Our Staff

Our Doctors

Dr. Penelope S. Suter, OD, FCOVD

Penelope S. Suter, OD, FCOVD

Dr. Suter grew up in Bakersfield, and established her private practice here in 1985. She received her optometry degree from the UC Berkeley School of Optometry.  While at Berkeley, she spent a year as assistant director of the visually evoked potential (VEP) clinic. Besides her private practice, Dr. Suter was co-director of the CSU Bakersfield Vision Laboratory for over 20 years, doing VEP research in infant vision development, eye teaming, and vision and reading deficits. She is Board Certified in Vision Therapy and Vision Development, and loves it best when her tiny patients mistake her name as Dr. Seuss.

Dr. Suter spent 17 years as the primary vision consultant to the local Centre for Neuro Skills post brain injury rehabilitation center. This led to writing and lecturing in the area of rehabilitating visual consequences of brain injury. She was a speaker and lecturer at the first joint Veteran’s Administration/Department of Defense conference on Visual Consequences of Acquired Brain Injury. She is first editor of the only comprehensive text/reference book on vision rehabilitation following brain injury: Vision Rehabilitation: multidisciplinary care of the patient following brain injury, (Suter & Harvey, CRC Press, 2011).

Dr. Suter received the California Young OD of the year award from the California Optometric Association in 1989. She was the CSU, Bakersfield School of Arts and Science outstanding alumnus 1995-6. She received the Health Care provider award in 2005 from the Heritage of America Cultural and Educational Foundation, in recognition of services provided to the local Hispanic community. In 2011, she received the Founding Fathers award from the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association, and in 2012, the Skeffington Award for excellence in optometric writing from the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. She has Fellowed with the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, the American Board of Disability Analysts, and the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association.

Her proudest accomplishment is being Andrew’s mother. When she is not working, Dr. Suter enjoys family, gardening, bicycling, and backpacking. She recently backpacked with her son across the Sierras, climbing Mount Whitney on the way.

Dr. Alyssa Nguyen, OD

Alyssa Nguyen, OD

Dr. Nguyen graduated from Southern California College of Optometry. Following her move to Bakersfield, she has worked as an independent contractor for the last several years in both primary and ophthalmology practices. She is proud to continue caring for patients at the Veteran’s Affairs Clinic while providing primary care services in Dr. Suter’s office.

Since starting work at Dr. Penelope Suter’s office, Dr. Nguyen has enjoyed the pleasant and professional approach Dr. Suter has to patient care as well as the friendly and caring staff in each of the specialty departments. Dr. Nguyen enjoys helping patients solve their visual problems whether it is through contact lens care, glasses, or other optical needs.

Eyewear Department/Optical

Alicia Rice

Alicia Rice

Alicia has 15 years of experience as an optician. She assists patients with everything from selecting eyewear to specialized adjustments and repairs. She enjoys helping patients define their personal style with eyewear.

Kaylen Elkins

Kaylen Elkins

Kaylen joined our office in 2012. She can be found in the optical department helping patients find just the right look for them. When she’s not in the office, she can be found spending time with a good book or working on her studies.

Vision Therapists

Teresa Richards, C.O.V.T.

Teresa Richards, C.O.V.T

Teresa joined the vision therapy team in 2008. She is a certified optometric vision therapist and enjoys working with patients of all ages. During her free time she enjoys singing in the band and hanging out with her family.

Elizabeth Houlihan, C.O.V.T.

Elizabeth Houlihan, C.O.V.T.

Beth has been working with Dr. Suter’s vision therapy team since 2008. She enjoys working as a certified optometric vision therapist with all her “kids” from 4 to 70. Beth can also be found in the billing office as our Worker’s Compensation Insurance biller. Her spare time is spent with her husband, and her growing family.

Gina Gonzales, C.O.V.T.

Gina Gonzales, C.O.V.T.

Gina is a certified optometric vision therapist and has been with the office for over 10 years. She enjoys working with children and adults. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family.
Becky Vanzant, C.O.V.T.

Becky Vanzant, C.O.V.T.

Becky has been in the optometric field for over 20 years. Although she is a certified vision therapist who has worked with patients in the therapy room, she currently serves as our office manager. When not in the office she enjoys sewing, gardening, home improvements, and spending time with her family. 

Office Manager

Kristina Irwin

Kristina Irwin

Kristina joined our office in 2010. She is part of our management team and is in charge of daily operations. Her favorite thing to do in the office is to make sure that patients are happy. Kristina is also fluent in Spanish. When she is not in the office, she enjoys trying new recipes and throwing dance parties in the kitchen with her son Sam.

Back Office

Rousina Arellano, B.A.

Rousina Arellano, B.A.

Rousina joined our office in 2011. She is a graduate from CSU Bakersfield with a B.A. in Child, Adolescent & Family Studies and a minor in Sociology. She has an extensive background working with children, especially in an educational environment. She is fluent in Spanish. Rousina is currently the Administrator of Perceptual Assessment.

