Thank you for your generous wish to support the Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey by
volunteering your time and effort on our behalf. By agreeing to help spread the word
about eye, organ and tissue donation, the importance of joining the Donate Life New
Jersey Registry and the Eye Bank’s critical role in our community, you have become
a partner in our mission to restore sight. This Presenter’s Guide has been created
as a resource for you.
When you give a program or speech on behalf of the Eye Bank, you are acting as
our representative, our liaison to the community. You play an important role, and
we’re here to support you. We want you to be equipped to answer any questions
that may arise, and to provide additional information or resources as necessary
to inform your audience. The accuracy of the information you provide is critical in
establishing trust and confidence among the people we serve.
Feedback you may receive from the community is just as important to us. You can
be our eyes and ears, paying attention to common questions, concerns and general
comments from your audience. Feedback helps us to refine and improve our
community engagement efforts as we move forward. We also appreciate hearing
your comments and can often incorporate your suggestions into our programs.
Our staff is always happy to answer any questions, receive your feedback or provide
additional information you may need. We can be reached toll-free at (800) 653-9379
or via E-mail at email@example.com.
The Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey is a subsidiary of Midwest Eye-Banks, a
501(c)(3), independent, not-for-profit organization.
Our mission is the restoration of sight.
This is accomplished through:
• Recovery, evaluation and distribution of the highest quality eye tissue for
transplantation, as well as for ophthalmic research and training.
• Funding of peer-reviewed research grants in support of improved
diagnosis, treatment and prevention of eye and vision disorders.
• Provision of public and professional education to increase awareness of the
continuing need for donation of eye tissue, as well as all other tissues and
• Supporting the continued development of eye banking, domestically and
internationally, and the continuing development of related professional
The Donation and
Someone in Need
After the A Charitable
Eye, Organ and
Procedures Tissue Donor
Spreading the Word:
Corneal Tissue Recovery of
Distribution Donated Eye
Someone in Need
The work of an eye bank begins with the desire to help
someone facing blindness. Since 1905, when the first
successful cornea transplant was performed, we have
known that human corneal tissue can be recovered from a
donor for implantation into a recipient.
Corneal transplantation can treat blinding eye conditions
that pertain to the cornea itself. This often includes eye
injuries that result in scarring or other damage to the front
surface of the eye, or diseases that distort the shape and
clarity of the cornea.
Only about 10 percent of all blinding eye conditions can be
corrected through corneal transplantation. That’s why the Lions
Eye Bank of New Jersey also supports eye and vision research into the
causes and cures of a variety of blinding eye conditions. Eye Bank grant funding, as well
as corneas donated for the purpose of research and training, enable researchers to lay the
groundwork for us to help many more people in need.
Scleral tissue, or the white part of the eye, can also be recovered to help someone in need
of certain kinds of reconstructive surgery.
What is a cornea?
The cornea is the clear, dime-sized tissue at the front of the eye. It
functions as a window, enabling light to pass through the eye’s surface.
A Charitable Act
The Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey can only fulfill its mission through
the generosity of an eye donor and/or his or her family. Without this
consent to donate eye tissue, sight-restoring cornea transplants would
not be possible. There is no substitute for human corneal tissue to
replace a patient’s damaged cornea.
Most religions support eye, organ and tissue donation, and view
donation as an act of charity – a selfless respect for others’ lives.
Further, the families of eye, organ and tissue donors often express
gratitude for the opportunity to derive something meaningful and
lasting from the tragic loss of a loved one.
The Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey is always grateful to those individuals and
their families who consent to donate eye tissue, regardless of the outcome of
the donation. As more and more people embrace the concept of donating eyes, organs and
tissues at the time of death, a culture of donation is emerging. It is natural that we should
choose to sustain and enhance the lives of others when our own lives come to an end.
Extreme care is taken to respect and support the donor’s family at their time of loss. The
Eye-Bank realizes that the loss of a loved one is a tragic moment for any family, and is an
especially difficult time to be faced with a decision to donate eyes, organs or tissues. Every
effort is made to comfort the family, and to ensure that they fully understand the option of
How do I consent to donate my eye tissue?
Become a registered eye, organ and tissue donor by joining the Donate Life
NJ Registry. In addition, be sure to have a conversation with your
family. Tell them of your final wishes regarding donation.
