Dr. Danita Sam, O.D.
Dr. Danita Sam, who’s infectious laugh can be heard throughout the office, has been practicing optometry since 1984. She loves working with her patients and treats each patient as though they are her best friend. She enjoys catching up with each of her patients during the exam and loves taking care of all their visual needs and keeping them informed of the latest treatments and materials available. Children especially love Dr. Sam’s fun games and respond to her caring nature.
She loves her profession and receives such gratification and fulfillment when she has made a difference in someone’s lives- whether it be for a student who hated reading and after discovering and treating a vision-related learning problem becomes an avid reader and an ‘A’ student; or the individual who was told they couldn’t wear contact lenses and proved them wrong.
Dr. Sam’s undergraduate education was completed at UCLA (Go Bruins!) and she earned her Doctor of Optometry degree from the prestigious UC Berkeley’s School of Optometry (Go Bears!). She has earned her therapeutic treatment licensure in 1996 and her glaucoma management and treatment certification in 2001. She has received an advanced glaucoma certification in 2014. She provides vision care for Cal State Northridge Athletes by providing vision correction, sports vision therapy, and sports eye-related injuries. She has been providing vision screenings for numerous schools and educational therapists rely on her expertise to help students with vision-related learning difficulties.
Dr. Sam is married and has two adult children-Her daughter is a dentist and her son is attending UC San Diego with an interest in Human Computer Interactions. Dr. Sam and her husband have been together over 30 years and love to travel- exploring and experiencing new things. She’s known to be an adventurous cook- with some delectable (and a few inedible) results and loves technology music of many different genres.
Dr. Sam has been active in the community having served in many capacities and Board of Directors with such organizations as Soroptimist International of the Conejo, Canoga Park Chamber of Commerce, PTSA, United Track, and WHS Track/Cross Country Booster Club.
J. Richard Rishko, O.D., F.C.O.V.D.
Dr. Rishko is a graduate of Seton Hall University with a BS degree in Biology and continued his education at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry where he received another BS degree with an emphasis in physics and graduated with the Doctor of Optometry degree with honors. While in school, Dr Rishko was elected a member of the Beta Sigma Kappa Honor Society for academic achievement.
Upon graduation, Dr. Rishko entered into private practice with William Evans, O.D. in Canoga Park while continuing his education to complete his fellowship in the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. He received this distinction in 1983. The practice has been in continuous operation since 1954 providing comprehensive eye care to the west San Fernando Valley and the Conejo Valley.
Dr. Rishko has lectured nationally on the topics of sports vision training, sports injuries, and vision therapy for both learning disabilities and vision skills. He is on medical staff in the athletic department of Cal State University, Northridge and has previously been an adjunct faculty for the university lecturing on sports injuries and vision enhancement of the athlete. The practice includes elite athletes on the professional, collegiate and high school levels including baseball, softball, volleyball, tennis, golf, shooting, and basketball.
Dr. Rishko is a past board member of the San Fernando Valley Optometric Society as well as past president of the National Academy of Sports Vision. He is a Diplomat in the American Board of Disability Analysts. He is also active with the Optometric Extension Program and the College of Optometrists in Vision Development.
Dr. Rishko has been active in numerous civic and nonprofit organizations on a board of directors’ level.
Dr. Lillian Chu – Dr. Optometry
Dr. Lillian Chu is a full-scope, glaucoma-certified optometrist trained and licensed to provide quality comprehensive eye care. After completing her undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley, she went on to earn her Doctor of Optometry degree from the Illinois College of Optometry. While in optometry school, she was inducted into the institution’s two highest honors societies, Beta Sigma Kappa and the Tomb & Key Honor Society. Her clinical training included the William V. Chappell Jr. Veteran’s Clinic in Daytona Beach, Florida, Swagel Wootton Eye Institute in Mesa, Arizona, and McCormick Vision Source in Austin, Texas. Having needed glasses from a young age, Dr. Chu knew early on that she wanted to care for and improve the lives of those around her just like her optometrist did for her. Her welcoming smile and attentiveness help make each patient experience focused on individual needs.
Outside of her passion for vision and eye care, Dr, Chu loves trying new restaurants and cuisines, crafting, hiking, and spending time with family and friends. She is always looking for her next travel destination and enjoys exploring both urban and nature scenes alike.
Nicole Lockwood – Office Administration
Nicole has been in administration for over 15 years. As an Administration Assistant, developing strong relationships is the foundation of everything she does, both professionally and personally. At Agoura West Valley Optometric Center, working with patients and the optical team allows her to do so daily.
As a previous resident of Bolivia, she speaks both English and Spanish. Additionally, she teaches English as a second language. This serves as an example of her motivation to learn and grow and understand the world around her. She calls herself a professional student as she’s regularly taking college courses or traveling. She studied at CSUN majoring in English. And, currently, she is working on getting certified as an optician.
When Nicole is not working, she is volunteering, immersing herself in the arts, or nose deep in a book.
Stacy Johnson – Office Optician
I have been in the optical business since 1990. I am very passionate when it comes to helping people. I was born and raised in California. I currently work at West Valley Optometric Center, working with a great team.
I have a son and grandson that I just love. I love going to the movies, seeing plays and listening to Jazz in my spare time. I read a lot of self-developing books to also to help me grow as a person. My education history: I finished High school and went to Fresno State University and ended up graduating from American Career Trade School for the optician. I also volunteer in my spare time helping feed the homeless.
Rosie has been with our practice since 2013 as our Canoga Park Office Optician and Technician. She has been in the optometric field for 14 years, with a focus on customer service and in our optical department. With her passion for fashion and make-up design, this makes her an asset to our “fashion-forward” patients who want to look their best with any budget. When not working, she spends time with her husband and 3 children.
Blanca has been with our office since 2015. She is our front desk person and main medical biller in both our Canoga Park and Agoura office. She has been in the medical field since 1990. Blanca is a pleasure to work with and always greets you with a smile. Her helpful, warm and friendly personality will embrace you as you enter the office. When she is not working she spends her time with her children and grandchildren.
Jesse has supported our practice since 2013 as our on-call IT and Compulink Technical Support Engineer. Jesse is a Senior Network / Cloud Engineer with over 23 years’ experience working in Information Technology. He is currently providing off hours and on-call Technical Support for our Compulink Applications and other Technical and Networking needs.