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. It’s 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 and Dr. Court met while in optometry school in Memphis, TN. They married in 2000 and have two daughters; Madeline and Lillian. His hobbies include Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, home improvement projects, and travel.
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 lived in many different areas of 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 from Florida State, 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 the Virginia Optometric Association, the Northern Virginia Optometric Society, and the American Optometric Association.
As a licensed optometrist, Dr. Thelen provides comprehensive eye examinations, and 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. Her hobbies include golfing, travel, and cooking.
CPO (Certified Paraoptometric)
The wonderful life journey of our beloved technician Cylene Turner came to an end on Tuesday, July 26, 2022. Cylene was a cherished member of our team for almost 20 years. Her strength, kind heart, dedication, and compassion were just some of the many traits she embodied. She was a mother of 3 and her legacy will live on throughout her family.
She will be treasured in our hearts forever.
“If you are going to live, leave a legacy. Make a mark on the world that can’t be erased.” -Maya Angelo
Front Desk Team
Christina is a native of 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 by 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 a 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 making a smooth and easy introduction to our practice. She is in charge of scheduling appointments, verifying insurance benefits, coordinating patient flow, and assisting with contact lenses and glasses.
Tiffany is your resource for all things going on at our practice. She stands ready to help you.
“When I was a kid, I always dreamt of the day when I could wear eyeglasses. I used to make excuses to go visit my aunt’s office, who is an optometrist, every 6 months for an eye examination. It was not until I was age 8 that I was first prescribed glasses. I remember how overjoyed I was that day, finally my first pair of glasses. I find glasses to be a fashion accessory, just like jewelry!”
Sarah has held a bachelor’s degree in optical and pre-optometry since 2010 from the Institute of Applied Science located in Morocco. Sarah joined her husband in Northern Virginia in 2015, she’s been a part of Annandale Eye Care since December 2021.
Husnia is originally from Afghanistan, she currently resides in Northern Virginia.
“I’ve always had a true passion for teaching since I was a child, after obtaining my bachelor’s degree in science I pursued a career as a teacher.
Since working at Annandale EyeCare, I understand the importance of maintaining the overall health of your eyes.
When patients ask about colored contact lenses I laugh and tell them I have on a pair, their mouths drop…. and say, “they look so real”, and I reply because they are”.
Alexis is native to Arizona and moved along the east coast while growing up. She eventually settled in Northern Virginia in 2021 and started her career in the optometry industry .
“It’s always been an enjoyable experience working in the customer care field and helping people. I’ve always worn glasses and contact lenses, for me, it only made sense to learn more about the optometry field and further my education and I fell in love with it! It truly amazes me everything involved with our eyes, and the need to take care of them.”
I look forward to furthering my career with Annandale EyeCare.
Tahmea is a native of Northern Virginia. She graduated from Freedom High School and is currently enrolled at the Los Angeles Film School to obtain her bachelor’s degree in media communications.
“ I knew I needed glasses when my vision was blurry and couldn’t see or remember anyone’s name. Once I received my new spectacles, I was able to see the world in a whole new light. I bet you I knew everyone’s name then!”
“Joining the Annandale EyeCare team gives me the opportunity to learn the optometry field. I am more than excited to embark on this new journey!”