About Us

About Our Practice

Eyecare Center of St. James is pleased to offer a wide range of optometric services, eye care products including eyeglasses, specialty eyewear, frames, and contact lenses. Our staff is happy to help however we can.

Our mission is quality eye care and personal attention to our patients. It shows in everything that we do. From your first contact with us to your appointment and your follow-up, we aim to make your eye care experience great. This is what drives us to provide you with the best care year after year!

Contact us any time to learn more or to schedule your next appointment.

Dr. Timothy Pinke, Optometrist

Dr. Timothy Pinke is a 1991 graduate of Pacific University College of Optometry in Forest Grove, Oregon. Born and raised in Valley City, North Dakota, he attended Valley City State University and received his undergraduate degree in Visual Science as well as his Doctor of Optometry Degree from Pacific University. Dr. Pinke completed training in Primary Care Optometry at the Oak Harbor Naval Hospital in Oak Harbor, Washington. Dr. Pinke is a member of the American Optometric Association, the Minnesota Optometric Association and the South Central Optometric Society.

Dr. Pinke has been involved with the following organizations at different times throughout the past 25 years in St. James:

  • St. James Chamber of Commerce – member (former president)
  • St. James Rotary Club – (former member/president)
  • St. James School Board
  • St. James Health Services Hospital Board Member – (former vice president)
  • St. James Economic Development Committee member
  • District #840 St. James Schools Foundation
  • First Lutheran Church – member and Stewardship Board Member
  • St. James Youth Baseball Association
  • American Legion Baseball Coach

Dr. Pinke enjoys spending time with his wife Nancy and their three adult children: Austin, Kyle and Noah. In his spare time, Dr. Pinke enjoys following sporting events, coaching baseball and spending time with family and friends.

Dr. Steven Jeppson, Optometrist

Dr. Steven Jeppson was born in Fergus Falls, MN, raised in the Wendell, MN, area, and graduated from Elbow Lake, MN, High School. After graduating from Waldorf College, attending Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, Dr. Jeppson earned his BSVS degree as well as his doctorate degree in optometry from the Illinois College of Optometry.

Dr. Jeppson was employed in the Moorhead, MN/Fargo, ND, area for two years, prior to starting his own optometric practice in Madelia, MN, in 1980. In 1985, Dr. Jeppson purchased the practice of Dr. Wm Gosche, and in 2008 merged practices with Dr. Tim Pinke. Dr. Jeppson is a member of the American and Minnesota Optometric Associations and also the South Central Optometric Society.

Other Activities Include:

  • St. James Area Foundation – Board Member
  • First Lutheran Church – Member (former President) and Praise Singers member
  • St. James Sertoma Club – Member (former President)
  • St. James Chamber of Commerce – Member
  • St. James Schools – District 840 Foundation (former President)

Dr. Jeppson has lived in St. James with his wife, Julie, since 1985.  They have 2 adult children: Kara (Dustin) Anderson, RNP-C, employed at Mayo Clinic Health System – St. James, MN, and Lance (Stacia) Jeppson, employed at Midwest One Bank – Elk River, MN.

In his spare time, Dr. Jeppson enjoys biking, running, boating, watching Gopher sporting events, and most of all, playing with and watching his four grandsons; Daevon, Kollin, and Alek Anderson, and Christian Jeppson.

Dr. Bikholz

Dr. Emily Birkholz, Ophthalmologist

Emily S. (Anderson) Birkholz is a native of St James and alumni of Minnesota State University, Mankato where she played basketball for the Mavericks. She earned her medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School and was elected into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor society for being top in her class. She completed a 1 year internship at Gundersen Lutheran Hospital in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. She completed her ophthalmology residency at the University of Iowa, one of the top programs in the country, where she received the PJ Leinfelder Research Award and Resident Teaching Award. She joined Ophthalmology Associates in 2011. She is Board Certified in Ophthalmology and a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

She specializes in Cataract Surgery including Multifocal and Toric intraocular lenses, Laser Refractive Surgery (All-Laser wave front guided LASIK, and PRK), medical retina including laser and intraocular injections for macular degeneration and diabetes, glaucoma management, as well as functional and cosmetic eyelid surgery. In her spare time she enjoys being a wife and mother, coaching youth volleyball and basketball, fishing, boating, traveling, running and golf.

