2015 EBAA Year in Review

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Our direction forward is clear. We are committed to continued growth in the strength of our organization by increasing membership value, physician engagement, innovation and advocacy.

CHAIR’S ADDRESS: This past year has been one of success and change for EBAA. With the recent unveiling of a new EBAA logo and website design, our association has a fresh new face to present to the public and our members. Behind that facade, a lot is going on. As I think back on our accomplishments and challenges, I am reminded of the unique partnership between eye bankers and physicians that makes EBAA the premier transplantation organization.

surgeons gathered this past winter to join EBAA senior and junior leaders for an immersion course in eye banking leadership. Many have already joined the Accreditation Board, where they will work hand-in-hand with eye bankers on one of the hardest-working and most educational committees we have. Others have ideas for teaching and research projects in the works. These enthusiastic physicians will be among EBAA’s next generation of leaders.

obtained reassurance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that corneal tissue for corneal transplant surgery would continue to be paid on the invoice, separately from the facility fee. The AAO also won a major concession in having that policy extended this spring to corneal tissue used for glaucoma tube shunt surgery. Unfortunately, CMS has proposed rescinding the separate payment for tube shunt surgery for 2016.

In eye banks all over the world, technicians and corneal surgeons work hand-in-hand to make the latest advances in corneal transplantation techniques available to a broader population of patients. Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK) offers faster visual recovery, less refractive shift and lower risk of rejection than any previous transplant procedure. The difficult donor preparation initially limited the adoption of this technique. As collaboration between eye banks and surgeons made DMEK tissue readily available, more surgeons were able to add it to their surgical toolkit.

Another successful physician-eye banker collaboration was initiated by the Medical Advisory Board, which compared data from the Pre-operative Culture Survey with EBAA’s Online Adverse Reaction Reporting System. The review demonstrated a significant association between positive donor rim fungal cultures and development of Candida infection in the recipient. More work is being done, but this is data that surgeons can already put to practical use.

As this year ends, I find myself looking back with a slightly longer lens. Only three short years ago, we welcomed Kevin Corcoran as our new President and CEO and began to implement a new strategic plan. Kevin and his staff have really hit their stride. In partnership with the membership, they have been successful in carrying out that strategic plan. It is now time to look further into the future. A new strategic planning group met this July. Armed with survey results from the membership, our direction forward is clear. We are committed to continued growth in the strength of our organization by increasing membership value, physician engagement, innovation and advocacy.

An EBAA highlight that brought the eye banker-physician relationship into sharp focus was the Physician Leadership Program. Thirteen young corneal

There were successes and challenges on the regulatory, payment and legislative fronts. EBAA continues to vigorously advocate for evidence-based regulation and fair reimbursement for corneal tissue. Working together with the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), we

David Glasser, MD 2015 EBAA YEAR IN REVIEW


…we need to look forward to help our members identify and respond to future opportunities and challenges.



An association exists to facilitate its members’ successes; we should provide the tools, resources and services that our members need to recover, prepare and provide corneal tissue more effectively and efficiently. At the same time, we need to look forward to help our members identify and respond to future opportunities and challenges. Finally, we should be the voice and the face of the profession; internally by responding to the concerns of all of our members and externally by educating and informing legislators, regulators, the media and the public about what eye banks do and how they help transform the lives of the cornea recipients and donor families they serve. Over the past twelve months, we have done precisely that. We have enjoyed numerous advocacy successes

that strengthened our position with decision-makers; we have developed new events, products and services to serve our members better and we have done all of this with the intention of enhancing the art and science of eye banking and corneal transplantation for the benefit of recipients and donor families. The following 32 pages detail the fruits of our labors, but they just scratch the surface of what we have accomplished as an association. That’s because, with a few exceptions, they don’t cover the work of our member eye banks and surgeons. These are the people who transform the lives of tens of thousands of people each year. They’re the ones who offer grieving families the chance to mitigate their pain by offering the gift of sight to a total stranger, who

evaluate and expertly prepare tissue for transplant, and who perform the surgeries that give the gift of sight to those in need. It is an honor and privilege to make whatever contributions to their work that we have been able to provide this year. Thank you for your share in our continued success. Sincerely,

Kevin P. Corcoran, CAE




“THROUGH MY EYES” ART CONTEST In March 2015, EBAA spearheaded the second annual “Through My Eyes” Art Contest for National Eye Donor Month—our annual commemoration to increase eye donation awareness, honor donors and their families, and celebrate the enhanced lives of cornea recipients. This year’s contest allowed cornea recipients and donor family members to share their experience of receiving sight or giving sight through their loved one. The contest included many heartwarming, personal experiences expressed through art (drawings or photos), and written stories. Submissions exemplified these journeys, showing viewers the impact the gift of sight has had on their lives. The next page includes summarizations and accompanying artwork from the entries that were chosen from each category. They have been, and will continue to be, highlighted through various EBAA media. Additionally, Patty Monson, who won the written submission category, presented her story during the 2015 Annual Meeting.


Donor daughter Patty Monson (second from right) with EBAA staff members (from left) Stacey Gardner, Patricia Hardy and Star Johnson

Drawn by Quinn Combs

Taken by Stacy King



Written Composition*

Quinn Combs, Donor Sister: Quote: “My sister, Carly, died at the age of twenty-one. People were drawn to her different-colored eyes, which earned the ‘most enchanting eyes’ award from her senior class.”

Stacy King, Cornea Recipient and Photographer: Quote: “Every morning I get up, open my front door, can open my eyes and they do not hurt, and I see the morning light, I thank God for that day and allowing me to see it! I also thank those who donate their organs to allow others to live. I may not have had a heart transplant, but might as well because when I received my cornea transplants, I carry the hearts of those two people with me every day; I am beyond grateful to those people who chose to donate life!”

Patty Monson, Donor Daughter Quote: “Some learn that their loved one’s corneas have given the gift of sight. Others may learn, like we did, that mom’s corneas were unable to be used for transplant…So I did a little research of my own, and learned more about the Minnesota Lions Eye Bank, more about cornea transplantation, and ultimately, more about the research that makes it all possible. That’s when my disappointment turned to excitement.” *This item may be viewed at www.restoresight.org (Cornea Donation, Donor/Recipient Stories).




EBAA UPDATES ITS LOOK An organization’s logo is its face to the world; it is how we present ourselves to those who know us and how we introduce ourselves to those who do not. An organization’s logo is its identity, and as such it should communicate its mission and intent clearly and concisely. Most importantly, it should be a constant; an organization that changes its logo too often probably does not know who it is or what it represents. Since our founding in 1961, EBAA has had just two logos. The first was established in the very early days of our existence and shows a stylized replica of the Eye of Osiris; Osiris being the Egyptian god of the afterlife. The representation of two corneas, one dark and one clear, within a single eye effectively communicated our function as eye bankers.


In 1982, we updated our logo, extending the transition from darkness to light from two corneas to four. This logo included the association’s name and introduced color to our logo. It served us well for over 30 years, but presented a number of technical challenges in its application. The transitions in the corneas is accomplished through gradient lines which are difficult to render in smaller sizes or when imprinted into lapel pins, embroidery or other products. Additionally, the logo is very horizontally oriented, measuring almost five times wider than it is tall, which makes it difficult to fit in a number of applications. When we sought to refresh our logo, we wanted an image that addressed these issues and that introduced more

color into the association’s palette. The development process was a recurring series of design/comment/ modification, with each iteration coming closer to the ideal. We sought members’ feedback, which was an experience in its own right, as our members didn’t pull any punches; among the comments to proposed designs were:

“It looks like the NBC peacock keeled over”

“Even worse than Logo 1”

“My mother said to never use the word ‘hate’”


Out of all this feedback and refinement, we arrived at a logo that fit the bill and that, in a poll with four alternatives, was preferred by 64% of all members. This image captures a clear sense of what our members do, with the twin arcs representing a full thickness graft in blue or a partial thickness graft in green; within the blue arc, lines represent the field of vision in binocular sight. The font has been modernized for a clean, crisp look and the entire logo made far more compact. In addition to this logo, we developed a member logo and specialized accreditation logos that reflect the accreditation status of each bank. These logos have been shared with our member eye banks, which have been quick to post them on their websites and printed materials.