Family members are consulted at the time of death, and a
10-second conversation with them now can help them
make the important decision to donate when the time
Becoming a Registered Eye,
Organ and Tissue Donor
Joining the Donate Life NJ Registry is the best way to ensure your
wishes regarding donation will be carried out. The Lions Eye
Bank of New Jersey works with New Jersey Organ and Tissue
Sharing Network, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission
and other agencies to help give residents the information
they need to join the state’s Donor Registry. As a result,
there are many online and print resources that all have the
same destination and purpose.
The Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey has launched a special
campaign to promote the Donate Life NJ Registry. Our
“I Joined!” program is designed to encourage participation
in the Registry, and to provide New Jersey residents with all
the information they need to join. You can visit www.IJoined.org
or the Eye Bank’s Web site, www.lionseyebanknj.org, for links that
go directly to the Donor Registry’s online information page.
New Jersey residents can make their donor designation in three ways:
1. New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission: The best way to make your designation is through
the statewide donor registry at the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commision (MVC).
2. Donor Card: A donor card acts as a legal means to designate donation. However, cards are
not linked to the registry, so individuals must carry the card on their person.
3. Advance Directive/Living Will: An advanced directive/living will is also a legally-recognized
way to designate your wishes to donate but is not linked to the Donor Registry and is often not
accessible at the time of death.
My vision is bad. Why would the Eye Bank want my corneas?
Even if one’s eyesight is poor, the corneal tissue may be
completely healthy – healthy enough to save someone’s
sight. Moreover, with consent, donated corneas may
be used to provide much-needed information for
researchers or for those being trained in corneal
tissue recovery, preservation and evaluation.
Recovery of Donated Eye Tissue
For eye, organ and tissue recoveries to be successful,
time is of the essence. When someone passes away, New
Jersey Organ and Tissue Sharing Network (the Sharing
Network), the state’s official organ and tissue agency,
collaborates with the hospital or other facility involved in
caring for the deceased person. As soon as possible after
the death is reported, the Sharing Network staff members
review the Donate Life NJ Registry to determine whether
the individual had registered as an eye, organ and tissue
If the individual’s name appears on the Donor Registry, his
or her family is notified, and medical history information
is gathered. To protect transplant recipients, healthcare
workers and Eye Bank technicians, a blood sample is also
taken and tested for such communicable diseases as HIV
and hepatitis. Eye tissue is not recovered from donors whose medical history contains evidence of
communicable diseases like these. Medical history information comes from patient records available
at the time of death, as well as interviews with the donor’s family.
If no adverse medical conditions are found and the donor’s next-of-kin gives consent, the donation
can proceed. Consent is normally documented on a signed form; however, if the next-of-kin can only
be reached by telephone, an official verbal consent may be recorded. The Lions Eye Bank of New
Jersey does not recover eye tissue without documentation of consent.
Will doctors and healthcare staff still try as hard to save my life, if
they know I am a registered donor and if they think my organs or
tissues can be used?
Absolutely. In fact, by law, the team working to save a patient’s life is completely
separate from the team who may recover donated organs and tissues after death
has been pronounced. Eye, organ and tissue recoveries are pursued only after all
lifesaving measures have been exhausted and the patient is officially deceased.
How do I know if I’m eligible to be a donor?
Anyone can donate eye tissue. Even if corneal tissue isn’t
transplantable, due to a donor’s age or medical condition, it can
be used for research and training purposes. However, special
consent must be obtained from the donor’s next-of-kin
before donated eye tissue is utilized for research and
The Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey employs a team of specially-trained eye tissue recovery
technicians who are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These technicians must travel
to hospitals and other facilities on a moment’s notice, day or night, to recover donated eye
Eye tissue must be recovered and preserved within a few hours of the patient’s death.
Healthcare professionals caring for the donor’s body are also trained to help keep the donor’s
eyes irrigated and prepared for recovery. When the Eye Bank technician arrives, he or she
confirms consent for donation and determines the type of procedure to perform. A corneal
excision involves using tiny scissors to gently separate only the cornea from the rest of the
donor’s eye. This is the procedure used when the Eye Bank anticipates that the cornea may be
suitable for transplantation.
An eye enucleation is the removal of the donor’s entire eye, also known as the globe. This
procedure is normally performed when transplantation of the donor’s cornea is not a possibility,
but when the globe can be helpful for specialized research or training purposes.
