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Memorial Medical Center Honored for Eye Donations


Memorial Medical Center earned recognition for its work in helping patients receive the gift of sight with a cornea transplant.

Saving Sight, a nonprofit organization that helps provide corneas for more than 3,000 patients in need of transplants each year, presented the nonprofit hospital with its Excellence in Eye Donation award on March 24.

Last year, Memorial Medical Center staff helped to facilitate 132 eye donations, which resulted in 161 individuals receiving restored sight through a cornea transplant. Overall, the hospital achieved a 71-percent consent rate for eye donations.

“These great results would not be possible without the diligent and compassionate work of Memorial’s dedicated staff, who go above and beyond to work with our patients and their families to discuss their wishes and ensure they are met,” said Charles Callahan, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Memorial Health System.

To earn the award, hospitals in Saving Sight’s service area of Missouri, Kansas and Illinois must have had at least 10 donors in 2015 and exceeded a consent rate of 45 percent. Less than 15 percent of Saving Sight’s partner hospitals will receive the award this year.

“We applaud Memorial Medical Center for empowering others to give the gift of sight and for striving to create a culture that supports donation,” said Tony Bavuso, Saving Sight’s CEO. “Thanks to the generosity of eye donors and their families, and the staff at Memorial Medical Center, more people than ever were able to receive a sight-saving cornea transplant last year.”

Each year, approximately 48,000 people in the United States need a cornea transplant to restore vision that has been lost to disease, disorder or injury.