Pearl of Muscatine: Mark Hansen

MUSCATINE, Iowa–Optometry has always held a fascination for Mark Hansen. Even as a high school student, he had an interest in the profession. After getting an undergraduate degree at Iowa State University and getting a doctor of optometry degree from the Southern California College of Optometry, Hansen accepted a job working with longtime Muscatine optometrist Les MacLennan in 1981. Even in those early days, Hansen felt Muscatine had a lot to offer. “Muscatine has a lot going for it, and I saw that, and that’s why I accepted the position,” he remembers.

Over the next 40 years, Hansen continued to operate the practice, now called Family Eye Center, along with the help of many other talented optometrists. Eventually, the practice grew large enough to employ six optometrists and to open branch offices in Durant and Wilton. Through it all though, Hansen always enjoyed having the opportunity to get to work with patients and form close relationships with them and getting to work with the latest optometric technology. “It is humbling to think people have come to me for 40 years.” He reflected. “I don’t take that privilege to care for them lightly.” In particular, Hansen values the fact that many of his early patients, including his first patient, Patty Henriksen, continue to come see him after four decades.

While Hansen worked on growing Family Eye Center, he also grew a family of his own. He married his wife, Stacey, and together they raised four children, Ashley, Bradley, Christina, and and Steven. As they grew up, he saw for himself how many opportunities Muscatine had for them and always enjoyed watching them participate in extra curriculars ranging from choir, to 4-H, to sports, and more.

To celebrate Hansen’s 40 years serving patients in Muscatine County, Family Eye Center will hold a party for him at the Riverview Center on the riverfront from 4 to 7 p.m. Aug. 3. Hansen hopes to see many current and former patients. He also plans to share exciting news about Family Eye Center’s upcoming renovations, which will include expanded testing capabilities, a dry eye clinic, and more space for the contacts and glasses fitting area.