May 2020 Issue of Insight

Message from the President

It’s Almost Here!

EBAA’s first ever Virtual Annual Meeting starts four weeks from today.

I type these words with a great deal of anticipation. I’m excited, as always, to gather the entire association to conduct the business of EBAA. The idea that we can convene all the people who help to restore sight to those who have been blinded or vision-impaired is powerful in its own right. And this year’s meeting offers all the same elements as any other year; from education and training sessions to personal development, governance and even networking opportunities, we’ve got it all. So I know the meeting will help you do your work even more effectively.

I’m also excited because we’re doing it all in a new format; one that offers unprecedented opportunities to serve our members. Because we don’t need them to fly to Dallas, we’ve been able to attract keynote and educational session speakers who would have been unavailable (and unaffordable) for an in-person meeting. We can also experiment with meeting formats and schedules in ways that may be integrated into future, in-person meetings.

But most importantly, I’m excited about bringing EBAA together at a time when we all feel fractured and distant from one another. EBAA is, at its heart, an association of people with deep personal ties. Will seeing dozens of faces in little rectangles on my monitor feel the same as catching up in person? Not quite, but it’s better than nothing. And just like phone calls to your family or Zoom happy hours with your friends, we know that these are temporary solutions, designed to tide us over until we can spend time together and actually be together.

To encourage member participation, and in recognition that our members have been severely economically affected by the dislocations caused by the pandemic, we’ve sharply reduced registration fees for individuals, and introduced an Eye Bank Group Pass option that grants access to all our Annual Meeting content for one flat fee.

So, if you’re not registered yet, learn more about the meeting and then get signed up. In the meantime, please join us for our Town Hall meeting, tomorrow (Friday, May 22) at 2:30pm Eastern, to hear speeches from candidates for the Board of Directors, discussion about a proposed bylaws amendment, an operational update, and open discussion about issues you‘re interested in.

And then get ready for the Annual Meeting (#EBAA2020). We have a great program in store for you; I can’t wait to share it with you!

– Kevin

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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 April 29, and May 13 issues of The Focal Point, the association’s bi-weekly advocacy and legislative update.

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

Last Call for Medical Advisory Board Agenda Items
The Medical Advisory Board (MAB) and Accreditation Board (AB) have an open 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.

COVID-19 Updates
All the latest regulatory updates related to COVID-19 are available on the EBAA COVID-19 page. The most recent update is from May 14. Please continue to check the EBAA COVID-19 Update page for the latest details and guidance regarding the pandemic. We’ve recently redesigned the page into two categories: Regulatory Updates, and Business Operation Resources, making it easy for you to find the information you need most. Business Operation Resources includes: Text and summary of the CARES Act, Small Business Administration key pages, and various EBAA resources.

EBAA 2020 Annual Meeting

EBAA 2020 Annual Meeting:
Early Bird Rates End May 29!

After weeks of will they or won’t they, the answer is yes, they will! The EBAA 2020 Annual Meeting will be held online and is now open for registration!

#EBAA2020 is a blended meeting with a program schedule featuring a combination of live sessions and prerecorded programming. The Annual Meeting will take place at a computer near you on June 18-20, and will also include a week of webinars June 22-26. The event will include several exciting keynote speakers, engaging educational sessions, important governance meetings (Accreditation Board, MAB and House of Delegates), the Medical Directors’ and Scientific Symposia, networking events and more. CEBTs will be able to earn more than 20 CEUs and Medical Directors will be able to earn CME, and fulfill attendance requirements necessary for their eye bank’s Accreditation.

