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At Great Lakes Eye Care our mission is to preserve and restore eye care in our community and around the world.

With four convenient office location we offer patients the highest quality medical treatments within an atmosphere of personalized care.d restore eye care in our community and around the world.

Our Doctors

At Great Lakes Eye Care our mission is to preserve and restore eye care in our community and around the world. Schedule an appointment today!

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Dr. Jason So is a board-certified retina specialist from the South. He completed his undergraduate degree in Biology from LSU and medical degree from Louisiana State University School Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC). Afterwards, he remained in Louisiana to complete his internal medicine internship and ophthalmology residency at LSUHSC as Chief Resident. Dr. So then received his vitreoretinal surgery fellowship training at University of South Florida in Tampa. 

Dr. So specializes in medical and surgical management of retinal diseases including retinal detachment, diabetic retinopathy, macualar degeneration, vein occlusion, macular hole. His research interests include retinopathy of prematurity and secondary lens implantation. Dr. So has presented in national conferences and has participated in multiple clinical trials. He has invented and patended a novel method of secondary lens implantation. 

His personal interests include health and fitness, cooking, playing guitar, traveling, and spending time with his wife and two sons. 

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Dr. David Brown is a comprehensive ophthalmologist with experience and interest in cataract and intraocular lens surgery, having performed over 20,000 cataract surgeries.  He has particular interests in refractive cataract surgery and specialty intraocular lens implants, complex cataract surgery, developing-world ophthalmology, global blindness prevention, community eye health, and healthcare public policy.  In the past, while living in East Africa, Dr. Brown served as the consultant ophthalmologist at Tenwek Hospital, situated in western Kenya’s Rift Valley Province.  He has been actively serving on overseas teams the last twenty years, providing and teaching cataract surgery in over 25 countries, across 5 continents.

Cooke 4x6Dr. David L. Cooke grew up in Berrien Springs and graduated as valedictorian of the Class of 1976 from Berrien Springs High School. Dr. Cooke then entered the accelerated Pre-Med Interflex Program at the University of Michigan and received his undergraduate degree with honors in 1981 and one year later received his M.D. degree.


Dr. Cooke interned in Ann Arbor from 1982 to 1983, and practiced one year before going to Mayo Clinic for an ophthalmology residency. In 1987, Dr. Cooke and his wife, Jeannette, moved back to Michigan to take over the practice of retiring physician Dr. O'Toole.

Seward 4x6Dr. Michael Seward grew up in Marietta, GA, and graduated from Marietta High School. He received a scholarship to attend Emory University where he earned degrees in history and biology. After college he deferred, for one year, his admission to medical school, in order to work on board the Mercy Ship Anastasis in West Africa. It was here that he developed a keen interest in medical missions and also met his wife, a Norwegian woman named Jannike, pronounced [Yan-ik-ka].

Pletcher 4x6Dr. Stanley Pletcher is a comprehensive ophthalmologist with a focus on oculoplastics.  He has vast experience in cataract surgery and eyelid procedures such as blepharoplasty and ptosis repair (drooping eyelids).  He also enjoys helping with lacrimal system issues for the patient with tearing.

Nicholson 4x6Dr. Ben Nicholson is fellowship-trained in both retina and uveitis.  He has a particular interest in uveitis and retinal diseases including macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease, and central serous chorioretinopathy.  He treats a variety of surgical conditions including macular hole, macular pucker, and retinal detachment.

Van Elk Headshot newbackgroundGreat Lakes Eye Care is excited to welcome Dr. Daniel J. Van Elk (OD) to the practice! 

Dr. Van Elk is originally from Portage, Michigan. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Western Michigan University. He went on to receive clinical training at the Michigan College of Optometry where he achieved high distinction honors. Dr. Van Elk has completed several externships, including at Rosenbaum Eye and Laser Center, where he provided pre- and post-operative refractive and cataract surgical care. In addition, he served as an extern at Michigan State University – Department of Neurology/Ophthalmology where he received exposure to complex neuro-ophthalmic disorders. Most recently he completed a one year optometric residency in ocular disease at Specialty Eye Institute in Jackson/Lansing, Michigan. 

He is a member of the American Optometric Association.  He and his wife, Lindsay, have been happily married for 10 years. They have two children, James and Lillian. 

Dr. Van Elk is excited to relocate so close to Lake Michigan and is looking forward to establishing new friendships in this great community!

Wang 4x6Dr. Andrew Wang (pronounced "Wong") grew up in Chicago, IL. He attended the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. He graduated in 1996 with a B.S. Degree in Biology with a minor in English and Chemistry. In 2000 he received his M.D. degree from Rush University Medical School. Dr. Wang interned at Arrowhead Medical Center in Colton, CA, in 2000-2001. He then completed his residency in ophthalmology at State University of New York (SUNY downstate), Brooklyn, New York, in 2004, as well as a cornea and refractive surgery subspecialty fellowship at Cornell University, Manhattan, New York. Dr. Wang is board certified in ophthalmology.

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Great Lakes Eye Care (originally called Great Lakes Eye Clinic) was established in 1987 to provide for the diagnosis and treatment of eye conditions and diseases in people, as well as normal preventive eye care for the community of Southwest Michigan.

We are a practice consisting of six ophthalmologists, one retina specialist, and two optometrists who are augmented by a large, select, and highly trained staff. We deliver personalized care in kind, compassionate ways, always with the patient's best interests in mind. Our up-to-date training and state-of-the-art equipment is matched by modern, comfortable facilities in St. Joseph, Niles, South Haven, Michigan and recently opened a Mishawaka location!

Office visits are by appointment only. We make every effort to schedule your appointment as soon as practical. During the business day and after hours, emergencies will receive priority status.

Great Lakes Eye Care provides a large service department for your individual eye-care needs. We are open during our normal hours and are well prepared for most eyewear repairs or adjustments you might need.

We also provide direct shipping of contacts to your home with a valid prescription for existing patients. We make every effort to be a full-service eye care practice.

Our staff participates in many community-building activities outside of the office. Some of these activities include:

Providing primary eye care in poor or underdeveloped areas of the world. We do this because it is our nature to care about people. Some information on these activities may be accessed through this website.
Through Vision Outreach International, we have had the opportunity to travel to many countries including: Kenya, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, China, Indonesia, Honduras and Guatemala.

Tolsma 4x6Dr. Duane Tolsma was raised in Baroda, Michigan, graduating with honors from Lakeshore High School in 1982. He attended Ferris State University where he graduated with honors from the College of Optometry in 1988.

He joined Great Lakes Eye Care in May of 1988 after completing internships at Duane Waters Hospital in Jackson, MI, and The Eye Center of Toledo, Ohio.

Dr. Tolsma is currently an active member of the American Optometric Association and the Michigan Optometric Association and past president of the Southwestern Michigan Optometric Association.