The Beginning

Dr. Joe Slapnicher circa 1971

In 1971, Dr. Joseph Slapnicher, a graduate of New England College of Optometry, moved to Hibbing, Minnesota with his wife, Betsy.  He practiced general Optometry as an associate of Dr. Robert Kuhl.

In 1973, he accepted an opportunity to work in Roseville, Minnesota with Dr. John Kennedy and Dr. Bert Kolles.  Drs Kennedy and Kolles trained Dr. Slapnicher to be a specialist in contact lenses.

In 1974, Dr. Slapnicher purchased a small practice in Hastings, Minnesota from Dr. Robert McDunn.  Over a relatively short time, he successfully established Rivertown Eye Clinic as a provider of general optometry, specializing in children’s vision and contact lenses.

Dr. Slapnicher is a member and in good standing with the American Optometric Association (AOA) and the Minnesota Optometric Association (MOA).  He is a member of the Hastings Chamber of Commerce, Hastings Kiwanis, Lions Club and a former member of the Hastings Jaycees.  His hobbies are golf, woodworking, working on his vineyard, walking and reading.

In 1986, Dr. Slapnicher moved his practice to 1320 Vermillion Street in Hastings.  In June 2004, he built a more efficient, state-of-the-art technological eye care center located at 1011 North Frontage Road in Hastings and renamed his practice Rivertown Eye Center.  In this new setting, Dr. Slapnicher continues to practice primary care optometry, specializing in contact lenses.

Dr. Slapnicher’s son, Dr. Eric, began practicing at Rivertown Eye Center in August of 2002.  Dr. Eric did his undergraduate schooling at the University of Minnesota-Duluth where he received his B.S. in Biology in 1996.  He then studied at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in Philadelphia, PA, where he received a B.S. in Visual Science and his Doctorate of Optometry.  He received most of his clinical training at The Eye Institute of PCO in Philadelphia.  After graduating from PCO in 2001, he practiced with Rathjens-Grice Eye Associates at Clinics in Waterbury & Milford, Connecticut, for about a year.  His hobbies are going to concerts, sporting events, and spending time with his wife, Kelly, and son, Graham.

In September of 2010, Drs Joe & Eric changed the practice’s name to Rivertown Eye Care where they look forward to meeting each patient’s vision needs in a professional and caring manner.