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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, backpacking and social dancing.

Eyewear Department/Optical

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Megan Perez

Meagan Perez has been a part of Dr. Suter’s Office for three years and can be found most days in the Optical Department. She enjoys working on eyeglass repairs, and combining a patients style with their needs. Outside of the office her guilty pleasures are playing with her dogs, spending time with her family and friends, hiking, and playing video games.

Vision Therapists

Alicia Rice

Alicia Rice

Alicia has 20 years of optical experience and is now a part of the vision therapy team. She enjoys helping patients of all ages. In her personal time, she enjoys camping with her family.

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Daisy Mercado

Daisy joined our Vision team in 2020. She graduated from UC Irvine with a B.S. in Public Health Science and a B.A. in Anthropology. She can be found in every step of your vision process from conducting the extensive vision testing to being full hands on with your vision by directly working with our patients throughout their course of therapy. She is dedicated to helping strengthen our patients’ vision, so that they can see all the beautiful things this world has to offer. When she is out of the office you can find her off-roading, on a hike, reading a book on the beach, skydiving, or swimming with sharks—pretty much experiencing all the adventurous aspects of life!

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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.

Front Office

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Stormie Zavala

Stormie, our front office medical assistant, joined our team in 2021. She finished her medical assisting studies in 2008 at ICDC College in Van Nuys, CA. She now can be found at our front desk, dedicated to our patients and our vision profession through every step of the way—from scheduling appointments to helping ensure our patients feel at ease with every part of their vision visit. Stormie loves her role within our vision team and on her leisure time she loves being with her family, being outdoors, and doing anything crafty!

Back Office

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Becky Vanzant, C.O.V.T.

Becky has worked for Dr. Suter for over 20 years and been in the industry for over 30. Although she is a certified vision therapist who has worked with patients in the therapy room, she currently serves as our corporate secretary. When not in the office, she enjoys being creative indoors and out, and spending time with her family.

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.
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Lisbeth Ramirez

Lisbeth joined our office in 2015. She assists the doctor and patients by administering preliminary exam testing. She also keeps the exam rooms equipped and disinfected all while working with the front office to assure the daily schedule runs smoothly. Lisbeth loves working with patients of all ages and in her free time she loves spending time with her family.

Dr. Penelope S. Suter and staff 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, diagnosis and treatment of vision issues that result in reading, spelling, and other learning deficits, as well as vision dysfunction that results from autism spectrum disorder, brain injury, or other neurological compromise. Treatment may include lenses, prisms, colored filters, vision therapy, and post brain injury vision rehabilitation.