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History of Kearney Eye Institute

Welcome to Kearney Eye Institute, P.C.! For over 50 years we have been specializing in medical and surgical care of eye disease and disorders. Our doctors’ years of medical training, experience, and continuing education ensure that you receive excellent, complete eye care in Kearney and many surrounding communities. Our services include cataract surgery, glaucoma treatment, macular degeneration care, routine vision exams, complex eye disease, fitting of contact lenses and eyeglasses. We participate with most insurance networks and vision plans.

While our main office is located in Kearney, NE, for the convenience of our patients we have satellite clinics located across the state in addition to performing surgery at other community hospitals. Find a location near you on our Locations page.

For more detailed information, please view more specific sections of this website or contact our office by calling 308.865.2760, toll free at 800.657.2112, or e-mailing


Royal Jester, M.D. came to Kearney in 1958 and later founded our practice. Dr. Jester opened Kearney Eye Associates in 1967 on Avenue A. In October 1995, Kearney Eye Associates became Kearney Eye Institute and moved to its current building on 39th Street in Kearney. Dr. Jester retired in 2002.  He was very active in the Kearney community until his death in 2018.

Steve Shefte, M.D., joined Kearney Eye in 1989 after spending eleven years at Midwest Eye Care in Omaha. Dr. Shefte graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Nebraska College of Medicine where he also performed his internship and residency. He was board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. Dr. Shefte and his wife, Patty, were instrumental in expanding the Eye Bank for cornea transplants in Greater Nebraska. He practiced at Kearney Eye until his death in March 1998.

your vision, our mission


(308) 865-2760


411 West 39th St
Kearney, NE 68845


Mon-Fri: 8:00am-5:00pm
Sat-Sun: Closed
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