Saving Sight Introduces the 2021-2022 Board of Directors

Saving Sight Introduces the 2021-2022 Board of Directors

[pictured L-R: Pat Martchink passing the gavel to Larry Boettcher; Cassidy Obermark being honored for her board service; the board meeting at the Kansas City C office at the June meeting.]

Kansas City, Mo. (July 1, 2021) – Saving Sight is pleased to welcome four new people to its Board of Directors for the 2021-2022 fiscal year (July 1 – June 30). Welcome Council Chair Lion Bob Noellsch, Vice-Council Chair Lion Devin Struttmann, Lion Mike Sliger, and Wichita community board member Marc Vincent. PDG Lion Scott Sattler remains on the board and switched seats to represent Lions District M-1, Lion Larry Boettcher was re-elected to a second term, as well as community members Jeff Schaeperkoetter and Amy Leslie.

Board members are key to the organization’s success. They actively participate in long-range planning and monitor the organization’s financial health and overall performance. As highly visible members of their communities, the board members also enhance Saving Sight’s public standing by sharing the mission, accomplishments, and goals with Lions clubs, the general public, and other partner organizations. As Lion board members, these individuals also keep their districts informed about Saving Sight.

“We are able to change more lives by saving sight due to our board members engagement, leadership, support and oversight,” said Tony Bavuso, chief executive officer.

In addition to welcoming new members to the board, Saving Sight also expressed gratitude to three individuals who retired from the board of directors on June 1, 2021. We were honored to have PCC George Winkeler, Jr., PDG Roger Tiemann, and Lion Dr. Cassidy Obermark serve on our board and thank them for their valuable service.

At the June Board of Directors meeting, the board elected its 2021-2022 leadership team.

These board members were elected to leadership roles for the new fiscal year:

President: PCC Larry Boettcher, MD-26 M4

Vice President: Lion Pat Martchink, MD-26 M2

Treasurer: Lion Mike Oldelehr, MD-26 M7

Secretary: PDG Scott Sattler, MD-26 M1

At the June board meeting, past president Lion Pat Martchink ceremoniously passed the gavel to newly elected president PCC Larry Boettcher. Pat will serve as vice president for the 2021-2022 fiscal year to ensure a smooth leadership transition.

New OCT Machine Continues to Bring Innovation to Saving Sight

New OCT Machine Continues to Bring Innovation to Saving Sight

New technology allows Saving Sight to stay on the cutting edge as an innovative eye bank. Saving Sight recently upgraded our lab equipment to a new optical coherence tomography (OCT) microscope. It also allows us to be better stewards of the gift of sight while delivering the highest quality to our partner surgeons.

“The OCT is a big microscope that measures the thickness of the cornea, and we use it to measure our corneas before we start processing for our DSAEK or ALK processing. We also take images after processing so the surgeon can see what the processed tissue actually looks like. It gives us more insight on the quality of the tissue and if it will be suitable for the surgery type we are offering it for. We can be proactive in what we offer to the surgeons,” says Debora Van Klinken-Muntz, Lead Laboratory Technician.

“Using it as an eye bank saves us a lot of time. It also lets us be good stewards of the tissue we receive. I don’t know how we could do eye banking without an OCT machine.”

Saving Sight’s Support of KidSight Screenings

Saving Sight’s Support of KidSight Screenings

Saving Sight continues to partner with KidSight, a Missouri-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides free vision screenings for children. At our June 2021 board meeting, the Saving Sight board voted to donate $35,000 to KidSight to support their work. This brings the total amount Saving Sight has donated to KidSight during the 2020-2021 fiscal year to $65,000.

As an organization with a mission to change lives by saving sight, supporting organizations like KidSight with a similar mission is vital.

The KidSight program was founded in St. Louis, Missouri in 1995 as a part of Saving Sight with a handful of volunteers screening a few hundred children a year. Today, KidSight’s program has grown to screen the vision of more than 67,000 kids throughout Missouri each year with the help of trained staff and volunteers operating across the state. Using a photoscreening device, they quickly and noninvasively screen children ages 6 months to 6 years for common causes of childhood vision loss. KidSight then refers at-risk children to eye doctors for examination, necessary treatment and follow-up to ensure kids get the care they need. KidSight has held its own 501(c)(3) status since August 2016. You can learn more or make a donation to KidSight at www.kid-sight.org.

