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Release:Jan. 17, 2003

Iowa Lions Eye Bank to Open Satellite Office in Ames

The Iowa Lions Eye Bank in Iowa City is scheduled to open a satellite office in Ames on Feb. 1.

Last October the Lions of Iowa Council of Governors voted unanimously to provide space for the satellite office in the Iowa Lions State Office building at the junction of Highways 30 and 69 in Ames. Remodeling is now under way. Eye Bank leaders are currently recruiting a regional manager to oversee the satellite operation.

The Iowa Lions Eye Bank has experienced considerable growth and change in the past five years, and the opportunity for a satellite location will enhance services in central and western Iowa.

In related news, the Council officially approved a Lions Clubs International grant application for $25,372 to help purchase a confocal microscope for the Cornea Center. The Lions governors also agreed to raise an additional $7,500 for matching funds toward the total purchase price of $50,745. A confocal microscope enables eye specialists to examine patients' eyes with powerful magnification and diagnose a range of eye disorders.

The Iowa Lions, in association with the University of Iowa department of ophthalmology under Alson E. Braley, M.D., established the Iowa Lions Eye Bank in 1955. Today, 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.

The Iowa Lions Eye Bank reported 2002 statistics with 1,373 donor eyes received and 872 corneas provided for transplant. Of that total, 298 Iowans and 208 patients elsewhere in the United States received corneal transplants, while 366 corneas were provided internationally for transplant. Since 1961, eye banks nationwide have made possible more than 800,000 sight-restoring corneal transplants, and the Iowa Lions Eye Bank provided tissue for 10,119 such transplants in that period.

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 14 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 Lions Eye Bank, contact Pat Mason at (319) 356-2871 or visit their web site at

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