Dr. Eklof, an optometrist, has been located in Langdon for nearly 40 years.
By Lisa Nowatzki
He has been located on the corner at 324 9th Ave. in Langdon since 1986.
Dr. Eklof is an optometry specialist originally from Chicago. He examines eyes for both vision and health problems and corrects refractive errors by prescribing eyeglasses and contact lenses.
For more than 30 years, Dr. Eklof, has partnered with an ophthalmologist who made monthly visits to see Langdon eye patients, including a great deal of cataract sufferers. The latest, Dr. Robert Dicken, who specializes in ophthalmology has been coming to Langdon each month to relieve cataract sufferers, especially the ones that needed cataract removal.
Dr. Dicken’s medical group, Trinity, has decided that he is needed more in Minot and Devils Lake. According to Dr. Eklof, without consulting himself, Dr. Dicken, or Cavalier County Memorial Hospital and with only one month’s notice, the Trinity Medical Group removed Langdon from Dr. Dicken’s monthly outreach schedule.
Dr. Eklof wanted to assure his patients that the ophthalmology services Dr. Dicken offered is still available, but for the next few months or more, until a replacement is found, patients will have to travel outside of Langdon for those services.
Eklof also wants patients and prospective patients to know that Dr. Dicken enjoyed working here; he enjoyed the hospital; he enjoyed the staff. The facilities were fine. There was nothing that was a negative. Dr. Dicken and Dr. Eklof were both very happy with the arrangements.
Eklof has been talking to other ophthalmologist, trying to see if there was somebody who would be able to come up here and fill [Dicken’s position], but there basically just isn’t anybody right now who can add another outreach day to their schedule.
“We are going to keep looking,” Eklof states, “because the arrangement has been good for the people of Langdon. At this point in time, I don’t know when or if that will be.”
Eklof believes this situation with Dr. Dicken illustrates the benefits of controlling your own situation. Like our hospital and our practitioners, you are not subject to somebody else’s control.
He feels that Dr. Dicken has been taken from a successful and long-term relationship. “It was kind of a shock, because nothing had changed. The numbers were not down; there was anything different.” Eklof explained.
The solution for the time being will be more difficult and involve more travel, especially for patients that depend on the senior transportation services. “Unfortunately, people are going to have to travel to Devils Lake, Grafton, Cavalier, and/or Grand Forks for opthalmologic eye care.” Eklof shared.
Dr. Eklof also believes that although there is no ophthalmologist in Langdon to go to for pre-op and surgery, his office is more than capable of completing follow-up care after eye surgeries like cataract removal.
If you have any questions, please call Dr. Eklof at 256-2269.