Hometown Eyecare and Optical is pleased to offer a wide range of optometric services and eye care products including eyeglasses, sunglasses, specialty eyewear, and contact lenses.
Our mission is to provide you with the highest quality of eye care available. It shows in everything that we do. From your first contact with us to any in-office visits, we aim to provide you with first-class hometown service. This is what drives us to provide you with the best care year after year!
Drs. Derek Walton and Garrett Howell find satisfaction in providing comprehensive, thorough, and individualized eye care to members of the whole family. Whether it is for routine vision care or specialized eye health care, they feel it is most important that their patients understand their eye conditions and the best treatments available including the latest advancements in optical products and contact lenses. They believe it is through this honest communication and partnership with their patients that the best outcomes and quality of life can be achieved. Dr. Walton and Dr. Howell are both active members of the American Optometric Association as well as the Wyoming Optometric Association.
Derek A. Walton, OD
Dr. Walton first moved to Riverton when he was three years old and has always considered this his hometown. He was actively involved in various sports and clubs at Riverton High School and graduated as a valedictorian in the class of 2000. After obtaining an Associate of Business Management degree from Ricks College he became fascinated with the eyes and realized that optometry was the path for him. He finished his undergraduate work at the University of Wyoming, graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree, double-majoring in Biology and Zoology & Physiology with a minor in Chemistry. He finally received his Doctor of Optometry degree at the Southern California College of Optometry, graduating Magna Cum Laude in the class of 2011. As part of his optometric education, Dr. Walton completed internships at the VA clinic in Salt Lake City, Utah, an ocular disease clinic at Southern California’s Kaiser Permanente hospital, and various clinics in Orange County and Los Angeles, CA. He also spent time tutoring other optometry students while in school.
In his first years as an optometrist, Dr. Walton worked with Dr. Ben Kister at Kister Eyecare in Riverton, then at Shopko Eyecare at various locations in Utah. In 2017, he returned to Riverton and purchased Kister Eyecare, renaming it Hometown Eyecare and Optical. He is heavily invested in the success of the practice and is continually working to improve and expand on the high quality of eye care and service offered here.
On a personal note, Dr. Walton enjoys sports, music, being in Wyoming’s outdoors, and spending time with his wife, Ashley, and their four fun-loving children.
Garrett K. Howell, OD
Dr. Garrett Howell grew up in Riverton, graduating with honors from Riverton High School. Dr. Howell studied at the University of Wyoming and maintained Dean’s Honor Roll standing while providing for his family. His professional training was completed with Cum Laude honors at The Ohio State University College of Optometry and included rotations at the Columbus Ohio Veterans Hospital as well as participation in patient care at Cataract and LASIK surgery centers. Dr. Howell was inducted into Beta Sigma Kappa and participated in SVOSH (Students Volunteering Optometric Services to Humanity) as well as outreach clinics which provide care for those with financial hardship. He has received special recognition by the University of Wyoming Family Practice Medical Residency Program and has trained student optometrists as an adjunct faculty for Pacific University College of Optometry, Illinois College of Optometry and Western University College of Optometry.
Garrett and his wife, Jane, have four children and love living in Wyoming because of its friendly people and small-town feel; they also appreciate the diversity of outdoor activities, and of course the proximity to the beautiful mountains where the Howell family enjoys hiking, biking, camping, hunting and fishing.
About Our Team
Our friendly team of eye care professionals is here to help you understand your benefits, schedule appointments, assist in your eye exam, and give you guidance in picking out your perfect pair of eyewear.
Anna is our lead optician and optical manager. She ventured out west from North Carolina in 2021 and has made Riverton her home. She has a passion for photography and when she is not helping patients with their glasses, she loves hiking and exploring the beauties of Wyoming.
Michelle is very well-rounded in the optometry field and keeps everything running smooth in the practice. In her free time she enjoys exploring new hobbies, cuddles with her boxer, and the occasional reality TV show.
Raegen hails from Texas, but has wanted to live in Wyoming for most of her life. She has a passion for helping people, and is grateful to be involved in a practice that is patient-centric. Outside of work, she loves baking, reading, writing, photography, and painting.
Coming from California, Rina has always wanted to work in a doctor’s office and when the opportunity became available at Hometown Eyecare, she took that opportunity. When she is not working, Rina enjoys spending time with her husband, two kids, and dog Oreo.
We are excited to have Deb working with us again after a two-year absence. She missed working with the patients she came to know and love and cannot wait to meet all of our new patients. When not working she is busy taking care of her husband, 3 German Shepherds, and 2 kitties. She has also been learning about and working with the wonderful plants the Good Lord gave us for health and wellness.
Crystal joins our team with years of customer service experience and is eager to assist you with all of your eye care needs. In her free time she enjoys adventures in the mountains with her family.