May 2018 Issue of Insight


Looking Forward: The Grace Notes of Personal Service

Last night, I experienced truly outstanding customer service simply because a professional was doing her job very well.

True Story: Last night (May 9, 10:35 pm), I discovered that someone claiming to be me had called Capital One to request a replacement for a lost or damaged card, then followed the FedEx truck down the street to steal the card off my front porch immediately after it was delivered. I learned this because it happened to my next door neighbor, and the house on his other side, and he wanted me to know because I’m on the Homeowners Association Board.

When I called Capital One, I was fortunate to be connected with Nina, their customer service rep in Tampa. She didn’t do anything out of the ordinary, but she did her job efficiently, effectively, and with empathy. She immediately recognized that I’d had an unfortunate incident and adjusted her demeanor accordingly, expressing understanding and sympathy and promising to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. She gathered the necessary information, explained what would happen next and tried to dig into the details of who might have placed the call to report the lost card and who at Capital One had processed the request. She made interesting small talk while her computer system did its thing and even made light of her required recitation of their boilerplate legalese. In short, she was perfectly professional while remaining entirely personal.

This made me reflect on the work that our members do. As eye bankers and physicians, you often find yourself caring for individuals during challenging times; not only the death of a loved one or the delivery of a diagnosis, but a surgeon who needs a replacement tissue in six hours or an employee with performance issues. The way you express sympathy for their circumstances, ask your questions or deliver the required information in an empathetic way and take time to ensure that they understand what you’re saying and what the next steps will be, will determine how well they comprehend and perceived their entire interaction with you.

I would never equate replacing a credit card with losing a family member or sharing negative health news with a patient, but people in service professions, and we’re all in service professions, can have an outsized impact on the lives of those they touch, even if for just a few minutes, by approaching their work with grace and the understanding that it’s not only possible to be both professional and personal, it’s imperative.

When I first dialed Capital One’s number last night, I knew that I would make a report, cancel the card and request a replacement. And any one of their operators could have performed those functions for me. But I got lucky, and I got to talk with Nina, who taught me a lesson about customer service…and gave me a topic for my Insight column.

Speaking of Service…
The American Academy of Ophthalmology presents their EnergEYES Award to one physician annually “who demonstrates exemplary leadership skills by energizing others to improve ophthalmology”. The 2017 EnergEYES Award was presented to Mark Mannis, MD.

Anyone who has seen the way he mentors young physicians and has been a stalwart supporter of EBAA and eye banking, recognizes that this is a very well-earned award.

Congratulations on your award, Dr. Mannis, and thank you for your service to the profession.
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THe Annual Meeting is Just Under a Month Away – Here’s What’s in Store!

The EBAA 57th Annual Meeting is just under a month away.  We are busy putting the final touches in place to ensure that our eye bankers learn best practices and trends in the profession, and make lasting connections with colleagues.

Below are details and the latest information to help you make the most of this year’s meeting:

Opening Night Reading Terminal Market Takeover
EBAA is taking over Philadelphia’s famous Reading Terminal Market on Wednesday, June 6, with a special after-hours event specifically for Annual Meeting attendees.

Tickets for this exclusive event include food from market vendors representing a variety of local favorites and delicacies, beer and wine, hands-on demonstration stations, and opportunities for networking and socializing.

Don’t miss out on a fun and memorable night with your eye bank colleagues! Get your ticket now!

Keynote Presentation
On Friday, June 8, Kenneth P. Moritsugu, MD, MPH, FACPM, Rear Admiral, USPHS (Retired) and former Surgeon General of the United States, will deliver the keynote presentation, “Donation and Transplantation – Everyone’s Opportunity, Everyone’s Responsibility.”

Dr. Moritsugu has been an advocate for eye, tissue, and organ donation since the 1990s when his wife and daughter became eye, organ, and tissue donors after each passing away due to separate car crashes. He has seen first-hand how donation can help a family through the grieving process and how transplantation can save and enhance lives. We are thrilled and honored to have Dr. Moritsugu join us at #EBAA57 to share his story and discuss the importance of eye, tissue, and organ donation.

Eye Donation Month Launch
Meeting attendees will get a sneak peek at new Eye Donation Month branding, will learn about the toolkit being created for the reimagined event, and will look at plans for Eye Donation Month in greater detail.

Important Deadlines

  • Discounts for the Opening Night Reading Terminal Market Takeover end May 18.
  • Discounts for Annual Meeting registration will increase on-site. Save over $150 and register today!