Concurrent with the logo redesign, we also completely overhauled our website to make it a more intuitive, comprehensive and consumer-oriented resource. This new design offers simpler navigation for visitors and a new interface for staff, which will make it easier for us to update the site. Gone is the static, bland home page of the old site; it is replaced with changing images, multiple content areas and direct access to our news and social media feeds. All this will allow us to more effectively share critical information with our members and educate the public about the value and importance of donation and transplantation.





NEWSFLASH – Reimbursement for Donor Tissue Used in Glaucoma Shunt Grafts The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued the policy below via a quarterly transmittal that effective April 1, 2015, donor tissue used in glaucoma shunt graft procedures will be billable using HCPCS Code, V2785 – processing, preserving, and transporting corneal tissue. Therefore, all of the information in this brochure should be considered by hospital outpatient departments and ASCs for donor tissue for corneal surgical procedures and for glaucoma shunt graft procedures.

Billing Guidance for Corneal Allograft Tissue ASC’s can bill for corneal allograft tissue used for coverage (CPT code 66180) or revision (CPT code 66185) of a glaucoma aqueous shunt with HCPCS code V2785. Contractors pay for corneal tissue acquisition reported with HCPCS code V2785 based on acquisition/invoice cost.

Reimbursement for Donor Tissue for Corneal Surgical Procedures and for Glaucoma Shunt Graft Procedures

ADVOCACY CMS Maintains and Reinforces Medicare PassThrough for Corneal Tissue CMS formally ruled that Medicare will continue to designate corneal tissue acquisition as contractorpriced based on the invoiced costs of acquiring corneal tissue for corneal transplant procedures. They will provide separate payment for corneal tissue procurement, which is excluded from comprehensive APC payment bundling policy. At EBAA’s request, CMS issued a specific guidance on this issue, reiterating that corneal tissue should be paid at full invoice price. We made this request, in collaboration with the American Academy of Ophthalmology, in response to policy decisions by certain Medicare Advantage plans to bundle payment for corneal tissue into payment for the transplant procedure.


In order for facilities, hospitals outpatient departments and ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) to receive reimbursement for donor tissue acquisition, they must remember to separately bill this service, and to also correctly code for the surgical procedure where the corneal tissue or donor tissue in glaucoma shunt graft procedures is used and thus considered an integral part of the procedure.

We then distributed numerous policy alerts, talking points and printed brochures to EBAA members to educate surgeons, facilities and insurers about CMS’s guidance. CMS released another instructional update in April 2015 that stated ASCs can bill for corneal allograft tissue used for coverage (CPT code 66180) or revision (CPT code 66185) of a glaucoma aqueous shunt with HCPCS code V2785, based on the acquisition/ invoice cost. Because of complaints from stakeholders about the different payment policies for corneal tissue used for patch grafting versus noncorneal tissue (sclera and pericardium), CMS proposed a reversal of this policy. As we go to print, EBAA, AAO and the American Glaucoma Society are working with CMS to identify ways to ensure adequate reimbursement to all parties for glaucoma shunt covers.

Effective in 2008 for both the Hospital Outpatient Department Payment System and the Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System, the Medicare will make a separate payment for the acquisition of corneal and donor tissue. However, there has been some confusion by hospital outpatient departments and ASCs regarding how to bill Medicare for this service. This has led to instances where the acquisition of corneal tissue was not being billed and therefore, not being reimbursed by Medicare. Furthermore, this lack of knowledge regarding coding and billing has led to confusion regarding the benefits for those patients whose Medicare coverage is provided by a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Advantage plans are mandated to provide similar coverage and benefits as traditional, fee- for- service Medicare.

Florida AHCA Grants Temporary Waiver EBAA filed a petition on behalf of fourteen EBAA-accredited eye banks with the State of Florida, Agency for Health Care Administration seeking permanent relief from the specific requirement to test all tissue donors using an “FDA-licensed HTLV test.” Screening and testing ocular tissue donors for HTLV infection is not relevant or warranted, since viable leukocytes, which are required for HTLV transmission to occur, are not present in ocular tissue. Routine HTLV screening and testing would decrease the supply of donor ocular tissue, serve only to increase labor time and costs, and would not improve patient safety. AHCA issued a Final Order on December 18, 2014, granting a temporary waiver from Rule 59A-1.005(35)(a)2, Florida Administrative Code, relating to HTLV testing for a period expiring on October 1, 2016.

Release of EBAA Endorsed Eye-Only Uniform DRAI Forms

EBAA Submits Comments on Investigation & Reporting of Adverse Reactions Guidance

EBAA Submits Comments on Minimal Manipulation of HCT/Ps Draft Guidance

The EBAA Medical Advisory Board (MAB) endorsed the Eye-Only Uniform Donor Risk Assessment Interview (DRAI) forms that the EBAA Uniform DRAI Subcommittee proposed during the October 16, 2014 MAB meeting. Eye banks are encouraged to utilize these forms when a donor provides only eye tissue, since the non-required questions have been selectively removed. The sequence and question numbering has been maintained. If an eye bank elects to add additional questions to the Uniform DRAI, they can only be inserted before the first numbered question or after the last numbered question.

EBAA submitted formal comments on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) guidance document entitled, Investigating and Reporting Adverse Reactions Related to Human Cells, Tissues, and Cellular and Tissue-Based Products (HCT/Ps) Regulated Solely Under Section 361 of the Public Health Service Act and 21 CFR part 1271, dated February 2015.

EBAA submitted formal comments to the FDA in December 2014 on the draft guidance document entitled, Minimal Manipulation of Human Cells, Tissues, and Cellular and Tissue-Based Products (HCT/P).

MAB Keeps Eyes on Ebola Virus Disease In October 2014, the MAB issued an alert to EBAA members with specific guidelines to screen all potential donors for exposure to Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), for eye bank staff and tissue recipient safety. Eye banks should focus on recent travel history or residence in a country where an Ebola outbreak has occurred, and exposure to a proven or potential Ebola patient within the past two months. To assist with EVD risk screening, a one-page addendum and associated flowcharts were released on October 28, 2014 for use with any of the three Uniform Donor Risk Assessment Interview (DRAI) forms. The MAB changed the EBAA Medical Standards in June to permanently exclude all individuals with a history of Ebola virus disease from donation; this exclusion was added following Varkey and co-authors-published report of Ebola virus persisting an infected individual’s aqueous humor up to 14 weeks after the onset of the disease, and up to 9 weeks after clearance of the viremia.

