The Eye-Bank TodayThe Eye-Bank for Sight Restoration made history in 1944 when it opened its doors as the world’s first transplant organization. Now in its 65th year, The Eye-Bank, located at 120 Wall Street in lower Manhattan, continues its mission of collecting, processing and distributing quality donor eye tissue for sight-restoring surgeries. Each year, The Eye-Bank provides the gift of sight to more than a thousand men women and children throughout New York City, Long Island, and the lower Hudson Valley.
During the six decades since it was founded, The Eye-Bank has provided sight-restoring eye tissue for cornea transplant surgery to more than 55,000 individuals who would have otherwise been blind.
The Eye-Bank also provides eye tissue to patients in need of life-enhancing, reconstructive surgery. Last year alone, over 100 individuals received donor eye tissue from The Eye-Bank for such procedures.
Research EffortsMedical research is a critical part of The Eye-Bank’s commitment to the restoration of sight. And through the recent launching of its Ophthalmic Tissue Research Project, The Eye-Bank is now contributing important resources toward finding innovative treatments and cures for other widespread blinding eye diseases such as glaucoma and macular degeneration.
State-Of-The Art LaboratoryAn on-site state of the art laboratory operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and is staffed by trained technicians that adhere to the highest medical standards for testing and evaluation. The Eye-Bank is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, licensed by New York State Department of Health and accredited by the Eye-Bank Association (EBAA) of America. The Eye-Bank trains and certifies its technical staff to perform the required procedures. Continuing education is provided as an ongoing process. Senior technicians are encouraged to pursue certification through the EBAA as a certified eye bank technicians (CEBT).
Public and Professional EducationIn addition to providing quality donor eye tissue, The Eye-Bank conducts public and professional education programs to raise awareness about the need for increased eye donations. The Eye-Bank participates in health fairs, school education programs and community outreach projects, and produces print and broadcast information designed to educate the community about their important role in sight restoration.
Our Professional Education Program is the link between The Eye-Bank and the health community. Our dedicated hospital liaisons, educate health professionals in over 110 hospitals in our service area about the critical need for eye tissue, and maintain the actual donation process-from donor to recipient. They are aided in these efforts by The Eye-Bank’s dedicated group of volunteers, including recipients who are willing to share their personal stories of regained sight.
The Eye-Bank’s Young Ambassadors Program is a volunteer initiative that enables young cornea transplant recipients, between the ages of 4 and 17, to share their own personal experience, and encourage others to become donors.