COVID Update:  Masks are optional at the practice.  We ask that anyone needing an eye exam make an appointment.  You do not need an appointment to view our optical.  Come in and browse our inventory of frames or get repairs.  We look forward to seeing you soon!

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Doctors & Staff

Meet the experienced and friendly doctors and staff who make James R. Vitale, OD the leading provider of vision care products and services in Plaistow.

James R. Vitale, O.D.

Dr. Vitale was Plaistow’s first optometrist. Established in 1978, Dr. Vitale graduated from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in Philadelphia, PA. His college education included a B.A. in Psychology from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. Prior to college, Dr. Vitale graduated from St. John’s Preparatory School in Danvers, Massachusetts. His professional awards and positions include past President of the New Hampshire Board of Examiners, Vice President of the Northeast Regional Board of Examiners in Optometry. Dr. Vitale regularly participates now as a clinical faculty at the National Board of Examiners in Optometry. As a student at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, Dr. Vitale worked as a service representative for Bausch and Lomb Contact Lens Company when they introduced the “new” soft contact lenses.

Dr. Vitale is certified therapeutically to treat all eye diseases affecting the external parts of the eye and eyelids. He will co-manage with an ophthalmologist serious internal eye diseases such as macular degeneration, retinal detachments, and cataracts.

Dr. Vitale enjoys community volunteering, and is a member of the Plaistow Lions Club, serving for many years on their Board of Directors and as President of the club in 1988. He also is an avid runner, has been the Plaistow Old Home Day Road Race Director for 25 years, and has completed over 50 marathons, including Boston, New York, Chicago and Marine Corps. Leisure time is spent off the Maine coast sailing his Catalina sloop “Seaglass” with his wife and office manager, Betty.

James R. Belanger, O.D., M.S., F.A.A.O.

Diplomate, American Board of Optometry

Dr. Belanger grew up in Milan, NH, located just north of the White Mountains. He attended the University of New Hampshire in Durham. He earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in May of 1994 and Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering in May of 2001. He then worked in research and development as a project engineer for nine years and has been granted 15 U.S. patents. Dr. Jamie attended the New England College of Optometry and earned his Doctor of Optometry degree in 2007. He completed a residency program in ocular disease and primary eye care at the Veteran’s Administration Health Center in Boston, Massachusetts from 2007 to 2008. In 2011 he was awarded fellowship status in the American Academy of Optometry. In early 2013 he earned board certification with the American Board of Optometry. Dr. Jamie served as Vice President of the New Hampshire Optometric Association in 2012 and president-elect in 2013.

Dr. Jamie enjoys spending time with his wife Heather, and is very proud of their son, Austin. In his personal time, he enjoys scuba diving, is a former snowboard instructor, and has a private pilot license of single engine airplanes.

Craig Hartenstein, O.D.

Dr. Hartenstein grew up in Hampton Falls, NH, with his older brother and his parents, both of whom are Optometrists. Following his graduation from Winnacunnet High School, he attended Wake Forest University, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in biology in 2013. He then attended the New England College of Optometry (NECO) in Boston. During his time at NECO, he was a four-year member of the Beta Sigma Kappa Optometric Honor Society and completed training rotations at East Boston Community Health Center, Boston Medical Center, and the Manchester Veterans Affair Medical Center. He received his Doctorate of Optometry upon his graduation in May 2017 and joined Dr. Vitale’s practice in July of that same year. He is a member of the American and New Hampshire Optometric Associations. In his free time, Dr. Hartenstein enjoys spending time with his friends and family, golfing, and playing music in a band with his long-time friends.

Betty Vitale – Office Manager

Betty can help you with all your questions about insurance, third party payment plans, and office policy. Educated at the Katherine Gibbs School in Boston, Betty has assisted at the office since 1986. She is a certified New Hampshire Ophthalmic Dispenser and maintains harmony in the front office. Married to Dr. Vitale, Betty is a member of the White Mountain Decorative Painters Guild and enjoys decorative painting. Her favorite vacation includes sailing in Maine and in the Carribean Islands.

Our Opticians,  Jamie Vitale, ABOC, utilize the latest in “pattern-less” edging, and can help you with your eyewear selection.

Our Front office staff: Tammy and Sue will set you up with appointments and assist with your visit.