March 2020 Issue of Insight

Message from the President

COVID-19 Contingency Planning

With the rapid spread of COVID-19, organizations around the world are bracing for disruptions while trying to balance business continuity with the safety of their employees and customers.  The same is true for EBAA, as we provide daily updates for our eye bankers, we’re also addressing our on-going accreditation inspections and our upcoming Annual Meeting.  Here’s the latest on both of those fronts:

To fully understand how COVID-19 is affecting our members, EBAA has developed a survey that will be sent to all eye bank CEOs this afternoon.  This survey will be administered intermittently to allow us to track its impact over time, and its results will inform the Board’s direction of the association.

We’re also using the survey to solicit any useful tools and resources that eye bankers or physicians might want to share with their peers and colleagues.  These may include SOPs, communications with recovery partners, guidance to staff, etc.  Your submissions will be posted to our COVID-19 page, so all EBAA members have access to them.

COVID-19 may also affect EBAA’s operations, including:

Accreditation:  With over a dozen eye bank inspections to be completed between February and May, our Accreditation program relies on the ability to send inspectors to eye banks across the U.S. and Canada.  The Accreditation Board Chairs and Vice Chairs are developing interim policies to address COVID-19 concerns; these will be announced next week.  In the meantime, they will make case-by-case accommodations, to include video interviews of Medical Directors and extended deadlines for site visits.

Annual Meeting:  The Annual Meeting will be June 17-20 in Dallas; this gives us more time to understand the impact of COVID-19 and to plan accordingly.  Planning for the meeting is continuing apace and we have a great program in store for you in Dallas.  Registration is open and we plan to hold the meeting as scheduled.  If we are forced to postpone or cancel the meeting for some reason, we will refund 100% of your registration fee or apply it to the rescheduled event.

Eye Bank Operations: Our COVID-19 webpage hosts all the updates we receive from CDC, WHO and other regulatory bodies.  We are also monitoring the supply of gowns, masks and other PPE through our partnership with Medline.  Because many of these products are manufactured in quarantined areas of China, all medical supply vendors anticipate some distribution challenges; Medline is in regular contact with EBAA and its customers to try to minimize their impact on eye banks.

This is uncharted territory for all of us; we will continue to share information with you as it becomes available.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Stacey is Certified!
Just as EBAA’s Certified Eye Banking Technician (CEBT) recognizes the pinnacle of achievement for eye banking professionals, the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation, awarded by the American Society of Association Executives, represents a heightened level of professionalism in the field of non-profit management.  Last month, our own Stacey Gardner CAE earned this distinction.

We all deeply appreciate Stacey’s contributions to EBAA over her nearly ten years with the association and congratulate her on this outstanding achievement.

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Legislative and Regulatory Updates

The Focal Point: Advocacy and Legislative Update

EBAA reported on the recent legislative and regulatory developments in the February 17, and March 3, 2020 issues of The Focal Pointthe association’s bi-weekly advocacy and legislative update.

For past issues, please visit the archive in the “Members Only” section of the website.

COVID-19 Updates (All updates are included on the EBAA website)

CDC Releases Updated Guidance on Evaluating and Testing Persons for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

CDC issued the following Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Update on March 08, 2020: regarding evaluating and identifying patients who should be tested for COVID-19:

https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/2020/han00429.asp?deliveryName=USCDC_511-DM22015

With increased access to testing, CDC has expanded the criteria for testing for COVID-19 to include more symptomatic persons, even in the absence of travel history to affected areas or known exposure to another case.

This will allow public health to quickly detect and respond to community spread of the virus in the United States.

International Areas with Sustained (Ongoing) Transmission include:

As of March 12, 2020, the U.S. has confirmed at least 1,323 cases of COVID-19 across 42 states plus DC, and has confirmed 38 deaths from the illness.

EBAA 2020 Annual Meeting

 

Join Us in Dallas for the EBAA 2020 Annual Meeting (#EBAA2020)

Attendee and Exhibitor registration are open for the EBAA 2020 Annual Meeting on June 17-20, 2020, at the Fairmont Dallas in Dallas, TX.

Join EBAA and hundreds of eye bank professionals and corneal surgeons for this four-day, must-attend, education and networking event of the year. The meeting schedule will showcase a variety of educational sessions and workshops, important governance meetings, an exhibit hall with the latest products for eye bank professionals, and fun, memorable, social events!

