I hope you all enjoyed the 2019 EBAA Annual Meeting at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. The accommodations were spectacular, the programming was enlightening and Spiderman and Captain America patrolled the premises to keep everybody pretty much in line.
Among the program highlights was the address by Dennis Campbell on “How to Have a Winning Organizational Culture.” Dennis pointed out that culture trumps strategy, and actually said “culture eats strategy for breakfast;” so even great strategy will not work unless you have a suitable culture for that strategy. He emphasized that leaders should be servants to other employees, that training was critical, and that good leaders release control for decision making to others around them. He concluded that a company bound together by love was stronger than if bound together by fear. That should have brought a smile to most eye bankers because of our passion for the work we do. This is who we are!
Our big social soiree was a Wild West Evening in Copper Canyon Reception and Barbeque on Thursday night in the entertainment pavilion next to the hotel. Bandanas and western hats were provided for those cowpokes daring enough to wear them (Bernie), and a good time was had by all. There were numerous different stations for food, drink and entertainment, and even the most discerning eye bankers enjoyed the libations (prickly pear margaritas), entertainment (great western band) and cultural diversions (horseshoes, roulette and a caricature artist). Thanks to the EBAA staff for arranging a very pleasant evening for everyone to socialize under the stars.
Friday night’s Awards Dinner was the highlight of the meeting, as we recognized those individuals and groups, both inside the association and among our partners, who contribute so much to our success. These included Dr. Jeffery Johnston, Chief Medical Examiner of Maricopa County AZ (Gift of Sight Award) and the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Office for their Trust for Life Program, which established the country’s first financial contribution program to support organ, eye and tissue donation through a state DMV (Crystal Cornea Award). To cap off the night, we presented Mark Soper, CEBT, CTBS, with the Leonard Heise Award; the highest honor presented to an eye banker. Mark’s career in eye banking started in 1983 and has spanned almost every role and responsibility in the profession, with a particular emphasis on teaching, training and mentoring eye bankers. Many of us have been touched by Mark’s generosity and kindness during his career in one way or another. Mark also has the distinction of being EBAA’s first foreign-born Heise recipient, as illustrated by the Canadian flags on display.
The Scientific Symposium on Saturday morning featured a number of outstanding talks on current cornea topics and culminated with presentation of the Best Paper of Session Award to Samera Ahmad from Emory University for her paper “Ethics in Eye Banking: Understanding Attitudes Toward Industry Changes.” The Medical Directors Symposium on Saturday afternoon was highlighted by the audience participation session on “Medical Director Dilemmas,” where George Rosenwasser, MD, with panelists Win Chamberlain, MD, PhD, Robert Gross, MD, and Amy Lin, MD, presented challenging donor circumstances to the audience, and a medical director decision had to be made on the spot to decide if the tissue was usable or not.
We are now two years into the new EBAA governance plan, established in 2017 to provide for a more streamlined and responsive Board of Directors. The plan was implemented last year, which led to a completely new Board of Directors elected in 2018. The terms of directors elected in 2018 were staggered, so that half of those elected were for a one-year term so that (now and in the future) three of our six at-large directors will be elected each year for two-year terms. This will stagger the Board terms, allowing for the election of three new directors each year in the House of Delegates meeting and still have some continuity on the Board each year. Many thanks go with our appreciation and best wishes to outgoing Board members Alan Blake, Stephen Kaufman, MD, PhD, and Chris Stoeger, elected last year for one-year terms, for their service on the first Board under the new governance system. Congratulations and welcome to Chris Hanna, Shahzad Mian, MD, and Megan Young, who were elected to the Board this year for two-year terms.
The Fall Leadership Meeting will take place at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco on Thursday, October 10 before the AAO Annual Meeting October 12-15, 2019. The Annual Cornea and Eye Banking Forum, our joint academic meeting with the Cornea Society, will be held on Friday, October 11 at the Palace. I hope to see everybody there!
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Work is underway to build on last year’s successful Eye Donation Month campaign, which introduced the “Power of You” theme, extensive new tools and resources, new graphics and a video featuring Cameron Whittle. These changes were very well received by our members, and by the judges at Association Media and Publishing, which honored us with Silver Awards for Awareness Campaign Promotional Content and Educational Campaign Promotional Content.
This year, we hope to garner more media attention in your community by promoting stories of cornea recipients and donor families to your local online, print and broadcast outlets. In 2018, the seven television interviews we scheduled reached an estimated 591,000 viewers and the online and print articles we placed reached an estimated 875,000 readers.
The media is clearly interested in stories that illustrate the transformative effect of cornea donation and transplantation. When our PR firm pitches these stories to your local media, they’ll specifically tie your eye bank into the narrative. If a reporter contacts them for more information, we’ll provide you with talking points and guidance about how to promote your eye bank while maintaining the focus on the gift of sight.
