Mission: The Mission of the Mid South Eye Bank is…. “To maintain, operate, manage and control an Eye Bank for the reception and preservation of the tissue of the human eye, and any part thereof, for the purpose of transportation, of the same to the body of a living person for the replacement or rehabilitation of the tissues of that person. The Mid South Eye Bank shall assist in the advancement of medical research and science when legally acceptable under the laws of the State of Tennessee, the Charter, and the By-laws of the Corporation.”
Written by lawyers, the above statement of the eye bank’s mission translates to be:
Transplantation – The eye bank supports corneal and scleral transplantation by surgeons in the mid south. We recover the tissue from consented donors in the most non invasive and respectful way and evaluate and preserve the tissue for transplantation. When an ophthalmic surgeon needs a cornea for transplant, we provide that tissue for the patient’s transplant, thereby restoring sight.
Research – The eye bank provides whole eyes or parts thereof to credible medical researcher or physicians for various projects intended to solve some of the mysteries of eye diseases. Tissue has been provided to the University of Tennessee Department of Ophthalmology, Retinitis Pigmetosa Foundation, National Diabetes Foundation, and to many thoughtful and dedicated physician researchers. When an eye is provided for transplant, two individuals are helped. When tissue is provided for research, there is a potential for thousands to be helped by the efforts of these dedicated researchers.
Donation Education – Our education protocol seeks to educate the public and medical personnel on the benefits of Organ, Tissue and eye donation.
Medical Education - Our Hospital Development and Public Relations Director makes frequent visits to the nursing floors to continually remind them of their responsibilities in the donation process. We describe the activities and responsibilities of each agency in the donation alliance and the mandatory federal requirement to report all deaths in the area to DONORS5, the “one phone number” reporting resource.
Public Education – Representatives of the eye bank are available as speakers on eye donation, the donation process and related topics. We can also be a resource to perform glaucoma screenings and to distribute donor related material (and logo material) at regional health fairs and/or conventions.
The eye bank has been a resource for physicians since 1946 and continues to provide quality corneal tissue for sight saving surgery.