Nannette Crowell, MD
After attending Walla Walla College and completing her undergraduate degree in dietetics at Loma Linda University, Dr. Crowell continued at Loma Linda University for medical school, internship, and ophthalmology residency. With her training complete, Dr. Crowell, along with dentist-husband Dr. Rodney Brandt and new three week old baby Alexandra Joy, moved to Sedro Woolley and started her ophthalmology practice. Much has changed. “Baby” Alex has completed college and is happily married.
Just as Alex has grown up, so has North Cascade Eye Associates, both nutured by Dr. Crowell, and at the beginning—in the same office. In order to keep both their family and their careers in focus, Dr. Crowell and her dentist-husband set up a mom-and-pop office, and organized their schedules so they both had plenty of time to play with Alex, and the two daughters that followed, Ariane and Alyssa.
Part of being a mom-and-pop organization was a family friendly attitude, and staff was allowed to bring their babies in as well. Seeing a baby in a swing at the front desk gave the office a decidedly different atmosphere and one that the patients really seemed to enjoy. “I think it helped develop a sense of community and neighborliness”, says Dr. Crowell. “The intention was to provide a unique way to raise our kids because we loved having them close, but we did get this unexpected benefit of our patients getting to know us better as well.”
Becoming a world-class organization from such small beginnings is something that Dr. Crowell sees as a great achievement. “I can’t take personal credit for that”, Dr. Crowell is quick to explain. “I can say that our prayers were answered, and we have attracted world class people to join us”, she says, praising her associates and staff.
Dr. Crowell focuses her attention on clinic work rather than surgery, but it is important to her that her patients do not need to travel and are cared for by local eye care specialists. For this reason, our motto “keeping the vision at home” was adopted. As founder of North Cascade Eye Associates, Dr. Crowell has put together a team of professionals to meet this goal; her partner, Dr. Siapco, a naturally gifted surgeon; Dr. Heffernan, ophthalmic plastics; Dr. Epley, our pediatric ophthalmologist; Dr. VanNurden, our optometrist who assists Dr. Crowell with family eye care and Dr. Siapco with post-operative care; and now Dr. Pereira, surgeon and cornea specialist.