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Archive for October, 2011

Posted by Jami Kuehn, October 27, 2011 7:11 PM

Dear Recipient: This is one of the most joyful letters that I’ve ever written because I know that you now have the restored sight to read it.

I am 41 years old, a wife, a mother of two, and the youngest of three daughters belonging to a wonderful lady that you also now share a part of. I was so excited to hear that both of our mother’s corneas were used and that someone now has the Gift of Sight because of her. Just knowing that a small part of her lives on means so much. Losing someone you love is never easy, but knowing that two lives were touched in such a special way really does lessen the pain.

We received a portrait of our mother last week and her eyes were really twinkling. My wish for you is that the twinkle in her eyes will shine on through you for many years to come. God bless you and your family. Sincerely, A Grateful Donor’s Daughter

Posted by Jami Kuehn, 6:36 PM

UAB Synopsis, Vol. 29, No. 45, December 15, 2010

The Alabama Eye Bank (AEB) recently recognized the UAB Hospital Neurosciences ICU (NICU) for its exceptional work in helping provide the gift of sight. The AEB honored the unit with a breakfast program.

“We are pleased to recognize the NICU staff for the services given to the eye bank and on behalf of all those who are recipients of their efforts,” says Teresa Ham, director of administration at the AEB.

Ham says the NICU staff consistently demonstrate a strong commitment to the cause of eye donation and a willingness to go the second mile to ensure those suffering from corneal blindness are given an opportunity to see again.

“Public awareness and education are crucial in improving family response and acceptance of eye donation,” says NICU Nurse Manager Larry W. Dean, RN. “The AEB routinely educates the staff on current practices and procedures for eye donation.”

AEB ranks fourth in the nation among eye banks in the number of tissues recovered and among the top 10 in this category for more than 30 years.

About Alabama Eye Bank

While eye banks have operated in the state since the 1950s, the Alabama Eye Bank (AEB) was formed in 1969 and reorganized in 1984. Once located in the Callahan Eye Foundation Hospital and operated in affiliation with Lions Club International, the AEB is a freestanding entity, accredited by the Eye Bank Association of America. It has 16,000 square-feet of space at its Birmingham headquarters and has satellite locations in Mobile, Huntsville, and Montgomery, as well as experienced technicians located in Dothan and Auburn. Employing some 50 individuals, AEB is poised to act on incoming calls from hospitals and other facilities throughout the state when donor eyes become available.


original post date: UAB Synopsis, Vol. 29, No. 45, December 15, 2010

ref: University of Alabama-Birmingham website

Posted by Jami Kuehn, 6:33 PM

The Alabama Eye Bank Board of Trustees recently elected a new slate of officers for 2011-2013.

Elected were: George Hackney, chairman; William Counce, PhD, vice-chairman; Robert Field, treasurer; and Andrews Velasquez, MD, secretary.

“We’re so pleased to have these gentleman directing our board for the next two years.  They bring a wealth of experience and business acumen to the table,” Doyce Williams, president and CEO, said.

Posted by Jami Kuehn, 6:32 PM

The Alabama Eye Bank (AEB), in cooperation with the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), will sponsor a lecture on Corneal and External Disease on Sept. 23 at 7 am in the Smith Education Center at Callahan Eye Hospital.

Eduardo C. Alfonso, M.D., is the chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He also serves as director of the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and is holder of the Kathleen and Stanley J. Glaser chair in Ophthalmology. Dr. Alfonso is known for his clinical expertise and research in eye diseases, corneal surgery and ocular microbiology. He is a physician, surgeon, professor and researcher,

Dr. Alfonso is an internationally known expert on ocular infectious diseases, and he is the medical director of Bascom Palmer’s Ocular Microbiology Laboratory. His research interests include bacterial and fungal sensitivity; and the development and clinical applications of keratoprosthesis, an artificial cornea, which has significant potential for patients awaiting transplants in developing nations where donor tissue is often scarce.

AEB Executive Director Doyce Williams said, “AEB has enjoyed a long and satisfying relationship with this outstanding organization, a relationship that has expanded and enhanced the mission for restored vision in Alabama, the United States and worldwide. The growth in professionalism and academic excellence exhibited by the UAB Department of Ophthalmology through corneal surgery techniques, procedures and research is further enhanced by a unified effort involving many diverse organizations, all with the noble goal of restoring sight. AEB is grateful for its participation.”

