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March is National Eye Donor Month!

National Eye Donor Month: Celebrating the Gift of Sight!

For 34 years, the Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA) and its member eye banks have utilized National Eye Donor Month to raise eye donation awareness, honor donors, and their families and celebrate cornea recipients. The invaluable efforts of eye banks and corneal surgeons to restore sight worldwide are also highlighted.

President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first National Eye Donor Month; every year since then, a member of Congress has read a proclamation emphasizing the importance of cornea donation on EBAA’s behalf.

This year, Representative Nydia Velazquez (D – NY 7th District) sponsored National Eye Donor Month. Please check below to view her proclamation.

Kansas Eye Bank & Cornea Research Center, along with the EBAA, offers a variety of materials to support the various events, activities and programs members sponsor in honor of National Eye Donor Month.

NEDM 2017 Web Rotator

About the Eye Bank Association of America

The Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA), established in 1961, is the oldest transplant association in the nation and sets standards, provides education, and engages in advocacy to support eye donation, and cornea transplantation and research. EBAA has led the transplantation field with the establishment of medical standards for eye banking, and comprehensive training and certification programs for eye bank personnel. Over 90 member eye banks operate in the United States, Canada, and Asia. These eye banks made possible 79,304 sight-restoring corneal transplants in 2015. To learn more, visit www.restoresight.org.

KEB Board Names Jason Verbeckmoes as Next President and CEO

Penny Vogelsang and Jason Verbeckmoes

Penny Vogelsang and Jason Verbeckmoes

The Kansas Eye Bank and Cornea Research Center today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Jason Verbeckmoes as President and CEO. Outgoing President and CEO, Penny Vogelsang will formally retire from the organization effective December 31, 2015.

“The Board of Directors and staff are energized and excited about the potential for operational growth, as we contend with evolving systems and procedures into this next phase for KEB,” says Dasa Gangadhar, M.D. and Medical Director of the Kansas Eye Bank and Cornea Research Center.

Verbekmoes graduated from Emporia State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Promotion and has ten years of progressive leadership experience in non-profit and local government administration. He has managed substance abuse prevention/wellness services and youth development efforts for statewide initiatives, including the Regional Prevention Center Association, and spent the last four years as Vice President for Prevention and Wellness Services for Mirror, Inc, an organization based out of Newton, Kan.

Verbeckmoes is active among several boards and civic organizations, including serving as President of the Executive Board for Kansas Family Partnership, Inc, a statewide advocacy organization. His other civic interests include the Kansas Health Foundation’s Fellowship Program, the Wichita Health Alliance, the Wichita Mayor’s Youth Council, and the Kansas Department for Children and Families’ Community Project.

Jason and his wife Lindsey have been married seven years, and have two daughters, Madeline (4 years), and Eva (1 year).  They moved back home to the Wichita area from Kansas City in 2009.

“I am thrilled to join the team at the Kansas Eye Bank and Cornea Research Center and believe this shift in leadership will position the organization for the future, while maintaining the highest degree of competency and universal responsibility for those we serve,” says Verbeckmoes. “I look forward to serving the Wichita community and surrounding areas as we encourage and accept the donation of human eye tissue for use in the preservation and restoration of sight.”

 

2015 Celebration of Heroes

On Saturday, April 18, people from around the community gathered for the annual Celebration of Heroes, dedicated to heroes who have given the gifts of life through organ, eye, and tissue donation.

The celebration included music, an inspirational reflection and speakers including a donor family member, a cornea recipient, a candle lighting ceremony, and a salute to the donor families.

Donor families brought quilt blocks honoring their loved ones and pinned them to existing quilts. These blocks will be made into a new donor memorial quilt.

Betty Lane (pictured with white hair) is a cornea recipient who spoke about “A Precious Gift” she received.

There was also a video tribute of donors. Pictures for the video were contributed by donor families.

2015 Run for Life

2015 Run For Life Race Packet Insert_HALF-1

Open House

Open House Invite 3

NEW! Donate Life Kansas License Plates

Coming soon – Spring 2015! Kansas Donate Life license plate. Plates can be purchased through your local county treasurer’s office once they are available.

donate life license plate