Ellen Kerns, CEBT, is a native of New Jersey and earned her bachelor’s degree in Neural Science from Williams College. Ellen had undergraduate research published in Science regarding the role of the rabbit hippocampus in classical conditioning and was a research assistant for the New York State Department of Health. She was known as “Rat Lady” at College of William and Mary (bred/raised/domesticated rats for Psychology Dept. operant conditioning labs and researchers) and was a neuropsychometrist at Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News, VA, testing patients with TBI/CVA/dementia/psych disorders.
In August 1992, Ellen opened the satellite office of South Carolina Lions Eye Bank, going on to earn the CEBT certification in November 1992. She was promoted to Technical Director, transitioned to QA as Manager of Document Control then relocated to HQ in Charleston as Manager of Ocular Distribution. She relocated to Alabama Eye Bank in 2011 where she currently resides as the Senior Vice President of Transplant Services. Ellen has done almost all aspects of eye banking: counseling families, performing recoveries, evaluation, processing, QA, hospital development, client relations, and distribution. Ellen has also served on numerous EBAA committees as listed below. She is a Stephen Minister/Leader (non-denominational peer counseling) and is a trained listener.
This is an exciting time in eye banking with opportunities for creative problem solving coming at a record pace. New challenges are facing us such as OPO reform, effects of climate change resulting in increased environmental fungi, and reimbursement issues to name a few, which will require the Board of Directors to develop methods and resources for the membership to successfully survive and thrive in spite of these challenges.
As the daughter of a ‘60s civil rights advocate I am also passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion and as a daughter, sister, wife, mother, and grandmother I understand the importance of work/life balance. We have to do better in these areas if we are to attract and retain the next generation of eye bankers.
I want to be in the room where it happens (nod to “Hamilton”!) so I can use my unique knowledge and skill set to help maintain a vibrant eye bank community. We need decisive actions and a big-picture mindset to prepare our community for the near and distant future.
- Meetings Committee: Member (2006)
- Technical Education Committee: Member (2006-2008; 2010-2012)
- Procedures Manual Subcommittee: Member (2006-2008)
- Research Committee: Member (2010-2014; 2016-2018)
- Legislative and Regulatory Committee: Member (2012-2016; 2018-2020)
- Continuing Education Committee: Member (2020-2022)
- Data Integrity Subcommittee (Current)