Dr. Jim Else joined EyeCare Partners in 1992 after graduating from the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago. He lived in several small Iowa towns as a youth before graduating from Atlantic High School, and he then went on to attend Northwestern College in Orange City Iowa. He currently sees patients in the Pella office and he enjoys meeting new patients as well as serving his existing patients from communities all around south east Iowa.
Dr. Else serves on the board of Birthright Oskaloosa, and is also proud to work with the Lion’s Club International. He accepts glasses donations in the office for distribution to needy patients around the world.
Jim and his wife, Linda, met at Northwestern and have been married since 1990, and have 3 wonderful children. They enjoy vacationing as a family with the highlight of visiting Mount Airy, North Carolina for Jim’s annual shave and haircut at Floyd’s Barbershop. He also counts down the days each year until football season. He looks forward to attending Southeast Conference football games each fall, and is also a dedicated Green Bay Packers fan; with an ownership share of the franchise—he tries to visit Lambeau field any time he can.
He is grateful for the years he has been able to be a part of the Pella community, and looks forward to many opportunities to assist friends and patients in the future.
Dr. Sandy Hundt
Dr. Sandy Hundt has been an employee of EyeCare Partners P.C. since graduating from the Illinois College of Optometry (ICO) in May of 1994. Before ICO she attended Iowa State University with a degree in Health Care Marketing as well as her pre-med courses. (Go Cyclones!). Dr. Hundt works primarily in the Pella office. She likes the relaxed atmosphere at EyeCare Partners and working with the fun and ambitious staff. She feels very blessed to work with such kind and caring partners. In addition to that, she says that her wonderful patients make her job a pleasure!
Dr. Hundt, her husband Doug, and their three children reside in Pella. Dr. Hundt grew up in Pella; her maiden name was Gosselink. When she isn’t working you can find her attending her children's school and sporting events. She loves spending time with her family and friends, going to exercise classes, attending church events, and shopping. She is an avid pet lover and currently has two cats, two dogs, and a guinea pig! Her new passion is mission trips to help those less fortunate with their visual needs. Ask her about her trips to Honduras and her new venture in Haiti… Two fun facts about Dr. Hundt…she loves shoes, and she has mastered 2000 levels in Candy Crush (which is higher than her teenagers!).
Dr. Rachel Browne
Dr. Rachel (Barnes) Browne completed an internship at EyeCare Partners during her 4th year of optometry school and is thrilled to have joined the ECP team! Dr. Browne was born and raised in Pella where she graduated from Pella Community High School in 2004. After attending Iowa State University, Dr. Browne went on to receive her doctorate in 2012 at the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago. Upon graduating, Dr. Browne began practicing in Madison, WI before moving back to her hometown where she resides with her husband, Dustin, and their sons, Taylen & Noah.
Throughout her clinical rotations, Dr. Browne received honors for excellence in patient care and she continues to strive to help every patient achieve their best vision and eye health. Her professional interests include primary eye care, contact lenses, and treating and managing eye disease. Dr. Browne is a member of the Iowa Optometric Association and the American Optometric Association. She is excited to serve her local community and hopes to provide the same dedicated care she received growing up as a patient of EyeCare Partners.
Outside the office, Dr. Browne enjoys traveling, white water rafting, and spending time with family, friends, and their two rescued cats. She is a member of Second Reformed Church and hopes to incorporate the mission work she enjoyed as a youth into her future optometric career.
Dr. Wayne Vander Leest
Dr. Wayne Vander Leest started EyeCare Partners P.C. in 1979 in an office on the Pella square. He then opened Penn Central Eye Clinic in Oskaloosa in 1980. Obviously, growth of the offices and the way eye care is provided has changed tremendously since then. What has not changed is Dr. Vander Leest’s commitment to provide outstanding care for his patients’ vision and eye health needs. He also continues to appreciate the opportunity to get to know each new patient—he values the long term relationships he has established over the years with so many of his patients, often beyond just that of an optometrist.
Dr. Vander Leest grew up in Pella, graduating from Pella High, and completing his undergraduate work at Central College. He graduated from the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago in 1979, and was excited to return to his hometown to begin his career. Through the years he has been grateful to serve his friends and neighbors in the Pella area, and also to have been able to contribute in many mission efforts around the world. You may not know Dr. Vander Leest has participated in, or led 18 eye care missions to Haiti, Mexico, and Brazil. He looks forward to resuming this work in the near future, with hopes of being able to share the life changing experience with his family as well.
Dr. Vander Leest works full time primarily at the Pella office. His non-work life is now completely occupied with his wife Kris, and their 3 children. They have a busy life keeping up with multiple sporting events and practices, along with school and church activities. He and Kris are involved with either coaching, or organizing their “on call taxi service” to ensure everyone gets to where they need to be on time. He loves every minute of it even if he won’t admit it! In the brief times that he is able to stay home, he keeps busy maintaining the rather large acreage the Vander Leest’s call home.
Dr. Ralph DeHaan
Dr. Ralph De Haan is the self-proclaimed “tallest and grayest” of the doctors at EyeCare Partners. He carries the gray as a badge of honor for the years of blessings he has been to fortunate to encounter, both in his career and his personal life. Dr. De Haan married his high school sweetheart LuAnn after three years of college in 1978. They both graduated from Calvin College in 1979, and Dr. De Haan began optometry school in 1981. That same year, they were blessed with the birth of their first son, Matthew. By 1984, they had welcomed a second son Derek. Dr. De Haan graduated from the Illinois School of Optometry in 1985, and then joined Dr. Vander Leest in Pella to begin his career with EyeCare Partners. In 1989, God graciously gave them their daughter, Annaleyza, through the gift of international adoption. The family continues to grow with 9 wonderful grandchildren so far!
Dr. De Haan has been an integral part of EyeCare Partners since joining the practice in 1985. Through the years he has greatly enjoyed the variety of patients he has been able to assist here in the Pella area, and feels very fortunate to have found such remarkable partners and staff to work with. He is particularly grateful to both Dr. Vander Leest and the Pella Lion’s Club for introducing him to VOSH (Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity) early in his career. Through this effort, he has been able to participate in several volunteer eye care trips around the world, often taking a family member along to enjoy the experience with him. He believes that God has instilled in him the dream to serve as much as possible, and envisions becoming even more involved with longer trips to Kenya and Haiti in the years to come. This dream seems even more attainable as EyeCare Partners continues to grow, and Dr. De Haan is very thankful for each patient who trusts us with their eye health and good vision!