I hope those of you who attended the EBAA Fall Leadership Conference and the Cornea and Eye Banking Forum in Chicago enjoyed the experience, and that those of you who were not able to attend will be able to make it to the fall meeting next year in San Francisco (October 10 – 11, 2019). The new Chairs of the Accreditation Board (Chris Stoeger and Chris Ketcherside) and the Medical Advisory Board (Jennifer Li and Winston Chamberlain) started their terms overseeing their respective boards. All nine eye banks inspected in the last cycle received three year accreditation. The EBAA Board met for the first time under the new governance structure that was inaugurated at the Annual Meeting in Philadelphia in June.
The Cornea and Eye Banking Forum showcased 26 paper presentations from cornea and eye banking professionals around the world. Fungal keratitis was the hot topic of the meeting, and a Controversies session, with lectures by Bennie Jeng, Greg Grossman, Jennifer LI, Mark Terry, Kourtney Houser and Elmer Tu, looked at different angles to reduce this complication. Congratulations to the Georgia Eye Bank for turning an eye banking and cornea double play: Barry Lee presented the (R. Townley Paton Lecture on “The Importance of Mentoring”, and cornea fellow Charles Salisbury received the Best Paper of Session award for his presentation, “Increasing Betadine Exposure During Cornea Rim Culture Preparation Decreases Positive Rim Cultures and Postoperative Infections.”
The 33rd Annual Run for Vision was held in Millennium Park on Sunday morning on the shore of Lake Michigan. Heavy rain dampened the visibility but not the spirits of the hearty souls that showed up to support EBAA in this time honored AAO classic event.
Change is constant, and 2019 will bring changes to eye banking as we saw it in 2018. Molly Georgakis, a fixture in the EBAA office for nine years and a point person for EBAA meetings for many of us, has become the CEO of the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics, while Janet Ridgely has joined our staff as our new Director of Meetings & Member Services.
Speaking of change, many members are talking about recent steps by some eye banks to patent or otherwise restrict the use of certain tissue preparation and distribution processes or to control access to devices used in transplant procedures. EBAA is aware of these issues and will, as always, work to minimize any adverse effects of these changes on the ability of eye banks to maintain the quality and efficient distribution of tissue for different corneal procedures. Remember the mission of the EBAA: “…the restoration of sight through core services to its members which advance donation, transplantation and research in their communities and throughout the world.”
As 2018 winds down, be sure to mark your calendar now for the 2019 EBAA Annual Meeting at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess near Phoenix, AZ on June 5 – 8. This will be a fun meeting at a really nice venue, so plan to attend and sign up when registration opens in January early because hotel rooms may sell out. Change is coming, so remember that if you are not sitting at the table, you may be on the menu.
I wish everyone a very pleasant holiday season. It is an honor to be your board chair, and as always, please let me know if I can answer any questions or be of any assistance to you. Communication is key in all that we do.
I look forward to seeing you in Scottsdale if not before.
Woody Van Meter
…but that ain’t getting us nowhere.
As the great American poet Meatloaf taught us, there are limits to the value of conversation. Sooner or later, decisions must be made and steps taken to carry them out. At that point, all the conversation in the world is meaningless without action.
The end of one year and the beginning of another is a time for taking stock of one’s achievements and developing plans for the coming year. That is not only a valuable process, it is an essential one; if you don’t know where you are and decide where you’re going, how will you ever get there?
And yet, both parts of that equation represent risks for our organizations. Reflecting on the past year’s accomplishments may cause us to rest on our laurels and bask in our perceived successes. Running ten miles is great…unless you’ve entered a marathon.
Similarly, the planning process can become an end in itself. Strategic plans are nothing more than promises about how we’re going to change the future. And plans that aren’t implemented are worse than useless, because they give the illusion of action without yielding any results. They can lull us into a false sense of accomplishment if they don’t include clear accountability for completing the action items they contain.
EBAA’s Board will meet in March to develop a new three-year strategic plan. During this time, there will be a great deal of conversation about current and potential trends in eye banking and the treatment of corneal diseases. Out of all that discussion will come concrete plans to move the association and the profession forward. We will share our completed plan with you, our members, because everything that EBAA does must support your mission and facilitate your success.
We are fortunate to have literally hundreds of volunteers, along with a committed Board and capable staff, who collaborate to bring those plans to fruition. This is where the real work of the association takes place because, to again quote Meatloaf, “There ain’t no Coupe De Ville hiding at the bottom of a Cracker Jack box”.
