Real vision

Clyde Bell, CEO, Cincinnati Eye Institute

Having spent more than 60 years growing its presence in the community, Cincinnati Eye Institute is now the largest private ophthalmology practice in the U.S. and employs more than 300 professional staff and 50 doctors. Let by CEO Clyde Bell, it provides care for more than 100,000 patients each year.

Yet the way that CEI gives back to its community is hardly limited to the care it provides to patients of its practice. Outside of the day-to-day running of the organization, doctors and staff of CEI offer their time, money and talents to help others. Many CEI doctors and staff serve on the boards of nonprofit organizations in their free time. The practice not only supports this participation but also allows employees to earn “CEI” points for their community involvement efforts, which are redeemable for prizes.

In 2006, CEI created its nonprofit charitable organization, The Cincinnati Eye Institute Foundation, as a means of strategically addressing the eye care needs of the community with the mission “to preserve and improve sight.” In addition to the $70,000 in cash donations and sponsorship dollars CEI has given to charitable organizations over the past five years, it also allocates $175,000 annually in cash and donated services to support the foundation’s operations and initiatives.

Foundation initiatives include The Dr. Richard S. Kerstine Vision Outreach Program, which provides education about eye disease in the community, and OneSight, the country’s first free eye clinic in a school-based health center. In January 2008, it also launched the region’s first free eye care clinic. The Roselawn Eye Clinic was created with the goal of treating patients who need eye care but are poor and uninsured. The majority of the clinic’s volunteering doctors, technicians, receptionists and staff are CEI employees, who have given more than 3,285 hours of time and provided more than half a million dollars of free eye care.

How to reach: Cincinnati Eye Institute, (513) 984-5133 or