But none of this can happen without stories of individuals whose lives were touched and transformed by cornea donation or transplantation. Please share these accounts with us by completing the form at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/EDM2019_Stories. We’ll reach out if the media is interested, and also encourage you to contact your local reporters to share your stories.
Every eye bank has countless stories of restored sight and comforted families; please share them with EBAA so we can share them with the world.
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Innovation, science, learning, inspiration and collaboration were all on display during the four-day event. The meeting included two keynote presentations, over 85 speakers on a wide range of topics, a large number of dynamic sessions and workshops, a wild west social event, donor family and recipient testimonials, productive committee and board meetings, elections, inspirational awards presentations and much more.
If you missed the meeting, or would like to relive some of the greatest moments of the meeting review the updates below, visit the Annual Meeting Highlights Page and check out the 2019 Annual Meeting Photo Album. During the Annual Meeting, the EBAA Board of Directors, House of Delegates, and committees made important policy decisions, held elections, and informed members of previous and future activities.
Below is a summary of actions that were taken during those meetings.
House of Delegates
The EBAA House of Delegates, chaired by Speaker of the House, Dave Korroch, met on June 7, and took the following actions:
Board of Directors
Dr. Woody Van Meter convened a meeting of the 2019-2020 Board of Directors, which took the following actions:
Medical Advisory Board (MAB)
The Medical Advisory Board (MAB) made and passed the following motions during its June 7 meeting:
The Medical Advisory Board (MAB) has released the Minutes from their June 7 meeting, a Medical Advisory which highlights standard changes and the updated Medical Standards, which go into effect October 1, 2019. The EBAA Procedures Manual has been updated to include the new QA procedures and an updated OARRS guidance.
These documents can be found below and are also available in the Members’ Section of the EBAA website under Medical Advisory Board:
Accreditation Board (AB)
The Accreditation Board has released the minutes from its June 6 meeting and the updated Accreditation Status List.
Below, please find links to these documents:
These documents are also available in the Members’ Section of the EBAA website under Accreditation Information.
If you have any questions, please contact EBAA Director of Regulations & Standards, Jennifer DeMatteo.
Slit Lamp Microscopy: An Interactive Experience
This year’s session featured hands-on evaluation of tissue with experienced faculty members. The experience was made possible thanks to the multiple microscopes from Haag-Streit and Donor Network of Arizona, the contribution of tissue from numerous eye banks, and the participation of 10 faculty members. Thank you to all who contributed to this interactive session!
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
Amedco designated the Symposia (Scientific and Medical Directors) for a maximum of 6.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits. Physicians who completed the survey will receive the certificate within the next 6 weeks. If you need the evaluation to be resent to you, please contact Stacey Gardner.
IJEB Awards Best Paper of Session Award During Scientific Symposium
Samera Ahmad, a medical student from Emory University, received the Best Paper of Session Award during the Scientific Symposium for her presentation, “Ethics in Eye Banking: Understanding Attitudes Toward Industry Changes.” The award was supported by an unrestricted educational grant from the International Journal of Eye Banking (IJEB).
Congratulations to the Prize Winners
This year, we were excited to have two different opportunities for attendees to win prizes during the Annual Meeting.
Exhibit Hall Passport Drawing
Attendees had the opportunity to visit with our great vendors, and have their exhibit hall map stamped, in order to be entered into a drawing for prizes.
Congratulations to these individuals:
Mahfooz Hussain – Free Annual Meeting Registration
Daniel To – One-Year EBAA Webinar Subscription
Mary Kinlaw – $100 Amazon Gift Card
Annual Meeting App
Attendees were rewarded for being active on the meeting app and for exploring all that it had to offer by earning points and working their way up the leaderboard.
Congratulations to these individuals for tying for 1st place: Debbie Jefferson, Mary Kinlaw, Christine Humphreys, Beverly Lush, Brian Ha, Adam Stockman, Jonathan Czaplicki, and Nachia Greene. All of the winners received a prize and after a drawing, Debbie Jefferson won the top prize of one free eyeLEARN session. Thank you to everyone who utilized the meeting app, and congratulations to the winners!
Thank You to this Year’s Sponsors and Exhibitors
EBAA would like to thank all our generous sponsors who supported the 2019 Annual Meeting – their support was critical to its success.
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 planning the sessions, presenting on a variety of topics during the meeting, scanning name badges to track attendance, coordinating tissue for the interactive session, introducing speakers and presentations and welcoming attendees at registration. Thank you to everyone who made the Annual Meeting possible!
We Want Your Feedback!
If you attended the meeting, we encourage you to share your thoughts on the meeting. Please complete the Full Meeting Evaluation if you are an eye bank or attended the entire meeting or the Physician Program Evaluation if you are physician and only attended the Friday-Saturday program.
