The front office staff consists of those who check patients in and out, phone staff, medical records, and insurance/billing liaison. In today’s medical environment, this group has to be adaptable and constantly learning due to frequent changes and new requirements. We have a group of highly trained and experienced staff, with many of them having over 10 years with Cascadia Eye. In 2016, our front office staff chose to take their training up a level and study for the Ophthalmic Scribe certification, putting them on a level of knowledge equivalent to scribes who work with ophthalmologists in other practices.
Janet Knutson, OSC, CPSS
Janet Knutson first joined our practice in 1993. Two years later she left to stay with her children, but she came back in 2000 – and hasn’t left since. As one of our beloved long-term employees, she exemplifies dedication and a great love for her job. In 2016, she passed two tests to elevate her patient care further: the OSC (Ophthalmic Scribe) and the CPSS (Certified Patient Service Specialist), a nationally-recognized certification. She is the manager of the front office team and can be found at any of the patient eye care services positions, although she is most often in Mount Vernon. She loves listening to patients and making them comfortable, and finds her job very fulfilling! For fun she enjoys cooking, camping and motorcycling with the love of her life, with whom she lives in Sedro-Woolley. She also has two grown children, two grown stepchildren, and two dogs.
Marlene Hettinger, OSC
Marlene Hettinger has been a receptionist at Cascadia Eye since 2004. She is known to many as “The Queen” of the Sedro-Woolley Clinic. Luckily, her reign is benevolent! Marlene excels at making friends wherever she goes, including all the patients she helps every day. She is the primary patient services coordinator at Sedro Woolley, and wears many hats there, making sure things run smoothly for both patients and staff. In 2016 she passed her exam to be a certified ophthalmic scribe (OSC). Marlene has three adult children and lives in Sedro-Woolley.
Dawn White, OSC
Dawn White joined our front office staff in March 2014. She has a degree in Medical Billing and Coding, receiving it in 2009. She loves working with patients, especially when she can solve a challenging problem for them, and also considers herself lucky to have amazing coworkers. She passed the test to become certified as an ophthalmic scribe (OSC) in 2016. She was raised in the Valley and spent a great deal of her childhood in Lynden. Dawn currently lives in Mount Vernon with Fred, her wonderful other half, and three children. She enjoys the outdoors and spending time with her huge family.
Melissa Starheim, OSC
Melissa Starheim joined us in January 2017, and is the Location Coordinator for Mt. Vernon, assisting patients over the phone and keeping things running smoothly for our Mt. Vernon clinic, from taking care of faxes to keeping supplies stocked. She earned her OSC certification in spring of 2017. She loves being able to help patients with whatever they need. Born and raised in Skagit County, Melissa went to Southwestern Oregon Community College and got a transfer degree and an Associates of Science. She has been a wrestler all four years of high school and for her three years of college — currently she serves as an assistant coach in the mat room at Burlington-Edison High School. She is proud to be able to guide the next generation of women’s wrestling! In her spare time she also enjoys curling up with a good book.
Darleen Stowell joined Cascadia Eye in June 2017 as the Location Coordinator of our Coupeville office. She has enjoyed working in the Coupeville office (formerly Whidbey Eye Center) for the past six years, and is excited to continue as a part of the Cascadia Eye family. Her favorite part of her job is getting to know all the patients and helping them with any concerns or questions, whether on the phone or in person. Before making her home on Whidbey Island, Darleen worked for over 24 years as a medical assistant in Reno, Nevada. Darleen and her husband, Joe, are enjoying island life, while their three adult children have embraced their parents’ love of travel in Idaho and Alabama. Darleen enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest either by hiking, camping, or on the road (in her little blue car lovingly referred to as ‘The Frisbee’). She is also looking forward to starting her newest hobby as a silversmith and jewelry maker!
Kristen Boggs, CMAA, OSC
Kristen Boggs joined us July of 2017 as the Location Coordinator in the Stanwood office, which means she assists patients over the phone and helps to keep our Stanwood office running smoothly. She comes to us well-qualified with a certification in Medical Administrative Assistance, and she received her ophthalmic scribe certification in October 2017. She loves working with the patients and interacting with them. Customer Service is her favorite thing – there is nothing more satisfying than knowing that she has helped someone! She and her husband celebrated 16 years of marriage in July. They moved to the Stanwood/Camano Island area from Edmonds in April 2017. They have two young adult daughters who live in Edmonds, and a teenage son who goes to school in Stanwood. The whole family loves to go camping, and Kristen loves to invite friends and family over for BBQ’s.
