North Cascade Eye Associates began in the fall of 1985, when Dr. Nannette Crowell, her dentist husband Rod Brandt, and their two week old daughter moved to Skagit Valley. NCEA’s current administrator, Sheri Saldivar, was the first employee, as the couple established brand new eye and dental clinics in the empty blue buildings next to United General Hospital. From those humble beginnings nearly 25 years ago, NCEA now includes three locations, six doctors, thirty one staff members, three beautiful optical shops, and a fully accredited surgery center to provide truly world class eye care in Skagit Valley without leaving home. Opportunities to join other, larger Seattle based groups were turned down, as the vision of totally local care provided by talented and committed community doctors who live, work, shop, and worship in our own valley became a reality.
Ophthalmology is a naturally high tech field, and the practice has always been on the cutting edge of technology improvement. It was among the first medical practices in the valley to adopt electronic medical records, as well as e-prescribing of drugs, retinal tomography, digital fundus photography, and use of the wave scan for corneal analysis. However, the doctors’ personal philosophy of patient care emphasizes concern for the whole person with a personal touch, and the practice intentionally pursues a corporate culture of respect and compassion in every visit.
In addition to the contributions made through Science-based Beauty to relieve the suffering of women and children around the world (see aesthetics section), NCEA participates in Sight for Students (providing free eye exams and glasses), the National Eye Care Project of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (providing free eye exams and medical services), Lion’s Club’s eye care services, and many mission trips involving free eye exams, glasses, and surgery by our doctors in countries such as the Dominican Republic and the Philippines. NCEA has donated a one thousand dollar scholarship yearly since 2003 to local high school students who choose a health care related field. Vision and glaucoma screenings, talks to local groups, and participation in community events are all part of the commitment to service.
As the only truly full service eye care center in Northern Snohomish, Island and Skagit Counties, we are dedicated to protecting and caring for the eyes of our neighbors and keeping the vision here at home!