Annalise Kucan has worked as a mechanic, enjoys classic cars, creates oil paintings for exhibit, and paints portraitures on consignment. It is this very right-brain/left-brain combination that has made Annalise bien adapte´ – most suitable – for the role of visual rehabilitation specialist at the Mind-Eye Institute.
That’s because her role requires both a detailed mind and the sense of an artist in making precise observations when evaluating patients and helping them stay on track in their recovery. In essence, Annalise is both technician and “designer,” instructing patients in the use of their Mind-Eye glasses and any prescribed syntonic filters and crafting exercises and games that will enable patients to meet the care goals established by their Mind-Eye Institute optometrists.
“I had never been in the optometry field before coming to the Mind-Eye Institute, but I applied for a position here because of the organization’s work with patients who have suffered brain injuries or struggle with learning disorders. I wanted to be part of this process of getting patients on a journey to recovery. I am most grateful that the Mind-Eye team was willing to train me in this new role,” Annalise says.
When it comes simply to “helping other people,” however, Annalise needs no additional training.
For example, despite her busy schedule, she continues painting portraits upon request, and loves to depict her perspective of sentiment and spirituality. In and outside of her previous roles — teacher in a Montessori School and maintenance mechanic for the Skokie (Illinois) Park District, she always has found “the value in seeing positive changes in people’s lives” and has endeavored to make that a priority in her work.
When not assisting patients at Mind-Eye, an organization that she says cultivates a team environment, Annalise can be found watching sports, gardening, baking, and tinkering with car engines. She recently sold a 1961 Chevrolet Impala that she had rebuilt and kept in good running order but is now “on the hunt for a 1940 or 49 Mercury or a 1955 Super Oldsmobile 88 Holiday.”
But when asked what she enjoys most, it is neither automobiles nor gardens. It's “spending time with my very large – and very close – family,” Annalise says.