Eversight and EBAA:
Partners in sight restoration

Eversight staff will be participating in six panels during this week's Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA) Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Ga.

Eversight's position as a leader in eye banking is an integral part of fulfilling its mission to preserve and restore sight. This leadership allows the organization to provide sustainable services rooted in the latest advancements in eye banking techniques, as well as offer support and assistance to developing eye banks around the world. One of the ways Eversight demonstrates this is its involvement in EBAA, the nationally recognized accrediting body for eye banks.

“We are a large network with more resources than many, and we have a responsibility to contribute to the greater good and help find ways to continue moving the eye banking field forward,” said David Bosch, Chief Marketing Officer.

Eversight staff members serve on 29 leadership positions across 18 EBAA committees; Kevin Ross, Eversight president and CEO, is currently a member of the EBAA Executive Committee and previously served on the Board of Directors.

These committee members are often faculty and featured presenters at the EBAA's educational programs. Seven Eversight staff members and medical directors will serve as presenters and moderators during the four-day conference. Chad Santos, Director of Client Relations at Eversight Michigan, was one of two organizers for the meeting, which is the Association's largest event of the year.

“While Eversight is one of our most sophisticated eye banks and is helping to shape the future of eye banking in the U.S. and around the world, their organizational structure is very collaborative,” said Kevin Corcoran, EBAA president and CEO. “They truly believe that we all share a mission to restore sight, and will always go the extra mile to accomplish that mission.”

Kristen McCoy, vice president of clinical operations, said the opportunities to network with other eye banks through EBAA have been a huge benefit. She was recently appointed chair of the Technician Education Committee after serving as vice chair for four years.

“Being able to work with all of these different people within other eye banks brings such an awareness to how we do things, how we might better do things and how we can help others improve,” McCoy said.

One result of that collaboration was Eversight's Descemet's membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK) tissue processing program, which began in July 2013. This delicate method can benefit patients whose corneal conditions affect only the innermost endothelial layer. To prepare for this type of surgery, one of Eversight's processing technicians manually strips just the endothelial and Descemet's layers from the rest of the cornea, producing a graft that is much thinner than pre-cut grafts. McCoy said networking with other EBAA member eye banks was a critical element of making DMEK processing available.

Eversight also takes pride in being able to share its insights with other eye banks and provide assistance when needed, both at home and abroad.

“Eversight helps foster innovation in eye banking and corneal transplantation because they have the resources and the organizational culture to be forward thinkers to envision a better future and work now to make that vision a reality,” Corcoran said. “That kind of thinking, coming from an association leader like Eversight, is infectious, and creates the impetus for the entire association to strive for excellence.”

Full list of Eversight's EBAA presentations:

Donor Development Workshop Effective Requesting: A New Framework for Family Interactions and the Use of High Fidelity Simulations for Training Panelists: Jim Boggs (Effective Arts), Austin Nagasako (SightLife) and Ashley Beeckman (Eversight) Moderator: Sara McFee, APR (Minnesota Lions Eye Bank)

Re-Branding Your Eye Bank: How to Honor the Past but Look toward the Future Panelists: Annie Kuhl (Saving Sight), David Bosch (Eversight), Bob Russ (Miracles in Sight) Moderator: Debbie May-Johnson (Eversight Ohio)

Scientific Symposium Enhancing DMEK Success through the Identification of Correct Levels of Trypan Blue Dye Application to Donor Corneal Tissue Speaker: Parag Majmudar, MD (Eversight)

Scientific Symposium Ink Performance Trials for Application of Pre-Cut DSAEK and Pre-Cut DMEK Orientation Markings Speaker: Lauren Johnson (Eversight)

Medical Directors Symposium Acting as the Medical Director of a Large Eye Bank Speaker: Shahzad Mian, MD (Eversight Michigan)

Medical Directors Symposium Medical Director Dilemmas: What Would You Do? Panelists: Jennifer Li, MD (Sierra Donor Services), Sean Edelstein, MD (Mid-America Transplant Services), and Elmer Tu, MD (Eversight Illinois, Chicago) Moderator: George Rosenwasser, MD, CEBT (Gift of Life Donor Program Eye Bank)

Specular Microscopy - A Surgeon's and Eye Banker's Perspectives Speakers: Henry Edelhauser, PhD (Emory University), Pankaj Gupta, MD (University Hospitals) and Adam Stockman, CEBT (Iowa Lions Eye Bank)