Jen Teppema (left)

Jen Teppema (left)

Williams Lake Optometry opens Monday

“Everyone calls me Dr. Kate,” says Dr. Kate Dalrymple, who is fulfilling her dream to open her own eye care clinic in Williams Lake.

“Everyone calls me Dr. Kate,” says Dr. Kate Dalrymple, who is fulfilling her dream to open her own eye care clinic in Williams Lake.

“I love to help people, and I’ve always dreamt of opening my own clinic.”

Her dream comes true Monday, May 16, when the doors of Williams Lake Optometry will open at 360B Proctor Street, next to Red Tomato Pies.

Dr. Kate grew up on the family farm in 100 Mile House, riding horses and competing in cutting horse events.

She enjoys all the outdoor activities the Cariboo offers, including camping and fishing.

“I would never have been able to achieve my dream without the support of my family, my partner Ryan Augustine, and our dedicated staff,” Dr. Kate says.

After completing her undergraduate degree at UBC Okanagan, she earned her Doctor of Optometry at Pacific University College of Optometry in Forest Grove, Oregon, graduating “With Distinction.”

Her doctoral requirements included four, three-month internships: one at a First Nations clinic in Wyoming; one at a veterans’ affairs hospital in Oregon; one at a paediatric clinic in Washington; and one at a military base in Alaska.

During the breaks in her undergraduate years, she worked for Dr. Neil Vanderhorst in 100 Mile House.

While working on her doctorate degree, she and a team of volunteers made two volunteer trips, one to El Salvador and one to Nicaragua to prescribe glasses to people who had never had the opportunity to see an eye doctor.

“Each year, Lions Club members collect thousands of pairs of used glasses,” Dr. Kate says.

“We identify each prescription and match it to a needy individual.

“Last year, I was invited to go back as a doctor and a mentor to a team of students.  This was a very rewarding experience.”

After returning to the Cariboo, Dr. Kate joined the Cariboo Eye Care Clinic and worked there for almost two years before opening her own clinic.

“I want my patients to have the best care possible, so I’ve invested in ‘state of the art’ equipment,” Dr. Kate says.

“As an eye doctor, I am qualified to do more than prescribe corrective glasses and contact lenses.

“I’m qualified to identify diseases of the eyes, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, and eye problems caused by diseases such as diabetes.”

Dr. Kate is delighted to announce that Leanne Macnair will be her laboratory technician and eyewear specialist; Jennifer Teppema and Tanis Freeman will be the optometric assistants and preliminary testers.

In addition, three Vancouver-based ophthalmologists will be visiting her clinic throughout the year.

Dr. Kate’s eyes sparkle as she talks about fulfilling her dream.

“I’ve had wonderful support from the community,” Dr. Kate says.

“I’m so excited to be opening my clinic in Williams Lake on Monday and serving my patients.”

It looks like Dr. Kate is going to be busy.

By the time this article went to press, Dr. Kate already had more than 150 patients waiting to see her.

Dr. Kate is an active member of the Daybreak Rotary Club and the Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce.