BVU Grad Named 'Young Optometrist of the Year'
Dr. Megan (Kruckenberg) Hangartner SL'10 was awarded Young Optometrist of the Year by the Iowa Optometric Association. Making an impact on her community is one of Dr. Hangartner’s favorite parts of the job.
Courtesy The Washington Evening Journal
The Iowa Optometric Association thinks so highly of her work, they awarded her Young Optometrist of the Year just to prove it.
Dr. Megan (Kruckenberg) Hangartner '10, of Modern Eye Care in Washington, said she was surprised, but grateful for the award and to be recognized for her efforts.
“It means a lot because sometimes it’s nice to know that all your efforts don’t go unnoticed,” she said. “When you have that, ‘I need to put in the work’ type of mentality, sometimes it’s nice to have that affirmation that people recognize that you’re putting in the effort and doing your part.”
“It’s really nice to have other professionals notice the contributions that you’re making both within the state and in your community.”
Dr. Megan Hangartner
Being an optometrist has been a lifelong goal of hers ever since the Postville native got her first pair of glasses in the fourth grade.
“As a kid when you have something cool that happens to you, you go ‘Oh I want to do that now,’” she recalled of first knowing she wanted to be an optometrist.
Dr. Hangartner kept her eye on the possibility and did job-shadowing immediately, again in seventh grade and a third time as a senior in high school. By the time she was ready to enroll in the biology program at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, she was working part time at an optometrist office and gaining as much experience as she could.
After graduating in 2010, she went to optometry school at the University of Houston and graduated in 2014. Soon after, she and her husband moved to Mt. Pleasant for work and eventually landed in Washington.
Meanwhile, she kept busy within the Iowa Optometric Association (IOA) and on Friday, March 29, she was recognized for her efforts when she was awarded Young Optometrist of the Year. She was nominated by a fellow doctor from West Des Moines whom she serves with on the IOA membership committee.
“It’s really nice to have other professionals notice the contributions that you’re making both within the state and in your community,” she said.
Making an impact on the community is one of Dr. Hangartner’s favorite parts of the job. She said while most people may think she only fits glasses and performs eye exams, she is able to see changes from diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
“I think essentially my favorite part is I can do all of that stuff and have a big impact on the health of patients,” she said. “That’s one of the things I enjoy the most. It’s not the same thing every day.”