It is both an honor and a great responsibility for me to chair the EBAA for the next two years. An honor, because as a medical director for 30 years and an annual meeting participant for nearly 25 years, I am humbled by the opportunity to work with so many friends and dedicated colleagues that I have had the pleasure of meeting since attending my first annual meeting (when Y.T. Abernathy from Atlanta received the Heise Award). A great responsibility, because in spite of all the changes in banking that have occurred over the past 25 years, the next two years will certainly be among the most challenging and exciting that our profession has seen.
Although changes in the practice of eye banking will continue to accelerate, we still have to remember what we do and why we come to work every day: to provide comfort to donor families, hope to corneal recipients and service to the medical community. All of this service occurs, unfortunately, under a changing environment, economically challenging conditions, and frequently with suboptimal economic reimbursement and minimal positive feedback. Always remember that our work is an invaluable service to the patients that we serve, the families that we comfort and the community at large.
The EBAA office and various EBAA committees put on another successful annual meeting in Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, June 6 – 9. The Reading Railroad Terminal Market was awash with eye banker and physicians during the opening night kick off food fest, when we had the run of the market and sampled Philly food specialties from multiple vendors. We heard a gripping personal saga from retired U.S. Surgeon General Kenneth Moritsugu, MD, MPH, who described what it was like to have both his wife and his daughter become organ and tissue donors. During the House of Delegates meeting, a new Board, reflecting our new governance structure, was elected and installed. At the Friday night banquet, Beth Binnion, CEBT, was recognized for her lifelong dedication to eye banking in Cincinnati and received the 2018 Heise Award. The last day showcased a riveting scientific session, where Trent Chiang, MS from Eversight won the Best Paper Award, sponsored by the International Journal of Eye Banking, and then closed with a Medical Director Dilemmas showcase put on by Sadeer Hannush, MD, W. Barry Lee, MD, Michelle Rhee, MD, and George Rosenwasser, MD, CEBT.
The challenges and opportunities facing the profession will require dedication, innovative thought, cooperation and communication from all of us to advance EBAA’s vision – “the restoration of sight worldwide”. As your new chair, I welcome communication from all of you to better understand how EBAA can serve you better. And I pledge to do my best whenever possible to turn the challenges of the next few years into new opportunities for all of us.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and the profession that we all hold so dearly.
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How many items have been on your To Do List for more than a week that you haven’t even started? Is one of them “Create a To Do List”?
What are you waiting for? There is no perfect day to initiate a new plan of action, so waiting for “the right time” is often an excuse to delay action indefinitely.
If you attended EBAA’s Annual Meeting last month, you probably came away with at least a few ideas that you wanted to implement at your eye bank or organization…have you acted on any of them? What about that suggestion you got from a co-worker and the idea you had on the drive to work last week?
I know how effectively the daily demands of work can distract you from action (which is why I’m writing this column less than 24 hours before it will go to print), but the longer you wait, the less likely you are to take action. Which means that some of your best ideas will go to waste, and whoever would have benefitted from them; donors, surgeons, co-workers, etc., will be more poorly served as a result.
You learned it in High School: “A body in motion will stay in motion, and a body at rest will stay at rest, unless acted upon by an external force.”
In a profession as dynamic as eye banking and cornea transplantation, if you move with the crowd, you’ll get no further than the crowd, and standing still means falling behind. So be your own external force and get moving!
What to Move On
OK, so let’s imagine that you’ve heeded my recommendation to initiate a project, but you’re not sure where to start. I have a few suggestions:
For CEOs: During our Annual Meeting, EBAA announced an eye bank-specific insurance program that goes beyond traditional property-casualty insurance to include coverage for tissue delayed in transit, recall expenses and liability protection for your Medical Director. Visit here for more information.
For Finance Staff: EBAA’s reserve investments consistently outperform the broader market and our internal objectives. Your eye bank can enjoy the same professional portfolio management with minimal fees by taking advantage of our relationship with The Sardana Group and UBS. Contact Kevin Corcoran for more information.
For QA Staff: Our first-ever Quality Assurance Seminar will be held September 27-28 in San Antonio. The Early Bird registration deadline is tomorrow (July 13). Go here for more information and to save $50 per attendee.
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EBAA’s 57th Annual Meeting themed “The Spirit of Eye Banking” was a testament to how EBAA and its members continue to take steps to elevate eye banking in the ever-changing world of the profession. This year’s meeting was highlighted by a number of well-received sessions and workshops on myriad topics as well as lively receptions and meaningful awards presentations. Make sure you check out our 57th Annual Meeting Photo Album on Facebook for a glimpse of the action.