Save the Date!
We hope to see everyone at the 2020 Annual Meeting taking place June 17-20, at the Fairmont Dallas in Dallas, Texas!
Célia Regina Malveste Ito, Eye Bank of Federal University of Goiás, Brazil
When I received the email from EBAA, I was affected by various feelings such as excitement, fear, insecurity, and extreme happiness. I was honored by this great opportunity, but also knew my responsibility in achieving this international experience.
The EBAA Annual Meeting 2019 was a very special and remarkable experience. The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess was a wonderful venue. To be able to see and hear about eye bank innovations, key techniques, and especially network with exceptional people who work at eye banks and have the highest quality and professionalism, was great. The event schedule was excellent, in each presentation and discussion I learned something new. Three moments were most striking: when I attended the interactive slit lamp microscopy session, when I presented my work that was completed in my post-graduate at the Scientific Symposium, and the most thrilling thing was listening to a donor family member and a cornea recipient share their experiences. That made me more sure of what I want to do and the importance of my job which is helping people see again.
All of the people were very nice and friendly to me. I am grateful to the President of the Eye Bank Association of America, Kevin Corcoran, for the opportunity, as well as to Genevieve and Stacey for all the logistics and support.
One week after the EBAA Annual Meeting, I was warmly welcomed by the entire Lions Gift of Sight team at the University of Minnesota in Saint Paul, MN. Sean Poppoff, Executive Director, along with Patty Stockdale, Ching Yuan and Gene Keating all welcomed me during the Annual Meeting, so when I arrived at the first day of work it was as if I was already part of the team.
My mentor in this exceptional week was Veronique Grimes, Laboratory Operations Manager, who showed me all the work logistics and created a schedule including all aspects of the job and to make the most of my time.
I also learned the different DSEK, DMEK and DSAEK tissue preparation techniques with Gene, Peter, and Veronique. They were all patient and showed me what they do best – thank you all. I learned a little of everything from almost all the staff and would like to thank Lori, Jennifer, Grecia, Gabriel, Mary, Wallis, Patrick, Ching, Natalie and all the others on the team who indirectly provided me with the realization of my dream and my professional qualification. Thank you, Lions Gift of Sight from the University of Minnesota for your affection and I loved the potluck!
Once again, I thank the EBAA, the selection committee, and the Lions Gift of Sight staff for this opportunity. The Mary Jane O’Neill Fellowship has improved my knowledge and I will certainly go to other eye banks in Brazil.
EBAA thanks Lions Gift of Sight for hosting the 2019 Mary Jane O’Neill Fellow and to The Eye-Bank for Sight Restoration for their continued support of this program.
Showcase your eye bank on the international stage by hosting an international eye bank professional in 2020! The application to be the host eye bank for the 2020 Mary Jane O’Neill Fellowship in International Eye Banking is open.
As evident in the Fellow’s account above, this is a great opportunity to share your organization’s knowledge and expertise with an individual from an international eye bank. Past host eye banks have enjoyed training the Fellow, hosting them in their city, learning about practices at the Fellow’s eye bank, and being part of this longstanding program.
There is an EBAA webinar out there just for you! Registration is currently open for three upcoming webinars. In the next three months we will holding sessions on using compassionate language during authorization calls, processing tissue for ocular research, and the importance of record keeping when it comes to training programs!
All of the webinars are open for registration on eyeLEARN. Although the webinars are on eyeLEARN, you and your organization will still be able to view them as a group! To register for an upcoming webinar, visit eyeLEARN use your EBAA credentials to login, add the webinar(s) to your cart, and complete the checkout process. If you have any questions about the registration process, please contact Genevieve Casaceli.
Communication That Matters: How Compassionate Language Can Increase Authorizations
July 31 at 1 PM Eastern
Ocular Research Tissue: From the Eye Bank to the Researcher
August 28 at 1 PM Eastern
Keeping Track of Your Training Program: Best Practices in QA
September 11 at 1 PM Eastern
Three upcoming EBAA live webinars will be hosted on the Association’s online education portal, eyeLEARN. In addition to these live events, this easy-to-use platform allows members to access on-demand sessions of previous webinars simply by using the same EBAA login credentials that you use to enter the EBAA member section on the EBAA website.
If you missed an EBAA webinar – check out the list of recently added sessions below:
Stay tuned for new on-demand content coming to eyeLEARN soon!
The deadline to submit a proposal for the 2019 EBAA High Impact Research Grant is quickly approaching; there are only three weeks left for you and your organization to apply for the opportunity to receive up to $50,000 to conduct your research!
The EBAA High Impact Research Grant is a unique funding opportunity offered by EBAA to advance innovation and knowledge in sight restoration, eye banking and cornea transplantation.