Event Highlights

Executive Workshop: Inspiring a Culture of Trust (Wednesday, June 17)- separate registration required
A learning opportunity designed to equip eye bank professionals with the tools necessary to create a culture of trust within their teams and organization.

New Attendee Coffee (Wednesday, June 17)
A chance for first time attendees to learn about the meeting and meet others in order to get the most out of their meeting experience.

Annual Meeting Kick-Off Session (Wednesday, June 17)
The meeting will officially begin with a keynote presentation from a FranklinCovey presenter.

An Evening in the Orinoco Rainforest (Wednesday, June 17)- separate registration required
Held at the Dallas World Aquarium, this ticketed event includes food, drinks, fire dancing, and the chance to take photos with sloths and a manatee!

EBAA LIVE (Thursday, June 18)
The Exhibit Hall reception is getting a makeover! Don’t miss this fun and lively reception which will include food, drinks, and a variety of activities.

Annual Dinner and Awards Program (Friday, June 19)
Join us as we honor 2020 Leonard Heise Award Recipient, Donna Drury, and the recipients of the Crystal Cornea Award and Gift of Sight Award.

IMPORTANT: EBAA is monitoring news about COVID-19 as it relates to the Annual Meeting.  The situation remains fluid as we learn more about the virus. We intend to hold this meeting unless CDC or another authority makes this inadvisable or impossible.  If we are forced to postpone the meeting, all registration fees will be applied to the rescheduled event or refunded, at the registrant’s discretion.  EBAA cannot refund airfares or other travel expenses; meeting attendees may consider purchasing travel insurance.

Register today for your chance to gather tips, tools, connections, and memories at this year’s Annual Meeting. We hope to see y’all in Dallas in June!

Exhibitor and Sponsor Opportunities are Available

Promote your organization and services at the EBAA 2020 Annual Meeting by registering as an Exhibitor or becoming a Sponsor.

Congratulate the 2020 Heise Award Recipient!

Celebrate and congratulate the 2020 Leonard Heise Award Recipient, Donna Drury! Purchase a message to be included in the Awards Program booklet.

Medical Advisory Board (MAB) and Accreditation Board (AB) Call for Agenda Items

The Medical Advisory Board (MAB) and Accreditation Board (AB) have opened a call for agenda items for the 2020 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, May 22, 2020.
  • 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 29, 2020.
  • 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.

 

Educational Programs and Events 

2020 Technician Education Seminar Highlights

The reviews for the 2020 Technician Education Seminar (TES) are in!

“Overall experience of the seminar was outstanding. I learned an extensive amount of information from the surgical standpoint.”

“Loved the information and staff. The breakout sessions and case studies were great as well!”

 “I had a wonderful experience and I have learned so much. I wish it was longer. Thank you all for everything!”

The TES took place February 20-22, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at the Gift of Life Institute, hosted by the Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley. Thirty-five attendees from around the US, Canada, and Saudi Arabia, attended the hyrid course, acquiring a deeper understanding of eye banking, connecting with other eye bank professionals, gaining hands-on experience through a variety of activities and demonstrations, and conversing with the course’s experienced faculty.

The TES continues to evolve each year and this year was no exception. The program featured a fun kick-off event at LuckyStrike, additional online sessions, a live pre-seminar webinar, individual time at the slit lamp microscopes, a slit lamp microscope evaluation demo for the entire group, opportunities for performing excisions using whole eyes, case study discussions with Dr. Rosenwasser and the faculty, and a new breakout session on authorization calls.  Each addition to the program was designed to enhance the attendee’s learning experience.

The event concluded with personal stories about the gift of sight. This year, attendees heard from two individuals who not only have a connection to donation but also to eye banking. EBAA’s Education and Programs Manager, Genevieve Casaceli, spoke about her dad’s legacy, and Alex Cummings, a TES attendee and employee at Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley, discussed how her corneal transplant changed her life.

Thank you to the attendees, the faculty, Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley, and everyone who made the 2020 TES a success! We look forward to another great seminar in 2021!

 

2020 Jachin Misko Memorial Scholarship for Technical Advancement in Eye Banking: “A Major Stepping Stone in My Career”
By: Rebecca Hubbs, Lions VisionGift

I want to extend my sincere gratitude for the opportunity to attend this seminar. It was an honor to be chosen as the recipient of the Jachin Misko Memorial Scholarship. I consider this to be a major steppingstone in my eye banking career, and I come away from the experience with a sense of excitement and inspiration. I am very grateful to Saving Sight for sponsoring this opportunity, and to the EBAA for making the whole experience possible. I also want to extend my gratitude to the Lions Eye Bank of Delaware valley for being such amazing and generous hosts for the event.