The draft guidance is intended to provide human cells, tissues, and cellular and tissue-based products (HCT/Ps) manufacturers with recommendations for compliance under Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 1271 (21 CFR Part 1271) for investigating and reporting adverse reactions involving communicable disease in recipients of these 361 HCT/Ps. The guidance also provides detailed instructions regarding Form FDA 3500A (MedWatch mandatory reporting form) completion. When finalized, the guidance is intended to supplement section XXII of FDA’s guidance entitled, Guidance for Industry: Current Good Tissue Practice (CGTP) and Additional Requirements for Manufacturers of Human Cells, Tissues, and Cellular and Tissue-Based Products (HCT/Ps), dated December 2011, and supersede the guidance entitled, Guidance for Industry: MedWatch Form FDA 3500A: Mandatory Reporting of Adverse Reactions Related to Human Cells, Tissues, and Cellular and TissueBased Products (HCT/Ps), dated November 2005. EBAA’s comments request clarification on how FDA defines adverse reactions that are “unlikely, but nonetheless reasonably possible” to be caused by the tissue. The association also requested that FDA create an online MedWatch Mandatory reporting system for electronic submission of Form FDA 3500A, as was done for HCT/P deviation reporting. To view EBAA’s comments on the guidance, click here.

FDA provided HCT/P manufacturers with recommendations for meeting the 21 CFR 1271.10(a)(1) criterion for an HCT/P to be regulated solely under section 361 of the Public Health Service Act and the definitions of minimal manipulation. As defined in 21 CFR 1271.3(f), minimal manipulation means: 1) For structural tissue, processing that does not alter the original relevant characteristics of the tissue relating to the tissue’s utility for reconstruction, repair, or replacement; 2) For cells or nonstructural tissues, processing that does not alter the relevant biological characteristics of cells or tissues. This guidance, when finalized, will supersede the guidance entitled, Guidance for Industry and FDA Staff: Minimal Manipulation of Structural Tissue Jurisdictional Update, dated September 2006. The draft guidance fails to mention corneal or scleral tissue processing. In EBAA’s review of the guidance, pre-cutting or preparation of tissue for DMEK or DSAEK or ALK and laser shaping for ALK or PK would qualify as “minimal manipulation.” For the PK and ALK cases, where the tissue has both structural and biologic functions, the cutting or shaping does not alter either the structural or biologic function. For EK cases, where the tissue has a biologic but not a structural function, the preparation or pre-cutting does not alter its biologic function. Sterilization by irradiation will not alter corneas’ structural function used for glaucoma tube shunt coverage and treating 2015 EBAA YEAR IN REVIEW



surface conditions including pterygium or trauma. EBAA’s comments request clarification on how to define the “main function” of the HCT/P, which shifts the focus from the function in the recipient to the function in the donor. The association shares the concerns of its transplantation partners that if finalized in the current form, many HCT/Ps will be considered more than minimally manipulated and, thus, subject to regulation beyond section 361 of the PHS and 21 C.F.R. Part 1271. To view EBAA’s comments on the guidance, click here.

Implementation Guidance for the Uniform Donor Risk Assessment Interview Forms Administering and completing the donor risk assessment interview (DRAI) is an essential safety element of donor screening and determining a deceased donor’s eligibility. EBAA has worked with the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) and the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) to develop Uniform Donor Risk Assessment Interview (DRAI) forms to promote uniformity in donor screening activities and optimize donation outcomes. The three transplant organizations developed a joint guidance document for implementation which outlines expectations and contains useful descriptions and references for the person administering any of the Uniform Donor Risk Assessment Interview (DRAI) forms (i.e., Donor >12 years old, Child Donor ≤12 years old, and Birth Mother). The EBAA MAB approved this guidance document that is now included in the EBAA Technical Procedures Manual. The three organizations presented on this information to EBAA members via webinar in August 2014.


Accreditation Board Develops New Accreditation Status Guidelines

ACBTSA provides advice to the Secretary and to the Assistant Secretary for Health. One of the recommendations ACBTSA made was to:

The Accreditation Board (AB) approved a new scoring method for accreditation status recommendations, using a weight-based, tiered system. The AB will pilot updated forms and scoring methods during the upcoming Fall 2015 accreditation cycle.

Establish use of ISBT 128 code in electronically-readable format as a universal standard for mandatory implementation of unique donation identifiers for all human tissue products.

During a September 6, 2014, fly-in, the Accreditation Status Subcommittee reviewed the accreditation forms and developed a 3-tiered system of question “significance” for each question on the PIQ/SIQ: Potential Threat (PT); Significant Observation (SO); or Nonconformance. The subcommittee then proposed new guidelines for status recommendations based on how many citations of each “tier” a bank can receive. The proposed scoring system would remain a guideline, and the AB will continue to have flexibility in voting for a bank’s accreditation status.

EBAA Advises HHS on Tissue Tracking and Traceability The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Advisory Committee on Blood and Tissue Safety and Availability (ACBTSA) met in April to discuss improving tissue safety through better tracking and traceability from donation to clinical use. Marian Macsai, MD, who represents EBAA on this committee, presented on the EBAA Medical Standards regarding tracking and traceability, recipient follow-up, adverse reaction reporting, and the decision to move to full implementation of ISBT 128 nomenclature, coding and labeling.

EBAA Implements ISBT 128 The EBAA MAB voted in October to incorporate the implementation dates and requirements for ISBT 128 nomenclature, product codes and bar code labeling into the EBAA Medical Standards. EBAA and ICCBBA have collaborated on the developing education and tools to assist eye banks with this implementation. A webinar entitled ISBT 128: All Eyes on Implementation was presented in December 2014, and EBAA and ICCBBA created a Registration FAQs – Ocular Tissue Establishments to answer common questions eye bankers may have about registration. EBAA has worked with ICCBBA and the Eye Bank Technical Advisory Group (EBTAG) members to make new product codes and attributes for longterm preserved tissues, and assure a smooth transition for member eye banks. EBAA sent an alert to clarify the ocular tissue labeling when multiple eye banks are involved. The Implementation Guide: Use of ISBT 128 in North American Eye Banks was released in May 2015, and the MAB formally approved it. This guidance was added as an addendum to the EBAA Procedures Manual.

EBAA and Digi-Trax Introduce CorneaTrax™, ISBT 128-Compliant Labeling Solution When an association imposes obligations on its members, it is incumbent that it also help its members fulfill those obligations. In October 2014, EBAA’s Medical Advisory Board amended the EBAA Medical Standards to require all eye banks to use ISBT 128 identifiers on their labels by January 1, 2016, and to include a two-dimensional Data Matrix code by January 1, 2017. ISBT 128 creates a global labeling standard to ensure that every tissue has a unique ID number, regardless of the facility that provided it. This new requirement, while not unexpected, created a new obligation for EBAA member eye banks, which were not utilizing ISBT 128-compliant labels. To respond to this need, EBAA initiated a program to identify and recommend one or more vendors that could provide an effective solution to our members. After surveying the available alternatives, EBAA began working in earnest with Digi-Trax. They already had a long history in offering ISBT 128 labeling tools to the blood bank industry, which adopted ISBT a number of years ago. They were also very enthusiastic about working with EBAA to apply their knowledge to eye banking’s unique needs.

Digi-Trax’s developers worked closely with Jennifer DeMatteo, EBAA Director of Regulations and Standards, to fully understand EBAA requirements and how they would be applied within a typical eye bank. After they developed a prototype product, EBAA convened a beta test group comprised of members from eye banks of different size, scope and complexity, to review and evaluate the system. Their feedback, through a teleconference and a post-demo survey, was instrumental in refining the software. The resulting product, called CorneaTrax, is poised to provide members with a one-source solution to producing ISBT 128-compliant labels. While EBAA wanted to offer a simple and comprehensive solution, it was important that it be priced as low as possible. From the outset, the association directed Digi-Trax to be mindful of cost to members, and they delivered a very reasonable $3,000 wholesale price for a stand-alone product, which includes the labeling software, printer, scanner, supplies and a one-year maintenance contract. For eye banks with an existing enterprise system, they can purchase an integrated product for $4,500. EBAA then set those as the retail prices, foregoing any profit, royalty or commission on sales to members. Digi-Trax began taking orders for CorneaTrax in July of this year, and as this publication was printed, the response had been strong. Digi-Trax is the first customized solution designed specifically for eye banks, and it allows them to be fully compliant with EBAA’s Medical Standards more than a year ahead of schedule.

