The ‘eyes’ have it

Optometrist Taylor Kneip joins Yorkshire Eye Clinic & Optical team

BROOKINGS – Dr. Taylor Kneip’s fascination with eyesight started in third grade. That’s when he received his first pair of eyeglasses.

“I walked outside of my optometrist’s office, and I couldn’t believe you could look and actually see leaves on a tree.”


Optometrist Dr. Taylor Kneip performs a routine patient examination at Yorkshire Eye Clinic & Optical to assess for visual correction needs and overall eye health. The new optometrist has family roots in Brookings and recently joined the practice with Ophthalmologists Dr. Kenneth Knudtson and Dr. Timothy Minton. Together Kneip and his colleagues offer comprehensive vision services including routine eye care, medical eye care and corrective optical products.

That transformational moment stuck with the new optometrist who recently began his practice at Yorkshire Eye Clinic & Optical, a division of Brookings Health System. Because he was nearsighted, every year his parents would take him back to his family eye doctor for an eye examination and to update his prescription.

“I always enjoyed getting a new pair of glasses when I was a kid because I could see better than I did before.”

After graduating from O’Gorman High School in Sioux Falls, he and his then girlfriend, now wife, Morgan, both opted to attend South Dakota State University – she for hospitality management and he for pharmacy. While an undergrad at State, Kneip worked as a pharmacy tech. That experience made him realize pharmacy lacked a critical component he wanted in a career – plenty of patient interaction. 

Kneip had always considered optometry a career possibility. He started shadowing his family optometrist, and the more he learned about optometry, the more he knew it was his calling. He graduated from SDSU in 2015 with bachelor’s in biology and headed with Morgan to Midwestern University Arizona College of Optometry in Glendale, Arizona. 

More than just optometry school

While studying at Midwestern University Arizona, Kneip also gained firsthand, professional experience. It started with his first summer work study job: clinic optical assistant. He helped the opticians at the college clinics order, dispense and adjust eyeglasses and ordered all of the contacts for patients. 

“Knowing how to pick out the right frame and lenses for people can really add to their comfort when wearing glasses and more importantly, help them to attain the best vision possible,” said Kneip. “With contact lenses, a lot of times people think any contacts should work for anyone, but there are several factors to consider, including a patient’s specific eye conditions and their lifestyle.”

That experience gave him a leg-up when he started his rotations during his fourth and final year of optometry school. During rotation, Kneip conducted patient exams at various practices under the tutelage of senior optometrists. He gained experience learning how to diagnose and manage ocular diseases, including treating patients with diabetic retinopathy, the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes. 

“Diabetic retinopathy is a longterm side effect of diabetes,” said Kneip. “In simple terms, patients experience hemorrhaging and loss of blood flow to the retina, which is positioned in the back of the eye, due to chronically high blood sugar. That bleeding in the retina can lead to vision loss.”

One of Kneip’s rotations included Komatke Indian Health Services in Laveen, Arizona. That community has the highest rate per capita of diabetes in the world. He enjoyed educating his diabetic patients in Laveen about how their diabetic condition can impact their sight.

“The thing about diabetic retinopathy, you don’t really notice any symptoms until it’s too late. That’s why diabetic and pre-diabetic patients should really get an eye exam once a year. I can notice if there are problems before a patient would and we can put together a care plan to help treat the condition.”

Back to family roots in Brookings

While in Arizona, Kneip and Morgan had a son, Theodore. As they approached the end of Kneip’s optometric education and he began looking for jobs, moving near their support system was key, especially considering their own growing family’s needs.

“We always intended to come back to South Dakota,” said Kneip, who is a self-described sports nut and an SDSU Jackrabbits fan. “My wife and I always liked living in Brookings, plus it is close to our family who live in Sioux Falls.”

The move also relocates Kneip closer to his family roots. His dad, Gary, grew up in Brookings and spent a lot of time in Arlington with his cousins. Both his dad and his mom, Renee, graduated from SDSU. Throughout his childhood, Kneip often visited Brookings to see his grandparents. Those roots made Brookings an ideal location for Kneip. And when he interviewed for the open optometrist position at Yorkshire Eye Clinic & Optical, everything clicked. 

