The Value of Research Collaborations – Eye Banks and Researchers

The Value of Research Collaborations – Eye Banks and Researchers

Saving Sight is honored to be co-authors with Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine on two research presentations at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). Collaborating with ophthalmology residents and leading researchers and surgeons helps drive vision-research forward. These projects highlight how much is gained in advancing research in corneal transplantation through collaborations with eye banks, medical centers and researchers. Working together allows us to honor the gift of sight and advance the treatment of corneal disease.

“Some of our major presentations at the ARVO meeting this year are based on our partnership with the Saving Sight eye bank, who have been just a pleasure to work with,” said Dr. Roy Chuck, Chairman of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Montefiore Medical Center. “They are very forward looking in the world of eye banking in that they have gone ahead and developed a very organized and large electronic database. In this age of research in our field of ophthalmology, and really in medicine in general, it’s all about big data.”

“We think of ourselves as forward-thinking and part of the forward-thinking is figuring out appropriate ways to work with our partners outside of the academic community, which includes eye banks and industry. What you’ll see in our research are very good collaborations that are appropriate and the right way to look forward as we develop science in this new era,” added Dr. Chuck.

Dr. Roy Chuck, Dr. Gabriel Rand, and Dr. Dan Polla

Dr. Chuck is proud to work with his residents, Dr. Gabriel Rand and Dr. Dan Polla in their research endeavors. Drs. Polla and Rand are lead authors on the two research presentations that will be presented at ARVO 2019. Read why they value research collaborations:

 

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“The collaboration between Saving Sight and Montefiore is very important and beneficial because we all ultimately have the same goal, which is to restore and improve sight in those in need. By collaborating, we are able to help each other be better in what we respectively do, ultimately leading to better outcomes on both fronts,” said Dan Polla, MD, Ophthalmology Resident at Montefiore Medical Center.

“Cornea and corneal transplants are such exciting field and I feel really lucky and grateful to be a part of it and to be doing research that makes an impact.”

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“Working with Saving Sight has been an amazing opportunity for me. I’ve been working on research projects with them that involve looking at their large databases and trying to find factors that influence the quality of the corneal grafts that come out of the eye bank,” said Dr. Gabriel Rand, Second Year Ophthalmology Resident at Montefiore Medical Center. “This has been such an incredible opportunity because, not only as a resident do I get to experience taking care of patients in the clinic and operating room, but I can also participate in the science of advancing care for patients and helping to identify factors that contribute to better grafts and better patient outcomes.”     

About Saving Sight

Saving Sight is a nonprofit eye bank with a mission to change lives by saving sight. Founded in 1960, Saving Sight has grown to become one of the nation’s leading eye banks and is focused on providing innovative solutions to its clinical and research partners. Saving Sight welcomes customized research collaborations that meet your research tissue needs and strives to advance the field of corneal transplantation through dynamic collaborations with medical centers and researchers. Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., Saving Sight facilitates eye donation in Missouri, Kansas, and Illinois, serving transplantation and research specialists locally and around the world. 

 

Part-Time Recovery Technician – Springfield, IL

Contact: Marlene Wilkerson

Recovery Technician – Part Time

Are you looking for a career in which you can REALLY make a difference?  Would you like to feel that the world is a better place as a result of your work??  If so, please consider joining us in our mission to change lives by Saving Sight!!

As a Recovery Technician with Saving Sight, you will surgically procure donor eye tissue for one of the largest eye banks in the country.  Our mission-driven organization helped save the sight of 2,957 people last year, and as a Recovery Technician, you can help us increase our impact this year.  To be successful in this role at Saving Sight, you will need a fantastic attitude, a willingness to learn, and a high school diploma or equivalent.  The ideal candidate will have a medical or surgical background. If you join our team with these qualities, we can teach you the technical and clinical aspects of the job. 

Salary:  $16.00/hour, on-call and per case recovery pay (as applicable)
Reports to: Director of Recovery Services
FLSA Status: Non-Exempt (Hourly)
Job Status: Part-time
Location: Springfield, IL

POSITION PURPOSE:

This mission centered full-time position is responsible for surgical procurement of eye tissue, documentation of procedure information, evaluating, processing, and shipment of tissue.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

The position’s duties may include any or all of the following:

  • Recover eye tissue from tissue donors for transplant and research purposes, including drawing blood samples for serological testing
  • Perform donor medical history reviews and physical assessments including ocular tissues
  • Transport eye tissue to/from Saving Sight Eye Banks laboratories
  • Prepare eye tissue and biological specimens for transport
  • Perform facility cleaning and equipment maintenance as required
  • Run miscellaneous errands, i.e. airport delivery or pick-up
  • Prepare ocular tissue for processing in the eye bank laboratory as needed
  • Accurately document donor and tissue information on reports and in eye bank database system.
  • Inventory and Stock Laboratory/tissue handling area

EDUCATION:

  • High school diploma or an equivalent combination of education and experience from which comparable knowledge, skills, and abilities have been acquired is required.