International Journal of Eye Banking EBAA now publishes the International Journal of Eye Banking, a periodic, peer-reviewed, open access online journal. Originally established by the Minnesota Lions Vision Foundation and administered by the Minnesota Lions Eye Bank and University of Minnesota as the first and only journal dedicated exclusively to eye banking, the Journal pursues interdisciplinary papers regarding the profession as a whole, not only those specific to clinical or scientific subjects, such as: l

Fundamentals of eye banking - Public education - Facilities and equipment - Personnel - Donor referrals and case coordination - Tissue recovery, processing, evaluation, suitability, storage, distribution, final destination - Donor eligibility

l Quality l

Oversight (regulatory, legislative, medical, and legal)


Education (especially offering continuing education)


Best practices


Research and laboratory investigations


Analyses of donor corneal tissue related to transplantation


Statistical updates

l Cost-effectiveness/value-based


Under EBAA’s auspices, two issues of the Journal has been distributed this year, with another in the works.



EBAA President & CEO Kevin Corcoran opens the presentation po

ANNUAL MEETING EBAA welcomed more than 360 attendees, plus exhibitors and guests to Atlanta, GA, June 3-6, for the 54th Annual Meeting at the Loews Atlanta Hotel.

Studio 54 attendees learning how to do the “Hustle.”

The meeting began Wednesday morning with an Executive Directors Summit facilitated by Terri Theisen that focused on Building, Leading and Coaching Teams to Innovate. The afternoon featured a Donor Development Workshop on Effective Requesting: A New Framework for Family Interactions and The Use of High Fidelity Simulations

EBAA staff with Studio 54 dancers


for Training, and a Quality Assurance Workshop that focused on Environmental Monitoring: Real World Examples and Trends. Based on feedback from members who missed the former regional meetings, EBAA set aside time for Eye Banks by Size forums. These discussions were led by the small, medium and large eye bank representatives on the Board of Directors and provided an opportunity to talk about issues and concerns facing the profession.

Left circles (counter clockwise):

Crystal Cornea Awardee Ernest Franchell IV (center) with (left to right) EBAA President &

CEO Kevin Corcoran, and Georgia Eye Bank President & CEO Eric Meinecke

SightLife CEO Monty Montoya, (left) accepting the Gift of Sight Award on behalf of Reverend Crystal Cornea Awardee Ernest Franchell IV (left) with his family and Georgia Eye Bank staff

Arthur Lillicropp, pictured with EBAA Chair, David Glasser, MD

Crystal Cornea Awardee Ernest Franchell IV

(left) with Georgia Eye Bank President & CEO Eric Meinecke Right circles:

Leonard Heise Awardee Jackie Malling with 2012 Heise Awardee, Jason Woody

Leonard Heise Awardee Jackie Malling with

(left) EBAA President & CEO Kevin Corcoran, and 2012 Heise Awardee, Jason Woody

ortion of the Annual Dinner

Leonard Heise Awardee Jackie Malling (bottom row, second from the right) with past Heise Awardees

A highlight of the meeting was the reveal of EBAA’s new logo and website during the general session on Friday morning, which was celebrated through special-branded water bottles, eye glass cleaners and other gifts that were given to attendees.

speakers, hosting a number of events, including the Studio 54 Party at Opera Nightclub, where some attendees took the opportunity to don their best disco attire, providing a welcome gift for meeting attendees, helping to staff the registration desk and much, much more.

Taking advantage of technology, EBAA was pleased to introduce two new, streamlined publications; a badge-sized schedule-at-a-glance, and a dedicated exhibit hall guide. For member convenience, ease and enjoyment, EBAA also deployed an enhanced, customized meeting app for mobile devices.

EBAA looks forward to its 55th Annual Meeting, June 8-11, 2016 in St. Louis, MO.

As the host, Georgia Eye Bank contributed tremendously to the meeting, helping to recruit numerous




Best Paper Awardee (second from left)

Johannes Menzel-Severing, MD, University

of Erlangen; with (from left) Monty Montoya, SightLife CEO; Marian Macsai, MD, Cornea

Society President-Elect; and David Glasser, MD, EBAA Chair

Over 360 corneal surgeons and eye bank professionals attended EBAA and Cornea Society’s 2014 Fall Educational Symposium. The event took place on October 17 at the Westin Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Illinois, and featured 27 abstracts focused on research in topics such as corneal transplantation, cornea preservation, and tissue preparation. Johannes Menzel-Severing, MD, received the Best Paper of Session Award for his abstract, Towards Optimized DMEK: Which Graft to Order for Which Patient. This award is given annually to honor the best

resident or fellow-presented paper. EBAA and Cornea Society presents this award, supported by an unrestricted educational grant from SightLife. In addition to the selected papers, there were several other presentations, including Dr. Craig Fowler’s R. Townley Paton Lecture, entitled Knights for the Blind: What’s Your Vision to Restore Sight Worldwide, which encouraged attendees to support and become more involved in eye banking. Riding the wave of this event, EBAA looks forward to the 2015 Fall Educational Symposium in November in Las Vegas, Nevada.

2015 EYE BANKERS’ LEADERSHIP FORUM For two days in February, 57 eye bankers gathered in Tampa to focus on their most pressing issues at the 2015 Eye Bankers’ Leadership Forum. The program, held in the Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research’s conference facility, focused on establishing and maintaining organizational culture, and featured a number of eye banker-led presentations that Cynthia D’Amour of People Power

Unlimited facilitated. Cynthia also led a session on How to be More Persuasive with Your Staff, Your Board and Your Community as well as an interactive general session designed to provide an Exploration and Strategic Analysis of Forces Affecting Eye Banks. The latter session was the catalyst for an unexpected highlight of the program—a pop-up session on day two featuring a panel of eye bankers aged 27-35 who gave the senior eye bank staff in

attendance new insight into how to maximize the contributions of their millennial colleagues. Other sessions included Promoting Staff Development: Train Your Team Without Breaking the Bank, Organizational Culture and its Effect on Mission, Performance and the Bottom Line, Workplace Wellbeing; Support Your Staff and Strengthen Your Eye Bank and more.

PHYSICIANS’ LEADERSHIP PROGRAM EBAA held its second ever Physicians’ Leadership Program, February 27 - March 1, in Tampa at the Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research conference facility. Building on the success of the inaugural program in 2011, EBAA reached out to member eye banks encouraging them to nominate corneal surgeons less than 10 years out from fellowship or serving as new Medical Directors or Associate Medical Directors for the program. Nominating eye banks sponsored the 14 corneal surgeons who were accepted into the 2015 program. These surgeons joined program chairs, Mark


Mannis, MD, and Marian Macsai, MD, as well as a distinguished faculty made up of five senior physicians, including two graduates of the inaugural 2011 program, and three eye bankers. Together, the group covered a number of important topics, including the journey of a cornea from recovery to recipient, advances in tissue processing techniques, role-playing sessions that recreated important eye banker and surgeon interactions, and plenty of time for networking and information sharing with the senior physicians and eye bankers.

The 2015 Physicians’ Leadership Program graduates left the session having identified a number of future projects, which will continue to be explored, and having volunteered to serve on a number of EBAA Committees. All program attendees were provided with one year of complimentary membership in the Paton Society to give them further access to EBAA and its programs and services. Due to the success of the program and the enthusiasm of the participants, EBAA tentatively plans to host this program every other year.

