Meet Our Doctors
Dr. Rick Peterson was born in Park Ridge, Illinois and he grew up in Arlington Heights. He decided to become an Optometrist while participating in mission work in the Dominican Republic with Dr. Oswald. Dr. Peterson reveals, "This experience taught me how important vision is, and the fulfillment I could achieve in helping others."
Dr. Peterson attended the University of Iowa, and continued his education at the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago, where he received his BS in Visual Science and Doctor of Optometry degree. He also received awards for his work in pediatric/binocular vision and advanced ophthalmic care.
Dr. Peterson is currently the president of both The Laser Network and the United Eye Care Providers as well as a former clinical instructor for the Illinois College of Optometry. He is a graduate of the Disney Institute/Essilor MBA program. He is actively testing new ophthalmic designs for glasses and contact lenses. He frequently lectures on binocular vision to teachers, parents, and students. Dr. Peterson also presents seminars on the benefits and newest technology of LASIK refractive surgery. He is TPA certified and is a specialist in binocular vision and focusing disorders along with advanced diagnostic techniques of ocular, orbital, and neurological disorders.
Dr. Peterson lives in Lemont with his wife Julie, and their 3 children. They are active in St. Alphonsus parish and support local organizations for children with special needs.Rick Peterson
Dr. James Sowinski was born and raised in Tinley Park, Illinois. He completed his undergraduate studies at Valparaiso University in Indiana and graduated from Illinois College of Optometry in 2001. He went on to complete a one year residency at Newington VA Medical Center in Connecticut where he performed eye exams with heavy emphasis on ocular disease. He was also involved in supervising and teaching students in areas of primary care and ocular disease at that residency. He has been in private optometric and ophthalmologic practices in California, where he specialized in ocular disease, co-managing ophthalmologic surgical cases, and fitting contact lenses. He also restarted and performed low vision care services at the ophthalmology department in Woodland, California.
He has spoken publicly several times, including a medical review he presented at the New England College of Optometry. He is the recipient of the 2001 Lighthouse Macular Degeneration Award and VSP Award of Excellence in 2005.
Dr. Sowinski is therapeutically certified to prescribe medications for the eyes. His areas of specialty include medical diagnosis and treatment of the eyes, treating traumas and emergencies, and contact lens fittings.
Dr. Sowinski is excited to be back in the Chicagoland area and living in Manhattan with his wife, Danielle and their son and daughter. He enjoys backpacking, hiking, sports, and spending time with family and friends
Dr. Michelle Santucci was born in LaGrange, Illinois and grew up in Naperville, Illinois. She completed her undergraduate studies at Illinois State University with a Bachelors degree in Biology. In 2008, she graduated from the Illinois College of Optometry. Dr. Santucci also had the opportunity to provide patient care during clinical rotations at the Palo Alto Veterans Hospital in Palo Alto, California, the Lexington Veterans Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky and Glenview Vision Care in Glenview, Illinois.
Dr. Santucci is therapeutically certified to prescribe medications for the eyes. She recently joined Absolute Vision Care to focus on quality comprehensive eye care.
Dr. Santucci currently lives in Aurora, Illinois with her husband and daughter. She enjoys baking, cooking, traveling and spending time with family and friends.
Dr. Chase Smith was born and raised in Mitchell, South Dakota. He received his Doctor of Optometry degree from the Illinois College of Optometry earning honors in his clinical coursework. Prior to optometry school, he graduated cum laude from Minnesota State University with a bachelors degree in Human Biology. During his final year in Optometric training, Dr. Smith completed multiple clinical rotations across the country: Swagel Wooten Hiatt Eye center in Phoenix, AZ, Hampton Veterans Hospital in Virginia Beach, VA, and Hellerstein & Brenner Denver, CO. He has volunteered for numerous vision screenings, including the Special Olympics that is held at the United Center yearly.
Dr. Smith is licensed to prescribe therapeutic medications. He has joined Absolute Vision Care with the goal to provide comprehensive eye care for the entire family, with a special interest in pediatrics.
