The Business Development Department consists of three members: Patrick Gore, Lynn Forest-Smith, and Kevin Wright. They work collaboratively to develop working relationships with surgeons, analyze business opportunities, conduct market research, and provide training and education to physicians, technicians, and support staff. In addition, they actively engage with university programs to foster strong relationships and participate in industry conferences to stay updated on innovation and best practices.
The team spends time visiting physicians, attending meetings, and conducting research to ensure they are well-prepared for discussions with doctors. Education is also a significant aspect of their work, as they stay informed about advancements in ophthalmology to better support their physician partners. The work of the Business Development Department is crucial to the success of Saving Sight. By serving as effective liaisons between the organization and its external stakeholders, they ensure collaboration and build lasting relationships with surgeons. Their role requires innovation and adaptability to stay relevant and competitive in a constantly changing market
Looking ahead, the department is excited about upcoming projects and events that aim to meet customer needs and further the organization’s mission. One notable project is the development of a Continuing Education (CE) program for nurses and surgery center staff. This online program will provide CE credits and simplify the process for staff to fulfill their educational requirements, elevating Saving Sight to new heights in eye banking.
Overall, the Business Development Department plays a vital role in driving growth and creating opportunities for both Saving Sight and Vital Tears. Through their dedicated efforts, they establish and nurture relationships with surgeons, identify new business avenues, and ensure the organization remains competitive and impactful in the field of cornea donation and transplantation.
At Saving Sight, the IT department plays a crucial role in the success of the organization by providing reliable and efficient technology, cyber security training, and the knowledge to help keep the technology running. They are responsible for the support and upkeep of all technology components, while also keeping up with the latest advancements as they apply to Saving Sight. The department comprises a team of dedicated people who work together to ensure that all departments work seamlessly.
The IT Department is made up of three talented IT professionals: Brandon, Jess, and Andrew. Brandon, the Director of IT, and team leader is responsible for overseeing the database administration, vendor management, contracts, and services. He is also responsible for department employee management, project management, and application development. Jess, the IT Systems Administrator, is responsible for administering, implementing, and maintaining the security of all systems and platforms used by the organization. Andrew is the Desktop Support Technician and ensures that all equipment is functioning smoothly and efficiently day in and day out.
The day-to-day activities of the IT department are centered around problem-solving, with a mix of current projects, new projects, and individuals requiring support and ticketing assistance. The department’s role is largely reactive in responding to support tickets received. Yet it also operates proactively, staying ahead of the game and keeping up with new advancements. Documentation and content creation are important aspects of the IT department’s work, as they aim to maintain the current infrastructure and provide reliable equipment.
“Technology drives almost every process and procedure in the organization,” says Brandon, making the IT department’s role vital to the success of the mission. The department is involved at every level and works closely with other departments to ensure their technology needs are met and goals are achieved. The IT department’s goal is to act as a support system for other departments, providing technology solutions that align with their goals and strategies.
The biggest evolution in the IT department has been the shift towards data analysis and the handling of helpdesk support internally, instead of outsourcing. The IT Department enjoys the challenge of learning new things and helping people out, making the workday smoother and more productive. “If you like to solve problems, IT is the place for you,” says Brandon. They find satisfaction in finding solutions and making a difference in the organization.
In 2023, the IT department is placing a strong emphasis on cybersecurity. It is implementing policies and procedures to shore up its security foundation and conducting security training for all end-users through Ninjio, a cyber security training company. 96% of cyber attacks come from end-users, and the IT Department is making an effort to educate everyone within the organization on how to identify and report threats.
The IT department is a support system for the entire organization, providing reliable and efficient technology solutions that drive success. It is always working to stay ahead of the curve and provide the best possible services to the organization.
The Quality Assurance department is designed to prevent, detect, and correct deficiencies that may lead to circumstances that increase the risk of introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases, and is an integral part of Saving Sight and Vital Tears operations. At Saving Sight, the Quality Assurance Department is made up of three team members: Patrick Johnson – Director of Quality Improvement and Regulatory Affairs, Kristine Kennedy – Quality Improvement Specialist and Jessica Cody – Quality Improvement Specialist. While each member has their own responsibilities and title, “in the end, we are a team and complete all task as a team,” says Kristine Kennedy.
Like any department, each day is different, but in the Quality Assurance Department you can find them in meetings, working on projects, auditing different processes, not only in our main office in Kansas City but in each of our satellite offices. “Quality Assurance is part of every aspect of Saving Sight and Vital Tears” says Kristine Kennedy. This could be helping a team understand how to complete regulatory documentation or verifying that documentation is completed correctly. It might be improving SOPs for departments to clearly understand requirements or improve a process. Quality Assurance is a vital part of helping the organizations operate to stay in compliance and improve the overall quality of the operation. They are ultimately responsible for quality improvement and assurance, making sure we are following the rules set forth by HIPAA, Non-Conformance Management, both internal and external audits, OSHA incident tracking and supply and supplier management. No day is the same, but they play and important role in making sure we are being good stewards of the gift of sight.
“The Quality Assurance department has been a very rewarding job for me. I truly love being able to help other departments grow in their learning and support them in improving their processes. This roll requires organization, problem solving, “out of the box thinking,” and teamwork, just to name a few. I am so incredibly blessed to work with such amazing people that are dedicated to our mission. I have the best teammates EVER, that are always willing to step up, have each other’s back, and support one another” says Kristine Kennedy. Saving Sight truly is lucky to have such a caring and devoted group of people, all helping us in our mission to change lives by Saving Sight.
At Saving Sight, our Communications team is responsible for internal and external communications, sharing donor family and recipient stories, branding, marketing, and connecting with our Lions Club volunteers. Our job is to tell the story of our mission to connect and encourage stakeholders to join us in changing lives by saving sight.
Our team encourages recipients and donor families to share their stories with us and in turn, we share those stories through multiple channels. When a story is shared with us, we share it on our social media platforms, on our website, and during our mission moments internally. These mission-centered stories really help put into perspective our mission which is to change lives by saving sight. The stories shared with us not only remind us here at Saving Sight why we do this work and why donation is so important, but it also helps spread the word about donation.
Another area that the Communications team is responsible for is overseeing correspondence between donor families and recipients. Many recipients and donor families are interested in communication opportunities, so we offer the opportunity to correspond anonymously between donor families and recipients. When Saving Sight receives a letter, we send it on to the appropriate party and allow them to correspond back and forth.
We also support donor designation by recruiting volunteers to help us at events that spread awareness for organ, eye, and tissue donation. By sending volunteer cards out in our weekly and monthly letters we hear back from people impacted by the work we do at Saving Sight. For example, we recently had a volunteer speaker at the Missouri State Capital for Donor Family Recognition Day and we are currently recruiting volunteers for future events.
With the help and support of Lions Clubs and our Lions board members, we can help communicate about the work we do with various stakeholders. We can connect donor families and recipients to help the healing process, share stories with our staff and on our social media and recruit volunteers to help with donor designation. Thank you for all the work you do in helping us change lives by saving sight.