Dr. Courtney Thelen, Optometrist – “Dr. Court”
I became interested in optometry while in college at Buena Vista College in Storm Lake, Iowa. I always wondered why my classmates could read the overheads and I had to squint my eyes to try to make out the words. When I put on my first pair of glasses when I was driving home, I could actually read the license plate of the car in front of me! From that first “Wow” experience I was hooked.
I attended optometry school at Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, TN. There I learned and was trained in diagnosing and treating all disorders that affect the eye and vision, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetes, near sighted and far sighted vision, just to mention a few. I was able to participate in three optometry mission trips to Costa Rica to help those less fortunate and was able to study and learn in places such as Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Since graduating from optometry school I have had the dream of owning my own practice dedicated to helping my patients experience that “wow” moment I had with my first pair of glasses. A practice committed to always seeking newer and better ways to provide the best vision, best experience, and best eye health every person that entrusts us can achieve. I joined Annandale EyeCare in 2001 and purchased the practice from Dr. Michael Obremskey in 2006. We provide eye care services to Annandale, Springfield, Alexandria, Falls Church and Burke, VA. Its still a work in progress, but we are trying every day to create the type of practice I have dreamed about since starting optometry school.
I have tried to be active in the community, both professionally and personally. I am a member of the American Optometric Association, Virginia Optometric Association and Northern Virginia Optometric Society. I have served as a consultant for Vistakon Contact Lenses and Allergan Pharmaceuticals. I am a Past-President of the Annandale Rotary Club and The Annandale Chamber of Commerce. I am a past member of the Holy Spirit Catholic School PTO Executive Board, and currently serve on the Holy Spirit School Advisory Board.
When asked what I like about optometry, my simple answer is I get to help my patients do the things they love to do, only better. And that is a pretty cool thing to get to do every day!
Dr. Michelle Thelen, Optometrist – “Dr. Michelle”
Dr. Michelle Thelen,’Dr. Michelle’ is an optometrist at Annandale EyeCare providing eye care for Annandale, Springfield, Alexandria, Falls Church and Burke, VA and surrounding communities.
She grew up as a military dependent while her father served in the United States Navy. She experienced many different areas in the United States and spent four years in Okinawa, Japan.
She attended Florida State University and was a member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority.
After graduating, Dr. Thelen went to optometry school at Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee, graduating magna cum laude in 2000. While there she traveled to Costa Rica three times as part of an Optometric mission trip to help those less fortunate. Dr. Thelen trained at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland.
Dr. Thelen served as clinical director for Vision Quest Laser Center until June 2007. There she oversaw the day-to-day operations of the center and assisted with LASIK surgery.
Dr. Thelen joined Annandale EyeCare in 2007.
Dr. Thelen is a member of Virginia Optometric Association, Northern Virginia Optometric Society, and the American Optometric Association.
As a licensed optometrist, Dr. Thelen provides comprehensive eye examinations, diagnoses and treats all disorders that affect the eye and vision. In addition to training in eye diseases and disorders, Dr. Thelen is also trained in anatomy, biochemistry, and physiology. With this background, Dr. Thelen is trained to recognize a range of health issues; such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetes and hypertension. He also works hard to stay current on the latest advances in eye health and vision care and regularly attends continuing education seminars and advanced training courses. It is because of Dr. Thelen’s dedication to continuing education that our Annandale patients receive the most modern and progressive vision care available.
Dr. Michelle and Dr. Court met while in optometry school in Memphis, TN. They married in 2000 and have two daughters; Madeline and Lillian, who currently attend school at Holy Spirit Catholic School in Annandale, VA. Her hobbies include golfing, travel and cooking.
CPO (Certified Paraoptometric)
“I remember when I was a little girl and my little brother was born. I could help my mom when he did not feel good, and when he was crying I would make him feel better. I have always enjoyed making people feel better, whether through a kind word or by helping them finding a solution to a problem. So it was a natural transition to help when patients come in for their eye care. It makes me happy to be a part of helping our patients feel better and see better.”
Cylene is a native of McKeesport, PA, living in the Metro area for over 30 years. She is a Mother of three children; two sons and one daughter. She is also the proud Grandmother of two awesome grandsons! Her youngest son is serving our country in the United Stated Air Force.