After eye tissue is recovered, the technician carefully places it in a special container, where it is
submerged in a chemical preservation solution to help keep it healthy during transport, storage
and laboratory evaluation.
The solution used to preserve eye tissue was developed especially for that purpose, and
marks one of the most significant advances in eye banking technology. In the early days of eye
banking, recovered eye tissue could only be preserved for a few hours. A network of volunteer
transporters set up relay networks, using their own vehicles, to rush eye tissue from the donor
to the laboratory in Springfield. This often meant driving dozens or hundreds of miles in all
kinds of weather, at all hours of the day and night.
Today, thanks to the advent of modern preservation media, corneas can be preserved for up to
14 days after recovery from a donor, if properly stored and refrigerated. However, corneas are
usually transplanted into a patient in a much shorter time frame.
Do eye tissue recovery procedures affect the donor’s
appearance? What if the family wants to have a viewing as
part of their funeral arrangements?
The donor’s appearance is not affected by eye tissue recovery.
Extreme care is taken to protect the face and eyelids before,
during and after the recovery procedure. Even when an
entire eye is recovered, the recovery technician places
a special orb under the donor’s eyelid to preserve
its appearance, so that funeral arrangements and
viewings can proceed as usual.
The Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey’s laboratory is located in
Springfield, and is staffed by technicians around the clock.
The laboratory is divided into functional spaces for eye
tissue evaluation, packaging and unpacking, information
management and communications.
Although microscopes and other clinical equipment are
a dominant feature of the lab, one of the key laboratory
functions is the management of information pertaining
to each recovered eye tissue. Every cornea, every globe,
every piece of scleral tissue receives its own special
identification. This ID is used to keep track of the tissue
throughout the entire donation and transplantation process, even
long after its recipient has recovered from transplantation surgery.
Tissues utilized for research and training, or those that simply cannot be used, are also tracked in
compliance with Federal and eye banking regulations.
The management of information pertaining to donated eye tissue is a critical step in maintaining the
quality of our services and, most importantly, protecting the patient’s health. The Lions Eye Bank of
New Jersey benefits from Midwest Eye-Banks’ experience in pioneering eye banking information
systems including the Eye-Bank Information System (EIS) in the early 1990s, followed by the launch
of Midwire in 2006-2007.
Eye banks are regulated by the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA), and most, including the Lions Eye
Bank of New Jersey, are accredited by the Eye Bank
Association of America (EBAA). Our laboratory operates
in full compliance with these regulations, and is inspected
periodically by both FDA and EBAA officials.
Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey technicians are certified
or are eligible for certification by the EBAA. Staff receive
their Certified Eye Bank Technician (CEBT) accreditation
after completing rigorous training and testing. In the lab,
they are called upon to perform a variety of tasks, including
packaging tissue for safe transport, screening potential
donors, performing advanced data entry and evaluating
corneas intended for transplantation.
After donated corneas arrive in the lab, they are carefully unpacked, evaluated and
rated on a rating scale that helps transplant surgeons assess the condition of the tissue.
Evaluation requires the use of both slit lamp and specular microscopes. The slit lamp
can help to detect imperfections in the donor cornea, such as mild scarring or infiltrates,
that may cause vision problems after transplantation into a patient’s eye. The specular
microscope is used for cell counting, and can illustrate the number of individual cells within
a square millimeter of the cornea’s surface. We are born with a finite number of corneal
cells which, as we age, begins to diminish. Therefore, corneas recovered from older donors
tend to have fewer cells, while those recovered from younger donors tend to have more
cells remaining. Surgeons often prefer to use corneas from younger donors when treating
younger patients, as there is a greater probability that the cornea will remain clear and
healthy throughout the patient’s life.
In addition to its own clinical staff, the Eye Bank is fortunate to work with a team of
volunteer Medical Directors, all of whom are Board-certified ophthalmologists with expertise
in corneal transplantation. Our Medical Directors are available for consultation when
questions arise regarding tissue suitability for transplantation, patient follow-up and other
Corneal Tissue Distribution
The Eye Bank does not employ surgeons and does not perform
transplant procedures. Corneal surgeons working in hospitals
and surgery centers come to us when a patient is in need
of eye tissue for transplantation.
We have a team of Tissue Distribution Coordinators
who work with surgeons, hospitals and surgery centers
to coordinate the timing of transplant surgeries with the
delivery of corneal tissue.
