Doctors & Staff
Meet the experienced and friendly doctors and staff who make West Michigan Eyecare Associates the leading provider of vision care products and services in Grand Rapids.
J. Gregory Ford, OD – Diplomate American Board of Optometry
Dr. Ford is a graduate of Forest Hills Central High School and a lifelong resident of the Grand Rapids area. He earned his bachelors and doctorate degrees from Ferris State University College of Optometry. His internships included the Optometric Institute and Clinic of Detroit, Duane L. Waters Hospital in Jackson, and the optometry clinic at Ferris State University.
Dr. Ford was honored as the Michigan Young Optometrist of the Year in 1995, and Optometrist of the Year in 2014, for his outstanding contributions to Optometry and the community. He is board certified by the American Board of Optometry. Dr. Ford is a primary care Optometrist with particular interest in specialty contact lens fittings and eye disease. He is currently active on the legislative committee of the Michigan Optometric Association and part-time Clinical Faculty at the Michigan College of Optometry. He is active in his church and enjoys golf and hockey. He and his wife, Carla, live in Grand Rapids and have 3 grown children.
Jeffrey J. Kenyon, OD, FAAO – Diplomate American Board of Optometry
Dr. Kenyon is a 2005 graduate of the Michigan College of Optometry. His internships included Duane L. Waters Hospital, Eaton Rapids Optometry, and Northern Indiana VA Medical Center. He completed his undergraduate studies at Ferris State University and Alpena Community College. Dr. Kenyon is residency trained in Pediatrics and Binocular Vision from the University of Houston College of Optometry and is regarded as an expert in pediatric eye care. He is currently the Pediatric & Binocular Vision Clinic Director at West Michigan Eyecare Associates and part-time Clinical Faculty at the Michigan College of Optometry.
Dr. Kenyon was honored as the Michigan Optometric Association Young Optometrist of the year in 2011. He is a Class of 2007 Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, a very high distinction among optometrists, as well as board certified by the American Board of Optometry in 2013. He is also a member of the American Optometric Association, Michigan Optometric Association, West Michigan Optometric Association, College of Optometrists in Vision Development, state leader for the InfantSEE program, and chair of the Children’s Vision Committee for the Michigan Optometric Association. Dr. Kenyon resides in Middleville with his wife Laura and 3 daughters. He enjoys officiating high school basketball, hunting, fishing, and waterskiing.
Jeffrey J. Ritsema, OD, FAAO
Dr. Ritsema is also a lifelong resident of Grand Rapids. He graduated from Illinois College of Optometry in 1972 after completion of his undergraduate studies at Calvin College. Dr. Ritsema’s professional interest is in primary eyecare and contact lenses. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, a very high distinction among Optometrists, and a member of the following organizations: American Optometric Association, Michigan Optometric Association, and West Michigan Optometric Association. He and his wife Beth have four children and four grandchildren. He is active in his church and enjoys sailing and grandfathering!
Laura Kenyon, OD, FAAO – Diplomate American Board of Optometry
Dr. Kenyon is a 2005 graduate of the Michigan College of Optometry. Her internships included Duane L. Waters Hospital, Eaton Rapids Optometry, and Northern Indiana VA Medical Center. She completed her undergraduate studies at Ferris State University. Dr. Kenyon also completed a primary care residency with an emphasis in ocular disease at the University of Houston College of Optometry. Clinically, she has a particular interest in ocular disease and has completed her professional certification in low vision services to the blind and visually impaired in the State of Michigan.
Dr. Kenyon is a Class of 2007 Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, a very high distinction among optometrists, and board certified by the American Board of Optometry in 2013. She is also a member of the American Optometric Association, Michigan Optometric Association, and past President of the West Michigan Optometric Association. Dr. Kenyon resides in Middleville with her husband Jeff and 3 daughters. She is very active in her church and enjoys jogging, reading, waterskiing, and scrap-booking in her spare time.
Jon Wieringa, OD
Dr. Jon R. Wieringa specializes in contact lenses and primary care. He received his doctorate from the Michigan College of Optometry in 2006 where he graduated with honors. His clinical rotations included private practices in the Detroit and Grand Rapids areas, along with an Indian Health Services rotation at White Earth Medical Center in Minnesota. Following graduation Dr. Wieringa completed a residency in specialty contact lenses and primary care at Alaska Eye Care Center in Anchorage, Alaska. This specialty training focused on fitting contact lenses for people with astigmatism, keratoconus, and post-surgical corneas. He is certified and experienced in Corneal Reshaping Therapy (CRT) which is used in the treatment of nearsightedness. He is a member of the Cornea and Contact Lens section of the American Optometric Association, and has been involved in volunteer experiences which have included the Special Olympics and serving underprivileged communities locally and abroad. Dr. Wieringa is an avid cyclist and along with his wife, kids, and dogs, enjoys many outdoor and adventurous activities. We are pleased to have Dr. Wieringa serving our patients of West Michigan.
