University of Missouri Health Care has received Saving Sight’s 2016 Excellence in Eye Donation Award. This marks the third year the health system has been honored for achievements in providing the gift of sight to those needing a cornea transplant. Overall, the health system achieved a 53 percent consent rate for eye donation in 2016. Staff at MU Health Care helped to facilitate 65 eye donation cases, which resulted in 76 individuals receiving restored sight through a cornea transplant.
“We’re proud to be able to offer the gift of sight,” said Frederick Fraunfelder, M.D, director of MU Health Care’s Mason Eye Institute and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the MU School of Medicine. “It’s our duty to responsibly make the most of the gift of corneal donations, and I’m proud that our efforts have restored vision for our patients.”
Created in 2014, the Excellence in Eye Donation Award recognizes hospitals that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to eye donation. Fewer than 15 percent of Saving Sight’s partner hospitals in Missouri, Kansas and Illinois will be recognized with a 2016 Excellence in Eye Donation Award. Partner hospitals that achieved an eye donation consent rate exceeding 45 percent with at least 10 donors during the 2016 calendar year will receive the award.
“Children see to learn, parents watch their children grow and older adults maintain independent lifestyles thanks to the vision made possible through corneal transplants each year,” said Tony Bavuso, CEO of Saving Sight. “We are grateful to our partners at MU Health Care who believe in our mission to change lives by saving sight and work with our courageous donors and donor families to make the precious gift of sight possible for countless individuals.”
With the help of partners like MU Health Care, Saving Sight provided corneas for more than 2,900 corneal transplant recipients in 2016. Each year, around 48,000 individuals in the United States require a cornea transplant to restore vision that has been lost due to disease, disorder or injury. For more information or to learn about becoming an eye, organ and tissue donor, please visit donatelife.net.