Corneas are distributed on either a routine or an
emergency basis. Certain types of eye injuries
necessitate emergency cornea transplants and, in those
cases, our staff works with a network of couriers to rush the
tissue safely to where it is needed.
Is there a waiting list for transplantable corneas?
The patient waiting list for corneas has been virtually eliminated in the
United States, thanks to advanced surgery scheduling processes and
the advent of corneal tissue preservation media. Unfortunately, there
are still waiting lists for other tissues and organs.
Is there a need to match blood type or eye color between
donor and recipient?
No. Unlike other organs and tissues the cornea is not nourished
by blood, which means no matching is required. In
addition, the cornea does not affect one’s eye color,
meaning the patient will retain his or her original
eye color following a transplant.
A traditional cornea transplant is a full-thickness graft of the
cornea, meaning the patient’s entire damaged or diseased
cornea is removed before the healthy, donated cornea is
put in place. The operation is also referred to as penetrating
keratoplasty, and it is normally performed on an outpatient
basis with only a local or general anesthetic and a sedative.
In a full-thickness graft, the healthy cornea is stitched into
place using tiny sutures that are finer than a human hair.
One of the newest breakthroughs in corneal transplantation is a procedure called DSEK
(pronounced “D-sek”), which stands for Descemet’s Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty. This
procedure is a partial-thickness graft that involves replacing only the innermost layer of a
patient’s cornea with a layer of a healthy, donated cornea. Surgeons performing this relatively
new procedure must undergo highly-specialized training. A tiny incision is made in the
patient’s cornea, and the incredibly thin layer of donor tissue is carefully folded and inserted
through the incision. Once it is in place, the new tissue layer is able to return to its original
shape, and does not usually require suturing to stay in place. The incision can heal by itself.
What are the chances a cornea transplant will succeed?
More than 90 percent of all cornea transplants
performed in the United States are successful.
Corneal transplantation is the most frequently
performed transplant procedure and, of all tissue
transplants, cornea transplants are the most
likely to be successful.
DSEK is not an option for all patients in need of corneal transplantation. Again, the corneal
surgeon must make this determination. However, when DSEK is possible, it often means
faster and more effective recovery for the patient, because it is a less invasive procedure.
As DSEK began to become popular among eye surgeons, the Lions Eye Bank of New
Jersey/Midwest Eye-Banks invested in the special equipment and staff training necessary
to prepare donated corneas for the procedure. Today, we are one of few eye banks offering
this service to surgeons, and our technicians are called upon to prepare corneal tissue for
DSEK at all hours of the day and night. The demand for DSEK tissue has grown quickly,
and we have been consistently able to meet this demand, thanks to the skill and dedication
of our staff.
How much does it cost to get a cornea transplant?
First of all, it is important to know that there is never any charge for
donated eye tissue. It is considered a gift from the donor and his or her
family. The patient must pay the surgical facility or hospital for the operation
itself, as one would pay for any medical procedure, and the transplant
procedure is typically covered by health insurance or Medicare. The Eye
Bank receives a tissue processing fee from the surgical facility at which
the operation is performed. This fee is meant to help offset the substantial
costs involved in recovering, evaluating and distributing tissue. Additional
fees are charged for the service of preparing corneal tissue for DSEK.
When patients lack medical insurance coverage and
cannot afford corneal transplantation procedures, we
work with surgeons and surgery centers to reduce
or waive all fees, meaning no one in need of a
sight-restoring cornea transplant will be turned
After the Operation
Patients recovering from a cornea transplant are normally
allowed to return to work or resume other normal activities
within a few days of the operation. Of course, there are
certain restrictions that are carefully explained by the
patient’s eye doctor.
Some patients report an immediate improvement
in vision, while others experience a more gradual
improvement. Graft rejections do occur, although they
are infrequent. The Eye Bank works with surgeons
to track post-operative outcomes for several months
following the operation. Surgeons schedule regular post-
operative visits with patients to check the graft for signs of
failure, and to monitor the patient’s vision. Many transplant
recipients must wear glasses to maintain visual clarity, although
some experience a return to near-perfect vision.
Depending on the type of procedure performed and on the patient’s health in general, it may be
a matter of weeks or months before he or she is considered fully recovered. Eye drops and other
medications may be prescribed.