Annual Dinner

Konan Medical USA
Continental Breakfast – Friday

Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley
Host Eye Bank/Meeting Gift/Reading Terminal Market – Hosted Bar

Lions VisionGift
Physician Luncheon

Gebauer Medizintechnik GmbH
Afternoon Refreshment Break – Thursday            

Mid-America Transplant
Meeting Lanyards

EBAA thanks for the following 57th Annual Meeting sponsors, for their support.

Several key
sponsorship opportunities remain but times is running out to be recognized in printed meeting materials.  Secure your sponsorship today or contact Molly Georgakis for more information.

EBAA is pleased to announce that the following organizations will exhibit at the 57th Annual Meeting. Attendees are encouraged to visit them in the Exhibit Hall to find out the latest technological developments, equipment, services and more.

Bausch + Lomb NanoCool
BB&T Insurance Services, Inc. National Disease Research Interchange
BIONIKO Numedis, Inc.
Donate Life America NuVista Solutions Group LLC
Donate Life Rose Parade Float Oftalmedia LLC
ECL2/Q-Pulse QualTex Laboratories
Eurobio Ingen Quick Specialized Healthcare Logistics
Gebauer Medizintechnik GmbH Restore Sight International
Global FIRST Statline
KODIAKOOLER Stephens Instruments
Konan Medical USA, Inc. Stradis Healthcare
Krolman Transplant Connect
Medline VRL Eurofins
Moria, Inc.


And The award goes to…

One of the best parts of the Annual Meeting each year is the Annual Dinner and Awards Program, when we recognize those who have made significant contributions to eye banking, have helped to give the gift of sight, or have promoted cornea donation.

EBAA is excited to announce the recipients of the Leonard Heise Award, Crystal Cornea Award, and Gift of Sight Award, all of which will be presented next month. We are also pleased to announce the recipients of the Mary Jane O’Neill Fellowship and the Patricia Aiken-O’Neill Scholarship which allow individuals to attend various EBAA meetings and have unique experiences that will enhance their careers in eye banking.

Leonard Heise Award
Beth Binnion, CEBT
Executive Director
Cincinnati Eye Bank
Gift of Sight Award
Alfarena T. Ballew, MBA
Chief Deputy Coroner
Marion County Coroner’s Office
Nominated by VisionFirst
Crystal Cornea Award
Peyton Barkalow
First Grade Student
Nominated by Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley
Mary Jane O’Neill Fellowship
Maya Alba, MD, PhD
Executive Director
Eye Bank at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center
PAO Scholarship
Kayla Gray, CCRP
Research Recovery and Processing Specialist

We hope you will join us in Philadelphia to recognize and honor all of these indivduals who have each made a difference in eye banking and the gift of sight. Congratulations to the 2018 award recipients.
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Legislative and Regulatory Updates


EBAA reported on recent legislative and regulatory developments in the May 8 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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Educational Programs, Seminars, and Events

Cornea and Eye Banking Forum: Call for Abstracts and Registration Now Open!

EBAA and the Cornea Society are excited to announce that the call for abstracts and registration for the Cornea and Eye Banking Forum is now open. The Cornea and Eye Banking Forum, jointly hosted by both organizations, will take place on October 26 at the Westin Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Illinois, and will feature the following:

  • The presentation of over 25 scientific abstracts
  • Two 30-minute symposia for topic-specific invited talks
  • Two award lectures: the Paton Lecture and the Troutman Prize Lecture
  • Four award presentations

Each year this event continues to be a favorite among corneal surgeons and eye bankers because of the new research and information that is presented. Following the 2017 program, attendees were surveyed and this is what they had to say:

  • 82% mentioned that they expected to change practice as a result of the program
  • 93% noted that they learned something new
  • 95% noted that they achieved their goal
  • 100% were highly satisfied with the program
  • 100% would recommend the event to colleagues

Be part of the cornea and eye banking event of the year and submit an abstract for presentation consideration and register to attend today. The deadline for abstract submissions is August 6. For information about abstract submission and registration, visit the Cornea and Eye Banking Forum site.

Register for the May Webinar to Learn About Descemetorhexis and Corneal Collagen Cross-Linking

Join us on Wednesday, May 23, for the webinar, Scientific Spotlight: Descemetorhexis and Corneal Collagen Cross Linking. This unique session, will highlight two ophthalmic techniques that are currently being explored in sight restoration; descemetorhexis and corneal collagen cross-linking.

