October 2018 Issue of Insight


Looking Forward: The Case for Eye Donation Month

As you may have heard, November is Eye Donation Month, and we’re making a bit of a big deal about it.  We have developed a wide range of new tools and resources that you can use in your communities.  This includes new artwork, printed materials, infographics and videos.  You can find them all at eyedonationmonth.org. Please also see the article below for more information.

Because we want our members to embrace our commemoration, most of our materials are designed so you can insert your own logo into the artwork – simply download the files and take them to any skilled graphic artist; he or she can do the rest.

But why are we putting such effort into raising awareness about donor registration at a time when our profession has a surplus of tissue? From a purely self-interested perspective, it makes operational and financial sense to increase donor registration, since first-person consent frees you from seeking family authorization before recovery.  And conducting a comprehensive campaign will raise your eye bank’s profile in your community and with your donation and transplantation partners.

But from the broader perspective, we encourage donor registration because it’s the right thing to do.  While we’re fortunate to have an abundance of corneal tissue, there are still tens of thousands of people waiting for kidneys, livers and other organs.  Dozens of those people will have died between the time I wrote this article and when you’re reading it now.

Eye banks, like OPOs and tissue banks, are unique in the transplantation process; our purpose is to urge individuals to register as donors and to facilitate their donation.  Because no other organizations play that role, we are obligated to perform that task to the best of our ability.  Hopefully, our Eye Donation Month resources will help you in this effort.

Increasing the number of registered donors might not materially change things for your eye bank, but it could mean the difference between life and death for a patient with kidney failure.  And isn’t the improvement and restoration of life what we’re all about?

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EBAA Fall Meetings

The EBAA Fall Meetings are just weeks away! Below is the latest information to help you plan for the meetings in Chicago. Inside you will find new details regarding the Fall Leadership Meetings, the MAB live audio broadcast, the Cornea and Eye Banking Forum, and the 33rd Annual Run for Vision 5K.

2018 Medical Advisory Board Meeting: Listen in Real Time with the Live Audio Broadcast

The Medical Advisory Board (MAB) Meeting will be held on Thursday, October 25, at 1 PM CST and will include discussion about suggested changes to the Medical Standards, issues concerning eye banking, and updates of various EBAA committees. If you are unable to travel to Chicago to attend the meeting in person, you can still listen to the conversation by registering for the live audio broadcast. CEBTs may earn up to 2 CEUs for attending the entire session. To register to listen to live audio broadcast from the comforts of your own eye bank, click here.

The 2018 Cornea and Eye Banking Forum Will Highlight the Latest Research

The Cornea and Eye Banking Forum, jointly hosted by EBAA and the Cornea Society, will take place Friday, October 26, at the Westin Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Illinois, and will feature the latest cornea and eye banking research.

The schedule for the Forum has been released and includes:

  • The presentation of 26 scientific abstracts with dynamic Q&A session discussions with cornea and eye banking experts from around the world
  • The Paton Lecture presented by 2018 Paton Award Recipient, W. Barry Lee, MD
  • Best Paper of Session Award, supported by an unrestricted education grant from CorneaGen
  • Two mini-symposia:
    • What I Learned from My First 50 Cases (Invited)
  • Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (DALK)- Deepinder Dhaliwal, MD
  • Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK)- Peter Veldman, MD
  • Descemetorhexis Without Endothelial Keratoplasty (DWEK)- Mark Gorovoy, MD
    • Controversies in Eye Banking: Postkeratoplasty Fungal Infections
      • Antifungal Supplementation of Donor Storage Media
        • Bennie Jeng, MD, and Gregory Grossman, PhD
      • Donor Rim Fungal Cultures
        • Jennifer Li, MD, and Mark Terry, MD
      • Response to a Donor Rim Fungal Culture
        • Kourtney Houser, MD, and Elmer Tu, MD

With the presentation of all new information and research, this event continues to be a favorite among corneal surgeons and eye bankers. Attend the cornea and eye banking event of the year and join us in Chicago in two weeks!