Also, depending on the condition that first led to a cornea transplant, it is not uncommon
for patients to require multiple re-transplants. Even successfully-transplanted corneas may
eventually become clouded or distorted if the patient had pre-existing conditions that caused the
cornea to fail in the first place.
Can cornea transplant recipients communicate with donor family members?
Donor families often appreciate hearing from the transplant patients who received
their loved one’s corneal tissue. Likewise, transplant recipients may have greater
appreciation for the gift they’ve received when they hear from a
donor’s family. However, because the identities of the donor, his/
her family and the recipient must be kept confidential, the Eye
Bank acts as an intermediary for any correspondence. In
some cases, if both parties agree to waive their rights
to confidentiality, donor families and recipients can
communicate directly with one another.
Spreading the Word:
An important part of the Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey’s
mission is spreading the word about donation and
transplantation. This is how we inform the public
that there is a tremendous need for eye, organ
and tissue donors, and also let people know
that we are a community resource for those
in need. Those who have been touched by
donation, either because their loved one gave
the gift of sight or because they have received
this precious gift, often choose to get involved
in our efforts to spread the word… and, in
doing so, they have brought the donation and
transplantation process full-circle.
Our Ambassador Program is designed to coordinate
volunteer efforts with Eye Bank events and campaigns.
Anyone can volunteer as an Ambassador, and Ambassadors can choose from a variety of
important community engagement activities. These may include speaking to a Lions Club
or other community group, giving Eye Bank materials to the editor of a local newspaper or
company newsletter, staffing an Eye Bank display at a health fair, attending a special Eye
Bank event… the possibilities are nearly endless. It is a fun way to support an important
cause, and also to meet other people who have had similar experiences with donation and
Thanks to their history of support, Lions and Lioness Clubs have always been key partners
in our efforts to promote eye, organ and tissue donation. Club members living throughout
the state carry our message to their own communities, and are an excellent model for other
community groups and individuals who support the mission to restore sight.
Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey promotional items are often available upon request. These
items can help our volunteers bring attention to our mission, and can help spark important
conversations about eye, organ and tissue donation.
Community Engagement Report
Between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2008, the community engagement efforts of
the Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey, in collaboration with New Jersey Lions and
other transplant-related entities, reached more than 4,000 people in the state.
The following is a list of community events and opportunities that allowed us to
raise awareness about the gift of sight, eye health and safety, and the importance
of joining the Donate Life NJ Registry:
Estimated Total Audience = 4,171
Partnership with Lions
How Lions and Ambassadors Can Make a Difference
The Lions of New Jersey provide a vital link between the Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey and the
communities in which Lions live and work across the state of New Jersey. Our Ambassadors
have expressed a desire to volunteer their time and talent to support the efforts of the Eye
The Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey seeks to engage our Ambassadors, the Lions State Sight
Committee and the Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey Committee in this effort in the following
• Encourage clubs within each district to host a program about the Eye Bank.
• Conduct programs about the Eye Bank with clubs and other community groups in the
• Obtain appropriate public awareness material to assist you in your program presentations
for the Eye Bank
• Participate in Lions Donor Day in your district.
• Alert Eye Bank staff to special programs and community events that support the Eye Bank.
• Encourage clubs to visit the Eye Bank
• Submit articles and photos to district, state and community newsletters related to activities in
support of the Eye Bank.
• Call us at (800) 653-9379 any time you have a question or need our assistance in any way.
How to make your Lions Club a Visionary Club through the Lions Eye
Bank of New Jersey’s I Joined! Campaign in 2008-2009
The Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey has created an award to recognize Lions and Lioness clubs in
New Jersey for their efforts to raise awareness about eye, organ and tissue donation.
This award will be bestowed upon any Lion or Lioness club that supports the Eye Bank’s mission in
any of the following ways:
• Host a Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey program for club members
• Contribute financially to the Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey
• Distribute information on eye, organ and tissue donation at any community event
An embroidered banner patch for the Club’s banner will be presented to the Club president, and the
District Governor will be notified of the Club’s achievement.
