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A different view: Sanford eye center remodels, adds optometrist

Dr. Joy Quitberg (left) and Dr. Armand Radke will be at Sanford Eye Center's open house on May 25 from 2 to 6 p.m. ready to meet any current or new patients and show them the eye center's recent remodel. (Meagan Pittelko/Tribune)

Landing an appointment with Dr. Armand Radke, an optometrist at Sanford Health Eye and Optical Center, is apparently quite the challenge.

Ever since he started his practice at the eye clinic in 1988, his patient numbers have been slowly increasing and now he's booked out for months—three to be exact—and his patients are starting to lose their patience, continually asking Radke, "Do you know how long it takes to get in to see you?"

So the eye clinic decided to do something about it.

Sanford made a $125,000 investment in the eye center this spring, expanding the practice, and adding exam rooms in order to make room for another full-time optometrist: Dr. Joy Quitberg.

Quitberg is originally from Williston, North Dakota, and was practicing optometry at Sanford Health in Valley City before taking the leap and moving to Detroit Lakes, an area that is completely new to her.

She gained experience working in cities big and small after graduating from Pacific University, and says her passion for eyes comes from a desire she always had to become a doctor.

"This is a really good career for a female," she said, adding that she is able to balance her family and career life as an optometrist.

"The other thing, too, is we can usually take care of problems pretty immediately," added Radke, pointing out that most of their patients are relatively healthy and being able to solve a health issue for them (usually within the same day) can be very rewarding.

Quitberg is also a member of the Lion's Club, like Radke, and the two will be making their usual mission trips, helping those in other countries who don't have adequate eye care.

Quitberg is set to begin taking appointments June 1 but, before then, the eye clinic will be celebrating the addition of Quitberg as well as the new renovations to the building with an open house, which is set for Thursday, May 25, from 2 to 6 p.m.

Patients and prospective patients are invited to go and meet both Quitberg and Radke and to check out the trunk sale, which will feature a larger than normal variety of frames for those checking out new spectacles.