Meet our Staff

Dr. Jessica Hegewald, OD

Dr. J grew up in Idaho where she developed a love and a passion for the outdoors.  She attended undergraduate school at Idaho State University, financing her education by working for the BLM as a wildland firefighter in the summers.  She completed her doctorate training near Portland, Oregon at Pacific University College of Optometry.  She completed an internship in Bethel, Alaska at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Regional Hospital which served the Yupik tribe by taking bush planes into the different fishing villages to provide eye care for the residents.  She moved to Colorado in 2008, accepting a job in Colorado Springs with a company who's goal is to provide vision care to the underprivileged and underserved children in the community.  Wanting to continue a life/profession of service, she also joined the Colorado Air National Guard and currently serves as the Chief of Optometry for the 140th Wing at Buckley Air Force Base.  She has represented Colorado and the Air Force on several humanitarian missions including missions to Morocco and Mongolia.  She also deployed with a medical team to provide assistance during Hurricane Harvey.


Dr. J is married to a Colorado Native and has two children that are both in college.  She has a lot of hobbies that continually brought them up to Summit County almost every weekend.  She and her family enjoy biking, hiking, kayaking and backpacking in the summers and back-country hut trips and resort skiing in the winter.  Missing the smaller community and wanting to be in the outdoors that they love, Dr. J and her husband moved up to Silverthorne last year.  Their mission is to improve the lives in the community through caring and advanced eye care.  They are looking to continue the life/profession of service and to become an integral part of this mountain community and a staple in the Town of Silverthorne. 

Summit County Optometrist, Dr. Jessica Hegewald and her dog Barley enjoy a hike near Silverthorne.

Summit County Optometrist, Dr. Jessica Hegewald and her dog Barley enjoy a hike near Silverthorne.

Lawrence Hensley --Vision Therapist and Optician

 Lawrence grew up in the Chicago-land area. In Chicago, he developed a love for sports and coaching both on competitive and recreational levels. He attended the University of Iowa, where he received a bachelors in Biology.  He then began working under Dr. Kara Heying, the past president of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, receiving his training as a Vision Therapist. With his background in health and coaching, Lawrence became instantly at home in the Vision Therapy room. Vision is a lot more than being able to read 20/20 on an eye chart, and Lawrence developed a passion for helping people overcome their vision related problems.  He received great joy in seeing children do better in school and in seeing their confidence improve as they progressed in vision therapy.  Vision therapy is like physical therapy for the visual system, including the eyes and the parts of the brain that control vision. Lawrence was also involved in Sports Vision Training, a program that takes Vision Therapy concepts and adapts them to enhance the vision in athletes and push them to the next level.  


Lawrence followed his then fiance to Denver, where he continued in the optical field, expanding his knowledge in the optical side, working with glasses, edging lenses, and helping patients select the best lenses to meet their individual needs.  Wanting to get back into Vision Therapy and wanting to move up into the mountains, Lawrence accepted a position with Blue River Vision as their Vision Therapist and Optician.  We are excited to have his energy, his passion for helping others, and his experience to help Blue River Vision provide the best possible care for our neighbors in this community.   


Lawrence is married to Laura, a Minnesotan who loves the outdoors just as much as he does.  They spend a lot of time biking, kayaking, and hiking with their dog in summer and snowboarding and ice skating in the winter.  Lawrence continues to play soccer here in Summit county in the High Country Soccer Adult League.  He also loves talking hockey, soccer, and anything vision related!

Vision Therapist Lawrence Hensley, and his wife Laura and dog Crispy - Rocky Mountain National Park.

Vision Therapist Lawrence Hensley, and his wife Laura and dog Crispy - Rocky Mountain National Park.

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Jo Shanks

  

The first thing you may notice about Jo is her positive attitude and her English accent. She was born in The New Forest, England. She lived three years in Germany, learning German while there.  She moved to the United States to the Bay Area for work.  Three years and two children later, she escaped California, moving to Boulder in 2006.  There, she raised her twins to love and appreciate the amazing outdoors. 


In 2012, she migrated up to Summit County, becoming a full time resident in 2015.  She has worked for the Welcome Center and for the Town of Silverthorne before finally walking into our office.  


Jo brings a friendly, warm personality to our office.  She may still be learning the ins and outs of eye care, but she will make sure you get all your questions answered.

Jo, enjoying the beautiful outdoors

Jo, enjoying the beautiful outdoors

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Stephanie Gaytan - Nava

Stephanie comes to Blue River Vision from a small town near Albuquerque.  Living in the mountains of New Mexico, she discovered her love for hiking.  She is very family oriented, friendly and loves working with kids.  She moved to Denver, five years ago, taking a job at the same company that Dr. J worked for.  There, she was trained as an optician and medical translator, servicing the underprivileged pediatric community.  She found she had a passion for helping people and enjoying seeing kiddos put on glasses for the first time, and finally seeing their world clearly.  


Stephanie returned to Albuquerque to take an optical management position and worked there for two years.  John Muir's quote seemed to strike her heart:  "The Mountains are calling and I must go."  She missed the mountains of Colorado and sought an opportunity to move back.  This Spring, she heard Dr. J was looking to expand her team and she jumped at the opportunity, reaching out and applying for the job.  She moving to Silverthorne and joined the team in May of 2019.


We are excited to have her as a part of our team.  We hope her optical experience, her friendly, light hearted personality, and her excellent customer care will help us to better serve our community.

Stephanie, enjoying coffee outside Red Buffalo Coffee next to the Blue River

Stephanie, enjoying coffee outside Red Buffalo Coffee next to the Blue River