EBAA Congratulates Newest Classes of CEBTs Fifty-one individuals passed the Certified Eye Bank Technician (CEBT) exam during the Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 testing cycles. EBAA created this recognition video to honor their achievement.

TES Class of 2015 with TES Faculty, LEITR staff and EBAA Staff

2015 TECHNICIAN EDUCATION SEMINAR The 2015 Technician Education Seminar (TES) took place February 3-7 at the Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research (LEITR) in Tampa, Florida. This year’s seminar welcomed 54 eye bank professionals from the US, Mexico, Canada, and Korea. For most of the week, the Florida sun was shining, and the attendees were treated to a seminar experience that included the core program, as well as presentations from a donor family member and a cornea transplant recipient, newly-added breakout sessions, lively discussions and interactive demonstrations. During the program, attendees heard from Robert Perez, a cornea transplant recipient, and Dawn Futch, a donor mother whose son was an eye, tissue, and organ donor. This was the first year a donor family member has presented to TES attendees. For many attendees,

listening to a parent whose child was only a teenager when he passed away, highlighted how precious the gifts of sight and life are, and reiterated that the tissue that they see every day is made possible because someone passed away and donated that gift. Cornea transplant recipient Robert Perez’s presentation was a great reminder to attendees of why the standards and regulations that they follow every day are so important. Both presentations provided attendees the opportunity to hear from people who are benefitting from the work that they do on a daily basis. This year, the seminar welcomed a new faculty and some new sessions, including interactive demonstrations and specialized breakout sessions on slit lamp microscopy, recovery and aseptic technique, tissue processing,

and consent and authorization. The breakout sessions provided attendees with the opportunity to receive some additional information and instruction on topics that were covered earlier in the course and are important to the eye bank profession.

Faculty member Samuel Ramos instructing a small group of TES attendees



INAUGURAL SLIT LAMP SEMINAR EBAA’s Inaugural Slit Lamp Microscopy Seminar this past November proved to be a great success. Twenty-one technicians from around the U.S. and Canada attended the seminar, held November 6-8, at the Minnesota Lions Eye Bank in St. Paul, Minnesota. During the two-anda-half day seminar, attendees listened to detailed presentations on information related to slit lamp microscopy and other tissue evaluation methods, and received hands-on experience evaluating a variety of corneas and whole eyes. At the end of the seminar, all attendees asserted that they had greater confidence evaluating tissue than they did prior to the seminar. EBAA thanks Minnesota Lions Eye Bank, faculty, attendees and everyone involved in making this seminar a great success. The 2015 Slit Lamp Seminar will be held October 8-10, 2015, at the Minnesota Lions Eye Bank. Attendees observe as faculty member Bernard Madison looks through the Slit Lamp Microscope

2014 Slit Lamp Microscopy Seminar Class and faculty

NATIONAL EYE DONOR MONTH March 2015 was EBAA’s 32nd commemoration of National Eye Donor Month (NEDM). This annual event is an opportunity for the eye banking community to honor donors and their families, celebrate the gift of sight to recipients, and acknowledge eye bankers and corneal surgeons whose works made sight restoration possible. Since President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first NEDM in 1983, EBAA and its members have used this commemoration to spread awareness about eye donation and corneal transplantation. Over the past two years, EBAA has expanded its NEDM celebration, offering members a variety of materials to support the NEDM events, activities, programs and ceremonies member eye banks hold each year. For the second


year, EBAA spearheaded the “Through My Eyes” Art Contest (highlighted on pages 4–5 of this publication). This heartwarming event gives cornea recipients and donor family members the opportunity to share their gift of sight journeys through art. NEDM continues to grow and here are a few achievements made during NEDM: l

There were over 15 state and citymade NEDM proclamations.


There were over 1,600 visits to the NEDM webpage and corresponding pages between February and April.


Six organizations used EBAA’s PSA featuring John Green to promote eye donation awareness.


EBAA’s social media outlets saw increased member participation

this year. Member eye banks and various transplant and donation organizations posted images, events and stories to Facebook, as well as Instagram. EBAA thanks all eye banks that used the NEDM hashtags. l

Over 25 organizations used the National Eye Donor Month logo and/or banner in or on publications and webpages to promote the event. This included Asheville Eye Associates (NC), Legacy of Life— Hawaii, and Southwest Michigan Eye Center.

Plans for the 2016 commemoration are underway, and EBAA looks forward to taking NEDM to new heights as a representation of the association’s mission and the eye banking community’s dedication to sight restoration.

RUN FOR VISION Over 300 runners and walkers gathered in Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois, on October 19, 2014, for the Run for Vision 5K. This annual run/walk, sponsored by Bausch + Lomb for the past 29 years, is held to benefit EBAA, and to support its vision to restore sight worldwide; the run generated over $16,000 toward EBAA’s mission. David Scarbro, a donor dad, was the official race starter. Mr. Scarbro participated in loving memory and honor of his daughter Alexandria, whose selfless gift restored sight for two people. Allison Watts and Nicolai Sjoe were the race winners, clocking in at 21:31 and 18:09, respectively. EBAA thanks Bausch + Lomb, David Scarbro, Eversight Illinois, and the hundreds of ophthalmologists, eye bankers and others who supported or participated in the Run for Vision.

(Pictured left to right) EBAA President & CEO Kevin

Corcoran, Allison Watts, David Scarbro, and Nicolai Sjoe

EBA A BECOMES MORE SOCIAL For the past year, the public has seen a more active EBAA presence on social media through Facebook and Twitter. Throughout the year EBAA posted stories about donors, recipients, corneal research, member eye banks, association news and relevant events. EBAA staff even got in on the fun during National Eye Donor Month and Donate Life Month and were featured in posts about giveaways and challenges. EBAA will continue to share information using these venues; be sure to “like” and “follow” EBAA today!




LONG-TERM CORNEA PRESERVATION Since the first corneal transplant in 1905, corneal donation and transplantation have steadily become more prevalent. With the increase in demand and supply of corneas has come a greater need to preserve the integrity of the corneal epithelium, the outermost layer that protects the other layers from foreign bodies, and absorbs nutrients from tears that are then distributed to the rest of the cornea. Corneal surgeons and eye bankers alike have worked to create storage media

that would preserve corneas long term. The first media entered the eye banking community in 1974, when Drs. Bernard E. McCarey and Herbert Kaufman introduced M-K medium, which stored corneas at 4°C, making them viable for up to 14 days. Coinciding with the new focus on long-term preservation was the debut of specular microscopy, which allowed the viewer to get a noninvasive, rapid, photographic view of corneal endotheliapathies without risking damage or contamination. Over the next two decades, other media, such as

K-sol, 34°C organ culture, Dexsol and Optisol were introduced; Optisol-GS eventually became the U.S. medium of choice for cornea preservation. The consummate innovators, eye bankers and surgeons, have begun making new strides in long-term cornea preservation, particularly for corneas used for glaucoma shunt coverage. In fact, U.S. eye banks reported a significant increase in long-term preserved corneas used for glaucoma shunt patching in 2014 (6,212 vs 4,040, increase of 53.8%).

Sclera vs. Cornea in Glaucoma Shunt Patch Use — U.S. Eye Banks 2199




4040 755






Intermediate-Term Cornea Sclera


3802 676

Long-Term Cornea


2011 604

EBAA reached out to its membership to learn about their efforts related to longterm cornea preservation. This is what several eye banks reported.

