June 2020 Issue of Insight

Message from the President

Ask Different Questions to Get Different Answers          

During times of tremendous change like these, when assumptions are being overturned and longstanding practices and habits are re-evaluated, our natural tendency is start by asking “Why?”

  • Why do we do things this way?
  • Why haven’t we updated our systems?
  • Why aren’t we more efficient?

This is understandable, but it may be counterproductive. “Why?”, particularly when asked during stressful times, can sound accusatory. This leads people to become defensive, precisely when you need them to be receptive to new ideas. “Why?” questions also focus on the status quo, rather than the desired outcome, so get you no further than you already are.

Questions that start with “why” are often truthfully answered by “I don’t know” or “Because I was told to”, or both in succession. This either brings the conversation to a halt or leads to an unproductive discussion about past training processes.

In many cases, a better question might be “What?”, as in:

  • What are we trying to accomplish with this policy or process?
  • What are alternatives to achieve our goal?
  • What do we want the future to look like?

You can see how “What?” leads to more substantive and productive discussions, and opens the door to creative solutions. It also puts all the discussion participants on the same plane, as they work together to develop answers. And if you want to initiate change, it’s less important to know why you did things in the past than what you’re going to do in the future.

So, the next time you’re facing a difficult challenge, try starting with a four-letter word.

– Kevin


Last week, in response to the killing of George Floyd, and the outpouring of anger and emotion over systemic discrimination within American society, EBAA issued a statement to our members and our community. 

We encourage all members to consider concrete steps they can take, individually and collectively, to make America a more just country.

Legislative and Regulatory Updates

The Focal Point: Advocacy and Legislative Update

EBAA reported on the recent legislative and regulatory developments in the May 26, and June 9 issues of The 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.

Medical Advisory Board Agenda Book Available Now

The Medical Advisory Board (MAB) has released the agenda book for their meeting taking place during the EBAA 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting.

The MAB Meeting is on Saturday, June 20, from 4 – 6 PM Eastern.

EBAA 2020 Annual Meeting

EBAA 2020 Annual Meeting:
An Experience Unlike Any Other!

2020 has been a unique year filled with challenges, exposing the need to be agile, nimble, and open to working through change.

It is only fitting that #EBAA2020 is being delivered in a format unlike any we have hosted before, but one that reflects the ability to shift mindsets, adapt, and thrive in the face of change.

We may not all be together in the same rooms for the Annual Meeting, but we will all have access to the same experiences and information, at the exact same time, from homes, eye banks, and offices all over the US, Canada and around the world. We encourage you to document your experience with your staff, using #EBAA2020 across social media. We especially want to share photos and videos of member eye banks as they open back up for business after overcoming COVID-19!

Information about the meeting will be sent out to attendees tomorrow, including how to access and navigate the event. In the meantime, here are some of the things that we have planned for this year’s meeting and some tips on how to prepare for the event! Check out our Schedule at a Glance and Fast Facts.

Networking Events

We will all be online but that doesn’t mean there won’t be networking opportunities! Check out these unique events!

Thursday: Networking Happy Hour
Thursday, June 18
4:45 pm – 5:45 pm

Ditch those Zoom sessions and join us for a fun evening of networking with your eye banking peers! This event will be hosted in a fun interactive setting where attendees get to hop from table to table to chat with old friends and to make new ones. Each floor will be designated for specific topics!

Friday Night Social
Friday, June 19
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Grab your favorite beverage and snack, and join us for this social event where attendees are free to mingle at tables with other meeting attendees. There will be drawings for prizes!

Breakfast Chat: A Facilitated Medical Director Discussion
Saturday, June 20
9:00 pm – 9:50 AM EDT

We invite the physician attendees to join for a town hall discussion on interesting cases

Scientific Symposium
Saturday, June 20
11:15 AM – 1:30 PM

The Scientific Symposium will be held in two parts: as on-demand abstract presentations and a live session on Saturday, June 20. The live session features Q&A sessions with the abstract presenters, a presentation by Dr. Diego Ponzin on his research on SARS-CoV-2, updates from the recipients of the EBAA Targeted Research Grant on COVID-19, and a presentation by Dr. Reza Dana on emerging biotech approaches to corneal blindness. Be sure to watch abstract presentations and then join us for the live session on Saturday!

Important Information for Registered Attendees: Prepare for the Meeting

Before the meeting, be sure to complete these steps!

    • If you have an EBAA account and know your password: Log into eyeLEARN to verify your password works.
    • If you have an EBAA account but do not know your password: Click the ‘forgot password’ link to try to reset your password on your own. If you have issues with the ‘forgot password’ link, contact Genevieve@restoresight.org to reset your password.
    • If you do not have an EBAA account: Please create an account and set up a password. Once your account is set up, email Genevieve@restoresight.org to be linked to your organization and receive member benefits.
    • Once you are logged in, locate the green Dashboard button on the top right side of the screen!
  • Review the Schedule!
    • Make sure you know which sessions you need to attend and when they take place.
  • Know Your Time Zones
    • All sessions will take place in Eastern Daylight Savings Time (EDT)
  • View the Scientific Symposium Abstract Presentations

Registration is still open! If you have not yet done so, register today!

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Educational Programs and Events 

Two New Upcoming Webinars and Discounted Pricing on eyeLEARN

EBAA’s online education portal, eyeLEARN, features on-demand learning, important resources, recorded events, and registration for upcoming webinars. Registration has just opened on for two new webinars taking place this summer. We have lowered prices and are now allowing staff to access the webinars individually and as a group. Register today to learn more about strengthening funeral home relationships and specular microscopy imaging!

