November 22, 2021
When you meet Dr. Sarah Lopper, you are immediately drawn to her warm smile and calm, gentle nature. “My mother always knew that I would work with children, but it took a while before I realized where that path would take me!”
It wasn’t until completing her graduate degree at The Ohio State University College of Optometry and working on her ocular disease residency at Cincinnati Eye Institute that Sarah found her real passion:
helping children with vision impairment. “For a child with low vision, this is where you can make a really big difference in their quality of life.”
Sarah has been treating children with eye disorders at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center since 2001. In 2019 she joined a remarkable team in the hospital’s Vision
Rehabilitation Program that is part of a bold initiative between Clovernook Center and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. “This initiative is truly transforming eye care for children with low vision and I’m so excited to be part of it.”
Children with low vision face a wide range of challenges in school and at home. Overcoming these challenges involves accessing a number of specialized services. That’s why the Clovernook/Children’s Hospital team includes a pediatric eye specialist, a teacher of the visually impaired, an orientation and mobility instructor, and an occupational therapist.
At their appointment, each child receives a medical eye examination, a full clinical low vision evaluation, and hands-on instruction with optical and assistive technology. A multi-disciplinary team of specialists consults with the parents as well as the child. After the appointment, the child receives comprehensive ongoing support, mentoring, and assistance in their home, school, and community settings.
“One 14-year old boy with progressive retinal disease had lost hope. We found a telescope and near magnifier that immediately helped him see better. We also introduced him to an adult with low vision who is a bioptic driver. He was so excited to talk with her! As his mother watched, I saw tears come to her eyes. It was the first time she had seen him smile since he was diagnosed.
Sarah also served on Clovernook Center’s Board of Trustees for 5 years. “Her insights and perspective were invaluable to us,” says President/CEO Chris Faust.
“Clovernook Center is a great organization,” says Sarah. “I’m proud to be part of it. From the moment you walk through the door, it feels great! You can sense that everyone at Clovernook cares. It’s part of the culture. So often in life, it’s the small things that matter, and every little piece I can do to help children with visual impairment live life to the fullest really makes a difference.”
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