Alabama Eye Bank Alabama Eye Bank’s GlycerolPlus corneas are stored at room temperature in a tamper-evident sealed vial, with a shelf life of two-and-a-half years. The advantages of using glycerol-preserved corneas for glaucoma shunt coverage are that the cornea erodes less often (resulting in fewer cases for tube erosion), and the cornea clears, allowing for adjustment of pressure, and a more cosmetically-appealing result. In addition to glaucoma shunt coverage, Alabama Eye Bank uses these preserved corneas for K-Pro, automated lamellar keratoplasty, and tectonic uses. For tectonic purposes, the preserved cornea is a better suit for glaucoma shunt coverage because it matches anatomically-damaged corneal tissue and will clear over time. For glaucoma shunt coverage, glycerol-preserved corneas are less clear, but possess the same tensile strength. Because corneas are in a dehydrated state in glycerol, once rehydrated, they can become significantly thicker than fresh corneas; this is relatively helpful when preparing tissue for shunt coverage as it makes obtaining the correct thickness easier.

Eversight In Eversight’s experiences, surgeon preferences—particularly when it comes to glaucoma surgeries—run the gamut and dictate the choice between long-term preserved corneas, sclera, amnion or. pericardium. The corneas, preserved in ethanol, are stored at room temperature, with a shelf life of two years, and are used for emergency surgeries and glaucoma procedures. The clarity of the cornea is the greatest benefit to glaucoma

surgeons who can use the cornea for initial glaucoma treatments or for leaking bleb treatment. In addition, the cornea holds up well to laser treatment, if needed. When compared to fresh corneas, long-term preserved corneas possess no living cells and no functioning endothelium, therefore uses are limited to structural procedures. The advantage of fresh corneas is the clarity and the ability to provide tissue for a desired thickness. Regarding tissue sterilization, the biggest difference between E-beam and gamma irradiation is the dose rate. Gamma irradiation has high penetration and low dose rate, while E-beam has high dose rate and low penetration. Either technology can give a reproducible sterilization dose.

Lion VisionGift Lions VisionGift’s Halo sterile corneas, which are primarily used as glaucoma shunt covers, but can also be used as K-Pro carriers and for lamellar or patch grafts, and compare favorably with fresh corneas. The suturability is similar and thickness can change over time, but the grafts remain remarkably clear, which is one of the storage protocol’s hallmarks. Stored at room temperature with a current shelf life of one year (which is soon to be updated, as Lions VisionGift has data to support extensions to the expiration date), Halo corneas are beneficial because they eliminate the risk to the recipient; depending on the sterilization and preservation process, reconstitution may not be required for sterile grafts. To sterilize their corneas, they use E-beam irradiation; it is generated from a nonradioactive source and is fast acting. Lions VisionGift’s preservation and sterilization process is patent-pending.

Tissue Banks International Tissue Banks International (TBI) has introduced VisionGraft, sterile, gammairradiated corneas that are stored in a modified albumin-based media vial, and have a two-year shelf life. These corneas are used for glaucoma surgical procedures, as well as lamellar corneal procedures not requiring a viable endothelium. TBI is sole provider of the K-Pro Ring, introduced in 2009. Ophthalmic surgeons use K-Pro for tube shunt coverage and non-endothelial keratoplasty type surgeries where standard penetrating keratoplasty is not receptive. In comparison to fresh corneas, sterile cornea allografts have been shown to be more durable when compared to other patch graft materials, and provide more clarity, resulting in the ability to perform suture lysis and better postoperative cosmesis outcomes. The physical and biological properties of gamma-irradiated corneas remain similar to fresh corneas – there is no difference in the swelling ratio, light transmittance, and crosslinking density between sterile cornea allografts and fresh corneas. TBI maintains a sterility assurance level (SAL) 10 -6; this sterility level means there is a one in a million chance of an allograft containing a microorganism. To aid this sterilization, VisionGraft’s gamma irradiation penetrates further into materials, giving enough energy to destroy the bioburden. EBAA thanks these member organizations for sharing their expertise for this article.




Jackie Malling

LEONARD HEISE AWARD The Leonard Heise Award is presented to a non-physician individual within the eye banking community, recognized for his or her outstanding devotion to the EBAA’s development and for exemplifying the precepts of Leonard Heise, a major contributor to the fight against blindness and one of the EBAA’s original founders. This year, EBAA presented Jackie Malling with the 2015 Leonard Heise Award on Friday, June 5, 2015, during the EBAA Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA. Jackie served in numerous roles at the Minnesota Lions Eye Bank (MLEB) for 20 years, with the last dozen as its Chief Executive Officer. In the late 1990s, Jackie served as the EBAA’s first Medical Advisory Board secretary. Since then, she has served in numerous professionallyfulfilling roles with EBAA, including the


Board of Directors, Exam Committee (chair), Accreditation (co-chair), International Relations Committee (chair), Certification Board, and Cornea Collaborative (co-chair). Jackie is a past Board Chair of Vision Share, the largest consortium of U.S. eye banks. Jackie garnered the support of esteemed colleagues to form an editorial board and secure major funding from the Minnesota Lions Vision Foundation to launch the International Journal of Eye Banking, for which she served as its founding editor until 2014. She recently joined Saving Sight as Director of Business Development and looks forward to contributing to and furthering their mission to “change lives through saving sight.”

R. TOWNLEY PATON AWARD W. Craig Fowler, MD, Associate Medical Director for Miracles in Sight (formerly the North Carolina Eye Bank), based in Winston-Salem, NC, received the 2014 R. Townley Paton Award during the EBAA/Cornea Society Fall Educational Symposium, in Chicago, Illinois, on October 17, 2014. The R. Townley Paton Award is EBAA’s highest honor for corneal surgeons, and is presented annually to an ophthalmologist in recognition of his/her contributions to EBAA, and for exemplifying the precepts of R. Townley Paton, MD, a prominent corneal surgeon, the father of modern eye banking and the founder of the first eye bank established in the United States.

In addition to his dedicated service as a Medical Director at Miracles in Sight for over 20 years, Dr. Fowler is Chair & Professor of Surgery at the Campbell University School of Medicine in Lillington, NC. Prior to joining the Campbell University staff, he was the Chief of Surgical Services at the Fayetteville Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC). Dr. Fowler was also previously a tenured Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Ophthalmology. He has significantly contributed to EBAA for many years, as a current Medical Advisory Board member, presenter at Annual Meetings, as well as a past faculty member for the Technician Education Seminar.

Dr. Fowler authored numerous papers and articles in ophthalmic publications such as EyeNet, Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, and Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. To view Dr. Fowler’s Paton Lecture titled, “’Knights for the Blind:’ What’s Your Vision to Restore Sight Worldwide?,” please click here.

W. Craig Fowler, MD, 2014 Paton Awardee, with past Paton Awardees




Diane Marinho, MD

MARY JANE O’NEILL FELLOWSHIP: DR. DIANE MARINHO’S PERSONAL ACCOUNT As the Medical Director of the Eye Bank of Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre in southern Brazil, I was very honored and pleased to receive the Mary Jane O’Neill Fellowship in International Eye Banking from the Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA). It gave me a unique opportunity to attend EBAA’s 2015 Annual Meeting in Atlanta and to spend a week at The Eye-Bank for Sight Restoration in New York City. It was my first time attending an EBAA Annual Meeting and I found great value in learning more about the many issues that are related to daily eye bank practice, much of which I will certainly apply here at the Eye Bank of Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre. The meeting was a success with great lectures and interesting discussions. I considered some concepts about precut tissues to be especially helpful because we intend to start processing tissue for endothelial keratoplasty (EK) in our eye bank. Currently, no eye banks in Brazil are pre-cutting tissue and we


really need to develop EK in Brazil! Lastly, I should add that there was a lot of fun at the EBAA Annual Meeting as well and I enjoyed it all.

the chance to attend a Board Meeting, which was like going to a Broadway show and getting to meet all the stars backstage.