Meeting Highlights Include:

Keynote Presentations

  • A Virtual Workshop with The Second City (June 18 at 1pm EDT)
  • Leading With an Eye To The Future With Innovation, Strategy, and Teamwork (June 19 at 10:30 am)
    • Cheryl Cran, NextMapping
  • Global Corneal Blindness (June 20 at 10 am EDT)
    • Gerard Sutton, MD, MBBS, FRANZCO, The University of Sydney
  • Invited Session: Emerging Biotech Approaches that May Impact the Future of Corneal Transplantation (June 20 at 12:45 pm EDT)
    • Reza Dana, MD, MSc, MPH, Mass Eye and Ear

Flexible Registration Options
Attend as an individual (eye banker or physician) and earn CEUs/CME and fulfill necessary requirements, or purchase a group pass for the eye bank!

Networking Opportunities
There will still be opportunities for you to network with others during the meeting during networking happy hours and events!

Week of Webinars
We will keep the meeting fun going by hosting a webinar a day June 22-26

Join us from your home, office, or eye bank for the eye banking event of the year. The early bird registration rates end May 29, and fees will increase. If you have never attended a meeting before, you are not always able to attend, or you are looking a meaningful educational experience, take advantage of the low rates and the ease of the online and on-demand sessions and register today!

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Educational Programs and Events 

Access On-Demand Learning on eyeLEARN
eyeLEARN is your portal to on-demand learning! We’ve lowered prices and added new live sessions, free recordings, group training options, and previously recorded events. Review featured offerings below, and visit eyeLEARN to explore resources and learning opportunities right at your fingertips!

Limited-Time Specials
Recently we’ve opened the vault and are offering various sessions and presentations for free for a limited time. We currently have two sessions that are available to EBAA Members through May 31! Log into eyeLEARN to take advantage of these limited-time opportunities.

Management of Limbal Stem Cells Deficiency and Corneal Stromal Opacification
Recorded during the Cornea and Eye Banking Forum, panelists from around the world discuss novel therapeutic approaches for limbal stem cell deficiency and corneal endothelial dysfunction. View this free on-demand session to learn about these cutting edge, cell-based therapeutic approaches.

Conducting Audits: A Panel Discussion
Panelists discuss conducting audits at their eye banks, and discuss various case studies. If you missed the discussion at the 2019 Annual Meeting, now is the time to view the session and learn more about how to conduct an audit at your eye bank!

FREE On-Demand Content
Visit the Free Sessions section on eyeLEARN to view the sessions that are available to EBAA members for FREE.

EBAA COVID-19 Physician Update: Information on Recent EBAA Guidance and Testing
EBAA COVID-19 Update
The 2019 Statistical Report on Eye Banking: Highlights, Trends, and Interpreting the Data
Eye Bank Operations during COVID-19: A Discussion

Great for Group Training!
EBAA has lowered prices for on-demand sessions, making education more accessible than ever! For the low price of $35 per session, individuals can view on-demand webinars and obtain CEU credit, and for an additional $65, a group training option can be purchased, allowing up to 10 staff members to view the session and earn CEUs. Below are just a few of the sessions available; visit the on-demand webinars page to learn more.

Ocular Research Tissue: From the Eye Bank to the Researcher
Total Recall: Compliance without Calamity
Call Center Operations: From Recruitment to Retention

Education and Resources for Medical Directors
There are a variety of FREE educational opportunities available for Medical Directors, including a few of the resources listed below.

EBAA Accreditation Inspections for Medical Directors: How to Help Your Eye Bank Prepare
The Crash Course for New Medical Directors
EBAA Medical Standards: Recent Changes and Updates

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Scholarship, Awards, and Grant Information


EBAA Awards Two Grants Investigating COVID-19
In response to the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, EBAA created the Targeted Research Grant on COVID-19 and requested proposals for research investigating questions surrounding SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 and how they may affect ocular tissue recovery and transplantation.

