Unleashing Potential Through the Emerging Leaders Leadership Program

Unleashing Potential Through the Emerging Leaders Leadership Program

Photos of graduating class

Emerging Leaders Graduates – Class of 2023

Just before the holiday season, the third Emerging Leaders class kicked off, with its participants eager to develop a wide variety of skills and knowledge.  The Emerging Leaders Program is a 6-month development program that is intended to help prepare future Saving Sight leaders in the principles of leadership, strategy, and relational impact. During the program, participants will dive deep into topics such as leadership guiding principles, difficult conversations, data analytics, and communications, just to name a few.

This program is meant to develop future leaders, whether they are future leaders at Saving Sight or somewhere else down the road. The growth and development of new leaders are beneficial to everyone involved in Emerging Leaders. By focusing on leadership development, Saving Sight creates a culture that values learning and continuous improvement. Investing in leadership development ensures a pipeline of skilled and capable leaders. This, in turn, contributes to the overall success and sustainability of Saving Sight. Class participants gain new knowledge and skillsets while growing in their leadership abilities. Meanwhile, current leaders can share their experience and knowledge with emerging leaders, facilitating the transfer of institutional wisdom and organizational values. “It’s a rewarding experience, and I really enjoyed it. You’ll find that you’ll get out of it exactly what you put in,” says Mark Wood, a Client Services Specialist at Saving Sight and recent graduate of the Emerging Leaders Program.

While there were quite a few applications to the program, only a few were selected. A selection committee of current leaders at Saving Sight met and decided who would be in the third class of emerging leaders.

Bi-weekly sessions will immerse participants in a wide array of subjects, such as the Guiding Principles of Leadership, Time Management, and Emotional intelligence. Experts from the leadership team present their areas of expertise, sparking in-depth discussions.

The Emerging Leaders Program at Saving Sight stands as a catalyst for developing the leaders of tomorrow. As the third class starts its journey, the program’s focus on leadership principles, strategy, and relational impact provides a comprehensive foundation for future leaders. The commitment to continuous improvement and knowledge transfer between current and emerging leaders fosters a culture of growth within the organization. With bi-weekly sessions immersing participants in diverse subjects and hands-on experiences, the program ensures not only the growth of knowledge but also the practical application of leadership skills.

2023 Impact Report

2023 Impact Report

2023 Impact Report

We worked to save sight for more individuals than ever during our 2022-2023 fiscal year! Check out our Impact Report to learn how we’re helping our community.

Charitable Grants Secure Saving Sight’s Legacy of Giving

In 1960, Saving Sight began restoring sight through charitable vision programs, matching the needs of local communities with a spirit of giving. While our program delivery has changed throughout that history, our legacy of giving continues to grow through our mission partners.
In 2021, Saving Sight’s board of directors established a board-designated quasi-endowment fund to support grants given to charitable organizations with a similar mission. During the first round of funding in 2021, three organizations were invited to apply: KidSight, Mid-South Lions Sight and Hearing Service, Inc., and the ShowMe Eyeglass Recycling Program. Each group received funding from Saving Sight to expand their services and impact in the community.

KidSight, a program with a historical tie to Saving Sight, received the most funding, utilizing a $35,000 gift for general operating support to screen over 39,000 Missouri children for potential vision disorders. Of those children screened, 3,500 were identified to be at risk for problems like amblyopia. As part of their essential work, the KidSight team has established an enhanced follow-up process, helping families seek vision care for children as necessary.