Registration is open for the 33rd Annual Run for Vision 5K, to be held October 28 at Grant Park in Chicago! This annual run, sponsored by Bausch + Lomb, brings together ophthalmologists, eye bankers, donor family members and corneal transplant recipients for a scenic run around the lake in support of EBAA’s mission to restore sight.

The deadline to register online is Thursday, October 25. Onsite registration will take place in the Bausch + Lomb booth (#3026) at McCormick Place (2301 S Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd) between 9 am and 5 pm on Saturday, October 27. Register today!

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Get ready Eye Donation Month

This November, EBAA invites you to celebrate and honor individuals touched by the gift of sight. As a community, we can do this by raising awareness about cornea donation and transplantation in our own circles or to the larger networks which we are a part of. This month is also a great time for us to challenge ourselves to find new ways to get involved in raising awareness and advocating for cornea donation.

Here are ten ways your eye bank can make an impact this year:

  • Stay informed and stay connected through emails from EBAA.
  • Check out our new video featuring Cameron, a 19-year-old cornea transplant recipient.
  • Contact your local congressman or congresswoman for a proclamation.
  • Distribute materials such as posters and table tents to organizations in your community.
  • Reach out to media contacts and engage the media using items in the Media toolkit.
  • Have a website or blog? Add Eye Donation Month banners and graphics.
  • Share statistics about cornea donation and transplantation with your family and friends using fact sheets or infographics.
  • Share your donor and recipient stories on social media and tag EBAA! You can also share with us directly.
  • Stay up-to-date through social media – Visit EBAA on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Don’t forget to “like” or “follow” our pages and share our information with others.
  • Visit the Eye Donation Month online store to order branded giveaways.

We look forward to members actively using the materials to promote eye donation awareness, encourage individuals to register as eye, organ and tissue donors, honor donors and their families and celebrate cornea recipients.

Together, we can raise awareness of the life-changing impact of cornea donation and the gift of sight while acknowledging and honoring all individuals involved in restoring sight.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding materials and resources for Eye Donation Month, please contact Yolanda Raine, Communications Manager.

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Legislative and Regulatory Update

Medical Advisory Board Meeting – Agenda Book

The Medical Advisory Board (MAB) has released the agenda book for its next meeting. As a reminder, the MAB meeting will take place during the EBAA Fall Leadership Meeting on Thursday, October 25, 2018, from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm in the Westin Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL

If you have any questions about accessing the MAB agenda book, please contact Jennifer DeMatteo.


Eye banks should enter their monthly statistical data through September 2018 data on the EBAA Connect site.

Please note that third quarter data is due by October 31.


EBAA reported on recent legislative and regulatory developments in the October 2 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.

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Educational Programs, Events, and Meetings

EBAA Educational Needs Assessment: We Request Your Insight and Input!

Throughout the year, EBAA plans and produces educational programming for eye bank professionals, eye bank Medical Directors/ corneal surgeons, and others in the eye banking and donation community. The education is mainly delivered through webinars and in-person events including the Annual Meeting, Cornea and Eye Banking Forum, Technician Education Seminar, Quality Assurance Seminar, Slit Lamp Microscopy Seminar, and Leadership Programs. The content that is delivered in our webinars and many of our in-person events is suggested and planned by various EBAA committees. This July marked the beginning of the EBAA Committee cycle, and as such, the committees would like to hear from you about what you would like to learn in the next couple of years and what topics you feel are the most important in your role at the eye bank.

In an effort to assist the committees and the EBAA office in planning future educational programming, we are asking all EBAA members (eye bankers and Medical Directors) to complete the EBAA Educational Needs Assessment Survey. Please fill out the survey and encourage others to complete it as well. As an incentive, everyone who completes the survey will be entered into a drawing for a free EBAA webinar (value $120), a total of 3 webinars will be awarded. All responses must be submitted by Monday, October 29.

