OHNC: Rush print ad redevelopment


Introduction: OHNC, Dr. Neubauer and HBOT

Neubauer2The Ocean Hyperbaric Neurologic Center (OHNC) is a South Florida medical facility that uses hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) to treat severe neurological injuries, such as Cerebral Palsy, birth defects, near-drownings, stroke, and traumas.

Richard Neubauer M.D. (1922-2007), who founded the OHNC and acted as its Medical Director for thirty-five years, is considered the “father” of HBOT for neurological rehabilitation.  He earned a worldwide reputation for integrity and scientific rigor.

Here is an excellent ten minute video introduction to Dr. Neubauer and his pioneering use of HBOT, “The Recoverable Brain” (Parts 2 & 3 are located here and here).

Project background

The first task Dr. Neubauer assigned to me, after recognizing my skills in copy writing and page layout, was to recreate, on a rush basis (in less than three days), a half-page print ad that the OHNC had developed internally.  The purpose of the ad was to promote a September 1999 symposium that Dr. Neubauer was organizing, entitled “Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Cerebral Palsy and the Brain-Injured Child.”

The largest publication the ad appeared in was Exceptional Parent.

The old ad

Below is the ad that the OHNC and placed in the May 1999 edition of Exceptional Parent (detail):

I gave Dr. Neubauer my unvarnished assessment of this ad:

  • It was hideously designed, and practically illegible.
  • It was disrespectful to the parents of brain-injured children (the target market), and to any potential allied medical professionals.
  • It was a huge waste of money, given that he paid for a full-color placement to achieve these results.

As Dr. Neubauer acknowledged, this was another outgrowth of the big mistake he’d made* in entrusting the creation of OHNC’s promotional media outside of his immediate supervision, by internal resources who were clearly inept in this area.  (*The other mistakes being the OHNC’s patient documentary videos, and its website.)

He asked me if I could rewrite and redesign the ad, and submit the new artwork to Exceptional Parent – within three days, in time for the deadline for its next issue.  I said I would.

The ad that I created – in less than 3 days

I strongly believed that the ad should be as information-packed as possible, but be bright, clear and organized to facilitate easy “navigation” of content.  This was the result (detail):

Dr. Neubauer was thrilled with this ad, and began to enlist me on more and OHNC’s projects.

The following is an excerpt of the letter of recommendation that Dr. Neubauer wrote for me, shortly before he I relocated from South Florida to Charlottesville, VA:

“When I retained Jon, I had high hopes, but no expectations. Until that time, OHNC had been ill-served by its public relations and creative/media consultants. I feel this was primarily due to their inability to immerse themselves in and appreciate HBOT technology, the dire need for it to become a widely-available option in neurological rehabilitation, and the subtle nuances that an endeavor as challenging as ours necessitates. […]

“Jon has proven to be an exceptionally valuable, multi-talented asset to OHNC in our global marketing and informational campaigns.”

– Richard A. Neubauer, M.D., Medical Director, Ocean Hyperbaric-Neurologic Center, December 14, 2002

Other media work I performed for Dr. Neubauer

As Dr. Neubauer indicated, he applied my creative skills to a variety of other media tasks. Ultimately, I performed media consulting work for Dr. Neubauer on an as-needed basis, from 1999-2002. Highlights of this work include:

  • HBO2largeDevelopment of a logo icon to represent the scientific acronym for hyperbaric oxygen: “HBO2″.
  • Development of a graphic identity for “Neuro2,” a first-ever international symposium that Dr. Neubauer was organizing on HBOT for neurorehabilitation.
  • Deconstructing and redesigning the architectural structure of the OHNC’s website, and rewriting all of its key copy.
  • Deconstructing the OHNC’s existing patient case study videos, then reconstructing them from the ground up.

I consider it one of the great honors of my career to have had the opportunity to help advance Dr. Neubauer’s remarkable work, and to be able to call him a dear friend.

With Dr. Neubauer and his wife, Wink, at a healthcare-related festival that my magazine co-sponsored in Ft. Lauderdale, FL in 2000.


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