February 2019 Issue of Insight


Looking Forward: Use Your Tools

In the past four weeks, EBAA has launched three new tools to help your eye bank succeed.

Community Non-Profit Eye Bank Campaign: Many eye banks struggle to clearly articulate their value to their surgeons, recovery hospitals, and other partners.  So, we created brochures and a video that will help jumpstart the conversation.

Ocular Network Exchange (ONE): Finding the ideal tissue for your surgeons, or the highest use for tissue you’ve recovered, is an eye bank’s greatest challenge.  ONE gives you immediate access to every EBAA-member eye bank in the country to quickly and easily share tissue.

EyeFind:  Tissue that’s not suitable for transplant can still help to restore sight through research or educational applications.  EyeFind, a collaborative initiative with ARVO, helps researchers connect with eye banks when they need tissue for projects and studies.

These resources were designed to help your eye bank operate more efficiently and to better serve all your partners – surgeons, researchers, recovery sites, and most importantly, donors.  But like the elliptical trainer in my bedroom, they don’t work if you only use them as a laundry hanger.

On the other hand, these aren’t plug-and-play solutions; they must be used creatively, changing your existing processes as you integrate them into the mix.  This may mean stepping outside of your comfort zone, perhaps to schedule meetings with your surgeons and other recovery partners to talk about how you’re currently working together and what you can do to provide new services or to improve on the ones you already offer.  Or it might mean rethinking not just where, but how and when (and why) your eye bank obtains and distributes corneal tissue for transplant and/or for research.

The cliché goes “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always got”, but that’s not true in eye banking’s new environment.  Lots of eye banks, of various sizes and circumstances, are doing new and innovative work, and they’re competing in ways we’ve not seen before.  So if you just do what you’ve always done, you’ll just get left behind.

These resources, plus others such as our Investment Advisor Program, our Casualty and Liability Insurance Program and our partnerships with Medline and other vendors, are designed to help your eye bank thrive.  So, please set aside some time to think about how you can put them to use.
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2019 EBAA Annual Meeting: Registration & Hotel Reservations are Open!

EBAA will be heading to Scottsdale, Arizona, this June for the 2019 EBAA Annual Meeting. The four day must-attend event of the year for individuals in the eye banking community will take place June 5-8 at the beautiful Fairmont Scottsdale Princess resort. The meeting will feature meaningful educational sessions, fun networking opportunities, an exhibit hall with the newest products developed for eye bank professionals, and much more. The planning process is well underway and we are excited to share a couple of meeting highlights with you at this time.

  • The keynote presentation will be delivered on Friday, June 7, by Dr. Kia Washington. In her presentation, “Whole Eye Transplantation: From Experimental Model to Clinical Reality,” Dr. Washington will discuss her current research on whole eye transplantation and future may hold for whole eye transplantation.
  • On Wednesday, there will be a special session, Media Training Intensive: Proven Tips and Techniques for Success. This will be a half-day program held prior to the official start of the meeting. A separate registration will be required.
  • We hope that all of the eye bankers and corneal surgeons who are in town for the meeting will join us for a fun-filled evening on Thursday, June 6, at the “Thursday Night Social: A Wild West Evening in Copper Canyon.” The event will be held at the resort’s western themed venue and will include dinner, drinks, and fun!
  • Sponsorship opportunities are available. If your organization is interested in becoming a sponsor of this year’s meeting, please check out the opportunities today.

For the most up to date schedule and registration information, please visit the Annual Meeting page. Don’t miss out on the meeting of the year; register today!
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Legislative and Regulatory Updates


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 February 5, issue of Focal Point, the association’s bi-weekly advocacy and legislative update.

To view that issue, please click here. For past issues, please visit the archive in the “Members Only” section of the website.
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Educational Programs, Seminars, and Events

EBAA’S Technician Education Seminar: An Annual Favorite Welcomes Many Changes…and Snow!

The EBAA Technician Education Seminar (TES) has long been a staple for eye bank technicians and new eye bank professionals and each year the faculty and EBAA staff work to strengthen and evolve the program. This year, the course received many updates that were a hit with the attendees!