There were many great take-aways and “ah ha!” moments during the seminar. The course content was fascinating. I appreciated all of the presenters and the talks. Some of the content was already known to me because of my background in the donor evaluation side of things, as well as my time working in eye- tissue processing.  But even presentations on these topics yielded new insights.

All of the content presented by Dr. Rosenwasser was especially affecting. It was valuable to know specifics about each kind of surgery, and the various eye conditions that necessitate them. Understanding the end-use of the tissue in more detail can only lead to more successful tissue grafts. This level of understanding is vital, in order to facilitate smoother communication between eye bank technicians and surgeon. Already in my time back in Portland I have gone back and referenced his content several times.

One of the things I enjoyed most about the whole TES experience was getting to meet and talk with other eye bank professionals. Those of us in the eye and tissue industry are a pretty small, specialized group. Generally, I have found that even among other healthcare workers, our industry is not well known or understood. So, to sit in a room of others who all do the same work, was very refreshing. I enjoyed how the Q&A sessions often turned into group discussions, and I gleaned just as many insights from the other attendees as I did the presenters.

Probably the most exciting moment for me was getting to do an excision. I had seen several done out in the field but have never performed one myself. This moment really gave me an appreciation to the care and finesse required by our recovery staff. And as I was dissecting the whole eye, I was reminded of my very first job at Lions VisionGift. For my first few months with the organization, I was a Donation Specialist specifically for research donation, evaluating donor eligibility for various projects and training needs. I spent a lot of time explaining to families the value of research donation and all the ways the gift was just as important as donation for any other purpose. I had the feeling of having come full circle as I held this donor’s eye in my hand. I would be remiss if I did not also extend my heart felt gratitude to the donors and their families who made that experience possible.

Moving forward with my career in processing and eye banking, I will strive to emulate the level of excellence I saw at the TES. Both from the presenters and the other technicians around me. It was inspiring to connect with so many talented and passionate people.

Thank you again for this amazing experience.

eyeLEARN: New On-Demand Content and Upcoming Free Webinar

Yesterday’s webinar, Call Center Operations: From Recruitment to Retention, is now available on eyeLEARN! The recording features speakers from three different eye banks who discuss how their organizations hire, train, evaluate, and keep high-performing staff members in their call centers. If you missed the session, or would like to view it again, the session can be accessed on eyeLEARN.

Coming up next week is the FREE informational webinar, EBAA Accreditation: Inspections, Common Findings, and Important Updates. Accreditation Board Co-Chair, Chris Stoeger, and Co-Vice Chair, Kyle Mavin, will provide an overview of the EBAA Eye Bank Accreditation Program and the inspection process, discussing how to prepare, what to expect, common findings, and other additional information. Register for this free session to learn more about EBAA Eye Bank Accreditation, and how to set your eye bank up for success during inspections!

If you are taking the CEBT exam, we have a free webinar to help you prepare,“The CEBT Exam: Updates, Information, and Resources.” During this session, members of the Exam Committee share important facts about the exam and will discuss the current resources that are available to help candidates prepare to take the exam.

Eye Bankers Take the Lead in San Antonio!

Eye Bank professionals from around the country traveled to San Antonio, TX, March 5-7 for the Eye Banker Leadership Program. The program provided attendees with engaging sessions on a variety of leadership topics designed to provide eye bank professionals with information and tools to successfully lead their teams and organizations.

The event kicked-off with a tour of the San Antonio Riverwalk area led by Dr. Ken Maverick, Medical Director for the San Antonio Eye Bank, which led to the Alamo, and was followed by a reception at Maverick Whiskey sponsored by the San Antonio Eye Bank.

The next two days included engaging sessions on a variety of topics including:

  • Leading from Within
  • A Review of Personal Leadership Assessment Results
  • Developing a Leader’s Mindset
  • Leading a Team Through Change
  • Motivating Staff
  • Leading your Board
  • Making Strategic Decisions
  • Delivering Engaging and Impactful Presentations
  • Culture focused on Customer Service

Laughter, engagement, and reflective thought were fully present throughout the program, as the facilitator, Brian Riggs, and the speakers kept the energy in the room buzzing with insightful presentations that provided attendees information and tools that can be applied within their own organizations. Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2020 program!

