April 2019 Issue of Insight


Looking Forward: A Note from the CEO

EBAA Position Paper
On Tuesday, EBAA distributed to all eye bank CEOs a position paper addressing certain tissue acquisition strategies employed by some eye banks, along with the responses employed by other eye banks. As stated in the position paper, we are opposed to any effort to interfere with a hospital’s ability to determine the recovery partners with which it works.

Most eye bank-OPO relationships are strong and mutually supportive, and we celebrate the collaboration that facilitates organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation to transform lives. We hope our position paper fosters positive engagement among all recovery partners. The position paper can be found on eyeLEARN.

House of Delegates News
EBAA’s House of Delegates will meet in eight weeks; when it does, delegates will select three individuals from a pool of seven candidates to serve two-year terms as At-Large members of the Board of Directors. Those candidates are:

Alan Blake, CEBT, CTBS
Alabama Eye Bank
Chris Stoeger, MBA, CEBT, CTBS
Lions VisionGift
Chris Hanna, MBA, CEBT
Utah Lions Eye Bank
Alan Taylor
Donor Network of Arizona
Stephen Kaufman, MD, PhD
Lions Gift of Sight
Megan Young
San Diego Eye Bank
Shahzad Mian, MD

The candidates’ biographies, personal statements and endorsement letters will be posted to our website by April 22. Please review these materials as you prepare for our Annual Meeting. We updated our governance structure last year, and as a result, the composition of the Board is more important than ever to EBAA’s smooth functioning and long-term perspective.

Virtual Town Hall Meeting
Also, in anticipation of the upcoming House of Delegates meeting, Speaker of the House, Dave Korroch will host a virtual Town Hall meeting on Tuesday, April 16 at 2:00 – 3:00 pm Eastern. Dave will update members about developments within the Board and the profession and will invite feedback and suggestions from call participants.

While the call is free, we ask members to register so we can secure a sufficient number of phone lines. This call will be recorded and posted to our website for those who can’t join us live.

Even More Access
As CEO, I try to spend as much of my time as possible in contact with our members so I understand their needs and perspectives. Unfortunately, hectic schedules (both yours and mine) and the constant demands of the daily workload (again, both yours and mine) create distractions that interfere with my time talking with our members.

Therefore, I will begin setting aside two-hour blocks of time during which members can schedule 15-minute conversations with me to discuss any questions, concerns or ideas you might have. This will give me an uninterrupted period of time to focus on your feedback and to talk about issues of concern. The first set of calls will be scheduled on Monday, April 22, from 2:00 – 4:00 pm Eastern. Please click here to schedule a time to talk.
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2019 EBAA Annual Meeting: It’s Going to Be a Hot One!

We are referring to the content, obviously! With presentations on the latest developments and research in eye banking, a session on whole eye transplantation, demonstrations of the newest products and services available to eye bank professionals, exemplary professional development and a Wild West evening in the desert, 2019 EBAA Annual Meeting will be one you will not want to miss!

The updated schedule of events now features session titles as well as the line-up for the Scientific Symposium. Highlights from the hottest of meeting of the year for eye bank professionals include:

New Attendee Coffee (Wednesday, June 5)
If you are a new attendee, join us for coffee, some information about the association and the meeting, and to meet others before the meeting begins!

Welcome Reception (Wednesday, June 5)
End the first day getting to know the exhibitors and your colleagues with a complimentary welcome reception in the exhibit hall.

Concurrent Sessions (Thursday, June 6 and Friday, June 7)
This year we have more concurrent sessions, giving everyone more options and opportunities to learn. Whether you want to learn about processing, donor development tools, establishing a culture of QA, distribution, research, legal advice, or leadership skills, we have a session for you!

A Wild West Evening in Copper Canyon – Sponsored by Medline (Thursday, June 6)
Grab your hats and boots and join us for a wild time that will include food, drinks, and games like Blackjack, Horseshoe, and more!

Keynote Presentation (Friday, June 7)
Kia Washington, MD, FACS, will discuss her latest research and future out of whole eye transplantation during the Keynote presentation, Second Sight: A Comprehensive Approach to Whole Eye Transplantation

Medical Advisory Board Meeting (Friday, June 7)
Be in the room where it happens! The Medical Advisory Board will meet to discuss suggested changes to the Medical Standards, issues concerning eye banking, and updates of various EBAA committees.

Annual Dinner and Awards Presentation (Friday, June 7)
Join us for the Annual Dinner where we will honor Mark Soper, CEBT, CTBS, with the 2019 Leonard Heise Award and the recipients of the Gift of Sight and Crystal Cornea Awards. Admission is included with meeting registration.

Join leaders in the eye banking and ophthalmic communities for the eye banking event of the year and register today!

Scientific Symposium(Saturday)
Presentation titles for the 2019 Scientific Symposium have been released and features the presentation of 14 scientific abstracts, and an invited session by Dr. R. Doyle Stulting on Corneal Collagen Crosslinking. Stay on top of the latest research and be sure to attend!