After receiving numerous strong proposals, we are excited to announce the recipients of this special one-time grant. The proposals that will be funded by the Targeted Research Grant are:

Analyzing effect of COVID-19 pandemic on donor pool, infiltration of SARS-CoV-2 in ocular tissues and evaluating effectiveness of Povidone Iodine to inactivate SARS-CoV-2     

Shahzad Mian, MD, University of Michigan, Eversight

Can SARS-CoV-2 be transmitted through donor corneal tissue? An in vitro infection study

Joshua Hou, MD, Lions Gift of Sight

Thank you to the selection committee for reviewing and selecting the final recipients, and thank you to everyone who applied for the grant. Congratulations to Dr. Shahzad Mian and Dr. Joshua Hou, we look forward to sharing the findings of these two projects with the EBAA membership once the research has concluded.


Secure Funds for Impactful Research- Apply for the High Impact Research Grant!
EBAA is accepting applications for the High Impact Research Grant. This annual funding opportunity was created to advance innovation and knowledge in sight restoration, eye banking and cornea transplantation. In 2020, EBAA will provide up to $50,000 to fund one research proposal investigating “Cell Based Therapies for Corneal Diseases.”

Applications 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 with your research, and apply today!

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EBAA Live Virtual House of Delegates Town Hall Meeting – TOMORROW
Friday, May 22, 2:30 PM Eastern 

The EBAA Live Virtual House of Delegates Town Hall Meeting is tomorrow, Friday, May 22.

The Town Hall Meeting features:

  • Information about the June HOD Meeting and elections
  • Campaign speeches delivered by the candidates for the Board of Directors
  • Discussion about a proposed amendment to the Bylaws
  • Report from the Board of Directors and Operations & Finance
  • Discussion on topics of concern to the EBAA membership

The 2020 slate of candidates for EBAA’s Board of Directors is available for your review. Elections will be held in conjunction with EBAA’s 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting; the House of Delegates (HOD) will meet on Wednesday, June 17.

EBAA’s HOD is the members’ voice in the association’s governance. Be sure your voice is heard and your concerns are addressed; register for the Town Hall today!

Happy Memorial Day – Call for Veteran Stories

This Monday we celebrate Memorial Day, honoring those who have given the greatest sacrifice in service to our country. As we reflect on those we’ve lost, kindly consider if you, or someone at your eye bank is a Veteran. As we prepare for Eye Donation Month 2020 (November) we plan on taking the week of Veterans Day (November 11), to recognize and honor those in eye banking who have served.

If you’d like to share your service, know someone who might share their story as a veteran, or have stories related to veteran donors, please contact Communications Manager, Colleen Bayus.

Transplant Games – New Dates!
Due to COVID-19, the 2020 Transplant Games had to be rescheduled. They will take place July 16-21, 2021, still at the New Jersey Meadowlands. The Games are a multi-sport festival for individuals who have undergone a life-saving transplant surgery. Over the course of six days, attendees will participate in a full schedule of special events that recognize the success of donation and transplantation while honoring the life-saving generosity of donors and their families.

June is Vision Research Month – Call for Research / Innovation Updates
June is Vision Research Month which recognizes the accomplishments of vision research and the ongoing challenges and significant progress in discovering cures for many ocular diseases and disorders.

EBAA would like to spotlight the innovation being done by EBAA member eye banks throughout the month. If you have any research findings or updates you’d like to share, please contact Communications Manager, 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:


  • International Perspective on COVID Testing of Donors
  • Recovered Tissue Tested Positive for SARS-CoV-2


  • Blood samples from third parties
  • Pandemic Operations Checklist

Please contact Genevieve Casaceli to join a listserv!

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EBAA Happenings


Happy 10 Year EBAA Anniversary to Stacey Gardner
On May first, our Director of Education, Stacey Gardner reached a milestone of ten years with EBAA. For the past decade she has worked tirelessly serving our members and mission to #RestoreSight worldwide. In addition to constantly developing new ways to engage our members, Stacey’s enthusiasm and positive energy brighten our office, and now our Zoom meetings! Thanks to Stacey for her 24/7/365 x 10 devotion to EBAA, eye banking, and the gift of sight!

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Upcoming Events / Deadlines / Save the Date