Williams said AEB, which has ranked among the top 10 Eye Banks in the world in corneal tissue recovery for more than two decades, realizes that an effective eye bank is dependent upon the academic quality of vision scientists, ophthalmologists and the support of ancillary professors. To that end, the Eye Bank believes this series will continue to encourage, foster and strengthen the goal to provide greater care to the vision impaired and blind throughout the world.

Posted by Jami Kuehn, 6:31 PM

Chilton Co. Probate Judge Robert Martin, a longtime member of the Alabama Eye Bank board of trustees, was honored recently for his service to AEB at the annual meeting of the Alabama Probate Judges Association. Judge Martin retired from the board effective July 1.

“Judge Martin has meant so much to the Eye Bank’s mission and work. We have been privileged to have him serve with us. His commitment to ensuring the gift of sight is available to everyone who needs it has been admirable, “ AEB president and CEO Doyce Williams said.

AEB Chief of Administration Teresa Ham presented Judge Martin with an inscribed clock, telling the judges at the annual meeting that Martin was well known as “a hard worker with a 110 percent attitude.” Judge Martin has been a probate judge for 22 years and served as a funeral director and embalmer at the Martin Funeral Home in Clanton for 44 years.

Judge Martin has served his hometown of Clanton in many ways over the years. He was a a Clanton city councilman for 16 years, member and past president of the Lions Club, a member of the Gideons, Alabama Probate Judges Association and National College of Probate Judges. He also served as chairman of the local Red Cross Board. He was the Clanton Advertiser‘s Citizen of the Year in 2004.


AEB is a nonprofit charitable organization and one of the most prolific eye banks in the world in tissue recovered, remaining in the top 10 for more than 30 years. In 2007 the company began Global Sight Network, a network of partner eye banks, dedicated to sending specially formulated corneas worldwide. On Aug. 1, AEB started Precision Corneal Graft, a company that prepares customized corneas for transplant. The Eye Bank’s headquarters is located in Birmingham with regional offices in Huntsville, Mobile and Montgomery.

Posted by Jami Kuehn, 6:30 PM

Wei Chen, a Chinese ophthalmologist, and the Alabama Eye Bank (AEB) are working to develop methods to expand eye care in China, according to Doyce Williams, president and CEO, AEB.

Chen, MD, PhD, a US-trained corneal surgeon and scientist, is director of Cornea and Ocular Surface Diseases Service. He is also is director of Free Cataract Service at the Eye Hospital and Department of Ophthalmology at WenZhou Medical College and executive director of Wenzhou Eye Bank.

Chen is on a two-day trip this week to Birmingham and will lead a medical delegation to meet with AEB officials to further discuss opportunities for advancing eye care in China and tour the AEB facility. The purpose of Chen’s trip is to establish a regular mechanism for providing donor corneas to the eye hospital at Wenzhou.

For the past year, Chen and his colleagues have worked with the eye bank on research to develop better methods for preserving corneas for newer surgeries that replace only the front part of the cornea, when the back part is still healthy. This research was funded by the Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA) and awarded to the Alabama Eye Bank in a competitive review process.

Traveling with Chen is Chen Zhong, deputy editor-in-chief, Wenzhou Metropolitan Daily, who will learn about the role that local media can play in public education about eye donation and Zhou ZhongDe, secretary-general of HuaFu Charity Foundation. ZhongDe will learn about how U.S. eye banks and indigent eye care are funded.

A native of Wenzhou, Chen received his medical degree in his home province and specialist training in renowned ophthalmic centers at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Center in Boston and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Williams said many diseases and conditions affecting the cornea can be corrected surgically by corneal transplant surgery. Chen and his colleagues are part of the rising generation of Chinese surgeons determined to bring the miracle of modern corneal surgery to a large population in great need of it.

“Assuming disease prevalence rates like those in the US, there should be 50 times more procedures a year performed in China than now. Chen’s plan is to help educate more surgeons in new methods and to grow a indigenous Chinese eye banking system by learning from the successes of US eye banks,” Williams said.

Wenzhou is a city of almost 2 million residents in Zheijiang Province, located on the east coast of China and known for its entrepreneurial spirit.

Posted by Jami Kuehn, October 25, 2011 11:35 PM

Nothing drastic here, just choosing an eye-catching title cause I’m sneaky like that.

Posted by Jami Kuehn, 11:34 PM

This is just placeholder text to see what happens.

Corneal Graft

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Continuing Education

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Global Sight Network

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