Please help us plan meaningful educational content, and complete the survey today!

A Quality Experience in San Antonio

Two weeks ago, almost 50 eye bank professionals from around the U.S. and Canada traveled to San Antonio for the first ever, EBAA Quality Assurance Seminar. The two-day event took place September 27-28 at the Hotel Valencia Riverwalk and featured in-depth presentations on various Quality Assurance topics, interesting case studies, interactive sessions and activities, lively table discussions, a fun informative game, and a personal walking tour around San Antonio!

The faculty for the course included Matthew Arnett, Chief Quality Officer for Dakota Lions Sight and Health and Chair of the EBAA Quality Assurance Committee; Kristen Pereira, Manager of Quality and Compliance at Sierra Donor Services Eye Bank and Vice Chair of the Quality Assurance Committee; and Jennifer DeMatteo, EBAA Director of Regulations and Standards. After years of planning by the Quality Assurance Committee, the faculty took the materials that had been produced by previous committee members and really developed them into a cohesive and extensive course. A special thanks to Elizabeth Ellett from Alabama Eye Bank for being a guest lecturer and presenting on “Auditing.” All of the speakers shared a lot of information, and really fostered an environment of learning, hands-on activities, discussion, and information sharing.

Here’s what attendees are already saying about this unique educational experience:

  • “I enjoyed this seminar from the minute I stepped in the conference room to the end of the afternoon on Friday everything was wonderful. The networking possibilities were great!”
  • “The presenters were very informative and well prepared. Having interaction between fellow eye bankers kept everyone engaged. Hotel and its location, along with food and time of year were great. Thank you.”
  • “It was amazing to meet my fellow QA-ers! The camaraderie that was built is something I don’t think will be soon forgotten. Thank you EBAA!”
  • “Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop. It was excellent.”
  • “I thought this seminar was very well done. Great selection of topic, good engagement with the audience throughout, and a superb location for it. Had a great time and took a lot away from it.”
  • “The whole seminar was so worthwhile and informative!”

During our time in San Antonio, the attendees and faculty were treated to a special walking tour of San Antonio with San Antonio Eye Bank’s Medical Director, Dr. Kenneth Maverick. SAEB provided special headsets and receivers to enable the entire group to hear Dr. Maverick as he spoke about the history of San Antonio, his family’s personal connection to the city, and the current layout of the town while walking around the Riverwalk, the streets of San Antonio, and the Alamo.

EBAA would like to thank the faculty for dedicating their time and expertise to the development and facilitation of the course, Dr. Maverick and San Antonio Eye Bank for the wonderful walking tour, Elizabeth Ellett for sharing her expertise on conducting audits, the Quality Assurance Committee for suggesting and planning the initial outline of the course and the attendees for being ready to learn and willing to share and interact! It was a great event and we look forward to holding another one in the future!

Two EBAA Webinars Open for Registration

Registration is currently open for two upcoming webinars. Whether you want to learn more about how to make a determination about sepsis, or you are interested in learning tips for taking care of yourself in a profession that deals with death and dying on daily basis, we have a session for you. Take this opportunity to gather your staff together to learn about two topics that are important in eye banking!

Saving Sepsis: How to Rule Donors In
Thursday, October 18
2 PM Eastern

Making a determination about whether or not a donor was septic at the time of death can be a difficult task, but it is an important one. During this session, Dr. Beverly Forsyth, infectious disease specialist at Mount Sinai and Board Member of The Eye-Bank for Sight Restoration, will discuss sepsis and what eye banker professionals need to know and look for to determine whether or not a donor is eligible for donation. Following Dr. Forsyth’s presentation, two eye bank representatives will discuss tools and processes for screening donors for sepsis. Learn more about sepsis and what to consider when making a donor eligibility determination. For more information and to register, click here.

