The Mary Jane O’Neill Fellowship in International Eye Banking was established in 2001 to provide medical or technical personnel from eye banks outside of the USA and Canada with the skills necessary to develop, operate, and maintain successful eye banks within their own countries, reducing blindness due to corneal disease or injury.
2023 Fellowship Information
The 2023 Mary Jane O’Neill Fellowship will bring an individual to the United States for a 2 week period during June 2023 to intern at an EBAA member host eye bank and attend the EBAA Annual Meeting, June 21-24, 2023, in Dallas, Texas. Once a Fellow is selected, the EBAA will work with the eye bank and the Fellow to determine the actual dates of the program.
EBAA and The Eye-Bank for Sight Restoration in New York City established this fellowship to honor Mary Jane O’Neill, The Eye-Bank’s Executive Director from 1980 to 2000. During her long history in eye banking, Ms. O’Neill was a forward thinking visionary and championed international outreach, devoting significant efforts to establish and improve eye-banking services worldwide.
The 2023 application is open.
Deadline to Apply: August 12, 2022
2020 Mary Jane O’Neill Fellow
Yveta Urbanova, MSc, MBA
Eye Bank Director
Eye Bank Prague
Yveta interned for one week at The Eye-Bank for Sight Restoration in New York, followed by attending the 2022 Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. Her personal account can be found below.
“In the beginning of 2020, I received a great opportunity to participate in the Mary Jane O’Neill Fellowship program. Then the world was hit by a pandemic, the state’s borders closed, and we all tried to keep the eye banks running as much as possible.
Two years later, the world is closer to normal and I was given the opportunity to spend almost two weeks in a professional program organized by EBAA and The Eye-Bank of Sight Restoration in New York and later on participated in the EBAA 2022 Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland.
During my time in NY, I was given the opportunity to meet a great team of experts and gain insight into areas that need to be implemented in our national environment soon. I got valuable information from Patricia Dahl, Executive Director/CEO at The Eye-Bank for Sight Restoration. Under Patricia’s supervision, I spent most of my time not only learning at the eye bank, but also having the opportunity to see the beauties of New York City after work, which I will always greatly appreciate.
I spend great time also with Noel Mick, Director of Communication at The Eye-Bank for Sight Restoration and Chair of the EBAA 2020-2022. I also drew on knowledge from the field of public education, external presentations in the form of websites, newsletters, video reports, how to educate experts in cooperating hospitals, monitored marketing programs and their requirements. In the laboratory, I had the opportunity to learn from the head technician newest techniques of tissue processing, which will certainly positively affect and expand the range of tissues for surgeons and our clients in the Czech Republic.
I had the opportunity to gain valuable experience from Karen Bardavid, Development Director, which I would like to put into practice in our environment. I also shared mutual insights and valuable information with the QA Director.
Thanks to the whole team that gave me their time, it was incredibly inspiring. I hope to be able to meaningfully put the knowledge into our practice, even if change is needed from the ground up.
Being able to participate in the EBAA annual conference program after two years of meeting only online was very inspiring and the rich program was full of details and knowledge. But what was most inspiring to me was how firmly the relationship between eye banks and surgeons is established and how both parties benefit from this relationship. I really liked how some of the lectures were focused on mental health for health professionals who were and still are exposed to very complicated work situations in the post-pandemic period.
I am and will be very grateful to the Association for the opportunity to learn and draw on your experience. Even after almost 30 years in the environment of eye banking, it is clear that we still have something to learn.”