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Meet our Optometrists

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Choosing a new Optometrist can be a bit daunting, especially because there are so many to choose from. If you’re new to our clinic, we’d like to introduce our Optometrists so that you can get to know them a little before you come in for your appointment.

Dr. Brent Hopfauf

Dr. Brent is one of our owner-optometrists. Born and raised in Calgary, he returned to his hometown after completing his Optometry degree at the University of Waterloo. He continues to research the most recent advancements in optometry and eye care so that he can treat his patients with the most up-to-date treatment options currently available. Dr. Brent enjoys building relationships with his patients on a long-term basis, and looks forward to seeing patients from year to year.

Dr. Brent was born with congenital cataracts and spent a lot of time at the Optometrist’s office when he was a child. He had a lot of fun visiting his Optometrist when he was growing up, which influenced his decision to pursue Optometry as a career. He continues to have fun now, but on the other side of the chair (or optometry equipment, as it were). His favourite thing about Optometry is that he gets to identify and solve problems for his patients and that by solving those problems, he gets to learn about his patients and find out what is important to them.

Dr. Heather Cowie

Dr. Heather is another of our owner-optometrists. Born and raised in Red Deer, she attended the University of Calgary and returned to the city after receiving her Optometry degree from the University of Waterloo. A mother of two, Dr. Heather has a passion for pediatric eye care. She also focuses on international eye care and is in the process of completing her Masters degree in Public Health, so that she can start a permanent clinic in Guatemala.

Dr. Heather was introduced to the eye care industry while travelling and volunteering in Guatemala. While there, she was a translator for an American eye care group. She realized that eye care was the path for her when she put a pair of glasses on a gentleman who thought he was blind, and she had the privilege of watching him see for the first time.

Dr. Heather’s favourite thing about eye care is the people. She loves connecting with patients of all ages and making a difference in their lives. Helping people see better; getting children excited about their first pair of glasses (while also giving them an important tool for school success); helping someone celebrate freedom from glasses through contact lenses — these are some of the things that Dr. Heather loves the most about working in eye care. She loves being able to make a positive impact in people’s lives through their vision.

Dr. Chelsea Gerlitz

Dr. Gerlitz is one of our owner-optometrists. Another Calgarian, she returned to her hometown after receiving her science degree from the University of Alberta and her Optometry degree from the University of Waterloo. Dr. Gerlitz believes that patient education is an important part of great eye care and takes the time to explain eye conditions and answer questions during appointments.

Dr. Gerlitz has always wanted to be a healthcare professional and after she fell in love with optometry while working for an Optometrist as an undergraduate, she decided to pursue a career as an Optometrist.

Dr. Gerlitz loves to meet and get to know her patients — she enjoys forming long-term connections with her patients as she works with them over the years. She also loves the fact that every patient is unique and that no two eyes are the same.

Dr. Cristy Franco

Dr. Franco, another born and raised Calgarian, received her Optometry degree from the University of Waterloo and returned home to Calgary. Her passion is in diagnosing and treating ocular diseases and emergencies. She also works with our mobile clinic, OnSight, and provides on-location eye care to patients who are unable to travel to our clinic.

Growing up, Dr. Franco always knew she wanted to work in the sciences and her childhood Optometrist suggested that she consider Optometry as a career path.

Some of Dr. Franco’s favourite things about being an Optometrist are being able to help patients with eye issues and educating people about their eyes and their eye health. She also loves the opportunities for lifelong learning. Changes in eye care can happen quickly, and Dr. Cristy likes sharing new information so that her patients can stay informed.

Written by Dr. Brent Hopfauf

Dr. Hopfauf is a born-and-raised Calgarian and one of the proud owners of Calgary Family Eye Doctors. After earning his Bachelor of Science degree with distinction from the University of Calgary, he headed to Ontario for the Optometry Program at the University of Waterloo. Upon graduation, Dr. Hopfauf was named Class Valedictorian. He has had the unique opportunity to further his training in ocular diseases in Houston, Texas and has studied specific conditions that include glaucoma, cataracts, dry eyes, and uveitis.
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