Welcome the Physician Leadership Program Class of 2020

The Physician Leadership Program welcomed 14 physicians from around the country to San Antonio, March 7-8, to learn more about eye banking, the EBAA, working with their local eye bank, and opportunities to get involved with the association. Each participant was nominated by an EBAA member eye bank and selected by the PLP selection committee based on their personal interest in working eye banks and the EBAA.

Introducing the PLP Class of 2020:

James Huffman, MD, Kentucky Lions Eye Bank
Joann Kang, MD, The Eye-Bank for Sight Restoration
David Kennedy, MD, Southern Eye Bank
Jennifer Ling, MD, Iowa Lions Eye Bank
Priya Mathews, MD, MPH, Lions Eye Institute for Transplant and Research
Nambi Nallasamy, MD, Eversight
Afshan Nanji, MD, Lions VisionGift
Ahmed Omar, MD, PhD, Eversight
Catherine Reppa, MD, Great Plains Lions Eye Bank
Drew Salisbury, MD, Advancing Sight Network
Ankit Shah, MD, Lions Eye Institute for Transplant and Research
Christine Shieh, MD, Miracles in Sight
William Waldrop, MD, UT Southwestern Transplant Services Center
Evan Warner, MD, Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin

The program included two elements: a site visit with the eye bank that nominated them and an in-person seminar. During the eye bank site visit, participants learned about the eye bank and the overall eye banking process and highlighted a variety of aspects including authorization calls, cornea recoveries, eye bank finances, regulatory affairs, EBAA Medical Standards, tissue processing, partner relationships, the importance of cornea donation and much more. Many of the participants mentioned that they learned a lot during the visits and were moved by the calls with the next of kin and the outreach to donor families. The in-person event built upon the information and knowledge that the PLP participants received at the eye bank and included programming on individual leadership skills, debriefing the eye bank visits, EBAA’s role in eye banking, opportunities that are available to physicians, and a brainstorm session on ways for the association to engage with younger physicians. The weekend flew by, with each PLP participant leaving with excitement regarding eye banking, new information, a personal leadership assessment, ideas for developing their careers through engagement with their eye bank and EBAA, and new colleagues in the eye bank profession. As a PLP participant, each physician will receive a two-year Paton Society Membership and will be invited to apply for committee service for 2020-2022.

Thank you to the PLP Faculty for lending their time and expertise to this program:

Donna Drury, MBA, CEBT, CTBS, UT Southwestern Transplant Services Center
Joshua Hou, MD, Lions Gift of Sight
Jennifer Li, MD, Sierra Donor Services Eye Bank
Shahzad Mian, MD, Eversight
Noel Mick, The Eye-Bank for Sight Restoration
Michelle Rhee, MD, The Eye-Bank for Sight Restoration
Michael Tramber, MBA, CEBT, CTBS, Miracles in Sight
Woodford Van Meter, MD, Kentucky Lions Eye Bank

Thank you to the eye banks who nominated physicians for this program, to the physicians who participated in the program and the faculty for facilitating the sessions. The Physician Leadership Program continues to grow, and we expect great things from the class of 2020!

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Scholarship, Awards, and Grant Information

 

Award Opportunities

Gift of Sight and Crystal Cornea Awards

Honor an individual who works closely with your organization 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 recognize individuals who have worked to promote the gift of sight and will be presented during the Annual Dinner and Awards Program on Friday, June 19, at the 2020 EBAA Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas. The nomination deadline for both awards is Monday, March 16.

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 nurses, medical examiners, funeral service professionals, social workers, clergy, hospital administrative personnel, transplant partners 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 to the promotion of the gift of sight, cornea donation, and sight restoration. For more information and to nominate a deserving individual who has made a difference by bringing awareness to corneal donation, click here.

Patricia Aiken O’Neill Scholarship

One of your staff members could attend the EBAA 2020 Annual Meeting for FREE!

EBAA is currently accepting nominations for the Patricia Aiken-O’Neill Scholarship, a merit-based scholarship that will bring one deserving eye bank professional to the EBAA 2020 Annual Meeting, June 17-20, in Dallas, Texas.

The scholarship includes complimentary travel, meeting registration, and lodging (up to $2,000). The deadline for nominations is March 16. Submit a nomination today to send an outstanding staff member to the Annual Meeting!

TWO Opportunities to Fund Your Research

Pilot Research Grant- Applications Due in 2 weeks!

