Despite the hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic, Southern Eye Bank continued recovery and tissue preparation for surgeons. Many employees transitioned to home offices, meetings moved virtual, and all of our in-person events, donor drives, and memorials were cancelled. Donors were instead honored with virtual candlelight ceremonies, and we found safe and creative ways to thank the doctors and nurses working tirelessly in our local hospitals.
New Home, New Technology
A New Partnership
Southern Eye Bank began partnering with the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency to simplify the donation process.
Extensive damage from Hurricane Katrina. Prior to the storm, Southern Eye Bank was on pace for a record year for transplants facilitated. Despite the disruption, Southern Eye Bank managed to facilitate 665 corneal transplants in 2005.
A Tradition Begins
Southern Eye Bank held the First annual Gift of Sight Celebration. In the time since it first began, the Gift of Sight Celebration has become a cherished event bringing together donor families and recipients.
Expansion to Acadiana
Southern Eye Bank created a satellite office in Lafayette to better serve the western part of Louisiana, tripling the number of recoveries in that area in one year.
A New Location
The Southern Eye Bank office relocated to 440 Magnolia Building.
Southern Eye Bank increased opportunities for eye donation by partnering with parish coroners.
Membership with EBAA
Southern Eye Bank became one of the original 10 charter members of the EBAA. The Eye Bank Association of America was founded by these charter eye bank members to set the standards for the obtaining and processing of corneal tissue.
A New Name
Article I of the charter of the New Orleans Eye-Bank was amended to change the name to the “Southern Eye-Bank.” The increased success and scope of the New Orleans Eye-Bank precipitated the name change, as it found itself providing tissue to surgeons not just in New Orleans, but throughout Louisiana and Mississippi, eventually including Alabama, Arkansas, and southeastern Texas. Southern Eye Bank remained the only eye bank in the South until 1953.