The 2019 TES took place January 31 – February 2, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at the Gift of Life Institute, hosted by Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley. Although the temperature dropped to low numbers, the attendees were in great spirits and ready to learn. Even our West Coast attendees were pretty excited to see the snow falling outside!

For the first time ever, the course featured a combination of online and in-person sessions. Attendees were able to complete online courses prior to the seminar at their own pace and come to the in-person seminar with a base level of knowledge around certain topics. The in-person portion of the seminar was an intense three days filled with new components such as a dynamic case study discussion led by Dr. George Rosenwasser, recaps of the online sessions reviewing questions submitted prior to the seminar, a physical examination discussion with the use of mannequins, and more.

This year technicians had the opportunity to perform an in-situ recovery using whole eyes and mannequin heads, receive a deeper look at processing, listen to calls with donor family members, and get additional instruction on the slit lamp microscopes.

Attendees also had an opportunity to hear about both sides of the gift of sight by hearing from a donor family member and a cornea transplant recipient. At the beginning of seminar, Genevieve Casaceli, EBAA Education and Programs Manager, spoke about her father and the lasting legacy that he left behind as a cornea and tissue donor and how it inspired her to work for EBAA. At the end of the seminar, Brooke Halper, a cornea transplant recipient with Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley, shared her journey to receive the gift of sight in both eyes, and discussed how sight has given her freedom in what she is able to do and how she is able to live. Both speakers provided attendees with meaningful stories that highlight the importance of eye banking and each person’s role in the profession.

Thank you to the following organizations and individuals for helping to make the 2019 TES a success!

  • 2019 TES Faculty
    • George Rosenwasser, MD, CEBT, Gift of Life Donor Program Eye Bank
    • Ingrid Schunder, MBA, CEBT, Miracles in Sight
    • Josh Galloway, CEBT, Lions VisionGift
    • Sam Ramos, CEBT, CTBS, Sierra Donor Services Eye Bank
    • Troy Win’E, CEBT, SightLife
  • TES Host Eye Bank
    • Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley
  • Additional Meeting Resources, Materials, and Tissue
    • George Rosenwasser – Slit Lamp Microscopes
    • Gift of Life Donor Program Eye Bank – transporting the slit lamp microscopes
    • Lions Vision Gift – Tissue
    • Miracles in Sight – Whole Eyes and Tissue
    • Sierra Donor Services Eye Bank – Tissue and Mannequin
    • SightLife – Mannequin Heads and Tissue

Thank you to everyone who attended the 2019 TES. We hope you learned a lot of new information and felt that the new format was beneficial to your experience and education! We look forward to another seminar in 2020!

2019 Jachin Misko Memorial Scholarship for Technical Advancement in Eye Banking Personal Statement
By: Shalin Patel, Kentucky Lions Eye Bank

I was extremely humbled to be selected as the recipient of the 2019 Jachin Misko Memorial Scholarship for Technical Advancement in Eye Banking. Jachin proved himself as a leader in technical innovation throughout his career and in the field of eye banking. It was an honor to be a part of Jachin’s legacy and to attend the Technician Education Seminar (TES) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The TES was everything I imagined and so much more. I had the opportunity to network with so many of my fellow colleagues from across the country and Canada. It was really interesting learning how eye banks operate a little differently from one another, yet all share the same goal of giving the gift of sight. Dr. Rosenwasser did a superb job in reviewing what he actually sees in the operating room, a perspective that not many eye bankers get to experience. He also shared his vast knowledge in slit lamp microscopy and findings we may encounter when evaluating tissue. I also had some interesting conversations on how some eye banks process tissue that I cannot wait to try out at our eye bank. The TES was an excellent opportunity to not only advance my knowledge and skills in eye banking, but also to engage with people with different backgrounds and expertise in the world of eye banking.

