President and CEO, Miracles in Sight
Dean Vavra has 36 years of eye bank experience and has held almost every job in an eye bank: Recovery Technician, Technical Director, Hospital Development/Marketing, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director.
Dean has served on the Board of Directors for the EBAA and VisionShare. He was the Vice-President of the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Institute Foundation in Colorado. Dean Chaired the EBAA Technician Education Committee, was a member of the EBAA Medical Advisory Board, Regulatory Affairs Committee and has served on many other EBAA committees.
Dean Vavra was recognized with the 2010 Leonard Heise Award issued by the EBAA.
Mr. Vavra started out as a Certified Ophthalmic Technician (COT) leading to his eye banking career. All four of his brothers have had cornea transplants to treat granular dystrophy type II, an inherited corneal blindness Dean did not get.
Dean has Master’s Degree from Colorado Christian University’s School of Business.He retired from the Colorado National Guard in 2005 and served in both Iraq and Afghanistan where he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Army Combat Medic Badge. He is a member of the Centennial Airport Lions Club.
I grew up in a house with 4 brothers who have corneal blindness. Like you, I got into eye banking by accident and stayed with it because it “fit.” Perhaps it was “a calling”?
I have had about every job available in an eye bank, served on the board of directors of EBAA and worked on many committees. While eye banking I often worked in ophthalmology clinics as a COT, completed a Master’s Degree and served in the military, (Army and National Guard).
I participated in the huge growth of professional eye banking that started in the early 1980’s. This was the time before OPO’s and mandatory donor referrals. MK Media made eye banking feasible on a large scale. Back then we had as many as 120 eye banks in the US. Now we have 62.
Due to market pressures, eye bankers are not as cordial as we once were. This makes me sad as I long for the “good olde days” when eye banks shared ideas and technical information with each other.
I have enjoyed being one of the “Elders” in our guild and would like to pass down all that I have seen and learned to the next generation of EBAA Leaders facing new challenges. I look forward to serving you as we chart our course into the future.
- 36 years in Eye Banking. CEBT since 1989
- 1994-1996 Membership Committee
- 1996-1998 Vice-Chair, Practical Performance Committee
- 1998-2002 Chair, Technician Education Committee
- 1998-2002 Adverse Reaction Sub-Committee (Medical Review Sub-Committee)
- 1998-2002 Meetings Committee
- 1998-2002 Medical Advisory Board
- 2004-2007 Examination Committee
- 2006-2008 Technician Education Committee and Procedures Manual Sub-Committee
- 2007-2008 Regulatory Affairs Committee
- 2007-2008 Board of Directors, EBAA
- 2010-2013 Accreditation Board
- Instructor at 10 Technician Education Seminars and presenter at numerous EBAA training sessions. Instructor at Slit Lamp Seminar.