P.S. On behalf of the Board and staff, I wish you and yours a wonderful holiday and a healthy and prosperous 2019.
The EBAA Fall Meeting were held last month in Chicago where members gathered for the presentation of new research, open discussions, and networking. The EBAA Board of Directors and other committees met to discuss issues of concern to the membership and other business which provides strategic direction for the association. Below is a summary of discussions and actions taken.
Board of Directors Meeting
The Board of Directors met on October 25 in Chicago; its strategic discussions, which consumed the majority of the meeting, revolved around two issues:
The Board also took a number of administrative actions:
EBAA Medical Advisory Board Releases Important Documents
The Medical Advisory Board (MAB) has released a Medical Advisory which highlights standard changes, the Minutes from the October 25, 2018, MAB Meeting, and the updated Medical Standards, which go into effect immediately.
Below, please find links to these documents:
These documents are also available in the Members’ Section of the EBAA website under Medical Advisory Board.
EBAA Accreditation Board Releases Important Documents
The Accreditation Board (AB) has released the minutes of their October 25, 2018, meeting and the updated Accreditation Status List.
Below, please find links to these documents:
These documents are also available in the Members’ Section of the EBAA website under Accreditation Information.
If you have any questions, please contact EBAA Director of Regulations & Standards, Jennifer DeMatteo.
On October 26, EBAA and Cornea Society jointly hosted the 2018 Cornea and Eye Banking Forum in Chicago, Illinois. This year, we saw our largest crowd yet with a total of 424 ophthalmologists and eye bank professionals from around the world gathered for the day-long event.
This year’s Forum, moderated by Michelle K. Rhee, MD, and Anthony J. Aldave, MD, featured the presentation of 26 scientific abstracts highlighting new research followed by lively discussion during the Q&A sessions; two mini-symposia with invited speakers, two award lectures, the presentation of four awards, lively debates and discussion, and much more.
The invited sessions included, “What I Learned from My First 50 Cases,” and “Controversies in Eye Banking: Postkeratoplasty Fungal Infections”.
During the Forum, the R. Townley Paton Award was presented to Barry Lee, MD, in recognition of his many contributions to EBAA, eye banking, corneal transplantation and sight restoration. After being introduced by the 1996 R. Townley Paton Award recipient, Dr. Mark Mannis, Dr. Lee gave the R. Townley Paton Lecture, “Planning for the Next Generation: The Art of Mentorship.” During his lecture Dr. Lee discussed the importance of mentors in his life and career and how mentorship can help shape the next generation of leadership in eye banking and corneal transplantation.
The Best Paper of Session was awarded to Drew Salisbury, MD, Cornea Fellow at Eye Consultants of Atlanta for his presentation, “Increasing Betadine Exposure During Cornea Tissue Preparation Decreases Positive Rim Cultures and Postoperative Infections.” The Best Paper of Session, is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from CorneaGen, and is awarded by the EBAA and Cornea Society for the best paper presented by a medical student, resident, or corneal fellow.
The event also included two awards presented by the Cornea Society. Ronald Smith, MD, was posthumously honored with the Claes H. Dohlman Award in recognition of a lifetime of teaching excellence in the field of cornea and external disease and for his contributions to the profession. Gregory Moloney, MBBS, received the Richard C. Troutman Prize for his paper, “Descemetorhexis Without Grafting for Fuchs Endothelial Dystrophy—Supplementation with Topical Ripasudil.”
The attendees have been excited sharing their feedback about the program:
With the presentation of new research, dynamic Q&A following each presentation, and open discussions and debates, the Cornea and Eye Banking Forum continues to be a success and a favorite among corneal surgeons and eye bank professionals.
If you missed the Cornea and Eye Banking Forum, you still have a chance to hear and view the R. Townley Paton Lecture given by Dr. Barry Lee, as well as the scientific abstracts and invited mini-symposia. The Paton Lecture is available on eyeLEARN for free and the rest of the Forum is available for purchase. Viewers can earn up to 4.5 CEUs for attending the online program.
Thank you to review committee, speakers, moderators, and attendees for making this year’s Forum a successful event!