Saving Sight also granted $15,000 in funding to the ShowMe Eyeglass Recycling Program, a nonprofit run by the Lions Clubs of District 26 M-7. This Missouri-based program serves as a collection point for recycled eyeglasses that are then read and sorted for use in medical mission trips worldwide. With grant funding, the group purchased two lensometers to read eyeglass prescriptions, a crucial part of preparing the donated glasses to go abroad. The Lions estimate that with this equipment purchase, they were able to serve 25,000 additional people worldwide.
Finally, Saving Sight granted $10,000 in funding to Mid-South Lions Sight and Hearing Services, a nonprofit out of Tennessee that provides medical services for needy vision-impaired people in our region. With funding from Saving Sight, the organization provided direct care to 16 patients from Missouri for various eye care and surgical costs. Upon reviewing reports from these three organizations, Saving Sight’s board of directors voted to renew grants in June 2023, adding one additional nonprofit to the mix. The following grants were made at the end of this fiscal year:

 
  • KidSight – $43,000
  • ShowMe Lions Eyeglass Recycling – $5,000
  • Mid-South Lions Sight and Hearing Services – $5,000
  • Missouri Lions Eye Mission Program – $7,000
 
 

 

Honoring the Legacy of Ophthalmic Visionary Dr. Bruce Grene

In October, the Wichita community said farewell to a friend and visionary in eye care. Dr. Bruce Grene, the founder of Wichita-based Grene Vision Group, was also instrumental in establishing the Wichita Eye Foundation in 1986. With Dr. Grene’s support, the Eye Foundation would grow to eventually become the Kansas Eye Bank and Cornea Research Center, Inc., providing corneal tissue for transplant in Kansas and beyond. In 2021, the Wichita eye bank’s impact on local Kansas communities multiplied as it became a division of Saving Sight.

Dr. Bruce Grene

Dr. Bruce Grene was instrumental in establishing the Kansas Eye Bank.

Dr. Grene’s legacy can be seen in many facets of the practice of ophthalmology. His passion for ocular research and innovation led him to create Celluvisc, a worldwide product for treating surface eye disease and injury. Dr. Grene entrusted the royalties from the sale of Celluvisc to the Wichita Eye Foundation, helping to fund the Kansas Eye Bank’s growth and work in restoring sight.

In his creation of Grene Vision Group, Dr. Grene was ahead of his time in providing the best in patient care. He had the wisdom and foresight to create an integrated group of ophthalmology, optometry, and optical professionals working together to serve the community. Most importantly, Dr. Grene embodied a passion for serving patients.

“Bruce and I worked together for over two decades, and he was perhaps as charismatic and captivating of a person as I’d ever met,” said Dr. Dasa Gangadhar, ophthalmologist and original partner at Grene Vision Group. “The temperature in the room would go up when he walked in. He was loving, he was gentle, and he was a visionary.”

Dr. Grene is survived by his loving family and wife, Mary, who stood by his side during a difficult battle with Parkinson’s disease. He is also survived by countless patients who benefited from his work and many collaborators and coworkers who called him a friend. It’s in the same spirit of service that Saving Sight works to carry forth Dr. Grene’s vision of restoring sight.

To learn more about our history and the key individuals like Dr. Grene, who have worked to make restored vision a reality for others, visit www.saving-sight.org/about.

Eye Donation Month

A New View

Celebrating restored vision and life honored through the gift of eye donation!

Eye Donation Month | November 2023

Each year, Saving Sight joins the eye banking community in observing Eye Donation Month in November. Throughout the month, we concentrate our efforts on raising awareness about cornea donation and transplantation, honoring eye donors’ gifts, celebrating the work of our community partners in facilitating the git, and educating others on how to join the organ and tissue donor registry.

Join us this November in celebrating the new view that the gift of eye donation gives to both recipients and donor families.

Celebrating Champions of Sight!

This November, our team will recognize external partners who exhibit extraordinary dedication in making eye donation possible. Learn more about our Champion of Sight Award program, and how we plan to celebrate the community of individuals who aid in facilitating our sight-saving work.

You Can Help This November!

One of the many ways that you can support Saving Sight’s mission to change lives by saving sight is to help us raise awareness for the need for eye donation and help get others to join the organ and tissue donor registry! Whether it’s making a goal to get a group of friends to register online, or sharing a story on social media about the life-changing gift of eye donation, Saving Sight has got you covered with resources. 

