Dr. Hempelmann is now seeing patients, with a focus on pediatrics (17 and under), patients with binocular vision disorders (eye turns, lazy eye, etc) of any age, and is helping oversee the vision development and rehab clinic at Blacksburg Eye.
Dr. Hempelmann is a tried and true Mountaineer who graduated from West Virginia University in 2005 with a degree in biology. While at WVU, she realized she wanted to pursue health care. Always loving her annual visit to the eye doctor and after talking to a friend’s parents (both optometrists themselves!) and learning about the profession, she applied to schools, ultimately ending up in Chicago at the Illinois College of Optometry. She spent the next four years learning from some of the best optometrists in the profession both at school and while on externships. Her studies and clinic rotations included primary care, ocular disease, contact lenses, and pediatrics. She was a member of the Beta Sigma Kappa Optometric Honor Society along with various student organizations.
After graduation, Dr. Hempelmann worked for a private practice in Charlottesville, VA. After a wonderful three years there, she made the decision to further her knowledge and specialize in pediatrics and binocular vision. She completed a residency at Indiana University School of Optometry focusing on infant/children/adolescent eye exams, binocular vision assessments of all ages, vision therapy, visual information processing, and contact lenses for kids. Following that year she moved back to Chicago and worked for ICO at a satellite clinic, IEI at Princeton, serving the public school children of the city. In addition to direct care, she also taught the optometry students how to do eye exams on children. She participated in a few research projects there as well and presented two posters at national optometry meetings.
In her free time, she loves to work out in various ways- running, spinning, lifting, fitness classes…and she is always looking to recruit others to join her!
What do you enjoy about someone being able to see clearly?
- I remember being 8 years old, putting on my first pair of glasses, and being able to see the board in school, the leaves on the trees, the signs on the street, the TV. While everyone’s prescription varies vastly, it still delights me to no end to provide that to others, especially kids! I also love being able to give that first pair of glasses that results in a ‘wow!’, or giving active preteens and teenagers contact lenses that allow for them to excel outside the classroom. Being able to see clearly helps in kids’ confidence, whether that be in the classroom or on the field. I want to optimize their full potential and starting with a clear, comfortable vision is step one. And I get to do that!
Share briefly how much seeing your patients makes your job rewarding.
- It’s the BEST! I love establishing a comfortable, informative, and fun doctor-patient relationship. If a child/teenager and their parent, as well as adults, feel like they got a great exam and want to see me again, it truly makes me happier than they know. In my specialty in particular, it’s extremely rewarding watching their progress in vision therapy sessions then hearing about their successes in the classroom or at work, and in life. It’s also great seeing *pun* their vision improving with new glasses and amblyopia treatments. I love hearing adults with binocular vison problems saying their symptoms are decreasing and their quality of life is so much better. Having patients who feel cared for but also relaxed enough to tell me about their eyes, vision, symptoms, and life fills my heart up with joy and it makes doing pediatrics and binocular vision so incredible. I LOVE when patients and/or their parents want to be seen by me visit after visit.
Anything else that you would your patients to know?
- I strive to provide the best care to each and every one of you, every single visit. I truly listen and try my hardest to give 100%, and it goes beyond the office. I think about my patients all the time. I want them to know I’m trying and doing my best, so they are completely taken care of every exam.