Florida Lions Eye Bank
 

 


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About Us

Elizabeth Fout-Caraza
Executive Director

 


The Florida Lions Eye Bank is more than just an eye bank. Learn more about our mission and history.



What is an eye bank?


An eye bank is a not-for-profit organization that obtains, medically evaluates, and distributes eyes donated by generous individuals for use in corneal transplant surgery, research, and education. Eye banks in the United States provide tissue for over 70,000 corneal transplants annually. Of these, over 1,200 grafts are provided by the Florida Lions Eye Bank per year.



Who we are


The Florida Lions Eye Bank is a fully EBAA-accredited eye bank. Our primary mission is to recover, process, and distribute corneal and scleral tissue for sight-saving transplant surgery. To make this happen, we rely upon the selflessness of the individuals and their families who choose to donate their eyes upon their death.


The Florida Lions Eye Bank isn’t just an eye bank, though. We also operate the only ocular pathology lab in South Florida. Our laboratory is a comprehensive resource for tissue evaluation, patient diagnosis, physician training, and clinical archive.


Additionally, the Florida Lions Eye Bank is dedicated to furthering ophthalmic research. Every year, we provide several hundred thousand dollars in grants to qualified ophthalmic research efforts. To learn about some of the projects the Florida Lions Eye Bank has funded. We also supply whole eye tissue for research and physician training at no cost.


Since our founding over 50 years ago, the Florida Lions Eye Bank has restored the beauty of sight to over 44,000 cornea transplant recipients. Additionally, more than 15,000 pieces of sclera and preserved corneal tissue have been provided to patients for other surgical uses. Nearly 33,000 whole eyes have been supplied to researchers at no cost, and 93,000 specimens have been examined in our pathology lab. To date, we have provided over $3 million in grants to research projects intended to cure, treat, or prevent eye disease. We are proud to have made such a difference in our South Florida community, and beyond.


Our History


The Florida Lions Eye Bank was founded in 1962 as a cooperative effort between the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Florida Lions Clubs. Since its inception, the Florida Lions Eye Bank has been located within the prestigious Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. Indeed, the Florida Lions Eye Bank and the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute have evolved side by side since each opened its doors over 50 years ago.


In 1943, Dr. Bascom H. Palmer, the first surgeon in Florida to perform corneal transplants, began developing a plan to establish the first full service eye hospital in the Southeastern United States. Two of Dr. Palmer’s colleagues from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Dr. Edward W.D. Norton and Dr. Victor Curtin, recognized the need for an eye bank to serve the patients at Dr. Palmer’s forthcoming hospital.


In 1960, Drs. Norton and Curtin encouraged Florida Lions Clubs to establish the first eye bank in Florida. The Lions rose to the challenge, and raised enough funds to establish the Florida Lions Eye Bank. Within two years, the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute opened its doors to patients, and the Florida Lions Eye Bank provided its first cornea to restore the beauty of sight.


Memorial Wall Donations


The Florida Lions Eye Bank Memorial Wall is a meaningful way to honor family, friends, and loved ones who have passed away.

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Century Club Membership


Your membership in the Century Club ensures the future of Florida Lions Eye Bank for years to come. All funds raised by the Century Club are invested for long-term growth, so we can continue to restore the beauty of sight to future generations.

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Florida Lions Eye Bank

Calendar of Events

July 30, Sunday
Board of Directors Retreat
10:00am - 2:00pm
Weston, Florida

 

Contact Us

 

Florida Lions Eye Bank
900 NW 17th Street #348
Miami, FL 33136

 

Telephone: (305) 326-6359
Toll-free: (800) 329-7000 Ext. 6359

 

General Email: info@fleb.org

 

Distribution Email: FLEBDistribution@med.miami.edu

 

 

 

 

 

Mission


In the fight against visual impairment and blindness, the Florida Lions Eye Bank recovers, processes and distributes ocular tissue for sight-saving surgery. It provides eye tissue and funding for ophthalmic research and training and operates a pathology lab to assist with patient diagnosis and treatment. It also provides professional and community education to promote eye donation.




 

Cooperating Partners

 

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Florida Lions Eye Bank

All Rights Reserved

 

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