Over 200 ophthalmologists, eye bankers, donor family members, corneal transplant recipients, and others braved the early rain to run along the shores of Lake Michigan. Thankfully, the rain subsided just minutes before the starting gun, and by the race’s conclusion, the skies had begun to clear. Because a grant from Bausch + Lomb underwrote all the race expenses, these runners’ entry fees raised $13,000 to support EBAA’s mission.
Since its inception in 1985, the Run for Vision has raised nearly $350,000 to support EBAA’s mission to restore sight. We thank Bausch & Lomb for their decades-long partnership and continued support of this event.
Mark your calendars now…the 2019 Run for Vision will take place on Sunday, October 13, in San Francisco.
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Thank you to every member eye bank that celebrated Eye Donation Month in November! We appreciate you sharing valuable information about the eye donation in your communities and through your social media platforms and websites.
This year’s campaign, The Power of You, demonstrates the “power” that individuals have in building hope, restoring sight and changing lives, including healthcare professionals and partners, researchers, eye bank staff, corneal surgeons, and recipients and donor families. Between the new logo, online marketing toolkit, television interviews and social media activity, we can state with confidence that the month was a resounding success.
Let’s start with media coverage:
EBAA’s Facebook page realized significant increases in activity and gained 30 new followers.
Marketing Toolkit Use
From all of us at EBAA, we thank you for helping to raise awareness about cornea donation and transplantation throughout the month of November. It’s the Power of You that made this year’s efforts a success. We hope you’ll continue to join us in raising awareness and shining a light on this important cause all year round!
We are currently developing a plan for assessing member needs and resources for future observances. EBAA welcomes your ideas for how we can build on this year’s success for Eye Donation Month 2018. Please send your suggestions to Yolanda Raine, Communications Manager.
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Have you visited EBAA’s new online education portal, eyeLEARN? The new platform offers members access to on-demand webinars, event recordings, and so much more!
Have you visited EBAA’s new online education portal, eyeLEARN? The new platform offers members access to on-demand webinars, event recordings, and so much more!
Currently featured on eyeLEARN is the Cornea and Eye Banking Forum recording package. For the first time ever, members have the opportunity to listen to and view the research that was presented during the Cornea and Eye Banking Forum after the event is over. Visit eyeLEARN today to learn more and purchase the Forum package, comprised of over 30 presentations, including the abstract presentations and the two invited mini-symposia. Learners are also able to listen to and view the 2018 R. Townley Paton Award Lecture, presented by Dr. Barry Lee for free.
On eyeLEARN you will also find past webinar recordings, including this week’s webinar, Grief and Loss in the Workplace. If you missed the webinar, purchase the session today to watch it at your convenience. Here is a tutorial on eyeLEARN to help you get started exploring EBAA’s new education portal!
Throughout the month of December, we are offering a 30% discount off all eyeLEARN products. Explore eyeLEARN today and use the discount code eyeLEARN30%! during checkout to receive 30% off all on-demand products. Education is now at your fingertips; start exploring the portal today!
Registration for the 2019 Technician Education Seminar (TES) is currently open and will feature a new location and format. The 2019 TES will take place January 31 – February 2 at the Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
This highly anticipated event for beginning eye banking staff will be comprised of online and in-person sessions that highlight the practical, technical, and scientific aspects of eye banking. The online sessions will allow attendees to listen to various lectures at their own pace and the in-person portion of the seminar will be more interactive and will include break-out sessions, hands-on demonstrations, networking opportunities, case studies, and much more!
This year’s knowledgeable faculty includes George Rosenwasser, MD, CEBT (Gift of Life Donor Program Eye Bank), Josh Galloway, CEBT (Lions VisionGift), Ingrid Schunder, MBA, CEBT, (Miracles in Sight), Sam Ramos, CEBT, CTBS, (Sierra Donor Services Eye Bank), and Troy Win’E, CEBT (SightLife).
The TES continues to be a favorite for newer eye bank professionals. Here is what past attendees have said about TES:
Take advantage of the low early bird rates and register today!
EBAA is currently accepting abstract proposals for the 2019 EBAA Scientific Symposium. The session will be held during the 2019 Annual Meeting on June 8, 2019, in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Each year this event showcases new and innovative research in the fields of eye banking and ophthalmology. A travel grant opportunity is available for medical students, residents and corneal fellows whose papers are accepted for presentation. The Best Paper of Session Award, sponsored by the International Journal of Eye Banking, will be awarded for the best paper presentation by a resident, fellow, or eye banker.