“When I first met Dr. Minton and Dr. Knudtson, I had a really good rapport with them right away. I could tell it was a good fit and it made it an easy decision to move back to Brookings.”

Setting up shop

Kneip’s optometric services complements Dr. Timothy Minton’s and Dr. Kenneth Knudtson’s ophthalmology services, giving the trio the ability to care for a wide range of eye conditions for patients of every age. Minton and Knudtson focus on medical eye problems, including cataract surgery, cosmetic lid surgery and laser procedures. Kneip is able to perform routine eye exams to assess for visual correction needs and overall eye health. He can also help manage pre- and post-operative refractive surgery care for LASIK procedures.

“I’ve been through refractive surgery myself and know first-hand what those patients will experience,” said Kneip.

His addition to Yorkshire Eye Clinic & Optical also helps foster a transition time for the practice. Brookings Health System recently purchased M.D. Bartley Opticians, the optical shop immediately next door to the clinic. To signal the addition of the new optical services, the health system added “and Optical” to the Yorkshire Eye Clinic name. 

“It’s great that we now have the optical shop included as part of the business. It really positions us as a truly comprehensive vision practice,” said Kneip. “Our optician, Sheila, can help patients pick out the right frame and the right type of lenses. She can even cut lenses right there for those patients who want to keep the same frames. And we have everything – sunglasses, kids’ frames, UV coating, a huge variety of contact lenses – you name it.” 

To celebrate the additions of both Dr. Kneip and the optical shop, Yorkshire Eye Clinic & Optical is holding an open house on Tuesday, July 16. The public is invited to stop by the clinic, located at 2311 Yorkshire Drive, any time from noon-4 p.m. to say hello, see the recently expanded frame selection and enter a drawing for a $125 prescription sunglasses voucher. 

Any patient can make an appointment with Dr. Kneip by calling Yorkshire Eye Clinic & Optical at 696-8870.

As for what Kneip appreciates most about optometry, he says, “I like being able to make an impact on patients’ vision. It’s really powerful and something I enjoy.”

BROOKINGS – Dr. Taylor Kneip’s fascination with eyesight started in third grade. That’s when he received his first pair of eyeglasses.

“I walked outside of my optometrist’s office, and I couldn’t believe you could look and actually see leaves on a tree.”

That transformational moment stuck with the new optometrist who recently began his practice at Yorkshire Eye Clinic & Optical, a division of Brookings Health System. Because he was nearsighted, every year his parents would take him back to his family eye doctor for an eye examination and to update his prescription.

“I always enjoyed getting a new pair of glasses when I was a kid because I could see better than I did before.”

After graduating from O’Gorman High School in Sioux Falls, he and his then girlfriend, now wife, Morgan, both opted to attend South Dakota State University – she for hospitality management and he for pharmacy. While an undergrad at State, Kneip worked as a pharmacy tech. That experience made him realize pharmacy lacked a critical component he wanted in a career – plenty of patient interaction. 

Kneip had always considered optometry a career possibility. He started shadowing his family optometrist, and the more he learned about optometry, the more he knew it was his calling. He graduated from SDSU in 2015 with bachelor’s in biology and headed with Morgan to Midwestern University Arizona College of Optometry in Glendale, Arizona. 

More than just optometry school

While studying at Midwestern University Arizona, Kneip also gained firsthand, professional experience. It started with his first summer work study job: clinic optical assistant. He helped the opticians at the college clinics order, dispense and adjust eyeglasses and ordered all of the contacts for patients. 

“Knowing how to pick out the right frame and lenses for people can really add to their comfort when wearing glasses and more importantly, help them to attain the best vision possible,” said Kneip. “With contact lenses, a lot of times people think any contacts should work for anyone, but there are several factors to consider, including a patient’s specific eye conditions and their lifestyle.”