Alexandrea York, OSC
Alexandrea (Alex) York became our patient services coordinator for the Stanwood location in July 2017 and received her OSC certification in October 2017. She checks patients in and out of their appointments and gives them whatever assistance they need. Previously, Alex worked for seven years in customer service for an optical lab, and still loves both the customer service aspect — talking to patients and helping them — and everything to do with optical work. Originally from Poulsbo, WA, she now lives in Arlington with her husband and 5-year-old daughter. She loves spending time outside of work fishing and being on the water with her husband. Any excuse to be outside with her family! She also enjoys gardening and crocheting.
Stephanie Wilson is the patient services coordinator for our office in Coupeville. She has been in management positions of various kinds for over twenty years. Before taking the position with us in 2017, she ran Navy Housing for two and a half years. Before that she managed the Albertsons on Whidbey, and before that she was the head chef and manager of a restaurant in Coupeville. Stephanie loves her new job here, especially interacting with patients — she has lived on Whidbey Island for 25 years, so the patients from her community feel like family. She has two girls, aged 19 and 22. For fun she loves crafts and restoring old furniture. She also enjoys riding the Harley with her spouse — she finds it very therapeutic!
Joining us in the summer of 2017, Lindsey Miller is our patient services coordinator for the Anacortes office, where she checks patients in and helps them with whatever they need. Her favorite part of the job is being able to build stronger relationships with members of her Anacortes community. Originally from Delaware, Lindsey has been living in Anacortes for over 17 years with her husband and two beautiful children, Gabe and Ali. She loves Anacortes because her favorite place to be is on the water with her family, from swimming to beach BBQs to crabbing. The whole family also enjoys being active — Lindsey and her husband play softball and their children play soccer and baseball, and swim and dance. Lindsey also loves boxing, doing yoga with her daughter, running with her son, and teaching both to lead a healthy lifestyle. Fun fact: Lindsey is certified in Group Class Aerobics, Zumba, and Aqua Zumba!
Mariah Steveson is the first smiling face you see at our Mount Vernon clinic, as the patient services coordinator there. She joined us in October 2017, having a background working in the medical field and caring for people — she worked as a nutritional assistant in a nursing facility, doing both food service and CNA duties. She loves being able to build connections and trust with patients, especially caring for and assisting others in any way she can. She considers it a good day when she can make a patient smile or laugh. Mariah currently lives in Oak Harbor with her young daughter. She’s very invested in family time and helping her friends. For fun she loves reading, hip-hop dancing, driving by the beach, and spending time with her daughter.
Victoria Tristani joined us October 2017 as a location coordinator — she’ll make your appointments and assist you over the phone. She loves learning new things every day. Some fun facts about Victoria: she is of Puerto Rican and Italian descent and can speak Italian fluently! She lives in Mount Vernon and loves living in the PNW. She also loves traveling, first catching the bug when living in Italy for 2 years and backpacking across Eastern Europe, the Caribbean, and South America — she prefers diving into the traditions and cultures of locations off the beaten tourist path. Her favorite places have been Cuba and the Czech Republic. Her other hobbies include salsa dancing, yoga, and hiking and other active outdoor and indoor activities, including ice skating! She also loves painting, cooking, and photography.
Katelin Thomas first joined us in 2015, before leaving to go to beauty school and get her Washington State license as a Medical Esthetician. Now she is back with us again as of October 2017, as the Location Coordinator for Sedro-Woolley, making sure that location runs smoothly behind-the-scenes and also helping patients over the phone and with contact lens orders. She enjoys learning new things and working to be the best she can be at her job and learning the extra steps necessary to make that happen. During her free time, her favorite thing is just spending time with her friends and family.
Kayla Tiemersma joined our Front Office staff as a Patient Services Coordinator in November 2017. She came to us with four years of customer service experience, including experience in vision care at Lynden Vision Clinic, where she was not only a receptionist, but also insurance manager and a technician! She always wants to make sure patients’ experiences are everything they hoped for, so they always leave happy. Kayla lives in Lynden currently; she grew up on a dairy farm (so she’s no stranger to hard work!) and went to Whatcom Community College for an AA degree. She also played Women’s Basketball there for two years! She loves being outside, whether it’s riding four-wheelers, going on hikes with her dog, or just sitting poolside in the summer. She also loves watching and playing all kinds of sports.
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