Education

  • Bachelor of Science, Biology: Minnesota State University, Mankato, MN; 2002
  • Bachelor of Arts, Chemistry: Minnesota State University, Mankato, MN;2002
  • MD: University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN; 2007
  • Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society
  • Transitional Internship: Gundersen Luthern Hospital, LaCrosse, Wisconsin; 2008
  • Ophthalmology Residency: University of Iowa, Iowa City; 2011
  • Resident Teaching Award
  • P.J. Leinfelder Research Award

Board Certification

2012, American Board of Ophthalmology

Professional Associations

American Academy of Ophthalmology, Minnesota Academy of Ophthalmology, Minnesota Medical Association, Iowa Academy of Ophthalmology, Blue Earth County Medical Society, International Society of Refractive Surgery, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.

Areas of Practice

  • Cataract Surgery – Including Multifocal and Toric IOLs
  • LASIK Refractive Surgery – Including Intralase LASIK, Custom Treatments, PRK
  • Glaucoma Exams and Treatment
  • Diabetic and Macular Degeneration Evaluations and Treament – Including Intravitreal Injections
  • Eyelid Surgery
  • General Eye Surgery and Examinations

Dr. Birkholz and staff provides outreach services at the Eyecare Center of St. James.

Dr. Gavin

Dr. Todd Gavin, Ophthalmologist

Dr. Todd Gavin graduated from St. Clair High School, received a B.S. degree in Biology from MSU, medical education at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine, where he obtained his Doctor of Medicine degree. He has been board certified in Ophthalmology by the American Board of Ophthalmology since 1994 and has served the St. James area since 1993.

Dr. Gavin provides outreach services at the Eyecare Center of St. James.

About Our Team

Our team of eye care professionals is experienced and friendly. We’re here to help all patients understand their benefits, schedule appointments, and fulfill their eye doctor’s orders. Our opticians can give you guidance in picking out your perfect pair of eyewear, and our friendly office staff is knowledgeable about billing and benefits coverage.

Becki Rueter

Becki Reuter

I have worked with Dr. Pinke for over 20 years and continue to enjoy my job. I enjoy getting to know all the patients through the years and seeing all the kids grow up! My husband and I live a few miles from St. James and have 4 grown children with families close by and 5 wonderful grandchildren.

Sheila Kilmer

Sheila has worked at the Eyecare Center of St. James since October 2011. She started out working the front desk and various other jobs around the office. November 2016 she started working in the Optical where she enjoys helping patients pick the perfect pair of glasses! You will also find her doing special testing on patients. Sheila and her husband Keith live in Madelia and have 2 adult children, Jennifer & Justin. Outside of work she enjoys camping, watching drag racing & spending time with my precious dogs.

Jayne Romsdahl

Hi! I’m Jayne Romsdahl, CPOT (certified paraoptometric technician.) I am married to my best friend Keith and we have 3 boys, 3 wonderful daughters(in-laws) and 7 grandchildren. I have had the joy of working here at EyeCare Center of St. James since July 2011. I have been in the eyecare business for the past 12 years. My favorite place in this office is in the Optical helping our patients find the best frame and lenses for their needs. I’d love to help you with your next pair of glasses!

Kali Wright

My name is Kali Wright, I graduated from St. James High School in 2014. I attended Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, Iowa to become an Optometric/Ophthalmic Technician, I am currently working on becoming a CPOA (certified paraoptometric assistant). I graduated from DMACC in 2015. I started here at the Eyecare Center right out of highschool and continued working here part time while attending college; I started full time in August, 2015. You will usually find me in the optical area, but I also work at the front desk. I chose this field because I have always had a fascination with eyes, and I love glasses! I live here in St. James. My parents are Jeff and Gina Wright, and I have one brother, Dylan Wright.

Marlene Mohwinkel

My name is Marlene Mohwinkel. I have worked here since 2015. I do the Billing & Insurance payments for the doctors. I am married and live with my husband Gary outside of Truman. We have 6 grown children and lots of grandbabies. Outside of work I like flower gardening and doing all kinds of craft projects.

Ashley Johnson

Hi, my name is Ashley Johnson. I graduated from St.James High School in 2001 and started working at the EyeCare Center in 2016. You will usually find me at the front desk. I also help patients with their contact lens fittings. I live in St.James with my husband, Adam and son, Talyn. We also have 2 dogs, Mya and Dubzy. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family and camping. Our favorite camping spot is Spring Creek near Millville, MN where both my husband and son race motocross. I look forward to helping you with your eyecare needs.

Emily Christenson

Emily Christenson

Hi, my name is Emily Christenson. I recently started working here at the Eye Care Center of St. James in the fall of 2017. So far I love it! I am married to Pete Christenson and we have one beautiful little girl named, Stella. I am also a cosmetologist at 1st Avenue Styles in St. James. In my spare time I love spending time with family, camping and shopping. I would love to help you pick out the best glasses that suite you! I hope to see you soon!