During the Annual Meeting, the EBAA Board of Directors, House of Delegates, and committees held elections, made important decisions regarding policies and procedures, and informed members of previous and future activities.
Below is a summary of actions that were taken during those meetings.
House of Delegates
During its meeting on June 8, the House of Delegates took the following actions:
Board of Directors
During its meeting on Friday, June 8, 2018, the 2018 – 2019 Board of Directors took the following actions:
During its meeting on Friday, June 8, 2018, the 2018-19 Board of Directors tool the following actions:
Medical Advisory Board(MAB)
The Medical Advisory Board (MAB) made and passed the following motions during its June 8 meeting:
The Medical Advisory Board (MAB) has released a Medical Advisory which highlights standard changes and the updated Medical Standards, which go into effect July 31, 2018. The MAB has also released the Minutes from their June 8 meeting and the revised Eye-Only Uniform Donor Risk Assessment Interview (UDRAI) forms which can be found below:
Accreditation Board (AB)
The Accreditation Board has released the minutes from its June 7 meeting and would like to inform the membership of important information that was discussed.
Medical Director Proof of Attendance
A proof of attendance has been emailed to each Medical Director who attended the Annual Meeting, with a copy being sent to the eye bank Executive Director. If you did not receive one, please contact Genevieve Casaceli.
CME for Physicians
American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) is processing the CME requests for the Scientific Symposium and Medical Director Symposium and will send out the certificates to the physicians who complete the CME survey that was sent from ASCRS after the meeting. The requests will be fulfilled in the next 5 weeks.
IJEB Awards Best Paper of Session Award During Scientific Symposium
Trent Chiang, MS, medical student at the Case Western University School of Medicine, received the Best Paper of Session Award during the Scientific Symposium for his presentation, “Cost-Benefit Analysis of Amphotericin B Supplementation of Corneal Storage Media with EK-Prepared Tissue”. The award was supported by an unrestricted educational grant from the International Journal of Eye Banking (IJEB). The majority of the abstracts from the Scientific Symposium will be included in a future issue of the Journal.
Thank You to this Year’s Sponsors and Exhibitors
EBAA would like to send a special thank you to Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley for being this year’s host eye bank. We would also like to take the time to thank all our generous sponsors who supported the 57th Annual Meeting – their support was critical to its success.
EBAA thanks for the following 57th Annual Meeting sponsors, for their support.
Konan Medical USA, Inc.
Continental Breakfast – Friday
Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley
Host Eye Bank/Meeting Gift/Reading Terminal Market – Hosted Bar
Gebauer Medizintechnik GmbH
Afternoon Refreshment Break – Thursday
|Bausch + Lomb||NanoCool|
|BB&T Insurance Services, Inc.||National Disease Research Interchange|
|Donate Life America||NuVista Solutions Group LLC|
|Donate Life Rose Parade Float||Oftalmedia LLC|
|Eurobio Ingen||Quick Specialized Healthcare Logistics|
|Gebauer Medizintechnik GmbH||Restore Sight International|
|Konan Medical USA, Inc.||Stradis Healthcare|
Thank You to Our Volunteers
EBAA would like to thank all of the individuals who volunteered their time and expertise to help plan and execute the Annual Meeting. Many individuals contributed to the success of the meeting by helping plan the sessions, presenting on a variety of topics during the meeting, scanning name badges to track attendance, introducing speakers and presentations and welcoming attendees at registration. Thank you to everyone who made the Annual Meeting possible!
Maya Alba, MD, PhD, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center Eye Bank
I was honored, and at the same time excited, to be selected for the 2018 Mary Jane O’Neill Fellowship in International Eye Banking. I am so thankful to Kevin Corcoran, EBAA President and CEO and the Mary Jane O’Neill Fellowship Selection Committee for being given this opportunity. I was given the privilege to learn from, and to see in action a great eye bank, which I have long admired and respected as the executive director of the eye bank at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center in Israel.
I started my Fellowship in true “Spirit of Eye Banking” with an intensive learning experience at the EBAA 57th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. I was gracefully taken care of by Genevieve Casaceli, my excellent Fellowship coordinator, Erik Hellier, my host in Philadelphia and Diane Hollingsworth, the Vice President of Partner Relations at Eversight. They warmly introduced me to other attendees and made me feel included. The lectures and sessions were very interesting and instructive, the content of the talks and discussions answered my questions on corneal tissue evaluation, donation and transplantation hot issues, quality assurance in eye banking, update of EBAA medical standards and future technologies.
