More than what meets the eye: meet Dr. Margo Hagen of Eye To Eye
As Eye To Eye celebrates a year at their new location, we took time to ask Dr. Margo Hagen about her heritage and life before Sapulpa
Dr. Margo Hagen is an Optometric Physician whose practice has been in Sapulpa for almost 19 years. In December, she will celebrate one year in her gorgeous new digs at 1029 E. Taft, after moving from a nearby shopping center.
In her new place, she has room for 5 examination rooms, space, privacy, an increased volume of frames, and a play area for the kids. Best of all, she has room for an assistant, Dr. Sarah Cook, who has been with her 2 years. Dr. Hagen began looking for a new site for her business with the help of realtor Gina Merrill. Dr. Hagen said that Merrill was “honest and knows her stuff.” The property she settled on wasn’t even on the market and Merrill approached the owners and asked them to sell. The price was right, but the sale had to be made within 3 months. The deal was struck, and the work began. There is a scrapbook at the counter that shows the progress from ground level to high-end shop. Thompson Construction did a “wonderful job.”
Now, the huge building sits on a site with plenty of parking and room to grow. Dr. Hagen proudly admits she made every design or decorating decision. Her unique rock wall had to be redone to get it right.
Dr. Hagen is a native of Aruba. Aruba is a tropical island off the coast of Venezuela that is part of The Netherlands. Her mother and father were both Dutch, and her father was part of the Dutch government in Aruba. Aruba’s main trade is tourism.
When her father retired at 50, he was required to take his family of 7 back to Holland. As a girl, the doctor said she didn’t like it at first because it was cold and rainy, but she grew to like it.
It also was just the beginning of changes in schooling for her. She wanted to be independent and chose a profession that would give her that peace and security. Once she read a Labor Department brochure about Optometry, which involved going to school I day a week, and self-study the rest of the time. It seemed practical, and she could go right into an internship. After 5 years, she was an optician and then straight on to 7 years’ study for optometrist. All that time, she was the only woman in any of those classes.
She was working at University Hospital in Nijmegen (Naymee-hun) when she gave an eye exam to a United State Air Force serviceman, Richard Hagen. After a while he asked her out, and then he was transferred to Utah. She vacationed there and then returned to Holland to finish her finals after 7 years of school. He proposed over the phone and she moved to Utah.
More schooling followed, since Utah didn’t accept a Dutch degree. She worked under an ophthalmologist as a cornea specialist. She tried to get the Utah Ophthalmology Board to give her an exam. “Not a lot of cooperation,” remarked the doctor.
When her husband’s Air Force career took her, she went to Wichita, Kansas, and worked for Dr. Claron Alldredge, who specialized in contact lens fitting for diseased eyes. Then she worked for Grene Cornea when it was a small business. Now it is large with a worldwide reputation. More schooling. She decided to get an American Optometry degree. Dr. Hagen was working on her bachelor’s at the same time her husband was working on his.
Richard retired from the Air Force and Dr. Hagen attended NSU at Tahlequah for optometry. The Hagens moved to Tahlequah, so she went 4 years for her bachelor’s and then 4 more years for a doctorate in optometry. There were only 24 students and it was a difficult course to get into and difficult to stay in. While their daughter was aged 6-10, Dr. Hagen was going to school, as a married mother, and older than the others in her classes.
That is a total of 20 years’ school to join the ranks of Doctor in the United States.
Richard found employment in Tulsa, and they wanted to start out on their own. They found Sapulpa, and felt it was a good fit. They thought it was a little town with an identity of its own, not a bedroom community of Tulsa.
Dr. Hagen says they “really like Sapulpa. It is welcoming and open.”
Eye to Eye is open 9am 6pm on Monday Thursday, and 9am 4pm on Friday.
Dr. Hagen Comments on SQ 793
Dr. Hagen is adamantly opposed to Oklahoma State Question 793, a Constitution- al Amendment that would put Optometrists in Big Box Store (like Walmart). According to NO793.com literature, SQ 793 “will hurt patients, reduce access to care and put out-of- state corporations (Arkansas) in charge of your vision care.”
Dr. Michelle Welch, Okla- homa Association of Opto- metric Physicians President, “If we lower the bar and make eye doctors Walmart employ- ees… it would be tragedy if we rewrote them (the laws) to promote stronger sales for Walmart.”
Hagen wants to remind others that children up to the age of 21 are covered under Medicaid. She takes Medi. The Walmart stores might measure you for glasses, but not look at your health long term. You may have cancer, or cataracts, or the beginnings of a dozen other eye diseases, and finding them as early as possible can save your sight.
Hagen pays her staff for full-time jobs and provides them with Health Care. Does Walmart do that? No, they de- pend on the U. S. government taxpayers to augment their pay with food stamps, and other forms of public dole.
About the Author
Lottie Wilds is a native Oklahoman and a multi-talented woman—she is a mother, grandmother, Navy veteran, and lifelong creator. Lottie loves to quilt, decorate, garden, swim, paint, and write stories. She is grateful for every day she gets a chance to get it right.