New Jersey Lions State
Sight Committee 2008/2009
DISTRICT 16-A Michael Marrazzo, PCS Andy Lytkowski, PDG
Alberto Perez, PDG Highlands Lions Club Sayreville Lions Club
West New York Leones 47 Center Avenue 84 North Edward Street
de Hudson Cubanos Leonardo, NJ 07737 Sayreville, NJ 08872
2009 Summit Avenue H: (732) 872-1990 H: (732) 254-1378
Union City, NJ 07087 F: (732) 291-7215 F: (732) 254-7557
H: (201) 348-8193 E: firstname.lastname@example.org E: email@example.com
F: (201) 348-8356 C: (732) 208-1649
E: Alperez422@aol.com George Wist, PZC
DISTRICT 16-C Morgan Lions Club
Edward Lucas Karen B. Ressler, PP 122 Liberty St.
Secaucus Lions Club Haddonfield Lions Club South Amboy, NJ 08879
2612 Hawthorne Avenue 48 Jefferson Ave H: (732) 721-5015
Union, NJ 07083 Haddonfield, NJ 08033
H: (908) 687-6529 H: (856) 428-2363 DISTRICT 16-E
B: (201) 653-0578 B: (856) 428-2600 Ismael Lafarga, PDG
E: firstname.lastname@example.org E: email@example.com Elizabeth Cubanos Lions Club
3 Jefferson Avenue
Dorothy Wilson Donna Hanes, PRC Kearny, NJ 07032-1407
Paterson Hillcrest Lions Club West Deptford Lions Club H/F: (201) 997-4045
51 Cedar Hill Ave. 575 Kings Hwy C: (201) 428-7992
Belleville, NJ 07109 Mickleton, NJ 08045 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
H: (973) 751-7396 H/F: (856) 423-0272
W: (973) 751-4002 E: email@example.com Marion Goldberg, PCS
E: firstname.lastname@example.org Linden Lions Club
Nancy C. Nelson, PRC 17 Marlow Avenue
DISTRICT 16-B Vineland Lions Club Manchester, NJ 08759
Janet Nagourney State Sight Chrprsn H/F: (732) 408-1902
Hightstown-East Windsor Lions Club 3099 East Landis Ave. E: email@example.com
7 Hemlock Ct. Vineland, NJ 08361
East Windsor, NJ 08530 H: (856) 691-1803 Mary Devon O’Brien, PCC
H: (609) 448-6440 B: (856) 691-1802 Newark Lions Club
E: firstname.lastname@example.org F: (856) 691-0758 594 Valley Street
E: email@example.com Maplewood, NJ 07040-2616
Chris Groendyke H: (973) 763-4135
Hightstown-East Windsor L.C. DISTRICT 16-D Fax: (973) 763-2661
881 Windsor-Perrineville Rd. April Campbell E: firstname.lastname@example.org
East Windsor, NJ 08520 Hunterdon Hills Lions Club
H: (609) 448-7957 640 Route 627
E: email@example.com Bloomsbury, NJ 08804
H: (908) 995-0105
Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey
District 16-E Chairperson
Kenneth Mattfield, PDG
Springfield Lions Club
504 Maple Court
Garwood, NJ 07027
H: (908) 232-3708
C: (908) 239-4750
Richard Chittum, PDG
Bergenfield Lions Club
3 Quincy Lane
Bergenfield, NJ 07621
H: (201) 385-1622
C: (201) 966-5677
Middletown Township Lions Club
87 Linden Avenue
Red Bank, NJ 07701
H: (732) 842-6373
F: (732) 842-2424
West Deptford Lions Club
75 Kings Hwy.
Mickleton, NJ 08045
H/F: (856) 423-0272
Benjamin Yashinski, PDG
Metuchen Lions Club
431 Middlesex Ave.
Metuchen, NJ 08840
H: (723) 494-8641
C: (908) 565-0427
In the more than 30 years since it was founded,
the Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey has helped
to restore sight to many thousands of people.
Records are no longer available to indicate
just how many donors or transplant recipients
there were in the earliest years. But the
numbers of donated eye tissues or surgical
procedures can’t compare to the number
of amazing stories – stories of generosity,
dedication, teamwork, accomplishment –
that make the Eye Bank what it is today.
The first successful cornea transplant was
performed in Austria in 1905. It occurred
decades before the existence of specialized
equipment, tissue storage media and procedures
that are now considered indispensable elements in the
provision of transplantable eye tissue. And it occurred nearly
40 years before the first eye bank was established in New York in 1944.
The Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey (LEBNJ) was established in 1970 by the Odd Fellows
and Rebekahs, a national fraternal organization established to give aid to those in need.