This year, EBAA is accepting proposal focused on “Ex vivo Corneal Endothelial Cell Expansion.” One proposal will be selected for funding in 2019 up to $50,000. The award cycle is November 1, 2019 – October 31, 2020, and the recipient will be announced during the 2019 Cornea and Eye Banking Forum. Applications are due July 31.
Secure funding for your research and make an impact in sight restoration; submit a proposal today!
There are only three weeks left to submit an abstract proposal for presentation consideration for the 2019 Cornea and Eye Banking Forum. This one-day educational program hosted by EBAA and the Cornea Society, will take place on October 11, at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, California.
The 2019 Forum will feature:
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 Friday, August 2 and early bird registration ends August 28. Register and submit an abstract today.
Note: EBAA does not have a room block for this meeting.
Join us on Thursday, October 10, at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, CA, for the 2019 Fall Leadership Meeting. During the 2019 Fall Leadership Meeting, the Accreditation Board, the Medical Advisory Board, and the Board of Directors will all convene to discuss and address the latest topics and issues that are brought before them. Registration for this meeting is required but is completely free.
The Medical Advisory Board (MAB) Meeting will be held on Thursday, October 10 at 1 PM Pacific. If you are unable to attend the meeting in person, register for the MAB Meeting: Live Audio Broadcast. CEBTs may earn up to 2 CEUs for attending the entire session. New this year, EBAA is offering the opportunity for single viewer registration, as well as group registration.
The 34th Annual Run for Vision will be taking place on Sunday, October 13 at 6:30 AM in San Francisco, California. Registration and more details are coming soon!
The EBAA Exam Committee recently updated many of the CEBT exam materials, including the application, the content outline, the study guide, an exam preparation webinar, and the exam. One featured update is that the Practical Performance Competency Verification portion of the application now gives candidates the option to perform a Laboratory Excision or an In Situ Excision. The updated materials and suggested resources are all on the CEBT Exam page. Thank you to the Exam Committee and the Certification Board for their work to update the exam materials.
Applications to take the exam in the U.S. and Canada are due September 4; rates will increase on August 23. Applications to take the exam in an international location are due August 9. For more information, and to access the application and all of the exam related materials, click here. Obtain your certification this fall!
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The Heise Committee is currently accepting nominations for the 2020 Leonard 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 September 9, 2019. If you know of an eye bank professional who has made a tremendous impact on the eye banking community and sight restoration, nominate that person today. To submit a nomination for the Heise Award, click here.
During the 2019 EBAA Annual Meeting, the recipients of the 2019 EBAA Richard Lindstrom Research Grants were announced. Seven projects will be funded for a total of $49,984. This year, EBAA was excited to increase the maximum award amount to $7,500 per proposal. Grants are awarded to fund proposals focused on short-term protocols, initial studies, and pilot projects. Congratulations to this year’s recipients, we look forward to hearing updates on your research!
The Medical Advisory Board (MAB) and Accreditation Board (AB) have opened a call for agenda items for the 2019 EBAA Fall Leadership Meeting. Guidelines for item submission can be found below.
Medical Advisory Board
Guidelines for submitting MAB agenda items:
Guidelines for Submitting AB Agenda Items:
If you have any questions about submitting agenda items for MAB or AB, please contact Jennifer DeMatteo.
Do you have a question that only another eye bank professional can answer? Do you want to stay on top of all of the conversations that are happening in the eye bank community? Then it is time to join one of the EBAA listservs. If you have not yet subscribed to a listserv, you may be missing out on helpful discussions among eye bank professionals. EBAA offers the following listservs: Technicians, Donor Development, Finance, Quality Assurance and Executive Director.
Here are some of the topics that you may have missed on the technician listserv this past month:
If you are interested in joining a listserv and joining in on the conversations, please email Genevieve Casaceli. All EBAA and Paton Society Members are able to join the listservs. Please note the Executive Director listserv is invite only and specifically for Executive Directors.
Webinar: Communication That Matters: How Compassionate Language Can Increase Authorizations
Wednesday, July 31
1 PM Eastern
Webinar: Ocular Research Tissue: From the Eye Bank to the Researcher
Wednesday, August 28
1 PM Eastern
Webinar: Keeping Tracking of Your Training Program: Best Practices in QA
Wednesday, September 11
1 PM Eastern
2019 Cornea and Eye Banking Forum
October 11, 2019
San Francisco, CA
October 12 – 15, 2019
San Francisco, CA
Donate Life America Annual Meeting
October 22 – October 24, 2019
Save the Date
EBAA Slit Lamp Microscopy Seminar
October 24 – 25, 2019
Registration coming soon!
34th Annual Run for Vision
San Francisco, CA
Sunday, October 13, 2019
2020 EBAA Annual Meeting
June 17 – 20, 2020
International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness’ (IAPB) 11th General Assembly (11GA)
October 12 – 14, 2020