Cylene is a certified paraoptometric, and has been working the eye care field since 1994. She joined Annandale EyeCare in 2004. She is trained to assist the doctors in patient examinations, she performs special tests and coordinates referrals to various eye care specialists. Cylene is also in charge of our contact lens department. She is trained to assist with the fitting of all types and styles of contact lenses.
Cylene is also a very big Pittsburgh Steeler fan, Steeler Nation Forever!
Front Desk Team
Christina is a native to Northern Virginia, born and raised in Alexandria. She graduated from West Potomac High School. When not working she enjoys spending time with her daughter and their dog.
“When I was little, I did not like wearing my glasses. In school, I would pretend that I could see the board clearly. I was never able to accept that I really did need those glasses. I have learned that glasses can not only be a fashion statement, but can help improve your overall eye health.
I have always been intrigued with the healthcare field, learning new things, and meeting new people. Annandale EyeCare is the perfect place because I get to do all three! I’m excited about making sure you have a wonderful experience in our practice!”
Patient Care Manager
Tiffany is a native of Northern Virginia. She is an graduate of Howard University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. She is working on obtaining her nursing degree.
Tiffany joined Annandale EyeCare in 2007. She is dedicated to making a welcoming environment for all of our patients and to make a smooth and easy introduction to our practice. She is in charge of scheduling appointments, verifying insurance benefits, coordinating patient flow and assists with contact lenses and glasses.
Tiffany is your resource for all things going on at our practice. She stands ready to help you.
I graduated from James Madison University with a degree in Health Sciences.
My passion for the medical field and helping others has been instilled since I was a kid.
My favorite doctors growing up has always been the optometrist therefore this was the perfect job to combine two of the things I loved into one.
Front Desk Team
Michelle is a native to Northern Virginia, born and raised in Springfield. She is a first generation American-born citizen as her parents came to the United States from Cochabamba, Bolivia just before she was born.
She graduated from Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria and received her bachelors degree in Hospitality Management from James Madison University.
“I chose hospitality and business because I love to make people’s lives easier and happier as much as I possibly can. As part of the front desk team, I can combine both those passions into my work. I like to be the first happy face you see as soon as you walk in. I can’t wait to make your experience in our office as enjoyable as possible!
Optical Frame Stylist
Melissa was born in Peru, where they make the world’s best ceviche! She lived there until she was 15 yrs old when she moved to Northern Virginia.
” I remember when I was a teenager in high school and I did not like wearing my glasses. My Dad picked out this small pair of wire frames for me to wear, but I did not like them at all. And because I didn’t want to be the girl wearing glasses, I never put them on. I remember having to ask my friend if I could borrow her notes because I could not read the board.
It wasn’t until I started working at Annandale EyeCare that I realized that wearing glasses did not have to be an obligation, wearing glasses could be Fun!
I now have more than 5 pairs of glasses that I love wearing, one for different occasions and outfits, and I love helping people find the right pair of glasses for whatever their needs and to love the glasses they are wearing.
I love to make eyeglasses fun!”
Missy Layman, Optician
“Optical became my passion at a very early age. I’ll never forget the time I saw a young child, probably 3 or 4 years old, get glasses for the first time, seeing the emotion in her face as she clearly saw her mother’s face for the first time.
It became immediately clear to me how important it is to see things are clearly as possible, anything less limits our ability to experience life to its fullest. It was a completely transformational experience, for both of us, and one that shaped my career from that point on.
I love the process of finding the perfect frame for you, and custom designing each lens to help you experience all the things life has to offer!”
Angeles was born in New York City, the “Big Apple,” and moved to Northern Virginia when she was 5 years old.
“Growing up I never enjoyed wearing glasses, so I would take pictures of the white board to help me see it more clearly. Eventually, I started wearing contact lenses, but unfortunately, still had a hard time seeing.
I wasn’t until I started working at Annandale EyeCare and D.r Courtney Thelen introduced me to a different brand of contact lenses that were the perfect fit. I can see again!
I’m delighted about helping you with the new technology our practice has to offer you!”