I am grateful to Saving Sight for sponsoring the Jachin Misko Memorial Scholarship for Technical Advancement in Eye Banking and the Eye Bank Association of America for granting me the opportunity to attend the TES. It can be quite difficult to keep up with the ever-changing world of eye banking, but I hope to continue to follow in Jachin’s footsteps in technical innovation and help pave the way for future technicians and our industry as a whole.

eyeLEARN: Explore EBAA’s Online Education Portal

Have you visited eyeLEARN yet? On eyeLEARN, you can access previously recorded webinars, like the well-received “Grief and Loss in the Workplace”, or free recordings like “The 2018 R. Townley Paton Lecture” and “The CEBT Exam: Updates, Information, and Resources”, or the recorded sessions from the 2018 Cornea and Eye Banking Forum.

With eyeLEARN, educational options at your fingertips and can be viewed at a time and pace that is perfect for you. To access the sessions on eyeLEARN, log into the portal with the credentials that you use for the EBAA website. If you have trouble accessing the portal, please contact Genevieve Casaceli.

2019 EBAA Scientific Symposium: Abstract Submissions Due Next Week!

EBAA is currently accepting abstract proposals for the 2019 EBAA Scientific Symposium. The session will be held during the 2019 Annual Meeting on June 8, in Scottsdale, Arizona. Each year this event showcases new and innovative research in the fields of eye banking and ophthalmology. A travel grant opportunity is available for medical students, residents and corneal fellows whose papers are accepted for presentation, and the Best Paper of Session Award, sponsored by the International Journal of Eye Banking, will be awarded for the best paper presentation by a resident, fellow, or eye banker.

If you have been working on research in the areas of corneal transplantation, recovery, preservation, preparation, or processing, we encourage you to submit an abstract today. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, February 20. To submit an abstract for consideration, please visit the 2019 Submission Portal.

CEBT Exam: New Resources Available

The EBAA Exam Committee has been hard at work developing and updating resources to be used to prepare for the Certified Eye Bank Technician (CEBT) Exam. EBAA is excited to announce that these resources are currently available:

The next exam cycle is March 23 – April 6, and the application period has closed. If you plan on taking the exam or are interested in more information about becoming a Certified Eye Bank Technician, check out all of these new resources today!

Registration Open for Four EBAA Webinars

We have an exciting line-up of EBAA webinars, with something for everyone at your organization. Register for a webinar today!

Let’s Get Together: Enhancing Collaboration on Shared Cases
February 28 at 2 PM Eastern

Individuals from the eye banking and tissue banking communities will identify the challenges and opportunities that arise on shared tissue and eye cases in regard to the individual needs of each tissue and organization and how to effectively communicate with each other before, during and following the case. Learn more about how to effectively communicate with your recovery partners by attending this session.

Referral to Recovery – Increasing High Quality Ocular Outcomes
March 6 at 2 PM Eastern

Ensuring that cornea tissue is recovered in a timely, efficient and safe manner and is in optimal condition for a successful transplant are always priorities in eye banking. Presenters will identify various practices that eye bank staff members can utilize when working with hospital partners, funeral home directors, and others during the referral and recovery processes to yield excellent ocular outcomes and increase potential benefits for recipients.

The Office of the Medical Examiner: What You Need to Know
March 20 at 1 PM Eastern

Mary Case, MD, the Chief Medical Examiner in the Office of the Medical Examiner in St. Louis County, Missouri, will be discussing the role of the Medical Examiner and the relationship that has been developed between her office and Mid-America Transplant. During this session, she will also review a couple of cases that have come to her office and will discuss whether or not they resulted in a referral for donation. Debbie Lanter from Mid-America Transplant will join the session and will discuss the relationship from the eye bank and OPO’s perspective and give insight into building a relationship the Medical Examiner’s officer. The speakers will also share some of the more common challenges that are encountered when preserving the integrity of the death investigation while also ensuring that donation is possible.

An Introduction to Lean Methodology in Eye Banking
April 24 at 2 PM Eastern

Lean Methodology is a structured and effective way to look for, and to reduce or eliminate, waste in an organization’s daily operations and processes. Lean focuses on the value of the goods and services that we provide from the customer’s point of view. Attendees will learn more about Lean and how to incorporate the methodology at their eye banks.
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Awards, Grants, and Scholarships

Gift of Sight and Crystal Cornea Awards

Honor an individual who your organization works closely with to champion the gift of sight and cornea donation! EBAA is currently accepting nominations for the Gift of Sight Award and the Crystal Cornea Award. These awards honor individuals who have worked to promote the gift of sight and will be presented during the Annual Dinner on June 7 at the 2019 EBAA Annual Meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona. The nomination deadline for both awards is Monday, March 4.