Fund your next pilot or short term protocol study with the 2020 EBAA Pilot Research Grant! The application period is currently open, and proposals are due March 23, 2020.

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. In 2020, EBAA will award multiple grants up to $7,500 each.

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; apply today!

High Impact Research Grant: Application Now available!

The application for the High Impact Research Grant is now available!

To advance innovation and knowledge in sight restoration, eye banking and cornea transplantation, EBAA offers the High Impact Research Grant. In 2020, EBAA will provide up to $50,000 to fund one research proposal investigating “Cell Based Therapies for Corneal Diseases.”

Applications for this grant 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, and apply today!

EyeFind Research Grant

In collaboration with ARVO, this grant provides supplemental funding in grants of up to $5,000 per project to researchers to procure human eye tissue samples from eye banks for use in a well-conceived research project. The applicant must demonstrate financial need related to procuring and using human eye tissue to continue their research. The deadline for applications is April 1, 2020. For more information, or to apply, click here.

Announcements

 

Call for Volunteers: Committees and Board of Directors

If you have been looking for ways to become more involved with EBAA, now is your chance! EBAA is seeking volunteers to serve on EBAA committees and the Board of Directors. Eye bank staff members and Paton Society members are encouraged to apply. Volunteers are essential to the success of the EBAA and serving the association is a great way to advance your professional development and career. Shape the future of the association by participating on an EBAA committee or the Board of Directors!

Volunteer on an EBAA Committee

EBAA is seeking volunteers to serve on EBAA committees for the 2020-2022 committee term. Committee service is one of the best ways to connect with other eye bank professionals and physicians, mold the educational content for EBAA’s meetings and webinars, give guidance on important issues and topics facing the profession today, and further your professional development.  The deadline to apply is March 25.

Visit the Call for Volunteers to view information about the various committees and access the application. Apply to serve on a committee today!

Call for Candidates to Serve on the Board of Directors

The Call for Candidates for the Board of Directors is now open! EBAA is looking for eye bank professionals and corneal surgeons who are interested in serving on the Board of Directors.

The open positions include:

  • Chair-Elect
  • Secretary-Treasurer
  • Speaker of the House
  • At-Large Directors (3 open positions)

Applications due March 25. Join in on the next wave of decision-making in the association; apply today!

 

COVID-19 Regulatory Update Page

Information regarding COVID-19 is being released rapidly. We’re keeping track of what you need to know as it impacts eye banking and donation on our COVID-19 Regulatory Update page – set a bookmark and check back frequently!

Transplant Games of America, The Meadowlands, NJ, July 17-22, 2020

Transplant Games is a festival-style event for individuals who have undergone life-saving transplant surgeries. Competition events are open to living donors, organ transplant recipients, bone marrow, and corneal and tissue transplant recipients. More than an athletic event, the Donate Life Transplant Games highlight the critical importance of organ, eye, and tissue donation, while celebrating the lives of organ donors and recipients.

If you know a corneal transplant recipient who may be interested in participating, please spread the word! For registration information, click here.

2020: Year of Perfect Vision; Perfect Year to Register as a Donor Campaign

So far, there’s an awful lot going on in 2020. But because of the easy tie-in with the eye donation community, it gives us a perfect opportunity to spread the word about registering as a donor.

Several times a month we’ll be promoting 2020 as the “Year of Perfect Vision and Perfect Year to Register as a Donor.” Look for posts on social media featuring the 2020 logo that you can share with your own social media networks and communities. They will include donation facts, interactive elements, contests, and prizes to capture public attention and encourage individuals to register as donors.

If you have questions or promotional ideas, please contact 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:

Technician Listserv:

  • Storage Solution color
  • COVID-19 updates
  • Gentian Violet

Quality Assurance Listserv:

  • COVID-19 updates
  • Tissue warmers

Join in on the discussions! To join the technician, quality assurance, donor development, finance, or executive director listserv, please email Genevieve Casaceli. All EBAA and Paton Society Members are able to join. Please note the Executive Director listserv is invite only and specifically for Executive Directors.

Members in the News Highlight

EBAA is eager to celebrate and share the successes of its members. That’s why we’ve created the Members in the News page – a place to collect all the media mentions of your incredible efforts to restore sight. Each month we feature an interesting story here in Insight. If you know of any upcoming press coverage, or have a placement we may have missed, please contact Colleen Bayus.