Grief and Loss in the Workplace
Wednesday, December 12
2 PM Eastern

Pam Albert, RN, BSN, CPTC, CBF from New England Donor Services, will identify grief and loss stressors that professionals may face on a daily basis. Pam will also discuss the differences between personal and professional grief and describe how cumulative stress can lead to compassion fatigue, burnout, and staff turnover. During this session, Pam will provide tips and tools for handling the stresses of working with grief and how to prevent burnout and ultimately taking care of oneself. To learn how to best care for yourself and staff, click here.
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EBAA Mourns the Loss of a CEBT

Angie Garner, CEBT, Distribution Manager for Oklahoma Lions Eye Bank passed away suddenly after being involved in a car accident on Wednesday, September 26. Angie is pictured here at the 57th Annual Meeting event at the Reading Terminal Market. We offer our sincerest condolences to the staff of OLEB, her friends and family.

introducing the new “guide to ME and coroner cases”

AATB and EBAA have partnered to develop and release a guide on ways to improve relationships, preserve evidence and increase the opportunity for donation to take place on eye and tissue donation cases under investigation.

The Guide to Medical Examiner and Coroner Cases for the Donation Community provides examples of best practices and recommendations including communication and requesting recovery release, documentation, physical findings, toxicology sample collection, and radiography.  These practices can improve interactions on cases shared by death investigators and recovery organizations, reducing death investigator restriction of tissue donation.

EBAA Director of Education Pens Article for ASAE

Stacey Gardner, EBAA’s Director of Education, wrote an article, entitled Create an Educational Blueprint for Your Association, that was featured on the website of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).  In addition to serving as EBAA’s education guru, Stacey serves on the Professional Development Section Council for ASAE, which develops resources and programming to advance member knowledge, competency and professionalism.  The council also provides insight to ASAE on issues and trends in education and credentialing.

We value Stacey’s commitment to continuous professional development and the information and tools she is able to bring back to EBAA programs.  To read the article, click here.

Mary Jane O’Neill Fellowship in International Eye Banking: Volunteer to Select the Next Fellow

The 2019 Mary Jane O’Neill Fellowship in International Eye Banking will bring an individual to the United States for two weeks in June 2019 to attend the 58th EBAA Annual Meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona, and intern for one week at Lions Gift of Sight in St. Paul, Minnesota. If you know of any individuals from an international eye bank who could benefit from this Fellowship, please pass this information along. The deadline to apply is November 2.

EBAA is currently looking for individuals to serve on the 2019 Mary Jane O’Neill Fellowship Selection Committee. This committee will review the applications for the Fellowship and select a final candidate as the 2019 Fellow. This volunteer opportunity is ideal for someone who is looking to get involved with EBAA. Apply today!

Call for Presentations for the 58th EBAA Annual Meeting is Open

EBAA is collecting proposals for educational sessions to be presented during the 58th Annual Meeting, June 5 – 8, 2019, at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Scottsdale, Arizona. During the meeting, there will be keynote presentations, concurrent sessions, workshops, brief instructional sessions and much more. If you have a suggestion for a topic or speaker, or both, that would be of interest to eye bank professionals and/or eye bank Medical Directors, we encourage you to submit your proposal.

This year we are accepting presentation ideas for a variety of presentation opportunities of differing lengths of time and encourage anyone who has anything to teach the association to submit a proposal. We are excited to announce, that if your topic is selected, you will receive $50 off of your meeting registration and you will be entered into a drawing for one free night stay at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess (or a $200 voucher to be used toward food or a spa service) or one free registration for the 58th Annual Meeting. If you have any questions, please contact EBAA Director of Education, Stacey Gardner. The deadline to submit a topic is Monday, November 12.

Contribute to the meeting of the year for eye bank professionals and eye bank Medical Directors, and submit a proposal today!

CEBTs Who Expire in 2018: Early Bird Rates End November 30

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; rates increase December 1. To access the recertification application, click here.

