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Getting to Know You – Dr. Aubrey Harlan

   Dr. Aubrey Harlan, Optometrist at Emmick Eye Care in Hawesville, was born and raised in Pellville. She is a 2002 graduate of Hancock County High School, and ran cross-country track for 3 years.
She graduated from Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, KY, in 2006, and majored in Biopsychology, with a minor in Chemistry. She earned her Doctorate of Optometry in 2011, at Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee. She practiced at Frankfort Eye Center until 2013. And, for 3 years she practiced at Abney Eye Center, in Brownsville, KY.
She loved growing up in Pellville, and moved back to the area with her family in 2016. “I was blessed enough to live a pasture away from my grandparents (the late Kirtley & Elizabeth Stephens), which was just a few doors down from my aunts and uncles. I was able to grow up around family, which was the big reason we wanted to move back to Hancock County. We wanted our children to be able to grow up in a similar way that we did, having that close-knit relationship with their grandparents.”
When they first moved back to the county, Aubrey worked at Physicians Eye Center, with a group of surgeons in Owensboro. “I really enjoyed working with them, and it was awesome to be able to have those connections with a wonderful group of surgeons, that I can still rely on in referring patients from Hancock County to them for their surgical needs,” she said.
Aubrey began practicing at Emmick Eye Care in 2019, and loves it. Her first eye exam, when she was in Kindergarten, was at Dr. Rosemary Emmick’s office in Hawesville. “I got my first huge pair of glasses, they were purple, and I was so in love with them,” she said. “I can remember on my way home, looking at my mom in the rearview mirror, and saying that I wanted to be an eye doctor when I grew up. I just thought it was so awesome that women could do that.”

“Now that I’m actually working with Dr. Rosemary, I’m very blessed. Being able to serve the people in Hancock County alongside her, and in an environment that she has created that is SO positive for the community – I don’t know that there are sufficient words to describe that,” she added.
She met her husband, James, when they were both working at T.G.I. Fridays in Owensboro, and they married in 2005, on the beach in Destin, Florida. He is from Robards, KY, and served in the United States Marine Corps for 3 years. He earned his Doctorate in Physical Therapy, and is currently practicing full-time at a nursing home in Owensboro. They are blessed with 2 children: Elizabeth & Keegan.
Elizabeth, named after Aubrey’s grandmother, has played in different basketball leagues in the county, enjoys gymnastics, and is in the Girls on the Run Kentuckiana Program at South Hancock Elementary School. Keegan attends Hancock County Middle School, and is a Black Belt in Taekwondo. He’s going for his Second-Degree Black Belt in a couple of months.
Aubrey volunteers with Girls on the Run once a week, at SHES. She is helping them prepare for their 5K run in Louisville in May. Several schools around the state of Kentucky participate. “It is mostly to lift girls up, create healthy habits, and encourage good mental strategies for things they’re going to encounter as they continue to grow up,” she said.
Her main hobbies are running, hiking, reading, and traveling. She loves traveling with her family, and they have taken a couple of trips out West. Glacier, Grand Teton, and Yellowstone National Parks, are some of their favorite spots to visit and hike. They are excited about an upcoming trip to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. “We like exploring new places that we haven’t seen yet,” she said.

By Jennifer Wimmer

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