When I arrived to Eversight for the second week of my Fellowship, I was overwhelmed with emotion. Everything was so well-planned prior to my arrival. I was welcomed by Mary Peete; and Diane had received my “wish list” of learning topics and hands-on training. Each wish I had was fulfilled by the end of my Fellowship. Every day, experts were specially invited to meet and mentor me according to my wish list: Collin Ross on global and eye bank development, Charles Pivoney with Colleen Vrba on eye bank research and collaboration with universities in other countries, and Elsa Arteaga on quality assurance. My practice and hands-on intensive training was organized by Daniel Carney, to whom I’d wish to thank for the tour through the Eversight standards. Dalene Youngblood demonstrated to me the systematic daily control and supervision of the lab according to Eversight clinical policy and procedure manual.
I was impressed to see the high professionalism and the beauty of work done by the DMEK/DSEK preparation specialists. I had the pleasure to be trained by Chemika Howard on DMEK preparation, Marguerite Delvecchio and Holly Hartman on cornea evaluation using OCT and DMEK/DSEK preparation.
As I wished also to see the entire process the cornea undergoes from recovery to surgeon, Eversight gave me the opportunity to join Amada Rosas, an excellent tissue recovery specialist, and to witness the work at the Gift of Hope Institute of the Organ & Tissue Donor Network. It is such a remarkable place, so beautiful and full of consideration for donors, their families and personnel alike.
I will always cherish the moments with the Eversight team and the colleagues at the Annual Meeting. They were excellent mentors and a special reference is due to each and every one of them. The Mary Jane O’Neill Fellowship has been the most important educational and practical experience I have ever had in eye banking. My “to do” list back home includes updating the standards and practices, introducing quality control and OCT cornea assessment, and promoting a training program for eye bank technicians.
Thank you, EBAA and Eversight! My first time in the US and my experience with the Fellowship were great!
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Big changes are coming to EBAA’s Eye Donation Month, formerly known as National Eye Donor Month. In addition to a new name, we’ve moved the awareness and education campaign from March to November; this important change will separate Eye Donation Month from Donate Life’s campaign in April, which our members told us time and again made it nearly impossible to build and sustain momentum with partners who were already overwhelmed by their April campaign efforts. Eye Donation Month’s new November timing will also provide tie-in with the start of the giving season. And, for the first time, we’ve invested in the talents and resources of an outside branding, marketing and creative firm to help ensure that EDM’s 2018 re-launch gets the fresh start it deserves.
The new campaign will still focus on many of the same priorities we’ve always championed: encouraging people to register to become donors; recognizing the gift from donors and their families; getting recipients involved with eye banks; recognizing our donation partners; and educating the public about cornea donation and eye banking.
But how will we get there? Through intensive research—including interviews with some of you—we gained important insights into what has worked in the past, what hasn’t, what our members need, and how to differentiate ourselves from other donor organizations. Recognizing that campaign tools need to be turnkey—making it as easy for eye banks with a staff of one or two as it is for our largest members with dedicated communications staff—several important priorities emerged:
Are you ready to get started? Please visit eyedonationmonth.org, where you will be able to access all campaign elements starting in mid-August. Mark your calendars for August 28, when we’ll host an informational webinar to provide campaign launch support. Share your stories. And celebrate your role in the lasting legacy of restored sight—it’s The Power of You that makes it all possible!
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EBAA reported on recent legislative and regulatory developments in the July 10 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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There is only one day left to register for the EBAA Quality Assurance Seminar at low early bird registration rates.
Planned by the EBAA Quality Assurance Committee, this unique two-day seminar will explore topics and issues specifically of interest and concern to eye bank quality assurance professionals. This education event will include lectures, dynamic discussion, and interactive sessions on the following topics:
If you are a quality assurance professional, you will not want to miss this seminar. Reserve your seat and register today to take advantage of the low rates!
Join us on July 25, for the webinar, “Insights into Nurse Education: New Tools to Increase Referrals & Build Relationships.”
Nurses are on the front lines when it comes to hospital referrals for cornea donation, and educating nurses about the role that they have can help reduce referral times and create a beneficial partnership between the hospital and the eye bank. During this webinar session planned by the Donor Development Committee, three speakers will discuss new hospital development tools that they have each implemented at their eye banks to educate nurses about eye donation. These tools and methods of communication have strengthened relationships with nurses and reduced referral times.
Tools that will be discussed include audio/visual education methods, poster series, specialized forms, Med Ed live session and more. If you are looking for ways to educate and communicate with nurses at your local hospitals, register today for new insights and tools!
EBAA and the Cornea Society are currently accepting abstract submissions for presentation consideration for the Cornea and Eye Banking Forum. The Forum will be held on October 26 at the Westin Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Illinois, and abstracts are due Monday, August 6.
This year’s program will feature:
With the presentation of all new information and research, this event continues to be a favorite among corneal surgeons and eye bankers. Following the 2017 program, attendees were surveyed and this is what they had to say:
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 August 6.
