By Bonnie Adams, Government Editor
Westborough – As a student going through the Westborough Public Schools, Dr. Jeffrey Lucash Cohn was always eager to participate in opportunities that allowed him to help others. Now, even though it has been nearly a decade since he graduated from Westborough High School, Jeff is still helping others, especially children, through his work as an optometrist.
In some ways, Jeff acknowledges, it is not surprising he is an optometrist – he is employed in the business, Auburn Westboro Eye Associates, which was started by his parents Dr. Suzanne Lucash and Dr. Michael Cohn. But it was not his first choice.
“I actually was originally thinking of studying advertising,” he said.
But the strong desire to help others, fueled by a lifetime of doing so, drew him into the family practice, he said.
“I thought it was a great way that I could really help people and make a difference, especially with kids,” he said.
Working with children has always been one of his passions. In high school he worked with the Special Olympics and later volunteered with the Boys & Girls Club of Boston.
Even throughout his college years, first at Skidmore College, where he received a bachelor's degree in business and then the New England College of Optometry, where he received his doctor of optometry degree in 2012, he still found time to help others. Tutoring people studying for their GEDs through a program at Longwood Hospital was especially rewarding, he said.
It's not all work for this young doctor however.? Music, theater and baseball have also been lifelong passions. As a student at the New England College of Optometry, he was thrilled, he said, when he was picked to accompany one of his professors who was hired by the Boston Red Sox to do screenings on new draft picks.
Now, as a practicing optometrist, Jeff is especially excited, he said, to work with his young patients.
“When they hear “eye doctor,” they think of someone in a white coat giving them a shot in the eye,” he said. “I like to make them feel safe and comfortable when they are here, and take away that fear.”
“Many times,” he added, “they don's even know they have a problem until I show them how much better they can be.”
Recently Jeff also met with the Westborough public schools to present an informal mini-seminar on preventive eye care and safety. Although legal and insurance requirements prevent him from examining the children in the schools, he said he was happy to share new information with the nurses.
“Sunlight is a big problem for kids – their eyes are so susceptible [to damage] all the way to the backs of their eyes,” he said. “The older you get, the less susceptible you get because your eyes aren's as clear. Everyone should wear sunglasses, especially kids.”
Jeff noted that he is thrilled to be working with his parents. He currently works with his mother two days a week in Westborough and three days with his father at their Auburn location.
“It's the absolute best thing that could happen,” Suzanne said of her son joining the family business. “We love having him work with us, and we are learning so much from him. His patients love him, too.”