QUALIFICATIONS and EXPERIENCE:

  • Medical or funeral home background preferred.
  • Effective interpersonal and organizational skills
  • Basic computer and phone/fax skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Requires a great amount of flexibility due to the nature of the Eye Bank’s 24-hour business.  This may include day, night, weekend, and/or holiday hours in an on-call status occasionally going beyond shift times in order to complete tasks
  • Requires occasional out of town stays for training
  • Must maintain a valid driver’s license and acceptable driving record as determined Saving Sight.
  • Must have reliable transportation.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Ability to travel throughout service region as required.
  • Driving for extended periods or long distances required.
  • Frequent periods of intense concentration, attention to detail and accuracy.  
  • Ability to handle mental and physical strain involved in use of printed materials and prolonged use of computer screens.
  • Ability to perform delicate manual procedures requiring high amounts of dexterity
  • Long periods of sitting and/or standing may be required.
  • Ability to lift and move more than 50 pounds.

ENVIRONMENTAL DEMANDS

  • Normal office environment combined with normal outdoor exposures                    

NOTE: The preceding statements describe the nature and level of assignments normally given job incumbents. They are not an exhaustive list of duties. Additional duties may be assigned.

Saving Sight is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We take pride in the diversity of our staff, and seek diversity in our applicants. Saving Sight does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of any status or condition protected by applicable federal or state law. Saving Sight reserves the right to seek, hire and promote persons who support the goals and mission of the institution.

All applicants must live within a 30-minute drive to the branch location. No phone inquiries or drop-ins, please.

Office Location

Saving Sight - Springfield, IL

1027 Junction Circle
Springfield, IL 62704

Find Your Fit at Saving Sight!

Regulatory and Quality Manager

Reports to: Chief Operating Officer

FLSA Status: Exempt (Salary)

Job Status: Full time

Location: Kansas City

It all begins with the unselfish decision to donate – an eye donor has passed away and wishes to help others through the gift of sight. This donation leads to the miracle of restored vision for the person who receives that gift through corneal transplantation. And right in the middle of this beautiful story is Saving Sight! Our mission-driven organization helped save the sight of 2,957 people last year. 

POSITION PURPOSE:

The Regulatory and Quality Manager works in collaboration with operations and clinical leadership to build and maintain a quality program, ensure regulatory compliance and proactively seek continual improvement opportunities within the eye bank operations.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Oversight of quality department staff.
  • Collaborate with all eye bank operations managers and key staff to ensure trusting working relationships are maintained between quality and operations.
  • Reporting on quality program measures to management and stakeholders.
  • Maintain the Standard Operating Procedures manual, including periodic revisions, updates to standard forms, and annual review.
  • Quality assurance incident reporting, root cause analysis, trending and tracking of errors/departures.
  • Corrective Action/Preventative Action development, implementation, and verification.
  • Evaluate surgery outcome reports for distributed tissue and patient outcomes for distributed ASED. Investigate adverse reactions and follow up with regulatory agencies/institutions as appropriate.
  • Deviation reporting to applicable agencies/institutions as required.
  • Conduct internal and external audits as required.
  • Coordinate, and conduct when needed, focused process audits.
  • Provide insight on compliance and quality measures to new eye banking initiatives, processes, and programs.
  • Maintain licenses and registrations for eye banking and processing operations with state, federal, and international agencies.

 

EDUCATION:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience from which comparable knowledge, skills, and abilities can be acquired is necessary.
  • Continual training and certification as necessary

QUALIFICATIONS and EXPERIENCE:

  • A minimum of five (5) years in a supervisory role and/or related leadership / management experience required, preferably in a quality role in a healthcare-related industry.
  • Familiarity with all operational aspects of the donation process from referral through distribution.
  • Knowledge of current eye banking standards and federal regulations is required.
  • Experience with LEAN process improvement initiatives
  • Ability to think strategically and plan work around attaining goals and objectives.
  • Strong interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills required.
  • Strong organizational skills, critical thinking and problem-solving abilities with astute attention to detail.
  • Strong leadership skills, ability to facilitate work teams.
  • Ability to work independently, with limited direction, and in a team environment.
  • Ability to work with distraction and to multi-task with frequent interruptions.
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft operating systems, Microsoft Office, general database, and web-based applications. Experience with data analysis and spreadsheet calculations required.
  • Must maintain a valid driver’s license and acceptable driving record as determined by Saving Sight.
  • Must have reliable transportation.

