2020 Jachin Misko Memorial Scholarship for Technical Advancement in Eye Banking Personal Account
Submitted by Rebecca Hubbs
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 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.