CONTACT: TOM MOORE
Joint Office for Planning, Marketing and Communications
8788 John Pappajohn Pavilion
Iowa City IA 52242
Release: April 11, 2002
Iowa Lions Eye Bank to
hold open house April 27
The Iowa Lions Eye Bank will
hold an open house event from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, April 27, in its new facility
located at 2346 Mormon Trek Blvd., Suite 1500, in Iowa City.
The eye bank moved from its
original location in University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics last December
"Our program has grown
tremendously over the years and our new location is helping to meet our needs
for expanded space and additional staff members," said Pat Mason, executive
director of the Iowa Lions Eye Bank. "We will, of course, continue our
close affiliation with UI Hospitals and Clinics in serving the needs of patients."
The Iowa Lions, in association
with the UI Department of Ophthalmology under Alson E. Braley, M.D., established
the Iowa Lions Eye Bank in 1955. Now, approximately 400 Lions and Lioness
Clubs in Iowa help support the Iowa Lions Eye Bank through volunteerism and
fundraising. The nearly 13,000 Lions and Lioness club members play a vital
role in the success of the eye bank.
Another vital volunteer link
in the mission of the eye bank is the Iowa State Patrol. Troopers have transported
donor eyes to the eye bank since its inception.
"We especially want
to invite all eye donor families and corneal transplant recipients to join
us for the open house event," Mason added. "The support we receive
from the Iowa Lions is essential to our mission, but the real key to our success
is the generosity of our donor families. The teamwork of everyone involved
is what makes it possible to restore the gift of sight to so many people."
In 1999, eye bank technicians
began traveling to hospitals within a 60-mile radius of Iowa City to recover
corneal tissue from donated eyes. This process allows the cornea to be immediately
preserved for transplantation, increasing the viability and quality of the
tissue. In 2001, this recovery travel area was extended to all of eastern
The Iowa Lions Eye Bank reported
a record year in 2001, with 1,445 donor eyes received and 840 corneas provided
for transplant. Of that total, 284 Iowans received corneal transplants, 280
corneas were offered to
patients elsewhere in the United States and 276 were provided internationally.
Since 1960, eye banks nationwide have made possible more than 700,000 sight-restoring
corneal transplants, and the Iowa Lions Eye Bank provided tissue for 8,554
such transplants in that period.
The Iowa Lions Eye Bank also
plays a central role in research. In 2001, the eye bank provided 368 donated
eyes to the world-renowned UI Center for Macular Degeneration to study age-related
macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is the leading cause of blindness in developed
nations. The Iowa Lions Eye Bank is also among 32 eye banks in the United
States participating in a five-year study of the potential viability of accepting
older adults as eye donors.
The Iowa Lions Eye Bank is
an accredited charter member of the Eye Bank Association of America and is
inspected every three years to ensure quality control and adherence to strict
medical standards. In addition, the Iowa Lions Eye Bank is one of only 13
U.S. eye banks belonging to Vision Share, a national leader in the eye banking
community dedicated to promoting the highest possible standards for donor
tissue, quality and donor screening.
For more information about
the Iowa Lion Eye Bank open house event, contact Mason at (319) 356-2871.
People who wish to attend the open house may R.S.V.P. by calling toll free
(866) HELP-SEE (1-866-4357-733). Organizers will serve refreshments.
of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver
College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical
education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health
Care online at www.uihealthcare.com.