Following the EBAA meeting, I visited The Eye-Bank for Sight Restoration in New York, which was amazing! Getting to know the world’s first eye bank as it celebrates its 70th anniversary was just like getting into history. When I learned that Mary Jane O’Neill was the former Executive Director of this same Eye Bank, I felt that I was blessed and a very lucky person. They have such a great team working there. With the best technicians in a brand new lab, I had the chance to really learn how to prepare donor tissue for DMEK and DSEK. I’m very thankful for their patience. Patricia Dahl, Executive Director, together with all the staff, gave me a complete understanding of how things work at The Eye-Bank across departments such as Communications, Fund Raising, Human Resources, Public Education, Quality Control and so on… I even had

This fellowship went way beyond my expectations. I came back to Brazil with a lot of ideas that I can use here to improve our donations, our procedures and definitely restore vision in a better way. Even though Brazilian eye banks work in a different way in some aspects, I can still apply some of what I learned to our reality. I am very grateful to EBAA and The Eye-Bank for Sight Restoration for this unforgettable opportunity, not only because I learned so many new things, but also because I got the chance to meet many special people who are so competent and passionate about what they do. “Muito obrigado!!” That’s how we say “thank you” in Portuguese.

Reverend Arthur Lillicropp

GIFT OF SIGHT AWARD Reverend Arthur Lillicropp received the 2015 Gift of Sight Award at the 54th EBAA Annual Meeting on June 5 in Atlanta, GA. Monty Montoya, CEO of SightLife, Seattle, WA, nominated Rev. Lillicropp for the award and accepted it on his behalf. The Gift of Sight Award is presented to an individual or group who works closely with the eye banking community and has gone above and beyond the call of duty in support of eye and corneal donation. This award honors a person who has had an impact on eye banking and made an extraordinary contribution to sight restoration. Rev. Lillicropp, a cornea recipient, has served as Manager of Spiritual Care at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in South Sacramento, CA, since 2007, where he is responsible for oversight and leadership of spiritual care. He is a member of the hospital’s Organ Donation Action Team, a committee he worked to form in 2005 and now

helps to keep running. This group is responsible for reviewing Kaiser Permanente’s donation metrics and helping with any process improvement that could increase the donation program. Since 2009, Rev. Lillicropp has worked with SightLife, becoming a key supporter in the organization’s quest to increase awareness and corneal tissue donation rates. He has assisted annually with Donate Life Month activities and events. Following his first corneal transplant in 1979, Rev. Lillicropp participated in a campaign with Tissue Banks International to increase awareness of donation, and has been an advocate for eye banking since that time. In Rev. Lillicropp’s absence, he sent an acceptance speech video that was presented during the EBAA Annual Dinner. To view the speech, please click here.




Ernest Franchell IV (left) with his dad, Ernest III.


On June 5, during EBAA’s 54th Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA, Ernest Franchell, IV, and family, received the Crystal Cornea Award.

to raise awareness about GEB, GEB’s mission, and eye donation. In its first three years, the tournament raised over $32,000 to benefit GEB’s mission.

The Crystal Cornea Award is presented to media organizations, lawmakers or individuals who have made outstanding contributions through creative design, speaking, writing, publishing, or airing information that advances sight restoration.

The fourth annual tournament, held March 30, 2015, at the Dogwood Golf Course in Austell, Georgia, raised over $12,000 for GEB.

Ernest IV and the Franchell Family as a whole have been dedicated supporters of Georgia Eye Bank (GEB) since Ernest’s father, Ernest III, became a cornea donor in 2011. Besides spearheading fundraisers for GEB, the Franchell family established the Ernest Franchell III Memorial Golf Tournament in 2012


Last year, Ernest and his mother Maureen joined GEB staff at the State Capitol to receive the March 2014 Eye Donor Month Proclamation from Governor Nathan Deal.

Nachia Greene

PATRICIA AIKEN-O’NEILL SCHOLARSHIP Nachia Greene, CEBT, CTBS, received this year’s Patricia Aiken-O’Neill Scholarship, a merit-based scholarship designated to provide funds for an eye bank staff member to attend the EBAA Annual Meeting. The scholarship is named for past EBAA President & CEO Patricia Aiken-O’Neill, whose 21 years of dedicated service and commitment furthered the association and eye banking community’s shared focus on sight restoration and education.

Nachia was born in the Bahamas and holds a Biochemistry degree with a minor in Marine Science and a Bachelor of Science degree from Saint Mary’s University. Nachia has over nine years’ experience at the Regional Tissue Bank as a Certified Tissue Bank Specialist and recently earned her CEBT designation. Nachia was among the first Tissue Bank Specialists at Regional Tissue Bank to be trained in preparing corneas for DSAEK procedures. She provides assistance in

the development and implementation of standards for DMEK tissue preparation and has taken a leadership role in training new staff in cornea evaluations. Nachia has very broad experience in transplantation and donation, assists the organ recovery program by providing perfusion support and has been involved in the Bone Marrow Transplant program for eight years.


Katie Higgins

Katie Higgins, CEBT, received the 2015 Jachin Misko Memorial Scholarship for Technical Advancement in Eye Banking. The scholarship honors Jachin Misko, whose accomplishments in technical innovation greatly benefitted the eye banking profession. Sponsored by Saving Sight and Numedis, the scholarship celebrates Mr. Misko’s legacy by supporting other eye bank technicians who exhibit a passion for excellence in eye banking and a promise for advancing the profession, and affords the recipient the opportunity to attend the Technician Education Seminar in Tampa, Florida.

Katie is a laboratory technician at Georgia Eye Bank (GEB). Since 2011, she has shown outstanding dedication through her skills, knowledge, and initiative taken toward furthering GEB’s mission and successes. In addition to her desire to learn and contribute more to GEB, Katie has also shared her knowledge and experience by helping to train new staff. She is a proven leader, who is willing to go above and beyond her direct duties, even staying after lab hours to assist in the completion of various tasks. Katie attended the 2015 TES and passed the Certified Eye Bank Technician (CEBT) Exam in April 2015.




RESEARCH GRANTS In 2015, EBAA awarded over $49,000 to the following EBAA/Richard Lindstrom Grant recipients. Research grants are awarded annually to provide support for proposals specifically concerned with issues directly related to eye banking and/or corneal transplantation. The EBAA research program is made possible by the Lindstrom Fund for Corneal Research.

Potential Protection of Endothelium by Hypoxia Preconditioning – $5,000 Joseph Bonanno, MD, Indiana University Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cell Therapy for Corneal Graft Survival – $9,965 Arsia Jamali, MD, PhD, Tufts Medical Center The Effect of COPD and Diabetes on Endothelial Cell Density – $2,500 Jordan Margo, MD, University of Maryland VIP to Enhance Endothelial Survival in Corneal Transplantation – $7,952 Hamidreza Moein, MD, Tufts Medical Center Femtosecond Laser Preparation of Isolated Bowman Layer Grafts – $2,500 Jack Parker, MD, Alabama Eye Bank Testing Matrices For Corneal Endothelial Cell Culture – $4,760 Kaushali Thakore-Shah, MS, PhD, Jules Stein Eye Institute, UCLA Towards Drug Therapy of Fuchs Corneal Dystrophy – $10,000 Tetsuya Toyono, MD, PhD, Johns Hopkins University Fungal Growth in Processed vs. Unprocessed Optisol-GS – $7,007 Elmer Tu, MD, University of Illinois Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

NETWORKING GRANTS Networking grants are awarded annually to promote an educational interchange of ideas between eye banks. This year, the Board of Directors awarded networking grants of $1,500 each to Lions VisionGift and Iowa Lions Eye Bank. Lions VisionGift will visit Eversight Michigan to evaluate the different methods

of procuring, processing, and distributing non-transplant tissue, and

Iowa Lions Eye Bank will visit Lions VisionGift to learn about utilizing Q-Pulse as

a database to manage an organization’s quality framework.