Saving Sight and Kansas Eye Bank Partnership Expands Mission Impact in Kansas

Saving Sight and Kansas Eye Bank Partnership Expands Mission Impact in Kansas

Wichita, Kan. (June 1, 2021) – Two Kansas-based eye banks have partnered, increasing their impact to save sight in communities throughout the state and beyond. As of June 1, Saving Sight and the Kansas Eye Bank & Cornea Research Center, Inc. have integrated operations and now operate a Wichita location as Kansas Eye Bank, a division of Saving Sight.

This partnership brings together two nonprofit organizations with a rich history of serving the community, ocular transplant physicians, vision researchers, and area hospitals. The two organizations have a shared mission to restore vision to individuals needing a corneal transplant while also fulfilling the wishes of Kansans to become eye tissue donors upon passing.

“We’re excited about what this new partnership means in providing sight to even more people across Kansas, the Midwest, and beyond,” said Tony Bavuso, CEO of Saving Sight.

Saving Sight provides donated corneal tissue for transplant, restoring sight to approximately 8 individuals each day. The addition of the Kansas Eye Bank’s Wichita facility to the Saving Sight system will add new donor hospitals to its network, setting the stage to increase the number of tissues the nonprofit provides to physicians for transplantation. Additionally, the new partnership will allow Saving Sight to expand its efforts in supporting the choice of eye donors and their families to leave a legacy through eye tissue donation.

Saving Sight currently operates four other facilities apart from its headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., including locations in St. Louis, Columbia, Mo., Springfield, Mo., and Springfield, Ill.

About Saving Sight

Saving Sight is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization 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 partners. Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., Saving Sight facilitates eye donation in Missouri, Kansas, and Illinois, impacting the lives of those both near and far through transplantation.

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2020 Impact Report

2020 Impact Report

2020 Impact Report

Learn how we changed lives by saving sight during an unprecedented year.

Our Community Impact in 2020

For so many around the world and in the U.S., 2020 put the human spirit and resilience to the test. As part of our nation’s healthcare system and partner with hundreds of donor hospitals, Saving Sight was called to rise up to the need of helping others during this challenging and unprecedented time. As result of our hard work and care for our community, we were able to provide a huge impact in quality of life for others by facilitating the gift of restored vision.

Read more in our 2020 Impact Report below about the stories of those we were able to help last year.

Saving Sight Medical Director Shares Insights on Use of Serum Tears in Ocular Surface Disease

Saving Sight Medical Director Shares Insights on Use of Serum Tears in Ocular Surface Disease

Joseph Tauber, MD, presented on the use of serum tears in March

On Wednesday, March 3, ophthalmologist and Saving Sight Medical Director, Joseph Tauber, MD, presented on using serum tears therapy in ocular surface disease. The webinar was hosted by Vital Tears, an organization that offers autologous serum tears to eye care professionals and their patients throughout the nation. Saving Sight is a co-founder of Vital Tears, and processes all orders for the serum tears in its laboratory.

Dr. Tauber has an in-depth understanding of the use of serum tears in patients with ocular surface disease, as he was an early adopter of using Vital Tears in his practice. During the webinar Dr. Tauber shared insights into how serum tears fit into a treatment plan for dry eye disease, as well how Vital Tears has simplified the process for patients and physicians.

In addition to serving as Saving Sight’s medical director, Dr. Tauber is a recognized authority in the field of ocular surface diseases, including dry eye. Avidly involved in research for almost three decades, Dr. Tauber has been a principal investigator in over 125 research studies of high-risk corneal transplantation, inflammation and allergic eye diseases, corneal infectious diseases and numerous studies related to dry eye syndrome.

If you’re interested in learning more about the innovative approach that Vital Tears is taking in partnership with Saving Sight to restore sight, visit www.vitaltears.org.