2016 Leonard Heise Award Press Release



For Immediate Release

For More Information, Contact:
Trish Hardy, Manager of Communications
202-775-4999 x118; trish@restoresight.org

Bernie Iliakis Receives 2016 Leonard Heise Award

ST. LOUIS, MO — The Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA) presented the 2016 Leonard Heise Award to Bernie Iliakis, MHA, CEBT, on Friday, June 10, 2016, during the EBAA Annual Meeting in St. Louis, MO.

The Leonard Heise Award is presented to a non-physician individual within the eye banking community recognized for his or her outstanding devotion to the EBAA’s development and for exemplifying the precepts of Leonard Heise, a major contributor to the fight against blindness and one of the EBAA’s founders.

Mr. Iliakis began his extensive career in eye banking over 20 years ago, when he joined the Northwest Lions Eye Bank (now SightLife) staff in 1995 as an eye bank technician. He acquired Certified Eye Bank Technician (CEBT) status in 1996, and went on to serve as SightLife’s Technical Director before taking on his current role as Chief Operating Officer in 2003.

As a dedicated volunteer on various EBAA boards and committees, Mr. Iliakis currently shares his expertise through service on the Accreditation and Medical Advisory Boards, and as a Chair-appointed member of the EBAA Board of Directors.

Beyond the borders of the U.S., he has consistently influenced eye banking and research education through teaching and presenting at conferences and meetings for organizations such as the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology and Global Alliance of Eye Bank Associations.

Mr. Iliakis has co-authored various articles and abstracts on corneal techniques, research and transplantation-related topics, which were published in Cornea, the American Journal of Ophthalmology, and the Association of Research in Vision and Ophthalmology’s abstract program.

The Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA), established in 1961, is the oldest transplant association in the nation. EBAA sets standards, provides education, and engages in advocacy to support donation, transplantation and research. Its 80+ member eye banks operate in the United States, Canada and Asia. These eye banks made possible more than 79,000 sight-restoring corneal transplants in 2015. Compatible corneal tissue is not dependent on blood type, age, eyesight strength or eye color. To learn more, visit www.restoresight.org.