Dr. Austin Schipper, Cornea and Contact Lens Resident
Dr. Austin Schipper is the current Cornea and Contact Lens resident at the Michigan College of Optometry. Dr. Schipper was born in Kalamazoo Michigan. While in high school he worked part time at Richland Eye Care and maintained part time employment there while earning a bachelor’s degree in Biology at Western Michigan University. He then went on to graduate with honors from the Michigan College of Optometry (MCO).
During externships, Dr. Schipper completed his training at Duane Waters Hospital (Jackson, MI), MCO (Big Rapids, MI), and Battle Creek Veteran Affairs Medical Center (Battle Creek, MI). While attending MCO, he was involved in Michigan Optometric Association, Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity/International (VOSH), and the American Optometric Association. During his time at MCO, Dr. Schipper was able to travel to Mexico and provide eye care for a VOSH trip.
In his free time, Dr. Schipper enjoys outdoor activities with his wife and two dogs as well as spending time with family and friends. Following the completion of his residency he plans to practice fitting advanced gas-permeable contact lenses in Michigan, and become a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry.
Our practice is fortunate to have some of the best opticians in the state of Michigan. They all have many years of experience and provide superior customer service to our patients. Opticians are trained to prepare and dispense glasses or related devices upon prescriptions given from the doctor. Dispensing opticians measure, adapt, and adjust eyeglasses to the face as well as perform eyeglass repairs. They are well educated in aiding our patients in frame selections and choosing specialty lens materials such as transition lenses, progressive lenses, and ultra-thin lenses.
Ophthalmic Technicians are trained to collect medical histories, administer eye medications, and perform tests that help to ensure the accurate diagnosis and treatment of visual disorders and eye disease. They use sophisticated equipment, such as visual fields and ophthalmic photographs, to gather information about a patient’s condition during eye examinations. They may also be called upon to assist with some eye care procedures using intricate technical instruments and equipment. They are usually in charge of making sure that the patient understands his or her diagnosis and the treatment that is prescribed by the optometrist. Our technicians are well trained in the area of contact lenses and participate in the insertion and removal training and education of new contact lens wearers at West Michigan Eyecare Associates.
Patient Service Coordinators
Patient services coordinators work as liaisons between patients and the health care organization, with their primary role being to provide excellent patient service. Our team of professionals field phone calls from patients and help answer their questions by listening, educating and problem solving in a professional manner. Our practice is fortunate to have found some of the friendliest, most knowledgeable, customer-service oriented individuals in the community. It is because of their efforts that our practice continues to thrive for over 50 years in the community.
Jenny Winters, Billing Specialist
Billing specialists work as liaisons between patients and third party insurance companies. They are responsible for collecting, posting and managing account payments, as well as submitting claims and following up with insurance companies. Also, they field phone calls from patients and help answer their questions about vision and medical insurance by listening, educating, and problem solving in a professional manner. Our billing specialist, Jenny, participates in continuing educational courses each year to gain knowledge in all areas of change regarding third party policies and procedures. She is happy to assist you with any billing questions or concerns that you may have.
Our office manager, Kelly, organizes and supervises all the administrative activities that facilitate the smooth running of an optometry practice. Although the work of an office manager may differ amongst different organizations, all have the responsibility for ensuring the office runs efficiently. We are fortunate that Kelly has had experience in every department in our office, therefore creating a “hands-on” approach to office management. In addition to her duties at the practice, Kelly also serves as our Vision Source Representative (VSR) assisting to enhance communication through a network of key staff members creating a strong foundation to support Vision Source Doctors and their practices.
Alicia performs a variety of duties at the practice that facilitate the “day to day” activities. She handles our marketing, email correspondence, patient communications and reviews, and social media for the office. Alicia also has experience in several departments including technician work as well as patient service coordinator experience. She is an invaluable asset to our practice.
Jackie Wolbert, Vision Therapist
Amanda Hernandez, Vision Therapist
Vision therapy is a doctor-supervised, non-surgical and customized program of visual activities designed to correct certain vision problems and/or improve visual skills. Jackie and Amanda work closely with Dr. Jeff Kenyon to help design, perform, and monitor the therapy through combination office and home therapy. If you have any questions about vision therapy, call the office today.
The American Optometric Association defines Doctors of Optometry as the fprimary health care professionals for the eye. Optometrists examine, diagnose, treat, and manage diseases, injuries and disorders of the visual system, the eye, and associated structures as well as identify related systemic conditions affecting the eye. Doctors of Optometry prescribe medications, low vision rehabilitation, vision therapy, spectacle lenses, contact lenses and perform certain surgical procedures. Optometrists counsel their patients regarding surgical and non-surgical options that meet their visual needs related to their occupations, avocations and lifestyles.