual days are a fun way to serve our community. The VEA staff is so generous. Our Feeding America donation provided nearly 10,000 meals for Fox Valley residents. Every dollar counts and they add up faster together!”

Valley Eye Associates staff members deliver a check to Feeding America

At Valley Eye Associates, we believe in giving back to the community we live in. You’ll also find VEA doctors and staff members participating in youth sports programs, sponsoring local golf outings, and volunteering their time at community events. We’re incredibly grateful to this wonderful community for supporting our practice over the last 37 years, and we’re dedicated to supporting it right back.