OUR SUPPORTERS EBAA thanks these organizations whose contributions throughout the year support EBAA’s vision to restore sight worldwide. The association’s efforts would not be possible without their support. 2014 Annual Meeting Sponsors

2014 Annual Meeting Exhibitors




Georgia Eye Bank

Axis Global Logistics

Miracles in Sight

HAI Laboratories, Inc.

Bausch + Lomb

Moria, Inc.

Konan Medical USA, Inc.



Lions VisionGift

Digi-Trax Corporation

National Disease Research Interchange


Donate Life America

Numedis, Inc.

Miracles in Sight

Donate Life Rose Parade Float (OneLegacy Foundation)

Ocular Systems, Inc.

SightLife Transplant Connect

ECL2/Q-Pulse Gebauer Medizintechnik GMbH Global Sight Network HAI Laboratories, Inc. ICCBBA Konan Medical USA, Inc. Krolman LABS, Inc. Medline

Prescott’s Inc. Providence Packaging Quick International Courier Restore Sight International Statline Stephens Instruments Stradis Healthcare LLC Transplant Connect ViroMed Laboratories VRL Laboratories





Member Dues


Member Services


Meeting Registration




Accreditation Fees







Technician Exam/RecertiďŹ cation Other Contributions Total



274,093 2,258,407




EBAA’s 2014 Eye Banking Statistical Report is the world’s most comprehensive examination of eye banking processes and trends. This year’s report includes information on all 76 U.S. and 10 international member eye banks and is separated into bookmarked sections which correspond to the EBAA Statistical Report Ledger. The report separates U.S. data from that provided by international eye banks; however, the analysis continues to compare notable differences between the two. This year’s report includes four-year trending graphs, including domestic and international surgery trends and a table and graph comparing the surgical indications for keratoplasty by surgery type (PK, EK, and ALK). Dr. Woodford Van Meter’s analysis of the types of keratoplasty performed for a specific diagnosis separates the indications for transplant into four basic categories: 1) endothelial cell failure; 2) stromal or full thickness (non-endothelial) disease; 3) regrafts; and 4) unknown.

Holly B. Hindman, MD, again provided a synopsis of the statistical report for Paton Society members. EBAA’s 2014 Fast Facts for Physicians included the highlights and graphics from the statistical report most useful to surgeons. In 2014, domestic eye banks reported 128,675 total tissue recoveries, an increase of 4.5% from 123,079 recoveries in 2013. Total donors in the United States were 65,558, up 5.3% from 2013. For the first time, more cornea donors (50.7%) were listed on a donor registry than not. The total number of U.S. supplied tissue distributed for keratoplasty (including long-term preserved tissue) was 76,431, a 5.1% increase from 72,736 in the previous year. 24,483 (34.0%) of U.S. intermediate term preserved corneas were exported internationally in 2014. Penetrating keratoplasty (PK) numbers increased 5.2%, endothelial keratoplasty (EK) numbers increased 6.1%, and tissue used for lamellar keratoplasty (ALK) decreased 2.8% in 2014 compared with 2013.

In the U.S., the reported number of corneal transplants performed in the United States decreased from 48,229 in 2013 to 47,530 in 2014. Domestically, the number of PKs performed continued to decrease in 2014 (19,294, -7.9%). At the same time, the number of corneas used domestically for EK increased (25,965, 3.9%) in 2014. Endothelial keratoplasty has been the most commonly performed procedure in the U.S. for the past three years. The increase in EK in 2014 is due to the increased number of DMEK procedures (2,865), an increase of 88.2% since 2013. Domestically, there was a decrease in ALK (914, -3.8%) procedures in 2014. The Eye Banking Statistical Report would not be possible without the active participation and support of all members and the dedication of the EBAA Statistical Report Committee. The Statistical Report is a valuable and useful resource for eye banks to review their operational efficacy and to drive performance improvement efforts.




BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2014–2015 Executive Committee


David Glasser, MD


Donna Drury, MBA, CEBT

Ex-Officio, Per Article 4.6

Medical Advisory Board Chair

Michael Nordlund,

President & CEO

Kevin P. Corcoran, CAE


Executive Committee At-Large Members

Bernie Iliakis, CEBT, MHA


Kevin Ross, MS, MPH

Immediate Past Chair David Korroch, CEBT


Noel Mick


Woodford Van Meter, MD


Tony Bavuso, CEBT

Bennie Jeng, MD

Jeffrey Penta, CEBT

AAO Representative

Designated by the Board

Woodford Van Meter, MD

Kenneth Goins, MD

Bernie Iliakis, CEBT, MHA

Kevin Ross, MS, MPH

Shahzah Mian, MD

Jason Woody, CST, CEBT

Jim Quirk, CEBT

Representatives by Size of Eye Bank Small Eye Bank

Medium Eye Bank

Jay Lugo, CEBT, COT

William Buras, CEBT

Large Eye Bank

Chris Hanna, CEBT

Michael Bearden, CEBT

Chris Stoeger, CEBT,


Honorary Members

John Guckes

Marian Macsai, MD

Marianne Price, PhD



COMMITTEE CHAIRS Accreditation Board

Medical Review Subcommittee



W. Barry Lee, MD, FACS Jim Quirk, CEBT Vice Chairs:

Paton Committee

Eric Meinecke, CEBT


Shahzad Mian, MD

Alan Sugar, MD

Certification Board

Policy & Position Review Subcommittee



Jay Lugo, CEBT, COT

Sadeer Hannush, MD

Constitution & Bylaws Committee

Quality Assurance Committee



Noel Mick

Garret Locke, MBA, CEBT

Continuing Education Committee

Vice Chair:


Michael Tramber, CEBT

Donor Development Committee Co-Chairs:

Chad Santos

Janice Sedgwick

Exam Committee Chair:

Jamie Collier, CEBT, MA

Finance Committee Chair:

Woodford Van Meter, MD

Heise Committee Chair:

Jason Woody, CEBT, CST

Legislative & Regulatory Committee Chair:

Corrina Patzer

Medical Advisory Board Chair:

Michael Nordlund, MD, PhD Vice Chair:

Jennifer Li, MD


Sean Edelstein, MD

Tom Miller, BS, CEBT

Research Committee Chair:

Neal Barney, MD Vice Chair:

Maria Woodward, MD

Scientific Programs Committee Chair:

Bennie Jeng, MD

Statistical Report Committee Chair:

Brian Philippy, BCHE, BS, CEBT Vice Chair:

Holly Hindman, MD

Technical Procedures Manual Subcommittee Chair:

Andrew Maxwell, CEBT

Technician Education Committee Chair:

Kristen McCoy, CEBT, CTBS Vice Chair:

Joshua Galloway, CEBT


President & CEO

Vice-President of

Kevin P. Corcoran, CAE

Member Services

Director of Regulations

Director of Education

and Standards

Jennifer DeMatteo,

Molly Georgakis, CAE

Stacey Gardner


Membership Programs Coordinator

Star Johnson

Director of Finance Bernie Dellario

Manager of

Communications Patricia Hardy

Legislative Consultant Tom Bruderle



1015 18th Street, NW Suite 1010 Washington, DC 20036 T 202.775.4999 F 202.429.6036 www.restoresight.org