Kelly Odell of Lions VisionGift in Portland, Oregon is the 2016 recipient of the Jachin Misko Memorial Scholarship for Technical Advancement in Eye Banking.

The Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA) and Saving Sight awarded the 2016 Jachin Misko Memorial Scholarship for Technical Advancement in Eyebanking to Kelly Odell, a processing technician at Lions VisionGift in Oregon. The scholarship will support Odell’s attendance at the EBAA’s Technician Education Seminar January 20-23 in Tampa, Florida. 

The Misko memorial scholarship honors the memory of Jachin Misko who was a leader in eye banking at Saving Sight. Misko was instrumental in Saving Sight’s establishment of a DSAEK cutting lab and served on several national committees with the EBAA. The sholarship has honored his legacy over the last three years by helping send a promising eye bank technician to EBAA’s annual Technician Education Seminar. 

“This scholarship is a particularly meaningful way to honor Jachin because it represents the impact he had on all of us and on changing lives by saving sight through eye banking,” said Saving Sight CEO Tony Bavuso. 

Odell has been a member of the Lions VisionGift team since March 2014. Since that time, she’s transitioned from a per diem recovery technician to full-time recovery technician and then from a processing technician I to her current position as a processing technician II. She says seeing the impact her work has on others is the most rewarding part of what she does. 

“We can be pretty far removed from the process,” Odell said, “So getting notes back from donor families and donor recipients really puts what we do into perspective. Knowing how meaningful transplanted corneas and tissue can be to the families who benefit, it’s rewarding to be a part of that.” 

The Jachin Misko Memorial Scholarship for Technical Advancement in Eye Banking is made possible by Saving Sight and Numedis, a producer of corneal preservation media. 

“It’s a pretty amazing opportunity that Saving Sight and Numedis provides to help eye bank technicians who might not otherwise get to attend the Technician Education Seminar to learn more about the practice of eyebanking,” Odell said. “I’m extremely honored to receive the scholarship.”