He currently has made the move from South Dakota to Chicago, Illinois, and has recently become engaged to his fiancé, Megan. He enjoys playing and watching sports, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
Dr. Samra Hashmi specializes in intraocular lens implant surgery, corneal transplant surgery and refractive or laser vision corrective surgery for nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Board certified ophthalmologist and member of the American Board of Ophthalmology, Dr. Hashmi earned her medical degree at the premier medical institute in Pakistan, The Aga Khan University, in 1994.
Her Postgraduate training included a research fellowship in the Hypertension section, Department of Cardiology, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York and a Research fellowship in Cornea and External Diseases at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary in New York City.
Dr. Hashmi completed her residency in Ophthalmology at the Medical College of Georgia and a Fellowship in Refractive Surgery at the Cole Eye Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Dr. Hashmi performs cataract surgery with multi-focal implants using the current no-stich, no-patch technique.
Samra Hashmi, MD is affiliated with the following professional organizations:
- American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons
- American Academy of Ophthalmology
- Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
- American Society for Hypertension
In her free time Dr. Hashmi enjoys spending time with her husband Nashib, a nephrologist and their three children. She is active in the community and her hobbies include traveling and reading books.
Dr. Majid Rassouli attended Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine from 1994 -1998. He received his Bachelor of Science (microbiology) in 1991, from the University of Washington. His postgraduate training included an internship at Henry Ford Hospital/Bi-County Hospital in Michigan. Dr. Rassouli completed his residency at Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine/Midwestern University from 1999-2002. He completed his Cornea and Refractive Surgery Fellowship in 2003 at the University of Illinois, Chicago.
Dr. Rassouli is Board certified by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He is also affiliated with the following professional organizations: American Academy of Ophalmology, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons, American Osteopathic Association, American Osteopathic College of Ophthalmology, Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgeons.
Dr. Eli Lelis has been in practice for over 12 years and is well recognized in the southwest suburbs and Joliet. He is board certified and has performed thousands of surgeries, and lectured on numerous surgical methods. He went to school at Wayne State University and attended medical school at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. His residency was performed at Loyola University and he is a member of the American Academy of Opthalmology.
Kevin J. Kovach, M.D. received his Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry with honors from the University of Illinois. He was accepted at Loyola Stritch School of Medicine where he completed his graduate work. He graduated Doctor of Medicine Cum Laude and continued his transitional residency work at MacNeal Hospital. He completed his residency at Loyola UMC.
He is a certified eye surgeon of the American Board of Ophthalmology, and a member of the American Association of Ophthalmology, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and the International Society of Refractive Surgeons. He is currently on staff at Elmhurst Hospital, and Oak Park Hospital.
Dr. Kovach is an ardent supporter of co-management for a number of years and enjoys working cohesively with optometrists in all aspects of eye care.
Mateen K. AliNiazee, MD is a Board-Certified Eye Physician and Surgeon with over 15 years of experience in Ophthalmology. He graduated with honors from Tulane University Department of Science and Engineering in 1993 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and completed a 7-year combined BS/MD program with Tulane University Medical School in 1996. He went on to excel during his internship and residency at Tulane University Department of Ophthalmology in 2000.
He is certified with the American Board of Ophthalmology, and a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology along with the American Academy of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons. He has performed thousands of cataract and refractive surgery procedures and lasers during his illustrious career. He works between Edward-Elmhurst Hospital System, Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital Systems, and Rush Oak Park Hospital.
Dr. Calvin Grant has received extensive training to become one of the most heralded ophthalmologists in the greater Chicago area. His résumé includes schooling at the following esteemed academic institutions: University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary, and a surgical fellowship at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics Vitreoretinal Department.
Dr. Grant has received industry-wide recognition for his pioneering work in a variety of eye-related disabilities and disorders. Dr. Grant has been called upon to lecture ophthalmologists across the globe for innovative treatments for retinal vein occlusions and macular degeneration. In addition to his dedication to his work, Dr. Grant is devoted to establishing an intimate patient/doctor relationship in order to provide you with the highest level of comfort.