Gift of Sight Award
The Gift of Sight Award is presented annually to a professional who works closely with the eye banking community and whose efforts have demonstrated significant support for corneal donation. Eligible nominees include but are not limited to: nurses, medical examiners, funeral service professionals, social workers, clergy, hospital administrative personnel and other professionals who have worked to encourage donation and promote the gift of sight. For more information and to nominate a professional who works closely with your organization, click here.

Crystal Cornea Award
The Crystal Cornea Award is presented to individuals or organizations whose work promotes the gift of sight and brings public awareness to corneal donation. This honor is typically awarded to media organizations, lawmakers, or individuals for outstanding contributions. For more information and to nominate a deserving individual who has made a difference, click here.

Patricia Aiken-O’Neill Scholarship

One of your staff members could attend the 2019 EBAA Annual Meeting for FREE!

EBAA is now accepting nominations for the Patricia Aiken-O’Neill Scholarship, a merit-based scholarship that will provide provides funds for an eye bank staff member to attend the 2019 Annual Meeting, June 5-8, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The scholarship includes complimentary travel, meeting registration, and lodging (up to $2,000). The deadline for nominations is March 4. Submit a nomination today to send an outstanding staff member to the Annual Meeting!

Fund Your Research with the 2019 Richard Lindstrom Research Grant

The submission cycle for the 2019 EBAA Richard Lindstrom Research Grants is currently open. Each year, EBAA awards grants to various individuals in the research, ophthalmic and eye banking communities to provide support for projects specifically concerned with issues directly related to eye banking and/or corneal transplantation. This year, EBAA is excited to announce that recipients can request up to $7,500. Researchers looking to fund pilot projects, well-defined short-term protocols, or initial studies directed toward new research initiatives are encouraged to apply.

Secure funding for your research by applying for the grant today. The deadline to apply is Friday, March 25. For more information and to apply, click here.

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Sometimes the best conversations are actually those that are held on the EBAA listservs. If you have not yet subscribed to a listserv, you may be missing some helpful discussions amongst eye bank professionals. Many individuals who have been in the eye banking community for a long time feel that the listservs provide members with a great communication tool that can enable members to share tips, get clarity on certain issues, and learn from each other. EBAA offers the following listservs: Technicians, Donor Development, Finance, Quality Assurance and Executive Director.

Here are some of the questions that have been brought up on the listservs during the past month!

Technician Listserv:

  • Current death to preservation times
  • Do you place prepared DMEK and DSAEK grafts into a new media or not?
  • Does your eye bank employ a validated warming container for tissue to expedite evaluation?
  • Will your eye bank accept tissue stored in Life4ºC?

Quality Assurance Listserv

  • How do you verify appropriate gloving techniques with your lab staff and/or recovery staff?

If you are interested in joining a listserv and joining in on the conversations, please email Genevieve Casaceli. Please note the Executive Director listserv is invite only and specifically for Executive Directors.


In observance of President’s Day, the EBAA office will be closed on Monday, February 18.  We will resume normal business hours on Tuesday, February 19.
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Upcoming Events

February Webinar: Let’s Get Together: Enhancing Collaboration on Shared Cases
February 28, 2019
2 pm Eastern

March Webinar: Referral to Recovery – Increasing High Quality Ocular Outcomes
March 6, 2019
2 pm Eastern

March Webinar: The Office of the Medical Examiner: What You Need to Know
March 20, 2019
1 pm Eastern

April Webinar: An Introduction to Lean Methodology in Eye Banking
April 24, 2019
2 pm Eastern

April 4 – 6, 2019
Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
Scottsdale, AZ

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

AATB 2018 Quality and Donor Eligibility Workshop
April 30 – May 2, 2018
Baltimore, MD

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

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