At that time, LEBNJ was known as the New
Jersey Eye Bank, serving as a sub-station for
other eye banks.
The activity at the Eye Bank increased and,
in 1973, it relocated to The Eye Institute of
New Jersey, which took over its operation.
In 1980, the Eye Bank was renamed as the
Eye Bank Foundation of New Jersey, which
was supported by a number of organizations
including the Lions of New Jersey. Then,
on July 1, 1988, the Lions of New Jersey
assumed sole responsibility for the Eye Bank
and it became the Lions Eye Bank of New
Jersey. The New Jersey Lions formally made
the Eye Bank a State Sight Project in 1993.
A nonprofit organization that serves all of
New Jersey, the Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey specializes in the recovery, evaluation, and
distribution of donor eye tissue. The mission of the Eye Bank is the restoration of sight. This is
accomplished through corneal transplantation, public and professional education, and eye and
vision research. LEBNJ is accredited by the Eye Bank Association of America.
In 1998, Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey relocated with The New Jersey Organ and Tissue
Sharing Network (The Sharing Network) to its present location at 841 Mountain Avenue in
Springfield, New Jersey. The Sharing Network is the federally designated organ procurement
organization for New Jersey. In August, 2005, the Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey became a
subsidiary of Midwest Eye-Banks.
In addition to our important partnership with Lions and Lioness Clubs, the Lions Eye Bank of
New Jersey has been proud to partner with the Sharing Network and the New Jersey Motor
Vehicle Commission in promoting eye, organ and tissue donation through the state Donor
Registry. Our new I Joined! campaign symbolizes our commitment to the mission we share
with each of these organizations.
This is an exciting time to be a part of the Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey’s mission, its history,
and its future.
Fiscal Years 2006-2008
Total Number of Donors
300 245 244
Total Number of Corneas Procured
Total Number of Cornea Grafts
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Michigan Eye-Bank Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey
Ann Arbor, Michigan Springfield, New Jersey
Illinois Eye-Bank Illinois Eye-Bank,Watson Gailey
Chicago, Illinois Bloomington, Illinois
Board of Directors, 2008-09
Isabel Baquero 16-E Stephen Domovich 16-D Rev. Lois Schembs 16-E
Horace Brown 16-B Stanley Grossman 16-E Ben Yashinski 16-D
Richard Chittum 16-A Kenneth Mattfield 16-E William Constad, M.D.
Lourdes Comas 16-A Elspeth Moore 16-A Bradley Tennant
Ralph DeVito 16-E Eugene Renkar 16-E Kevin Ross
President and CEO
Chief Operating Officer Senior Vice President
Chuck Pivoney Brad Tennant
Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey
Director of Systems
Director of Finance
Director of Human Resouces Director of Development
Jan Ableson Susan Bresler
Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey
President and Chief Executive Officer Director, Human Resources
Kevin W. Ross Janice Ableson
(734) 780-2125 (734) 780-2134
Chief Operating Officer Director, Finance
Charles Pivoney Julie Collins
(800) 548-4766 (734) 780-2119
Senior Vice President Director of Fund Development
Bradley Tennant Susan Bresler
(734) 780-2109 (734) 780-2129
Executive Director, Lions Eye
Director, Systems and Facilities
Bank of New Jersey
Community Engagement Manager
Lab Manager Lisa Langley
Nicole Lewis (734) 780-2135
(973) 921-1211 firstname.lastname@example.org
Regional Coordinator, Dan Reynolds
Eye Bank Technician (734) 780-2116
Renèe Lewis email@example.com
Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey
841 Mountain Avenue • Springfield, NJ 07081
(800) 653-9379 • (973) 921-1222 • FAX (973) 921-1221
I Jo ined!
The Donate Life NJ Registry
The Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey depends on Lions Clubs
throughout New Jersey to spread the word about joining the
Donate Life New Jersey Registry. That’s why we’ve launched
the new I Joined! campaign, and are encouraging Lions to:
Join other Lions Clubs in sharing the message
about eye, organ and tissue donation with your
Join the thousands of people who spread
the word about the Donate Life New Jersey Registry
Lions Robert Millea, P
and Margaret Chapl
Join the Donate Life New Jersey Registry today!
spread the word about
To learn how you can join the Donate Life New
Jersey Registry, visit www.IJoined.org or stop into
your local Motor Vehicle Commission office.
Join the C lub. Join the Registry.