World-Class Eye Care with a Personal Touch

Photo by Daniel Smyth

Cincinnati Eye Institute provides world-class eye care in a compassionate and highly effective manner. Their cutting-edge technology, talented doctors and intuitive administration staff keep the organization a success. 

As one of the largest private ophthalmology practices in the country, Cincinnati Eye Institute (CEI) has provided excellent medical and surgical care for patients throughout the past 70 years. Its main campus, located in Blue Ash, offers an extensive list of services performed by CEI’s team of 61 doctors. 

“We’re highly-organized and have a gifted administrative team,” says Robert Foster, MD, and chairman of the board of directors at CEI. “We look forward to being able to adapt to any challenges that come our way.” The physicians at CEI are internationally known as pioneers in their respective ophthalmic subspecialties and receive referrals from all over the world. 

One of the aspects that sets CEI apart is theirAmbulatory Surgery Center (ASC). Having the ASC on campus allows CEI to provide outstanding value and efficiency, not only for their patients, but also for employers and insurance companies. The ASC is equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment for performing any type of eye procedure, including those requiring general anesthesia. 

Dr. Foster describes how, while he was on call one weekend, five patients came in with detached retinas. “The ASC was open on this particular Saturday and we were able to promptly take care of those patients in CEI’s operating room without delay. Being able to repair five detachments on a weekend in an ASC setting was fantastic for our patients requiring prompt surgery. I can’t imagine trying to tackle a challenge of that scale without having a system like ours available.” 

Their system also helps in other challenging situations. In the case of a difficult patient consultation, Dr. Foster notes that he has a large team of doctors he can turn to for additional expertise. “Many problems span multiple eye specialties and it’s important to have that support of information and ideas.” 

The future of CEI is bright, with the recently announced expansion and relocation of their Middletown office, to the Atrium Medical Center campus. “We value our relationship with all of the regional healthcare systems,” says Dr. Foster. He also identified the Academic Services Agreement with the University of Cincinnati’s College of Medicine as a distinguishing feature of CEI’s group. “That teaching and education agreement formalizes what we’ve always done informally, as our group’s commitment to education, teaching and research,” says Dr. Foster, noting plans for an increased presence on the UC campus as well. 

CEI has also teamed up with three groups: Dayton Eye Associates, Retina Physicians & Surgeons of Dayton and Retina Associates of Kentucky. Together, they formed Northmark Medical Management to consolidate business operations. “We’re hoping this allows us to be more nimble and efficient with the business services we provide,” says Dr. Foster. “Our hope is that the founding groups of our MSO will be able to share administrative expertise with other potentially interested groups, small or large, and we’re very excited by the opportunity.” 

This high level of care is bolstered by a sophisticated flow tracking system of patients, which allows CEI to know exactly where the patients are and how much time they spend waiting. The ability to see patients in real time gives staff at CEI the opportunity to quickly model templates and flow and correct any problems in order for patients to be seen more efficiently. 

In addition to providing excellent care to patients at their campuses, CEI also gives back to the community in a number of ways. The Cincinnati Eye Institute Foundation, founded in 2006, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving vision health for the Cincinnati region. The Roselawn Eye Clinic, the first charitable eye clinic in the TriState, was created in 2008 by The Foundation. It provides comprehensive eye examinations to uninsured low-income adults. Another clinic was recently opened at St. Vincent de Paul’s Liz Carter Outreach Center, where eye examinations are available and patients in need of eyeglasses are given vouchers to redeem at participating optical stores. 

The Foundation also opened the vision center at Oyler School on the lower west end. It’s the first in the nation to offer full eye exams and eyewear to students and their families who meet the established criteria. The space and maintenance for the vision center were donated by the Oyler School, with the Cincinnati Health Department on board to oversee the center’s daily operations. The Ohio Optometric Association, American Optometric Association, Cincinnati Eye Institute and The CEI Foundation provided expertise, guidance and funding. Growing Well Cincinnati and Cincinnati Public Schools provided support and counsel. OneSight, a leading global vision care charity sponsored by Luxottica, supplied all exam equipment, eyewear, operational expertise and start-up funding to support the vision center staff.  

Furthermore, The Foundation is heavily involved with educating the public on the topics of eye care and disease management. Education is strengthened by CEI providing additional funding for the University of
Cincinnati’s ophthalmology residency program.   

Dr. Foster describes the philosophy of CEI as a patient-centered group. “Our vision is to enhance the quality of our patients’ lives and we’re passionate in being able to provide the highest level of eye care. All of our decisions always come back to what is best for the patient. That’s part of the challenge of a large organization – how do you give a personal touch in a high-tech, high-volume environment? That’s something we’re very attuned to, maintaining that soft touch.”


Among the specialties at CEI:

  • Anterior Segment Reconstruction 
  • Custom Cataract Procedures 
  • Comprehensive Ophthalmology
  • Cornea and External Disease/Refractive Surgery 
  • Glaucoma 
  • Neuro-Ophthalmology 
  • Ocular Oncology
  • Ophthalmic Plastic Reconstructive Surgery
  • Orbital and Cosmetic Surgery
  • Urgent Eye Services
  • Visian ICL
  • Vitreoretinal Surgery 


Cincinnati Eye Institute’s main campus is located at 1945 CEI Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45242. You can reach them at 513.984.5133 or visit their website at For more information about the Cincinnati Eye Institute Foundation, call 866.466.2343 or visit