Mission & History

Our Mission

To encourage and accept the donation of human eye tissue for use in the preservation and restoration of sight.

Our History

The Kansas Eye Bank & Cornea Research Center (KEB) is the only Kansas-based nonprofit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to giving one of the greatest gits one can give: restoration of eyesight. KEB is FDA registered, an accredited member of the Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA), and operates 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.  Nearly all staff are professionally licensed, registered, or certified.  KEB operates independently with partnership relations with many of the major medical centers across Kansas.  Our primary purpose is to provide eye bank services, research, and public education to achieve our mission.  KEB serves the Wichita area, as well as most of the surrounding communities in Kansas.  We encourage development of community services, scientific research, and educational programs to assist in the elimination of eye disease.

The organization began in 1986 as the Wichita Eye Foundation, established by Dr. Bruce Grene, and would recover tissue for corneal transplantation. In 2003, our name was changed to Mid-Continent Eye Bank to better reflect the geographical area served. In 2007, we moved to an office location in Carriage Parkway and assumed our current name, Kansas Eye Bank and Cornea Research Center, Inc in order to better communicate the full scope of services offered. In 2014, we relocated to a new office on South Edgemoor Street in Wichita.

With increasingly rigorous standards of the FDA and EBAA, and striving for a mission of increased community outreach and education to promote tissue donation, we need financial assistance from the community to achieve our outcomes.  The Kansas Eye Bank needs the support of those who share the goal of saving and giving sight.  We thank our partners for providing such support!

History of “Eye Banking”

Dr. Eduard Zirm (1883-1944) is known as the “Father of Eye Banking.” Zirm was born and studied medicine in Vienna, Austria. He became an eye doctor in Moravia and gave free care to the poor.

The first human transplant, a cornea transplant, took place on December 7, 1905. To this day, cornea transplant is considered the most successful kind of tissue transplant; it is also the least invasive of all tissue donation. Each year, more cornea transplants are performed than any other kind of human transplant.

The Eye Bank Association of America was established in 1961.