For information about abstract submission and registration, visit the Cornea and Eye Banking Forum site.
During the Annual Meeting, Maria Woodward, MD, Chair of the EBAA Research Committee made two large announcements regarding EBAA funded research.
Beginning in 2018, EBAA will offer the EBAA High Impact Research Grant. Each year, following Board approval, the committee will request applications on a specific topic and will select one proposal to fund at a significant amount. The new grant was established to make a larger impact on corneal and eye banking research. This year, the committee is requesting proposals on “Maintaining Endothelial Viability During Tissue Processing and Transport” and will fund one project up to $50,000. The application is now available and the deadline to apply is September 14, 2018.
The recipients of the 2018 EBAA Richard Lindstrom Research Grants have been announced. Eight projects will be funded for a total of $39,200. Each year, this grant is awarded to fund smaller research projects and pilot projects up to $5,000. Congratulations to this year’s recipients, we look forward to hearing about the results!
2018 Richard Lindstrom Research Grant Recipients
Anthony Aldave, MD, Stein Eye Institute, UCLA
In Vitro Expansion of Human Corneal Endothelial Cells Using Differing Cell Culture Systems
Alex Bauer, Lions VisionGIft
A Phase II, Randomized Treatment, Double-Blind, Single-Center Study of the Effects of Ripasudil on Cornea Clearing after Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty in Subjects with Fuchs’ Endothelial Cell Dystrophy
Marjan Farid, MD, Gavin Herbert Eye Institute
Micro/Nanobubbles: A New Modality for Corneal Transplant Preservation
Joshua Hou, MD, University of Minnesota
Determining Which Donor Characteristics are Predictive of Donor Cornea Limbal Stem Cell Viability in Cultures
Zala Luznik, MD, MPH, Schepens Eye Research Institute/ Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School
The Role of Neuropeptide Alpha-Melanocyte Stimluating Hormone in Preventing Corneal Endothelial Cell Loss in Tissue Storage and Transplantation
Behnam Rabiee, MD, MPH, University of Illinois at Chicago
The Effect of Corneal-Limbal Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cell Secreted Factors on Preservaton of Corneal Endothelial Cells
Alfonso Sabater, MD, PhD, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami – Miller School of Medicine
Plasma Rich in Growth Factors (PRGF) Enhances Corneal Endothelial Cells Survival and Proliferation
Gregory Schmidt, CEBT, Iowa Lions Eye Bank
Assessing the Effects of Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide (VIP) on Human Corneal Endothelial Cell Bioenergetic Activity
The Heise Committee is currently accepting nominations for the 2019 Heise Award to honor an individual who has made significant contributions to the EBAA and the eye banking community. The Leonard Heise Award is presented annually to a non-physician eye banker in recognition of outstanding devotion and service to EBAA’s mission and development. The deadline to nominate someone for this award is Friday, September 14, 2018. If you know of an eye banker who has made a tremendous impact on the eye banking community, nominate that person today. To submit a nomination for the Heise Award, click here.
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EBAA is currently accepting proposals from member eye banks to host the 2019 Slit-Lamp Microscopy Seminar. This seminar will be a 2.5 day seminar designed to provide detailed instruction to beginning eye bank technicians on slit-lamp microscopy, including lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on practice evaluating tissue using slit lamp microscopes. A host eye bank is needed to provide the space and equipment for this small and unique event. The seminar will be held around September 2019. All proposals are due October 1, 2018. Submit a proposal today to host the event!
EBAA is currently accepting applications for the Fall Certified Eye Bank Technician (CEBT) Exam. The next exam cycle will take place October 13 – 27, 2018. Applications to take the exam in an international location are due August 10. Applications to take the exam in the U.S. and Canada are due September 5; rates will increase on August 25. For more information, and to access the application, click here. Obtain your certification this fall!
July Webinar: Insights into Nurse Education: New Tools to Increase Referrals & Build Relationships
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
2 PM EST
Women in Ophthalmology Summer Symposium
August 16 – 19, 2018
Ponte Vedra, FL
EBAA Quality Assurance Seminar
September 27 – 28, 2018
Hotel Valencia Riverwalk San Antonio
San Antonio, TX
AATB Annual Meeting
October 9 – 12, 2018
Fall Leadership Meeting
October 25, 2018
Westin Michigan Avenue
Cornea and Eye Banking Forum
October 26, 2018
Westin Michigan Avenue
American Academy of Ophthalmology Annual Meeting
October 27 – 30, 2018
SAVE THE DATE
Eye Donation Month
(Formerly National Eye Donor Month)
58th Annual Meeting
June 5 – 8, 2019
The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
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