About Our Doctors

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Dr. Kristen Hawthorne

Dr.-Hawthorne-Pic-200x300.jpgBorn in Dallas, Texas, Dr. Kristen Hawthorne is excited to return to her home state to practice ophthalmology! Along with practicing general ophthalmology, Dr. Hawthorne is a fellowship-trained ophthalmologist who specializes in LASIK, complicated cataract surgery and corneal diseases of the eye.

Dr. Hawthorne completed her undergraduate degree at Clemson University where she graduated Magna cum Laude in biochemistry. After studying abroad in Australia for one year, she returned to complete her M.D. at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina where she was elected to the honor society of Alpha Omega Alpha. After medical school, Dr. Hawthorne completed an internship in internal medicine in the Bay Area in Northern California. She then completed her ophthalmology residency at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Callahan Eye Foundation where she won awards for her research. Dr. Hawthorne then completed subspecialty training in cornea, external disease and refractive surgery at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts where she was honored with a distinguished teaching award by her peers.

Dr. Hawthorne performs the most current cornea, cataract and anterior segment procedures available, including corneal transplants (penetrating keratoplasty, endothelial keratoplasty and deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty), INTACS and keratoprostheses. She specializes in treating patients with corneal dystrophies (including Fuchs dystrophy), keratoconus and corneal infections. Dr. Hawthorne has a special interest in treating patients with hereditary corneal dystrophies, herpes zoster, herpes simplex, ocular surface disease, corneal scars, failed corneal transplants, and both benign and malignant corneal and conjunctival tumors.

Dr. Hawthorne performs a wide variety of refractive procedures, including LASIK, PRK, limbal relaxing incisions, astigmatism correcting lenses, accommodating/multifocal lenses, refractive lens exchange and phakic IOLs. She has a special interest in post-refractive surgery cataract surgery.

Dr. Hawthorne is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society for Cataract and Refractive Surgery. She has presented at multiple national meetings and stays actively involved in corneal research.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Hawthorne, please book an appointment online,  contact Howerton Eye Clinic, or call our Austin office at (512) 746-0046 today.

Dr. Scott Kelly

Dr-3.-Kelly-Photo-199x300.jpgRaised in Brownwood, Dr. Scott Kelly is happy to be returning to his home state of Texas to practice ophthalmology. In addition to providing general ophthalmology, Dr. Kelly is a board certified, fellowship-trained ophthalmologist specializing in complicated cataract surgery, refractive surgery and corneal diseases of the eye.

Dr. Kelly graduated Magna cum Laude in biomedical science from Texas A&M University. Upon completion of his undergraduate degree, Dr. Kelly then attended medical school at the University of Texas – Houston Medical School, where he received a Doctorate of Medicine degree as well as a Master’s degree in Public Health. Dr. Kelly remained at the University of Texas – Houston Medical School for his internship and then completed ophthalmology residency training at the Cullen Eye Institute/Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Once he completed his residency, Dr. Kelly moved to Chicago for one year of subspecialty training in cornea, external disease and refractive surgery at the University of Illinois – Chicago.

Dr. Kelly is married with three children. His wife, Beth, is also a physician who currently works as a part-time radiation oncologist. And he is the proud father of two young boys, Luke  and Ben, and a new baby daughter named Winnie. When he’s not working, Dr. Kelly enjoys cooking, archery hunting, fishing and spending time with his family.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kelly, please book an appointment online,  contact Howerton Eye Clinic, or call our Austin office at (512) 746-0046 today.

Dr. Richard A. Berkowitz

DrB20160729.jpgCornea and External Disease Specialist; Cataract Surgeon
Born in Chicago, Dr. Richard Berkowitz graduated from the University of Illinois in 1972, and he then attended Chicago Medical School. He also completed an internship and residency in ophthalmology in Chicago. After a two-year fellowship in cornea, external disease and refractive surgery at LSU in New Orleans, he moved to Harlingen in South Texas to start his practice.

Dr. Berkowitz attended the Basic Science Course at Harvard Medical School and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He is board certified and a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Dr. Berkowitz has practiced ophthalmology in Harlingen for 25 years. In the Rio Grande Valley, he was one of the first doctors to perform topical anesthesia, no-stitch cataract surgery, multifocal intraocular lens implants, Botox injections and refractive surgery. He has performed over 17,000 cataract, corneal and refractive surgical procedures since 1980, has performed LASIK since 1995, and he has been using multifocal intraocular lenses for over 10 years.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Berkowitz, please book an appointment online,  contact Howerton Eye Clinic, or call our Austin office at (512) 746-0046 today.

Dr. Alan Ruiz

Alan-headshot.jpgDr. Alan Ruiz joined the team at Howerton Eye Clinic in 2015. Raised in San Antonio, Texas, he graduated from St. Mary’s University with a degree in biology and a minor in chemistry. Dr. Ruiz then attended optometry school at Inter American University of Puerto Rico, where he received his Doctorate of Optometry Degree.

He is a Spanish-speaking, Texas-licensed, therapeutic optometrist who specializes in specialty contacts for highly irregularly-shaped corneas. His treatments often require rigid gas permeable, hybrid or scleral contacts.

When he’s not working, Dr. Ruiz enjoys watching movies, riding his bike, and attending live music shows.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Ruiz, please book an appointment online,  contact Howerton Eye Clinic, or call our Austin office at (512) 746-0046 today.

Dr. Bhumi Desai

bhumi.jpgDr. Bhumi Desai grew up in beautiful Colorado. She attended Colorado State University where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies. Subsequently, Dr. Desai attended Indiana University where she received her Doctor of Optometry degree. During this time, she completed several internships including ones at the Quantico Navy Base in Virginia and EyeCare Consultants in Evansville, Indiana. In her free time, Dr. Desai enjoys photography, travel, exploring new restaurants, and spending time with her wonderful husband, Robbie.