Follow Saving Sight on Facebook at @WeSaveSight for stories to share all month long. And, when you’re on Facebook be sure to check out the Eye Bank Association of America’s profile picture frame commemorating Eye Donation Month. To access the profile picture frame just log into your personal Facebook account, click your profile picture and select “update profile picture” and then “add frame.” If you search for Eye Donation Month, you’ll find a special frame created just for November! Stay tuned to our social media feeds all month long for other extras like stickers and camera effects and how to use them!

Finally, please make sure that you are directing individuals to registerme.org as a call to action for them to sign up on the eye, organ and tissue donor registry! Their selfless decision may someday give others both life-changing and life-saving gifts.

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Living Life With a New View

Jack ‘Hydroplane’ Deloplaine might be best remembered as a Pittsburgh Steeler and a Superbowl champion. But to those who knew him, especially his family, he was much more. His final act of kindness was being a cornea donor.

This is his story, as told by his wife and two sons, brought to you by our partners at the Eye Bank Association of America.

Kathy’s Journey of Restored Sight Through Transplantation

Kathy's journey to restored sight began after her cataract surgery in the fall of 2023. The procedure that she expected would improve her vision did not deliver the results that she was expecting and led to the discovery of underlying vision issues. “After my cataract...
ScottHagerty photo

Transplant Recipient’s Vision Twice Renewed

Scott's journey to restored vision began on a farm in central Kansas when he was 19. After unloading grain from storage bins, Scott noticed that his left eye had swollen shut. Scott eventually found his way to Dr. Bruce Grene in Wichita, Kansas where he was treated...

A Transplant Becomes an Opportunity for Regained Sight

For years, Karie of Kansas City, MO, suffered from reduced vision in her right eye after a bout with shingles while on chemotherapy. She was left with scarring from the shingles on her eye that impacted her vision and resulted in corneal blindness. At first, she was...

Neal’s Restored Vision Provides New Clarity

Neal's life took a transformative turn in April 2022 when he underwent a corneal transplant, bringing newfound hope and clarity to his world. Neal, a resident of Kansas City, suffered from Fuchs Dystrophy, a progressive eye condition that clouded his vision and...

Transplant Recipient Begins 2023 With a New View

“Frankly, I was thinking that there was a good chance that I was going to lose my sight, and it didn’t occur to me to think about a transplant.”

Restored Vision Gives Funeral Home Director New View

As a funeral director, Diantha worked closely with the eye donation process for many years in her family’s funeral home. She often spoke with families whose loved ones had chosen to give the gift of sight, and therefore was very familiar with Saving Sight and its...

Changing Lives Through Sight Restoration in Tanzania

On July 2, 2021, Saving Sight distributed 6 corneal tissues to the  Donor Network of Arizona to be used by one of their surgeons in Tanzania for a mission trip. Dr. LeeSa Jackson joined Dr. Elisante Jackson Muna at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center to perform a...

Becky’s Legacy

  In Memory of Becky H., 1973-2021 "Becky was a strong advocate for those in need, especially children. She loved genealogy, German food, and her family and friends," says Eric. #LegacyGarden #DonorHero  

Changing Lives Through Sight Restoration in Pakistan

In 2018, Saving Sight began working with Dr. Fawad Zafar. Dr. Zafar is a urologist who lives in Iowa and also coordinates the acquisition of corneal tissue for transplant in Pakistan. “In April 2017, one of my class fellows who was a doctor, but left medical...

Melanie’s Legacy As An Eye Donor

"My mom was extremely devoted to her family, especially her mother, two kids and five grandchildren. She had just gotten her first granddaughter after four boys and was so proud. She was extremely giving, to the point she’d go without so others had. She was an AMAZING...

Support the Mission

You can help us our quest to educate others about the life-changing gift of eye donation by purchasing our Eye Donation Month merchandise. Each image features the words of  donor families and transplant recipients about how eye donation has provided hope and healing in their lives.

2022 Impact Report

2022 Impact Report

2022 Impact Report

We worked to save sight for more individuals than ever during our 2021-2022 fiscal year! Check out our Impact Report to learn how we’re helping our community.