The Funeral Home Relationship: Creating Successful Outreach Programs
July 22 at 1 PM EDT

Developing strong partnerships with funeral homes is critical for eye banks since funeral directors can help promote and facilitate donation, increasing the number of potential donors who are able to restore sight to others. During this session, Melissa Devenny from Donate Life America, Mike Meyer from SightLife and Matt Webber from Lions VisionGift discuss the education, resources, and materials that can be provided to funeral directors to establish and strengthen the relationship between the funeral home and the eye bank. Register today to learn how to establish strong and productive relationships with your funeral home partners!

Corneal Endothelium Image Quality and Analyses: Best Practices for Eye Banking
August 12 at 1 PM EDT

Analysis of the corneal endothelium is a key aspect of eye banking and accurate analysis is important.  Beth Ann Benetz, Professor at Case Western Reserve University, discusses corneal endothelial imaging, highlighting analysis methods, common errors, the handling of pathology, normal versus abnormal morphology and pathology, and the effect of tissue-related and imaging artifacts. Join us for this session to learn more about corneal endothelial imaging and best practices for capturing and analyzing corneal endothelium images.

FREE On-Demand Content

Visit the Free Sessions section on eyeLEARN to view the sessions that are available to EBAA members for FREE.

EBAA COVID-19 Physician Update: Information on Recent EBAA Guidance and Testing
EBAA COVID-19 Update
The 2019 Statistical Report on Eye Banking: Highlights, Trends, and Interpreting the Data
Eye Bank Operations during COVID-19: A Discussion

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Scholarship, Awards, and Grant Information


High Impact Research Grant Applications Due July 1!

EBAA is accepting applications for the High Impact Research Grant. This annual funding opportunity was created to advance innovation and knowledge in sight restoration, eye banking and cornea transplantation. In 2020, EBAA will provide up to $50,000 to fund one research proposal investigating “Cell Based Therapies for Corneal Diseases.”

Applications are due July 1, 2020, and the recipient will be announced during the Cornea and Eye Banking Forum on November 13, 2020. Impact sight restoration with your research, and apply today!

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Cornea and Eye Banking Forum: Abstract Submission Site Now Open!

The EBAA and the Cornea Society are accepting abstract submissions for the 2020 Cornea and Eye Banking Forum, taking place on November 13, at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, NV.

The 2020 Forum features:

  • Over 25 scientific abstract presentations
  • Two mini-symposia featuring invited speakers
  • The Paton Lecture delivered by the 2020 Paton Award Recipient, Stephen C. Kaufman, MD, PhD
  • Four award presentations, including the Best Paper of Session.

With the presentation of all new information and research, this event continues to be a favorite among corneal surgeons and eye bankers. Previous attendees have shared these thoughts about the program:

  • Great and useful content by all!
  • Appropriate level of complexity of information.
  • Excellent new Ideas by young presenters and well discussed debates on controversial topics
  • Well-chosen talks with practical  applications.
  • Great and diverse speakers and topics.  This is my favorite meeting each year!

Be part of the cornea and eye banking event of the year and submit an abstract for presentation consideration today. The deadline for abstract submissions is Monday, August 17. Registration opens soon.

Submit an abstract today!

2019 Year in Review Is Available

Although 2019 feels like a lifetime ago, we are pleased to present to you EBAA’s 2019 Year in Review.
This report represents the Board, committees, and staff, fulfilling our accountability for the stewardship you’ve entrusted to us. After reading this report, please don’t hesitate to contact  us to learn more about our work or to suggest other ways that we can be of service.
Thank you for your support for EBAA, and for working with us to advance the association and the profession.

Update from Capitol Hill

On May 29, President Trump signed into a law a measure giving small businesses additional time and flexibility to spend and account for loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

Employers will have 24 weeks, expanded from the original eight, to return staffing to pre-pandemic levels.  Furthermore, the law changes from 75% to 65% the percentage of funds that must be used for worker compensation for loan forgiveness. Participants would also have more time to repay any portions of their loans unrelated to their furloughed employees.

The June 30 deadline remains unchanged, however, for any new applications.

Call for Veteran and Staff Stories


As we prepare for Eye Donation Month 2020 (November) we plan on taking the week of Veterans Day (November 11), to recognize and honor those in eye banking who have served.

If you’d like to share your service, know someone who might share their story as a veteran, or have stories related to veteran donors, please contact Communications Manager, Colleen Bayus.

We’re also collecting stories from eye bank staffers, to hear about why you love your work and are so passionate about the mission to #restoresight. Please consider you sharing your story with Colleen!

Members in the News

Eversight appeared in the June 10 edition of Healio, for receiving the EBAA Targeted Research Grant to investigate COVID-19 and its impact on donated tissue.

In May, EBAA awarded the Targeted Research Grant on COVID-19 to Shahzad Mian, MD, representing the University of Michigan and Eversight, and Joshua Hou, MD, representing the University of Minnesota and Lions Gift of Sight. Both investigators will be providing updates on their research during the Scientific Symposium on Saturday, June 20.

June is Vision Research Month – Call for Research / Innovation Updates

June is Vision Research Month, which recognizes the accomplishments of vision research and the ongoing challenges and significant progress in discovering cures for many ocular diseases and disorders.

EBAA would like to spotlight the innovation being done by EBAA member eye banks throughout the month. If you have any research findings or updates you’d like to share, please contact Communications Manager, Colleen Bayus.

Association Listserv Chatter: What You’ve Missed!

Here are some of the topics that you may have missed on the listservs this past month:


  • Hemodilution calculation question
  • Medical Examiners and COVID testing

Please contact Genevieve Casaceli to join a listserv!

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Upcoming Events / Deadlines / Save the Date