Photo of Fred Neurohr

August 24, 2020

For the last year, Fred Neurohr has served as the Program Coordinator for the Pediatric Low Vision Clinic at Clovernook Center in partnership with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

He will tell you his time in this role has been the best of his career – which included stretches at Anthem, EyeMed, and the famous Publishers Clearing House. His work with young people with visual impairment requires him to use a wide variety of his research, communications, and strategic planning skills to make a positive impact in our community.

“No two days are alike, ever and that’s appealing to me,” Fred said. He is also visually impaired, so he can relate well to the kids he sees daily.

“I was one of those amblyopic kids who fell through the cracks and eventually lost central vision in my left eye. Patching and a couple of surgeries failed to fix the problem, but I still have peripheral vision in that eye,” said Fred. “When I think about it, the only things it really prevented me from doing was seeing old 3-D movies and playing the outfield for my New York Mets.”

Patients will know Fred for his humor, but also for his drive to help young people with uncorrectable visual impairments. He has screened thousands of Cincinnati Public School students for vision problems, as well as children in East Baton Rouge, Louisiana in previous roles.

Fred says his favorite thing about his work with Clovernook Center’s Pediatric Low Vision Clinic is meeting so many great kids and their families.

“The kiddos are just so terrific – I get the chance to know some of them and the amazing people in their circles,” he said.

Right before the pandemic hit, Fred coordinated a trip to Perfect North Slopes in Indiana, and a dozen children with visual impairment got specialized instruction on how to ski.

Braille letter that reads "Hi Fred and my ski team, Thank you for teaching me how to ski. I loved learning something new. It was fun! Hope to see you on the slopes soon. Love, Katherine.“They came in like nervous Nellies and left like little Suzy Chapsticks!” Fred says in his Brooklyn accent. “It’s unbelievable what these kids did and I tell them that I’m not brave enough to do what they accomplished that day, and they just light up with confidence and joy.”

Speaking of COVID-related restrictions, the pandemic has given him and his team a lot of time to plan new opportunities for when things truly open up again. This includes more of Clovernook Center’s Adaptive Sports programing like rock climbing, showdown tournaments, non-contact boxing, Goalball, Beep Baseball and Kickball.

Selfie photo of Fred standing in front of the Procter CenterIn addition to planning post-COVID Adaptive Sports programming, Fred is continuing to coordinate the Pediatric Low Vision Clinic at Clovernook Center.

“Unfortunately, there is a large demand for these services,” he says. “It’s reflected in the program’s growth – thanks to our school liaison who breaks down the silos, we can directly communicate our patients’ needs with teachers and administrators to improve the kids’ school experience.”

With that comes the need for more follow-ups as children get older. “Kids have life-stages too,” Fred points out. “What they were able to do changes and, let’s face it, as they go through school, the print gets smaller, workload increases, sports get faster, arts become finer. We have to help our children not just keep up, but to thrive.”

Fred also used his work-from-home time to analyze the number of young people with low vision in the Cincinnati area (a number that’s difficult to derive). Preliminary findings show there’s likely about 7,000 kids with trouble seeing even with glasses or contacts in the Cincinnati metro area, and it could be almost double that.

A native of the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn & Queens, Fred holds a Master’s of Applied Social Research from Hunter College of the City University of New York and relocated to Cincinnati in 2003. Fred lives in Northside with his wife Liz and his two children, Abby and Joey.

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