Dr. Fred Klingbeil to Retire December 2024

Receives Spirit of ChildServe award in celebration of his impact

After 33 years in the field of pediatric rehabilitation, ChildServe‘s beloved pediatric physiatrist, Dr. Fred Klingbeil, will be moving on to a well-deserved retirement in December 2024. In recognition of the last ten years of his career spent changing the lives of children with special healthcare needs in Iowa, Dr. Fred has received one of ChildServe‘s most prestigious awards – the Spirit of ChildServe award.

Dr. Fred, as he is affectionately known, came to ChildServe in 2014 to serve as medical director of pediatric rehabilitation at several hospitals and clinics in the Des Moines area. His clinical expertise and willingness to collaborate have been a game changer for children and young adults with rehabilitation needs across the state.  

“Throughout his tenure at ChildServe, Dr. Fred made an impact far beyond the clinical expertise he is so well known for,” said Dr. Teri Wahlig, ChildServe CEO. “Dr. Fred truly believes in the spirit of each child he works with, and he uses that belief to bring comfort, build confidence, and inspire hope for the future. In honor of his dedicated service, exceptional work as a provider, and passion for helping children with special healthcare needs live a great life, we are pleased to recognize Dr. Fred with the Spirit of ChildServe award.” 

For Dr. Fred, looking back on his career at ChildServe brings up many memories worth celebrating.

“Ensuring families have the supports they need to be successful in their child’s continued development, no matter what that path may look like, has brought me great joy,” Dr. Fred said. “It has been my distinct pleasure and privilege to serve the families at ChildServe and be part of a wonderful team. I will be forever grateful for the relationships I have formed and the trust families have placed in me.”


ChildServe kid, Rylie, poses with Dr. Fred Klingbeil as he receives the Spirit of ChildServe award. 

Celebrating Dr. Fred Klingbeil

Looking to say “Thank you” to Dr. Fred for making an impact on your family? Submit thank you messages or stories of impact to communications@childserve.org by Oct. 1, 2024. Our team will pass them along in a retirement gift to Dr. Fred at the end of the year.

Welcoming Dr. Rachel Blankenship

After a national search, we are thrilled to welcome Dr. Rachel Blankenship as Dr. Fred Klingbeil’s successor. Learn more about the Des Moines native returning to the area to help bring our mission to life! 


ChildServe improves the health and well-being of nearly 5,800 children each year through specialized clinical, home, and community-based programs and services. We serve children with developmental delays, disabilities, injuries, and other special healthcare needs.

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