|Board of Directors|
|The Florida Lions Eye Bank is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of members of Lions clubs from three districts covering the east and west coasts of South Florida. Officers serve one-year terms and are appointed each June.|
Colleen Pinkerton, PDG
Antonio Burgos, PDG
John N. DeSouza
Robert Woomer, PDG
|Our Team of Miracle Makers|
|The Eye Bank is staffed by technical, administrative and support personnel. Volunteers include a Board of Directors representing more than 120 South Florida Lions Clubs. An ophthalmologist serves as volunteer Medical Director. Hospitals, nursing staffs, airline employees, law enforcement agencies and funeral directors are all members of an extraordinary team.|
|Eye Bank Staff|
|Providing more than just corneas|
|Increasingly, the Eye Bank is providing more than just corneas to eye patients. Ophthalmic surgeons are also using donor scleral tissue, the white portion of the eye. Since the Eye Bank’s founding, it has also operated a pathology lab that has benefited many patients. More than 56,000 specimen examinations have been provided to surgeons at no charge. By examining eye tissue, the pathology lab investigates tumors, trauma, inflammatory and degenerative conditions, making valuable contributions for the treatment and eventual cure of blinding eye diseases.|
Founded in 1962, the Eye Bank has always been associated with the University of Miami School of Medicine’s Department of Ophthalmology at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, where it is located (900 NW 17th St., Miami, FL 33136). Its founder and first medical director was Dr. Victor T. Curtin, who led the eye bank’s growth for nearly 40 years. It is part of The University’s Transplant Team, which is capable of retrieving all organs and tissues including heart, lung, liver, kidney, pancreas, bone and skin, along with corneas.
Sander R. Dubovy, M.D.
|International Gratis Program|
The Florida Lions Eye Bank created an International Gratis Project in 1998 to provide excess eye tissue from eye banks across the U.S. to countries in South America, Central America and the Caribbean that are in critical need of surgical quality corneas. Many cultural factors affect donation in these countries, causing a corneal and scleral tissue shortage. After learning that many patients were unable to have sight-saving surgery due to a lack of corneas in these regions, the Florida Lions Eye Bank alerted other eye banks about the need for tissue. The eye bank began to receive excess tissue immediately for shipment to other countries. The Florida Lions Eye Bank assumes all expenses involved with receiving, evaluating, packing and sending the tissue out of the country - a process that involves many staff hours.