In February, CBS4 in Miami ran a story about a south Florida transplant recipient who was so grateful to Florida Lions Eye Bank and his ophthalmologist that he started a Facebook group called, “Corneal Transplant Support Group.” This online community is a place of camaraderie between fellow transplant recipients and donor families who work to spread the word about the importance of eye donation.

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EBAA Happenings

 

Congratulations, Stacey Gardner, CAE!

As mentioned in Kevin’s column, we’re proud to announce that Stacey Gardner, Director of Education, recently earned her Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation, awarded by the American Society of Association Executives. The CAE credential is the marker of a committed association professional who has demonstrated the wide range of knowledge essential to manage an association in today’s challenging environment.

From all of us at EBAA, congratulations Stacey!

 

Support for Dakota Lions Sight & Health Eye Bank

Recently, Dakota Lions Sight & Health Eye Bank shared with us news of the unexpected passing of one of their coordinator’s sons, Rylon. They made the decision to donate Rylon’s corneas. Below is his story/obituary. Kindly keep Rylon’s family and the Dakota Lions Eye Bank in your thoughts.

Rylon Anderson, Hartford, SD, died Sunday, February 16, 2020, at Sanford Children’s Hospital from complications resulting from influenza. He was 10.

Rylon Shawn Anderson was born April 17, 2009, in Sioux Falls, SD, to Keith and Dawn (Hawkey) Anderson. He was raised in Hartford, SD, where he was currently enrolled in the fourth grade at West Central Elementary School. Everyone at school loved Rylon. His best friends, “The Four Pack,” included Kash, Chase, Braden, and Carson. They were collectively known as “The Five Pack” with Rylon, and where you saw one, you saw them all.

Rylon loved his dogs, and would always make time to play with them when he got home from school. In his free-time, he enjoyed playing video games particularly “Call of Duty,” “Clash Royale,” and “Brawl Stars.” He would also look forward to summers when he could go camping throughout South Dakota. One month ago, Rylon joined other family members on a trip to Florida to visit relatives. He enjoyed swimming at the beach, spending time at the arcade and riding the roller-coaster. A constant curiosity led him to ponder how things worked. He had the natural instincts of an engineer, and loved building and repurposing things. Rylon was a fan of the Dallas Cowboys, and liked listening to Eminem.

Blessed with a kind-hearted and compassionate heart, he always found time to help others. This spirit of compassion was demonstrated by Rylon’s family at the time of his death when they chose to donate his corneas. This act will provide the gift of sight to two people.

Grateful for having shard his life are his mother, Dawn Anderson, Hartford, SD; father, Keith Anderson, Hartford, SD; sister, Jillian Anderson, Hartford, SD; grandfather, Bill Hawkey, Madison, SD; grandmother, Sally Broyles, Florida; grandparents, Ron and Judy Keller, Brookings, SD; uncle, Joe Hawkey; and special cousins, Jovonn, Joelle, and Shanna. He was preceded in death by his special Auntie Kim.

In lieu of flowers, family requests memorials be directed to a favorite charity of Rylon’s, “Lightshine Canine,” www.paypal.me/rezdogs

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The Return of March Madness (Maybe?)

It might be the understatement of the year to say that March 2020 is madness! But, what is generally the most wonderful time of the year for sports fans is fast approaching! While it has already been decided that the annual NCAA Men’s College Basketball tournament will be played sans fans, and could be cancelled altogether due to COVID-19, we still plan to host the 7th Annual EBAA March Madness Challenge!

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament starts next week and EBAA will host a bracket challenge on cbssports.com and we invite everyone to join in on the fun. The first-place winner will receive one free webinar registration for their eye bank (value of $100). If you would like to take part in the EBAA March Madness Challenge, please complete the registration form by Tuesday, March 17 at 11:59 pm Eastern.

Registration for this challenge is free and open to all EBAA Members and Paton Society Members. You can take part in the fun as an individual or by submitting a bracket on behalf of an organization. Once we have received your registration, we will invite you to the challenge through the CBS sports website, where you will have to fill out your bracket by Thursday, March 19.

Research your teams, fill out your brackets and join in on the mania! Register today!

National Physician’s Week – March 25th – 31st

National Physician’s Week is approaching, and we look forward to paying tribute to our EBAA physicians and Paton Society Members for all they do to restore sight worldwide! Keep an eye on our social media to celebrate and share their contributions and successes!

Upcoming Events / Deadlines / Save the Date