Exhibitor Registration Open
Exhibitor registration for the 2019 Annual Meeting is still open! Exhibiting companies will have the opportunity to share their latest products and services with experts in the eye bank profession during dedicated exhibit hall hours, multiple meal events, and a welcome reception on the first evening. Exhibitors pick the location of their exhibit in the order in which they register, and the exhibit hall typically sells out.  If you are thinking about joining us, we encourage you to register today.

For more information, to view Exhibit Hall hours, or to register to exhibit, please visit the Exhibitor Information page.

Sponsorship Opportunities Available
Sponsorship opportunities for the 2019 EBAA Annual Meeting are available. EBAA has developed a range of sponsorship packages to help you communicate the benefits of your products and services to the conference attendees.

For more information on the sponsorship items available and the associated benefits, please visit the Sponsorship Opportunities page.

Purchase 2019 Heise Award Program Congratulatory Messages by April 15
Join the EBAA in honoring 2019 Leonard Heise Award Recipient, Mark Soper!

EBAA will include congratulatory messages in the awards program, which will be distributed during the Annual Dinner on June 7.  Each message can include a maximum of 35 words and an organization logo.

All messages must be purchased, and materials submitted by April 15 to be included in the program.

Purchase a Heise Award Message for Mark, today!

Volunteer to Scan Badges at 2019 Annual Meeting
EBAA is looking for volunteers to scan name badges during the 2019 Annual Meeting. This is a great opportunity for individuals to meet other attendees. If you are interested in this opportunity, visit the volunteer page for more information and to sign-up as a volunteer.
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Legislative and Regulatory Update

2018 Statistical Report – Now Available

The 2018 Eye Banking Statistical Report is now available and can be accessed in the members’ section of our website. Since 1961, member eye banks have provided tissue for over 1,954,600 sight-restoring transplants!

U.S. eye banks reported 133,576 total tissue recoveries from 68,102 donors in 2018. Although these numbers decreased slightly from 2017, the transplant rate increased from 68.3% in 2017 to 69.4% in 2018, which indicates better efficiencies by U.S. eye banks. For the fifth year in a row, more cornea donors (58.2%) were listed on a donor registry than not.

Here is a sneak peek at a few key stats from U.S. Eye Banks for 2018:

  • Total Donors: 68,102
  • Total eyes and corneas donated: 133,576
  • Total Corneal Grafts: 85,441
  • Domestic Transplants (intermediate-term preserved corneas): 51,294
  • International Transplants (intermediate-term preserved corneas): 27,913
  • Long-term Preserved Corneas: 6,263


The Medical Advisory Board (MAB) and Accreditation Board (AB) have opened a call for agenda items for the 2019 EBAA Annual Meeting.  Guidelines for item submission can be found below.

Medical Advisory Board
Guidelines for submitting MAB agenda items:

  • All items must be submitted in writing to the Chair and Secretary of the MAB (Jennifer Li, MD, and Eric Meinecke), no later than Friday, April 26, 2019.
  • Items submitted after the cut-off date will be deferred until the next meeting unless an exception is granted by the Chair.
  • Any recommended change to the Medical Standards must be accompanied by a draft of the new wording for the standard in question.
  • Introduction of additional items during the MAB meeting must be accompanied by a draft of the new wording for the standard in question and submitted to the Chair for review.

Accreditation Board
Guidelines for Submitting AB Agenda Items:

  • All items must be submitted in writing to the Accreditation Board Co-Chairs (Chris Stoeger and Christopher Ketcherside, MD), no later than Friday, May 10, 2019.
  • Items submitted after the cut-off date will be deferred until the next meeting unless an exception is granted by the Co-chairs.

If you have any questions about submitting agenda items for MAB or AB, please contact Jennifer DeMatteo.


EBAA reported on recent legislative and regulatory developments in the April 2, issue of Focal Point, the association’s bi-weekly advocacy and legislative update.

For past issues, please visit the archive in the “Members Only” section of the website.
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Educational Programs, Events, and Seminars


Applications for the EBAA Networking Grant are due on Monday! Apply today for a chance to secure $1,500 to visit and collaborate with another eye bank on a project of interest to the eye banking community. EBAA encourages members to take advantage of this special grant opportunity to work with others in the association. Applications are due April 15. For more information and to apply, click here.

Cornea and Eye Banking Forum: Call for Abstracts Now Open!

EBAA and the Cornea Society are excited to announce that the call for abstracts for the Cornea and Eye Banking Forum is now open. The Cornea and Eye Banking Forum, jointly hosted by both organizations, will take place on October 11 at the Palace Hotel San Francisco, and will feature the following:

  • The presentation of over 25 scientific abstracts
  • Two 30-minute symposia for topic-specific invited talks
  • Two award lectures: the Paton Lecture and the Troutman Prize Lecture
  • Four award presentations

Each year this event continues to be a favorite among corneal surgeons and eye bankers because of the new research and information that is presented.

