The Alabama Eye Bank has the unique job of helping victims of corneal blindness find sight. As the only Eye Bank in Alabama, we’re available 24 hours a day to respond when a healthcare facility, such as a hospital, calls to say a donor or their family decided to provide the Gift of Sight. Immediately the Eye Bank dispatches a technician to surgically retrieve the cornea, an amazing tissue that can be used to replace a cornea that has been injured or diseased. Following retrieval, the Eye Bank carefully evaluates the tissue and distributes it to a corneal surgeon who will transplant it as soon as possible.
OUR MISSION STATEMENT
To relieve human suffering through the procurement, processing and delivery of the highest quality human eye tissue for transplant, research and teaching throughout Alabama and the world, while maintaining a viable financial base.
We are a federally regulated, licensed and accredited 501-C3 not-for-profit organization. Our service territory stretches over the state from top to bottom, and our employees ensure the highest quality eye tissue is available to the people of Alabama. In addition to the Birmingham based headquarters, the Eye Bank maintains regional offices in Huntsville, Mobile and Montgomery. The Eye Bank recently posted its 28th consecutive year as one of the top 10 Eye Banks in the United States in corneal tissue recovered.
HISTORY: Years of providing sight
In 2005, the Alabama Eye Bank celebrated 35 years in helping blind eyes see. The illustrious history began in Alabama in Mobile in 1959, some fifteen years after the first Eye Bank had been established in New York City, making Eye Banking in this state nearly a half-century old. Dr. Eugene de Juan and Eugenia Walker Metzler, RN, began this first effort in Mobile about the same time that an Eye Bank was established at University Hospital in Birmingham by Drs. Stephen Grant and Christopher Kelly, co-chiefs of ophthalmology at the Medical School.
In the mid-1960s, several Eye Banks were started in the state, ultimately culminating with the full accreditation of the then named Alabama Lions Eye Bank by the Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA). This entity establishes standards for the industry as directed by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. AEB has been an active, contributing member of the EBAA since 1969. To date, AEB has recovered more than 50,000 tissues for transplant, research and training.