Meet The Doctors

  • Dr. Ethan Huisman,
    OD, FAAO

    Primary Location: Elite Eye Care, Main Office

    Position: Primary Care Optometrist | Founder and Owner

    Hometown: Pella, Iowa

    College: Wartburg College | Graduating with Honors 

    Optometry School: Illinois College of Optometry, Chicago, IL | Clinical Honors 

    Additional Training: Grand Rapids, MI, Veteran’s Hospital, Chicago Cornea Consultants, St. James Olympia Fields Hospital, IL, and Pediatric Services at Illinois Eye Institute and University of Chicago Clinics. 

    Residency: Cornea and Refractive Surgery Care at Hunkeler Eye Center (now Durrie Vision) in Overland Park, KS

    Fellowship: FAAO (Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry)

    Awards and Recognition: Biocompatibles Award for Innovative Research in Contact Lenses; Served as an investigator for numerous FDA clinical trials during residency 

    Associations:  American Optometric Association, the American Academy of Optometry, and the Iowa Optometric Association

    Community Involvement: Waukee Rotary, Waukee and West Des Moines Chambers of Commerce, and Faith Lutheran Church

    An Interview with Dr. Huisman

    What makes you different from the other doctors in the practice? 
    I'm the old, mean one. Just kidding (sort of). I am more analytical than Dr. Bell and Dr. Sawatzky, and other than providing routine eye care I tend to focus more on treatment of ocular diseases, challenging contact lens fits, and how we can use the latest technology to improve patient treatment and our overall office efficiencies. 
    What’s your favorite activity outside of work? 
    Outside of work I love to be outside. Traveling, golfing, walking the dog, running, biking, working in the yard, on the water, or on the deck - just about anything to be outside when the weather is nice, or travel to somewhere the weather is nice.
    What do you do in your free time? 
    I spend most of my free time with my beautiful wife, two wonderful daughters and my dog. But I also really enjoy getting together with friends, especially to travel.
    What would you do for a living if you weren’t an eye doctor?  
    I'd like to say I'd be a home builder, but my home improvement projects tend to take twice as long and cost twice as much as they should. I'd like to say airline pilot, but I'd barely fit in the cockpit. I was thinking I'd own and operate a fishing resort in Canada, but I probably couldn't handle the winters. Maybe if I weren't an optometrist I'd be a fishing charter captain in the Florida Keys, and spend the winters as a ski bum. That might be the best of both worlds. 

    Why Optometry? 
    I love that we get to change and improve lives on a daily basis. Whether it's providing visual freedom with contact lenses for a 9 year-old who plays softball and dances, multifocal contact lenses for a 46 year-old who hates looking 'old' in reading glasses, or providing relief for someone who struggles with chronic dry eye, we get to help people in incredible ways every day. I still remember the shock and amazement of how clearly I could see when I got my first pair of glasses as a kid, and that has driven me in my career.

  • Dr. Heidi Bell,

    Primary Locations: Elite Eye Care | Elite Vision Therapy

    Position: Developmental Optometrist, Owner

    Hometown: Grand Junction, Iowa

    College: Iowa State University | Cum Laude 

    Optometry School: Southern College of Optometry | Memphis, TN | Cum Laude with clinical honors

    Residency: Primary Care Residency at Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, TN

    Additional Training: Church Health Center in Memphis, TN, Memphis VA Medical Center, The Eye Center at Southern College of Optometry and Memphis Public Schools health program

    Awards and Recognition: Alcon Case Report Award, 3rd Year Clinical Skills Awards, BSK Optometric Honor Society, SCO Outstanding Clinician Award 

    Fellowship: FCOVD (Board Certified Optometrist in Visual Development), FAAO (Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry)

    Professional Associations:  American Optometric Association (AOA), American Academy of Optometry (AAO), Iowa Optometric Association (IOA), College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD), College of Syntonic Optometry (CSO), Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association (NORA), 

    Community Involvement: Journey Church in Urbandale, IA, Back to School Clinics at Waukee and Urbandale Public Schools, Special Olympics Opening Eyes Program 

    An Interview with Dr. Bell

    What makes you different from other doctors in the practice?
    I love seeing kids. I don’t just love seeing kids, I know it is what I’m supposed to do. I feel like I’m the best clinical version of myself when I’m helping a nervous 5-year-old begin to enjoy their first eye exam, or when I'm talking with a parent about the treatment options for their child's vision issue which has caused school and reading to be difficult. It's why I love being an InfantSEE provider for babies. I'm given an opportunity to explain the importance of visual development to new parents, that knowledge allows them to make decisions for the children and get ahead of vision issues that would've ultimately led to bigger issues in school. It really feels like I’m making an impact in my patients' lives. 
    What’s your favorite activity outside of work?
    Anything arts & crafts related. I love drawing on Procreate and crafting with my kids. Our kitchen table always looks like a Pinterest explosion.
    What do you do in your free time? 
    While I love my friends and fellow Optometrist friends across the US, my life is currently managed by 4-yr-old Ruby Kate and 2-yr-old Reid. I spend most all of my free time with them crafting, reading and watching lots of Disney+.  
    What would you do for a living if you weren’t a doctor? 
    I’d be an elementary Art Teacher. My first major at Iowa State was in the design field and uniting my love of kids + art would be a dream. We would probably draw a lot of eyes. 
    Why Optometry?  
    My “why” has always been to help. I’m an Enneagram 2w3 (look it up) and I always knew I wanted to grow up to help people in some way.  Vision is such an integral part of everything we do and Optometry provides a tangible way to help improve someone's quality of life by simply providing them with options for better vision. Through developmental vision and Vision Therapy, I feel like I have a meaningful way to positively impact the trajectory of a child’s life -- setting them on a new course for success. 
  • Dr. Kelsi Sawatzky,

    Coming Soon!

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