ENVIRONMENTAL DEMANDS

  • Normal office environment combined with normal outdoor exposures

BENEFITS OFFERED: 

  • Paid time off
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Healthcare spending or reimbursement accounts such as HSAs or FSAs
  • Other types of insurance
  • Retirement benefits or accounts
  • Workplace perks such as food/coffee and flexible work schedules

NOTE: The preceding statements describe the nature and level of assignments normally given job incumbents. They are not an exhaustive list of duties. Additional duties may be assigned.

Saving Sight is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We take pride in the diversity of our staff, and seek diversity in our applicants. Saving Sight does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of any status or condition protected by applicable federal or state law. Saving Sight reserves the right to seek, hire and promote persons who support the goals and mission of the institution.

Office Location

Saving Sight - Kansas City, MO

10560 N Ambassador Dr.,
Suite 210
Kansas City, MO 64153

Find Your Fit at Saving Sight!

Cate Kane Poem

Cate Kane Poem

Featured Artist Poetry

Cate Kane is a three-time corneal transplant recipient with Saving Sight. She has a life-long passion for writing, giving back, and serving her community.

I SEE – LITTLE ONE© 

By Cate Kane 10-23-12

Hey, little bit, come here & look at this for me,

Tell me, dear one, what is that you see?

Can you possibly describe it to me?

For as you know I only see shadows or not things as they be.

Hey, little one, come here & look at this with me.

I’ll tell you, dear one, what I can see.

I see colors & hues & shapes so magnificently.

For as you know, I can see real things and they can see me.

 

A gift to the Heartland Lions Eye Bank (now known as Saving Sight).

Read more about Cate’s experience as a cornea transplant recipient click here.

Retired Pediatrics Nurse Finds Relief through Corneal Transplantation

Retired Pediatrics Nurse Finds Relief through Corneal Transplantation

Haley, Elaine and Rick at the Candlelight Memorial in Springfield on March 16th.

As a retired pediatrics nurse and two-time cornea transplant recipient, Elaine is familiar with the impact eye, organ and tissue transplantation has on the lives of others.

Elaine has keratoconus, a progressive eye disease that thins the cornea and causes it to become cone-shaped, distorting vision. To help with her worsening vision, Elaine underwent her first cornea transplant in the 1980s. After her transplant, Elaine was given gas permeable contact lenses. These contacts ended up causing corneal abrasions and Elaine discontinued wearing a contact in that eye. “Over the years it had become very scarred to the point my eyelid could not close at night and this caused dryness and discomfort. I also could not see through the scar,” says Elaine. She also had cataract surgery on that eye, which added to her corneal scarring.
Elaine had been told her corneal scarring and vision couldn’t be corrected in that eye. Due to the pain she was experiencing, she and her best friend decided to seek a second opinion. That’s when she discovered optometrist Dr. David Pierce. “I absolutely adore my optometrist, Dr. Pierce. He’s just so caring and referred me to Dr. Daniel Osborn who is an ophthalmologist. They discussed my case and decided they could replace my cornea transplant. Dr. Osborn did a fabulous job!”
Dr. Obsborn performed Elaine’s second corneal transplant on June 16, 2018 and she is healing well. As of February 2019, Elaine’s vision is testing 20/25 in her transplant eye and she hopes to continue getting better once the rest of her stitches are removed.
“The pain I went through previously was just horrible,” says Elaine. “What I’ve been through with the second transplant has been worth it with my eye not drying out at night and fussing with the drops. I’m more comfortable and better now.”
Thanks to her cornea transplant, Elaine, who celebrated her 81st birthday this February, is able to enjoy watching birds outdoors and from her dining room window again. She and her husband HF also are able to keep up with their 5 kids, 12 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren now as well.
Connecting through Correspondence
Elaine chose to write to her donor’s family to say thank you for their generosity that made her transplant possible. “The tissue is so priceless to the people who need it. I will be forever thankful to her (Elaine’s eye donor), to her family and to God for my new cornea. When you help someone else the blessings will always be returned to you.”
Sharing Her Story at the Springfield Candlelight Memorial
Saving Sight was honored to co-host a Candlelight Memorial with Mid-America Transplant on Saturday, March 16, 2019. We participate in this event annually to honor eye, organ and tissue donor families. Elaine spoke at the event to share her gratitude for her restored sight as a cornea recipient.