Our Doctors

Dr. Penelope S. Suter, OD, FCOVD

Penelope S. Suter, OD, FCOVD

Dr. Suter grew up in Bakersfield, and established her private practice here in 1985. She received her optometry degree from the UC Berkeley School of Optometry.  While at Berkeley, she spent a year as assistant director of the visually evoked potential (VEP) clinic. Besides her private practice, Dr. Suter was co-director of the CSU Bakersfield Vision Laboratory for over 20 years, doing VEP research in infant vision development, eye teaming, and vision and reading deficits. She is Board Certified in Vision Therapy and Vision Development, and loves it best when her tiny patients mistake her name as Dr. Seuss.

Dr. Suter spent 17 years as the primary vision consultant to the local Centre for Neuro Skills post brain injury rehabilitation center. This led to writing and lecturing in the area of rehabilitating visual consequences of brain injury. She was a speaker and lecturer at the first joint Veteran’s Administration/Department of Defense conference on Visual Consequences of Acquired Brain Injury. She is first editor of the only comprehensive text/reference book on vision rehabilitation following brain injury: Vision Rehabilitation: multidisciplinary care of the patient following brain injury, (Suter & Harvey, CRC Press, 2011).

Dr. Suter received the California Young OD of the year award from the California Optometric Association in 1989. She was the CSU, Bakersfield School of Arts and Science outstanding alumnus 1995-6. She received the Health Care provider award in 2005 from the Heritage of America Cultural and Educational Foundation, in recognition of services provided to the local Hispanic community. In 2011, she received the Founding Fathers award from the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association, and in 2012, the Skeffington Award for excellence in optometric writing from the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. She has Fellowed with the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, the American Board of Disability Analysts, and the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association.

Her proudest accomplishment is being Andrew’s mother. When she is not working, Dr. Suter enjoys family, gardening, bicycling, and backpacking. She recently backpacked with her son across the Sierras, climbing Mount Whitney on the way.

Dr. Alyssa Nguyen, OD

Alyssa Nyguyen, OD

Dr. Nguyen graduated from Southern California College of Optometry. Following her move to Bakersfield, she has worked as an independent contractor for the last several years in both primary and ophthalmology practices. She is proud to continue caring for patients at the Veteran’s Affairs Clinic while providing primary care services in Dr. Suter’s office.

Since starting work at Dr. Penelope Suter’s office, Dr. Nguyen has enjoyed the pleasant and professional approach Dr. Suter has to patient care as well as the friendly and caring staff in each of the specialty departments. Dr. Nguyen enjoys helping patients solve their visual problems whether it is through contact lens care, glasses, or other optical needs.

Eyewear Department/Optical

Alicia Rice

Alicia Rice

Alicia has 15 years of experience as an optician. She assists patients with everything from selecting eyewear to specialized adjustments and repairs. She enjoys helping patients define their personal style with eyewear.

Kaylen Elkins

Kaylen Elkins

Kaylen joined our office in 2012. She can be found in the optical department helping patients find just the right look for them. When she’s not in the office, she can be found spending time with a good book or working on her studies.

Vision Therapists

Teresa Richards, C.O.V.T.

Teresa Richards, C.O.V.T

Teresa joined the vision therapy team in 2008. She is a certified optometric vision therapist and enjoys working with patients of all ages. During her free time, she enjoys singing in the band and hanging out with her family.

Elizabeth Houlihan, C.O.V.T.

Elizabeth Houlihan, C.O.V.T.

Beth has been working with Dr. Suter’s vision therapy team since 2008. She enjoys working as a certified optometric vision therapist with all her “kids” from 4 to 70. Beth can also be found in the billing office as our Worker’s Compensation Insurance biller. Her spare time is spent with her husband, and her growing family.

Gina Gonzales, C.O.V.T.

Gina Gonzales, C.O.V.T.

Gina is a certified optometric vision therapist and has been with the office for over 10 years. She enjoys working with children and adults. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family.
Becky Vanzant, C.O.V.T.

Becky Vanzant, C.O.V.T.

Becky has been in the optometric field for over 20 years. Although she is a certified vision therapist who has worked with patients in the therapy room, she currently serves as our office manager. When not in the office she enjoys sewing, gardening, home improvements, and spending time with her family. 

Office Manager

Kristina Irwin

Kristina Irwin

Kristina joined our office in 2010. She is part of our management team and is in charge of daily operations. Her favorite thing to do in the office is to make sure that patients are happy. Kristina is also fluent in Spanish. When she is not in the office, she enjoys trying new recipes and throwing dance parties in the kitchen with her son Sam.

Back Office

Rousina Arellano, B.A.

Rousina Arellano, B.A.

Rousina joined our office in 2011. She is a graduate from CSU Bakersfield with a B.A. in Child, Adolescent & Family Studies and a minor in Sociology. She has an extensive background working with children, especially in an educational environment. She is fluent in Spanish. Rousina is currently the Administrator of Perceptual Assessment.

The optometrists and staff at Dr. Penelope S. Suter’s office are proud to serve patients in Bakersfield as well as surrounding communities such as Arvin, Delano, Frazier Park, Lake Isabella, Lamont, Lancaster, Palmdale, Porterville, Shafter, Taft, Tehachapi, Visalia, Wasco and many more. Our services include, but are not limited to, general optometry, vision therapy, diagnosis and treatment of eye disease and conditions and the treatment of vision issues that result from brain injury or other neurological compromise.