Meet Kugler Vision’s Patient Care Counselor
Jolene Palmquist has been a part of this organization for 35 years. She has witnessed a wide variety of exciting changes and enhancements in the vision care field. She began her career here with William Schlichtemeier, MD, when she was still in college, and then worked with Lance Kugler, MD, when he took over the practice. She has been an instrumental part of the team, present for the establishment of Kugler Vision and here now to experience the move to Kugler Vision’s new location at 17838 Burke Street.
Jolene has been a central part of Kugler Vision and the evolution of the practice over the years. We would like to take a moment to highlight Jolene’s role and reflect on her personal and professional accomplishments.
Jolene has done many jobs over the years. Today, she serves as Kugler Vision’s:
- Registered Nurse (RN)
- Certified Registered Nurse in Ophthalmology (CRNO)
- Patient Care Counselor
- Business Development Manager
When you become a Kugler Vision patient, Jolene is the one who will answer all your vision correction questions on the day of your consultation and your procedure day. She will give you a brief outline of your entire appointment to make you feel comfortable and at ease. She is always ready and willing to answer your questions.
Jolene grew up on a farm outside Harlan, Iowa, in a town called Panama, which has a population of 500. She was one of five kids, several dogs, and countless cats. She loved growing up in the country, and enjoys reminiscing about those days. Jolene came to Omaha to attend Nebraska Methodist College, and fell in love with her new city. During her second year at Methodist, she started working for Dr. Schlichtemeier, and saw that her true passion was in vision care. At the time, Dr. Schlichtemeier was a legend in the Midwest. He was one of the first true pioneers in the field of refractive surgery, bringing laser vision correction to the Omaha area in the early 1980s. A strong legacy would soon follow.
In 1983, she married her husband, Dan. They went on to have three amazing kids. In her free time, she enjoys being with her family and friends, working out, cooking, and reading.
Evolution of Jolene’s Professional Role
When Jolene first started with Dr. Schlichtemeier, there were only three staff members, two exam rooms, and three machines.
She began as the surgery scheduler, a technician who worked with patients and consults. She also performed the pre-op measurements in the surgery center and assisted Dr. Schlichtemeier with corneal transplants.
The practice got busier and grew to include two doctors and more technicians. The business had to move twice to accommodate the community’s increasing demand for vision correction services. Jolene then assumed the role of patient care counselor and procedure scheduler as the business continued to develop.
She stayed with the practice over the years because she describes ophthalmology as intriguing and evolving. “We change a lot of people’s lives in a good and positive way. It’s fun to be a part of that.”
History of Kugler Vision
Dr. Kugler, a proud Omaha native, acquired the practice as Dr. Schlichtemeier prepared to retire. Dr. Kugler combined his background in computer science, his specialty training in laser refractive surgery, and the foundation established by Dr. Schlichtemeier, and created Kugler Vision in 2011. Since then, the practice has continued to evolve and grow in size, technology, and stature.
Even though Jolene had only worked with one doctor for 30 years, she has been extremely pleased with the smooth transition to Kugler Vision. “Dr. Kugler is an excellent surgeon. He’s innovative, approachable, intelligent, and has the same ideals and goals. The goal is for our patients to be number one and for us to ensure they have the best patient experience possible,” she says. “Providing an unparalleled patient experience with world-class continuing vision care has always been important to me.”
Jolene says another reason she’s proud to work at Kugler Vision is because of our continued dedication to remaining on the forefront of technology. Kugler Vision has been the first to bring several life-changing vision correction procedures to the region. Kugler Vision participated in clinical trials and was the first in the region to perform:
- ReLEx SMILE vision correction
- KAMRA Inlay to correct the need for reading glasses
- Cross-linking for treatment of keratoconus
- Symfony IOL advanced lens for use in laser cataract surgery
Kugler Vision’s New Location
Kugler Vision moved to 17838 Burke Street, near Village Pointe, in August 2017. This is the fourth move Jolene has been through with the practice. She describes our growth as extraordinary. “It’s a dream come true that we have come this far from two exam rooms to nine exam rooms, from three employees to 20, and having our own surgery suite to perform procedures in-house,” she says.
“My journey in eyecare up to this point has been so great – the road to our NEW Kugler Vision location – is going to help guide this practice to reaching our goals – a patient experience to remember.”
If you would like to know more about Kugler Vision, or to schedule a consultation to find out if you are a candidate for one of our life-changing procedures, please contact us at 402.558.2211.
Lance Kugler, MD, is a specialist in LASIK and vision correction surgery and CEO of Kugler Vision. A proud Omaha native, he is passionate about improving lives through clear vision. Dr. Kugler serves on several national boards, and his practice is recognized internationally as a center of excellence. Dr. Kugler is one of the original founders of the Refractive Surgery Alliance, an international organization comprised of over 350 of the world’s leading vision correction surgeons; he also served as its first president. In 2019, Dr. Kugler was selected as a TEDx speaker, and delivered a talk in Omaha about the worldwide epidemic of nearsightedness and refractive solutions. Dr. Kugler is an Associate Professor of Refractive Surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Truhlsen Eye Institute, has been published in many medical journals, and participates in numerous clinical studies to advance the field of vision correction surgery. Dr. Kugler and his wife are proud parents to five active kids. When he has a spare moment, he enjoys skiing, tennis, travel, and fine coffee.