During this session, planned by the EBAA Technician Education Committee, Dr. Kathryn Colby, from the University of Chicago, will discuss descemetorhexis and provide information on the procedure, the background and patient outcomes. Following this presentation, Dr. Parag Majmudar, from Chicago Cornea Consultants, will present on Corneal Collagen Cross-Linking and will give an overview of the procedure, current practice and research as well as patient outcomes.

Stay up to date on new ophthalmic procedures; register for the webinar today!
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2018 – 2020 Committee Appointments Announced

Volunteers are an essential component of the EBAA’s success and we were grateful to receive applications for service from so many qualified individuals. Chair-Elect Woody Van Meter has completed committee appointments for the upcoming term beginning July 1, 2018 and appointment letters were sent via email in April.  To view full lists of members by committee, visit the 2018 – 2020 Committee Lists page.

Volunteers Needed

EBAA is looking for volunteers to scan name badges during the 57th Annual Meeting. This is a great opportunity for individuals to meet other attendees. If you are interested in this opportunity, visit the volunteer page for more information and to sign-up as a volunteer.


We are excited to announce the Spring 2018 Class of Certified Eye Bank Technicians (CEBTs). The Spring exam was given October March 24 – April 7 in the US, Canada, and Saudi Arabia. To pass the exam, the candidates had to answer at least 187 questions correctly out of the 250 on the exam. Allison Andersen from Lions VisionGift and Ann Kent from Georgia Eye Bank received the highest score for this exam cycle.

Please join the EBAA in congratulating the 21 individuals listed below for passing the Spring 2018 CEBT Exam.

Allison Andersen, CEBT, Lions VisionGift
Justin Bork, CEBT, CTBS, Center for Organ Recovery & Education
Alan Bush, CEBT, Sierra Donor Services Eye Bank
James Cagle, RN, CEBT, Mississippi Lions Eye Bank
Josh Cope, CEBT, Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin
Alyssa Davis, CEBT, CTBS, Eversight
Kate Dorhout, CEBT, Lions Medical Eye Bank & Research Center of Eastern Virginia
Alyse Fisse, CEBT, KeraLink – Pacific
Jocelyn Fronk, CEBT, Utah Lions Eye Bank – John A. Moran Eye Center
Susanne Giggey, CEBT, CTBS, New Brunswick Organ and Tissue Program
LaPrintence Gunn, CEBT, Alabama Eye Bank
Cameron Gupton, CEBT, Sierra Donor Services Eye Bank
Emily Harris, CEBT, Eye Bank of Canada–Ontario Division
Alex Jasinski, CEBT, KeraLink – Pacific
Lauren Johnson, CEBT, Eversight
Ann Kent, CEBT, Georgia Eye Bank
Virlynda Luciano, CEBT, KeraLink – Pacific
Nikki Miller, CEBT, Lions Medical Eye Bank & Research Center of Eastern Virginia
Stacey Paskowski, CEBT, CTBS, Lifebanc
Yi Ling Wa, CEBT, Eye Bank of Canada–Ontario Division
Samantha Winsett, CEBT, Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank

2017 Eye Banking by the Numbers infographic

Last month, EBAA released the 2017 Statistical Report, which represents an essentially complete picture of eye banking activity among our member eye banks, detailing information on all U.S. and international member eye banks reporting data for the 2017 calendar year.

A few statistics from the report are highlighted in the infographic  which shows the impact that our members and their recovery and transplant partners, have on individuals, families and communities; in the United States and around the world.

This infographic is available for download in PDF format or JPEG format for you to share with colleagues and other partners who want to understand corneal transplantation and the number of lives that are changed by the work you do for the profession.

If you would like to customize the infographic with your individual eye bank information, please contact Yolanda Raine.

Eye Bank News

  • On April 6, the Eversight Connecticut laboratory was relocated to 20 Tuttle Place, Suite 8 Middletown, Connecticut 06457
  • David Bosch has been named as the new President of Eversight as of April 2018.

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Upcoming Events

May Webinar: Scientific Spotlight: Descemetorhexis and Corneal Collagen Crosslinking
May 23, 2018
2 PM

57th Annual Meeting
June 6 – 9, 2018
Lowes Philadelphia Hotel
Philadelphia, PA

World Eye Bank Symposium
June 15, 2018

AOPO Annual Meeting
June 18 – 21, 2018
Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center
National Harbor, MD

Fall Leadership Meeting
October 25, 2018
Westin Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL

Cornea and Eye Banking Forum
October 26, 2018
Westin Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL


Eye Donation Month
(Formerly National Eye Donor Month)
November 2018

58th Annual Meeting
June 5 – 8, 2019
The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
Scottsdale, AZ
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