If you have been working on research in the areas of corneal transplantation, recovery, preparation, or processing, we encourage you to submit an abstract today. The deadline for submissions is Monday, February 11. To submit an abstract for consideration, please visit the 2019 Submission Portal.
The submission cycle for the 2019 EBAA Richard Lindstrom Research Grants is currently open. Each year, EBAA awards grants to various individuals in the research, ophthalmic and eye banking communities to provide support for projects concerned with issues directly related to eye banking and/or corneal transplantation.
Researchers looking to fund pilot projects, well-defined short-term protocols, or initial studies directed toward new research initiatives are encouraged to apply.
Secure funding for your research by applying for the grant today. The deadline to apply is Friday, March 25. For more information and to apply, click here.
The 2018 Richard Lindstrom Research Grant Recipients
Anthony Aldave, MD
Stein Eye Institute, UCLA
In Vitro Expansion of Human Corneal Endothelial Cells Using Differing Cell Culture Systems
A Phase II, Randomized Treatment, Double-Blind, Single-Center Study of the Effects of Ripasudil on Cornea Clearing after Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty in Subjects with Fuchs’ Endothelial Cell Dystrophy
Marjan Farid, MD
Gavin Herbert Eye Institute
Micro/Nanobubbles: A New Modality for Corneal Transplant Preservation
Joshua Hou, MD
University of Minnesota
Determining Which Donor Characteristics are Predictive of Donor Cornea Limbal Stem Cell Viability in Cultures
Zala Luznik, MD, MPH
Schepens Eye Research Institute/Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School
The Role of Neuropeptide Alpha-Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone in Preventing Corneal Endothelial Cell Loss in Tissue Storage and Transplantation
Behnam Rabiee, MD, MPH
University of Illinois at Chicago
The Effect of Corneal-Limbal Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cell Secreted Factors on Preservation of Corneal Endothelial Cells
Alfonso Sabater, MD, PhD
Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami – Miller School of Medicine
Plasma Rich in Growth Factors (PRGF) Enhances Corneal Endothelial Cells Survival and Proliferation
Gregory Schmidt, CEBT
Iowa Lions Eye Bank
Assessing the Effects of Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide (VIP) on Human Corneal Endothelial Cell Bioenergetic Activity
“This was the best webinar that I have attended, to date. This topic should be mandatory for all eye and tissue bank employees!”
The reviews have been coming in for yesterday’s webinar, Grief and Loss in the Workplace, and it is clear that attendees loved the session and feel that it would be valuable for all eye bank professionals. If you or your staff missed the session, it is now available on eyeLEARN and we encourage everyone to attend to learn tips for taking care of yourself when working in a profession when you never know what you will encounter and how it will affect you.
During yesterday’s webinar, Pam Albert from New England Donor Services, spoke about working with death and grief on a daily basis and how important it is for everyone, no matter their role at the eye bank, to practice self-care to prevent burn out, compassion fatigue, and staff turnover.
Here is what another attendee had to say about the session:
“Excellent Session! After 25 years in donation I am so happy to see self-care addressed in an open forum inclusive of other colleagues from other eye banks! I took away something from every slide for myself. The questions made me ‘get real’ with how often I still need to decompress and look beyond the end of the workday and hard cases. Thank you so much, I look forward to more!”
If your organization attended the session yesterday, you received a code for a 70% discount off of the session. If your organization did not attend the session, EBAA is offering a 30% discount off all eyeLEARN sessions throughout December.
See what attendees are talking about and purchase the session today on eyeLEARN!
EBAA reported on recent legislative and regulatory developments in the December 11 issue of 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.
EBAA is currently accepting nominations for the 2019 Jachin Misko Memorial Scholarship for Technical Advancement in Eye Banking. In honor of Jachin Misko’s dedication to eye banking and technical innovation in the eye banking profession, Saving Sight is sponsoring the scholarship to provide a highly motivated technician from an EBAA member eye bank to attend the 2019 Technician Education Seminar (TES) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The scholarship will provide up to $2,000 to cover travel, registration, and lodging costs to attend the seminar. All nominations must be submitted by the Executive Director, President, or CEO by Monday, December 17.
For more information about the scholarship or to nominate someone, click here.
Attention physicians! If you are a current member of the R. Townley Paton Society, there are less than three weeks left to renew your membership. The Paton Society membership year runs January through December and provides individuals with these member benefits throughout the year:
EBAA has made renewing your membership easier than ever! If you would like your membership renewed annually automatically, without having to login and enter payment information again, select the check box at checkout that says, “I Agree to Recurring Payment Option” and your membership will automatically renew next year. You can cancel your automatic renewal setup at any time.