That experience gave him a leg-up when he started his rotations during his fourth and final year of optometry school. During rotation, Kneip conducted patient exams at various practices under the tutelage of senior optometrists. He gained experience learning how to diagnose and manage ocular diseases, including treating patients with diabetic retinopathy, the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes. 

“Diabetic retinopathy is a longterm side effect of diabetes,” said Kneip. “In simple terms, patients experience hemorrhaging and loss of blood flow to the retina, which is positioned in the back of the eye, due to chronically high blood sugar. That bleeding in the retina can lead to vision loss.”

One of Kneip’s rotations included Komatke Indian Health Services in Laveen, Arizona. That community has the highest rate per capita of diabetes in the world. He enjoyed educating his diabetic patients in Laveen about how their diabetic condition can impact their sight.

“The thing about diabetic retinopathy, you don’t really notice any symptoms until it’s too late. That’s why diabetic and pre-diabetic patients should really get an eye exam once a year. I can notice if there are problems before a patient would and we can put together a care plan to help treat the condition.”

Back to family roots in Brookings

While in Arizona, Kneip and Morgan had a son, Theodore. As they approached the end of Kneip’s optometric education and he began looking for jobs, moving near their support system was key, especially considering their own growing family’s needs.

“We always intended to come back to South Dakota,” said Kneip, who is a self-described sports nut and an SDSU Jackrabbits fan. “My wife and I always liked living in Brookings, plus it is close to our family who live in Sioux Falls.”

The move also relocates Kneip closer to his family roots. His dad, Gary, grew up in Brookings and spent a lot of time in Arlington with his cousins. Both his dad and his mom, Renee, graduated from SDSU. Throughout his childhood, Kneip often visited Brookings to see his grandparents. Those roots made Brookings an ideal location for Kneip. And when he interviewed for the open optometrist position at Yorkshire Eye Clinic & Optical, everything clicked. 

“When I first met Dr. Minton and Dr. Knudtson, I had a really good rapport with them right away. I could tell it was a good fit and it made it an easy decision to move back to Brookings.”

Setting up shop

Kneip’s optometric services complements Dr. Timothy Minton’s and Dr. Kenneth Knudtson’s ophthalmology services, giving the trio the ability to care for a wide range of eye conditions for patients of every age. Minton and Knudtson focus on medical eye problems, including cataract surgery, cosmetic lid surgery and laser procedures. Kneip is able to perform routine eye exams to assess for visual correction needs and overall eye health. He can also help manage pre- and post-operative refractive surgery care for LASIK procedures.

“I’ve been through refractive surgery myself and know first-hand what those patients will experience,” said Kneip.

His addition to Yorkshire Eye Clinic & Optical also helps foster a transition time for the practice. Brookings Health System recently purchased M.D. Bartley Opticians, the optical shop immediately next door to the clinic. To signal the addition of the new optical services, the health system added “and Optical” to the Yorkshire Eye Clinic name. 

“It’s great that we now have the optical shop included as part of the business. It really positions us as a truly comprehensive vision practice,” said Kneip. “Our optician, Sheila, can help patients pick out the right frame and the right type of lenses. She can even cut lenses right there for those patients who want to keep the same frames. And we have everything – sunglasses, kids’ frames, UV coating, a huge variety of contact lenses – you name it.” 

To celebrate the additions of both Dr. Kneip and the optical shop, Yorkshire Eye Clinic & Optical is holding an open house on Tuesday, July 16. The public is invited to stop by the clinic, located at 2311 Yorkshire Drive, any time from noon-4 p.m. to say hello, see the recently expanded frame selection and enter a drawing for a $125 prescription sunglasses voucher. 

Any patient can make an appointment with Dr. Kneip by calling Yorkshire Eye Clinic & Optical at 696-8870.

As for what Kneip appreciates most about optometry, he says, “I like being able to make an impact on patients’ vision. It’s really powerful and something I enjoy.”

COURTESY OF: The Brookings Register

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