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Albert Lea welcomes new eye doctor

Ragna Godtland arrived in Albert Lea in February, just in time for the state’s COVID-19 pandemic-induced stay-at-home order to go into effect.

Godtland, an optometrist, brings 10 years of experience with her to Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea.

Originally from Chamberlain, South Dakota, Godtland attended Augustana University for her undergraduate studies and went to Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee, for her doctorate and optometry residency.

“I liked health care, so I knew I wanted to do something that helped people,” she said of her decision to enter the field.

“I’ve really liked it.”

She comes to Albert Lea from International Falls, along with her dog, Corby. Godtland said that while she liked International Falls, at times it was too isolated. She likes that in Albert Lea she doesn’t have to drive two hours to find a store, and that she has a much easier drive to visit family in South Dakota.

Godtland said she was only able to see patients for emergencies during the pandemic shutdown, and in May the clinic started ramping up to see regular patients. By June, she said the hospital was scheduling its regular optometry appointments like normal.

She considered herself fortunate to be employed by the hospital during the shutdown, and even more fortunate to be in Albert Lea at the time.

Godtland enjoys having coworkers, as she was on her own where she worked in International Falls. She has also enjoyed exploring Albert Lea, and has found the community very welcoming. She has found classes through the Albert Lea Family Y she enjoys and is looking forward to checking out Albert Lea Public Library more whenever it returns to normal operations.

“I’ve loved it,” she said.

 

About Colleen Harrison

Colleen Harrison is the photo editor at the Albert Lea Tribune. She does photography and writes general-assignment stories.

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