Be part of the cornea and eye banking event of the year and submit an abstract for presentation consideration and register to attend today. The deadline for abstract submissions is August 2. Please note registration will open soon. For information about abstract submission, visit the Cornea and Eye Banking Forum site.


Are you still unclear about what eyeLEARN is and how it can be an on-demand resource to you and your staff?

Last week, EBAA hosted the informational webinar, “eyeLEARN: A Guide to Navigating EBAA’s Online Education Portal” to explain how to navigate the platform, how to purchase and attend sessions, and discuss some of our most frequently asked questions regarding the site. If you missed the session, view it for free on eyeLEARN to learn more about all that eyeLEARN can offer you and your staff!

There are also a wide variety of new on-demand sessions available on eyeLEARN. If you missed an EBAA webinar – check out the list of recently added sessions below:

Start your online learning adventure with eyeLEARN today!
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Virginia’s thrilling win over Texas Tech has capped off one of the best NCAA tournaments ever but Jenni Cox of Saving Sight is going to be even more thrilled to hear that she is the winner of the 2019 EBAA March Madness Challenge.

Jenni will receive one free EBAA webinar for her organization.  Thank you everyone who joined in on the action and participated in this year’s challenge, we hope you will all join us next year.

Congratulations, Jenni!

Kevin Ross Retires from Eversight

On March 29, Kevin Ross retired as CEO of Eversight; Dave Bosch will assume his role on an interim basis while also serving as Eversight President.

Through more than 15 years of service to EBAA, Kevin served in almost every volunteer capacity available, including six years on the Board of Directors, eight years on the Finance Committee and twelve years on the MAB and its subcommittees.  Kevin was an incredible supporter of eye banking and of EBAA; we wish him well in his future endeavors.

2018 Eye Banking by the Numbers Infographic

A few statistics from the 2018 EBAA Statistical Report are highlighted in the 2018 Eye Banking by the Numbers Infographic which shows the impact that our members and their recovery and transplant partners have on individuals, families and communities; in the United States and around the world.

This infographic is available for download in PDF or Word format and can be customized for you to share with colleagues and other partners who want to understand corneal transplantation and the number of lives that are changed by the work you do for the profession.

EBAA STaff attend NIIOS-USA Symposium washington 2019

On Friday, March 29, Kevin Corcoran, President and CEO, Jennifer DeMatteo, Director of Regulations and Standards, and Stacey Gardner, Director of Education attended the NIIOS-USA Symposium Washington 2019 – Future of Ophthalmology: Disruptive Concepts to Cut Health Care Costs.

The event was held at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and featured an evening highlighted by an introduction from Dr. John Gottsch, of the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins and a musical performance by the Melles Classical Music Foundation (MCMF)-Peabody Chamber Orchestra led by conductor and cornea recipient, Martin Haunhorst.  The evening closed with a variety of informative lectures and presentations.

The event was the perfect way to inaugurate Amnitrans EyeBank Rotterdam’s (AER), part of NIIOS, new membership with EBAA.

This week is Volunteer Appreciation Week!

There are not enough words to describe how grateful the EBAA is for the dedication, compassion, and generosity of the individuals who have given of themselves to the Association.

EBAA volunteers serve the association in many capacities such as serving on Boards and committees, planning educational sessions and meetings, giving presentations, reviewing and selecting abstracts for presentations, grant proposals, and meetings, writing the CEBT exam, compiling and finalizing the Statistical Report, selecting scholarship and award recipients, assisting at meetings, and so much more!

We realize that your time is very valuable, and we are honored that you choose to share some of it, as well as your knowledge and expertise, with us and the entire membership.  We could not do the important work of restoring sight to thousands without our many volunteers.  Thank you, volunteers! You are the best!

Eye Bank News

Effective March 1, 2019, please note the change of governance and name changes for KeraLink eye banks as noted below:

  • CorneaGen – Baltimore / Medical Eye Bank of Maryland
  • CorneaGen – Boston
  • CorneaGen – Richmond
  • CorneaGen – Orlando / Medical Eye Bank of Florida
  • San Antonio Eye Bank / CorneaGen – San Antonio
  • New Mexico Lions Eye Bank / CorneaGen – Albuquerque

Upstate New York Transplant Services, Inc., has moved to 4444 Bryant and Stratton Way, Williamsville, NY 14221. The Eye Lab direct phone number is 716-529-4370.
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Upcoming Events

15th Annual FDA and the Changing Paradigm for HCT/P Regulation
April 23 – 24, 2019
Grand Hyatt Washington Hotel
Washington, DC

AATB 2019 Quality and Donor Eligibility Workshop
April 15 – April 17, 2019
St. Louis, MO

EBAA 2019 Annual Meeting
June 5 – 8, 2019
The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
Scottsdale, AZ

Save the Date
International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness’ (IAPB) 11th General Assembly (11GA)
October 12 – 14, 2020
Singapore, Thailand