Ballout, Ameer Gestoso, Kimberly Michael, Misty
Becirevic, Zuhdija Giaraffa, Norma Miller, Ginger
Blaché, Millicent Gore, Patrick Mullins, Andrew
Bridges, Donna Haile, Jason Nham, Linda
Bruce, Kylie Hancock, Andrea Phinney, Ruth
Bucuvalas, Alexander Hardy, Jason Puthiyadam, Sibi
Buras, William Hellier, Erik Quinn, Patrick
Capuzzo, Christopher Hikes, Tucker Quirk, Jim
Christ, Michael Hussaini, Annam Ramirez, Fabiola
Christy, Jason Ingram, Austin Raynore, Christopher
Ciment, Steve Johnson, Abigail Rodriguez, Sabrina
Conrick, Patrick Jordan, Richard Ross, Collin
Cooper, Christina Kendall, Hortense Steen, Kristin
Crosson, Andrea Klein, Nicole Tan, Hsien-Kai
Cunningham, Susan Lanier, Christopher Teves, Christopher
Dahl, Patricia Leimer, Adam Titus, Michael
Farrer, Rick Lewis, Linda Van Kirk, Keith
Fetzner, Holly Liang, Nai-Ning Vrba, Colleen
Fox, Carrie Lorentz, Holly Win’E, Troy
Frank, Kendall Maxwell, Andrew Yan, Ivan
Garcia, Erica McArdle, Brian Zanetti, Elisa

R. Townley Paton Society: Membership Renewal Coming Soon

At the end of the month, EBAA will begin reaching out to current Paton Society Members for membership renewal. The R. Townley Paton Society Membership runs January through December and is offered specifically to corneal surgeons. EBAA is also offering a 10% membership discount for any eye bank who would like to purchase the Paton Society Membership on behalf of any of their Associate or Assistant Medical Directors. For questions about renewing or signing up for the Paton Society, please contact Genevieve Casaceli.

EBAA Staff News

As announced last month, Molly Georgakis is leaving EBAA to assume the CEO role for the Association for Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics; her last day will be October 29.  On October 15, Janet Ridgely will join the staff as our Director of Meetings and Member Services.  Janet has over two decades of non-profit management experience and will be a great asset to the association.  She can be reached at 202-775-4999 x112 or janet@restoresight.org.

Eye bank News

Alabama Eye Bank: Effective as of October 1, 2018, Alan Blake is the President and CEO of Alabama Eye Bank. His previous title was Executive Director and there were no changes to his roles and responsibilities.

Iowa Lions Eye Bank: Cindy Reed announced her retirement from Iowa Lions Eye Bank, effective October 8. Cindy served as ILEB’s executive director for fourteen years.

San Diego Eye Bank: SDEB has recently undergone a restructure. The organization’s Board of Directors promoted Jeffrey G. Penta to Chief Executive Officer, from Executive Director, while also promoting their long-time employee, Dhore Anunciado, to Chief Operating Officer. The organization also opened Account Management positions. Their new Account Managers are Jennifer Nary, Perla Roper, Megan Young, and Teresa Zamzow. All are experts in their field with a precision in customer care and quality.

Eversight: Eversight’s Connecticut laboratory in Middletown, Connecticut, closed on October 5, 2018.


The EBAA office will be closed November 22 and 23 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

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Upcoming Events

AATB Annual Meeting
October 9 – 12, 2018
Dallas, TX

October Webinar: Saving Sepsis: How to Rule Donors In
October 18, 2018
2pm Eastern

Fall Leadership Meeting
October 25, 2018
Westin Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL

Cornea and Eye Banking Forum
October 26, 2018
Westin Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL

American Academy of Ophthalmology Annual Meeting
October 27 – 30, 2018
Chicago, IL

33rd Annual Run for Vision 5K
October 28, 2018
Chicago, IL

Eye Donation Month
(Formerly National Eye Donor Month)
November 2018

December Webinar: Grief and Loss in the Workplace
December 12, 2018
2 PM Eastern

58th Annual Meeting
June 5 – 8, 2019
The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
Scottsdale, AZ
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