Speaker of the House Candidate: Dean Vavra

dean vavra

President and CEO, Miracles in Sight
Contact Candidate

Candidate Bio

Dean Vavra has 39 years of eye bank experience and has held almost every job in an eye bank: Recovery Technician, Technical Director, Hospital Development/Marketing, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director.

Dean has served on the Board of Directors for the Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA) and VisionShare. He was the Vice-President of the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Institute Foundation in Colorado. Dean Chaired the EBAA Technician Education Committee, was a member of the EBAA Medical Advisory Board, Regulatory Affairs Committee and has served on many other EBAA committees.

Mr. Vavra was recognized with the 2010 Leonard Heise Award issued by the EBAA “In grateful recognition of Distinguished Service Rendered to the Nation and The World in the fight Against Blindness.”

Mr. Vavra started out as a Certified Ophthalmic Technician (COT) leading to his eye banking career. All four of his brothers have had cornea transplants to treat granular dystrophy type II, an inherited corneal blindness Dean did not get. As a result, he views cornea transplantation and eye banking with unique passion.

Candidate Statement

I started eye banking before there was HIV, before the federal government established OPOs and before serology testing was required. Having worked through FDA regulation, bad press on Legislative Consent, mergers & acquisitions and now new models for business, I have been in the front row seat of the many challenges and controversies facing EBAA over the years. We have gotten through them all as we were able to communicate with each other and be supportive of our peer eye banks.

As Speaker of the House of Delegates, I look forward to serving the Association as a conduit of information from you, the members, to the Board of Directors. I know what questions to ask and I know what issues make us “uneasy”. Please allow me to be your servant as Speaker. We have much to discuss. let’s talk.

Prior Service

EBAA Activities:

  • Member, Membership Committee (1994-1996)
  • Vice-Chair, Practical Performance Committee (1996-1998)
  • Chair, Technician Education Committee (1998-2002)
  • Member, Technician Education Committee (2006-2010)
  • Member, Procedures Manual Subcommittee (2006-2010)
  • Member, Adverse Reaction Subcommittee (Medical Review Subcommittee) (1998-2002)
  • Member, Meetings Committee (1998-2002)
  • Member, Medical Advisory Board (1998-2002)
  • Member, Exam Committee (2004-2007)
  • Member, Legislative and Regulatory Committee (2007-2010)
  • Member, EBAA Board of Directors (2007-2008) and (2018-2020)
  • Instructor at 10 Technician Education Seminars and Presenter at numerous EBAA trainings

Other Activities:

  • Treasurer, Rocky Mountain Ophthalmic Personnel (1987)
  • President, Rocky Mountain Ophthalmic Personnel (1988 and 1990)
  • Skill Evaluator for Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCHAPO) (1990-2000)
  • Personnel Committee Chair, Vision Share (1998-2000)
  • Vice President, Vision Share Board of Directors (2000-2002)
  • Past President Centennial Airport Lions Club, Centennial, CO
  • Vice-President, Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Institute Foundation (2006-2012)

Author or Co-Author of 10 published papers including eye bank or ophthalmology related topics and a Master’s Thesis on Eye Bank Staffing in 1995. (p. 3 of CV)

Presented eye bank related topics in:

  • Budapest, Hungary
  • Shanghai, China
  • Dominican Republic
  • Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Japan
  • Germany

Master of Science Degree in Management from Colorado Christian University’s School of Business in 1997.

Retired from Colorado National Guard in October 2005

Letters of Support