optometrist, eye doctor, vision therapist, Bakersfield, CA



Dr. Penelope S. Suter, OD, FCOVD

optometrist, optometry, vision therapy, Bakersfield, CADr. 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.

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Dr. Virginie F. Dang, OD

Dr Suter

Dr. Dang is a graduate of Southern California College of Optometry. She has always been enthusiastic about working with children (especially during vision therapy), and providing comprehensive eye exams to individuals of all ages. In addition, she is passionate about working with Drs. Suter and Nguyen to diagnose, manage and treat ocular disease. Dr. Dang completed her clinical rotations at Southwestern Eye Center in Casa Grande, Arizona; VA Bakersfield Community-Based Outpatient Clinic; and John Wesley Community Health (JWCH) Institute Inc. in Los Angeles, California.

Dr. Dang’s hobbies include traveling, trying out different restaurants, spending time with her family and friends, and watching television dramas. Dr. Dang looks forward to meeting new patients every day!

Dr. Alyssa Nguyen, OD

OPTOMETRIST, Vision therapist, eye care, Bakersfield, CADr. 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.

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Kate Turman, Licensed Optician

optician, optometrist, Bakersfield, CAKate is a licensed, ABO certified optician with over 10 years of experience. She is knowledgeable in fitting and dispensing eyewear for patients with special visual needs, as well as styling fashion eyewear. She enjoys helping her patients find that perfect pair of glasses.


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 ElkinsKaylen 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.

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Kay Kapler, B.A., Administrator of Perceptual Assessment

Ms KayMs. Kay has been a part of the office for over 10 years. She was an elementary school teacher, high school English teacher, and a special education Resource Specialist. She is the administrator of perceptual assessments and brings her experience working with special needs individuals to the testing and vision therapy rooms as well as provides in-service programs in the community.


Shari Stamps C.O.V.T.

ShariShari is a certified optometric vision therapist and has been with the office for over ten years. In addition to being a therapist, Shari assists Miss Kay with providing in-services in the community. Shari worked in the field of special education for twelve years and has experience with children and adults with developmental disabilities and behavior management.


Teresa Richards, C.O.V.T.

TeresaTeresa 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.

BethBeth 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.

GinaGina is a certified optometric vision therapist and has been with the office for over 10 years. She enjoys working with children and adults. She also works in the optical department part time. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family.


Becky Vanzant, C.O.V.T.

BeckyBecky 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. 

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Kristina Irwin

Kristina IrwinKristina joined our office in 2010. She is in charge of smiles as she checks patients out of the office. She is also fluent in Spanish. When she’s not in the office, she enjoys trying new recipes and throwing dance parties in the kitchen with her son Samuel.

Carolyn Vega, B.S.

Carolyn has over 20 years of experience in optometric assisting and contact lenses. She also loves to decorate the office for all the holidays, displaying her creative abilities.

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Rousina Arellano, B.A.

Rousina Arellano
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 conducts the preliminary screening and patient preparation for the doctors. She is also fluent in Spanish. Rousina is currently training to be the assistant in administering perceptual assessments.

Karen Kapler

Karen KaplerKaren is our quiet detail person. She maintains our filing system and helps keep the vision therapy department paperwork organized. She also edits a lot of our text.

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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.