To renew your membership, login to restoresight.org, click the small arrow to the left of “My Information” and then select “My Transactions” and apply payment to the open invoice.
If you are a physician or corneal surgeon who is interested in joining the Paton Society or have questions about your current membership, please contact Genevieve Casaceli.
The individuals listed below are Certified Eye Bank Technicians (CEBTs) whose status will expire on December 31, 2018. If there is anyone on this list who is no longer in eye banking or who should not be on this list, please notify Genevieve Casaceli.
To view your CEUs online, log into Members’ Section, click on the small arrow next to “My Information,” and select “My Professional Development” from the drop-down menu. To recertify as a CEBT, each individual must earn 16 CEUs during the three-year certification period, including attendance at two of the following: Medical Advisory Board Meeting, Technician Skills Workshop, Scientific Session (the Cornea and Eye Banking Forum or the summer Scientific Symposium), and the Medical Directors Symposium.
The deadline to recertify is December 31, 2018. To access the recertification application, click here.
Van Kirk, Keith
In 2019, the Certified Eye Bank Technician (CEBT) Exam will feature an updated content outline and new testing categories. Last year, the Exam Committee updated and reformatted the outline to reflect current standards, practices, and regulations. The 2019 Spring Exam will be the first exam to use the new outline during the development of the exam. The application for the 2019 Spring CEBT) Exam is currently available on the EBAA website. Review the updated content outline to see what areas will be covered on the exam.
Becoming a CEBT can have a major impact on an individual both personally and in their career. Here’s what recently certified individuals have to say about what the certification means to them:
To take the exam in the U.S. and Canada, the application is due February 11; rates will increase on January 26. To take the exam in any other location, a candidate must submit the international application by January 11. Submit an exam application today!
We are excited to announce the Fall 2018 Class of Certified Eye Bank Technicians (CEBTs). The fall exam took place October 13 – 27 in the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong, and Saudi Arabia.
To pass the exam, the candidates had to answer at least 187 questions correctly out of the 250 on the exam. Jackie Clark from the Eye Bank of Canada–Ontario Division received the highest score for this exam cycle.
Please join the EBAA in congratulating the 16 individuals listed below for passing the Fall 2018 CEBT Exam.
Abid Al-Talhi, CEBT, King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital Eye Bank
Nikkia Alvarez, CEBT, Lions Eye Bank for Long Island
Lyndsey Chastain, CEBT, Mid-South Eye Bank for Sight Restoration
Jackie Clark, CEBT, Eye Bank of Canada–Ontario Division
Eugene Dennis, CEBT, Eversight
Kelly Gruber, CEBT, The Eye-Bank for Sight Restoration
Omar Herrera, CEBT, UT Southwestern Transplant Services Center Lions Eye Bank
Alyssa Hoffmann, CEBT, Southern Eye Bank
Anna Jackson, CEBT, Mid-South Eye Bank for Sight Restoration
Daniel Jernberg, CEBT, New England Donor Services
Lisa Kelley, CEBT, Dakota Lions Sight & Health
Ka-Pui Leung, CEBT, Hospital Authority Eye Bank
Michelle Liao, CEBT, OneLegacy
Siu-kin Ng, CEBT, Hospital Authority Eye Bank
Priya Sohi, CEBT, Lions Eye Bank for Long Island
Jeremy Whitlock, CEBT, Southern Eye Bank
Effective December 6, Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin has moved from 2401 American Lane, Madison, Wisconsin 53704, to its new facility at 5003 Tradewinds Parkway, Madison, Wisconsin, 53718.
As of November 1, Lions Eye Institute for Transplant and Research has expanded its operations to include tissue banking.
The EBAA office will be closed December 24 – January 1 and reopening on Wednesday, January 2. Staff will check e-mail and voicemail regularly. If there is a matter that requires immediate attention, please enter “Urgent” at the beginning of the subject line, and a staff member will respond at his or her earliest opportunity.
The EBAA staff wishes you a happy holiday season and a prosperous new year!
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2019 Technician Education Seminar (TES)
January 31 – February 2, 2019
Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley
EBAA 2019 Annual Meeting
June 5 – 8, 2019
The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess