Freeman honored with eye donation award

By JRBJ StaffFor the third year in a row Freeman Health System was awarded the Excellence in Eye Donation Award by Saving Sight, one of the largest eye banks in the country. This award recognizes achievements in providing corneal transplants.


In 2016, staff at Freeman Hospital West helped facilitate 67 eye donation cases, which resulted in 75 individuals receiving restored sight through a corneal transplant. Overall, Freeman achieved a 60 percent consent rate for eye donation.


“This would not be possible without the dedicated and compassionate work of our critical care physicians and nurses,” said Paula F. Baker, Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer. “They go above and beyond to work with patients and their families to ensure their final wish of eye, organ and tissue donation is met.”


The Excellence in Eye Donation Award was created in 2014 to recognize hospitals that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to eye donation. It is given to Saving Sight partner hospitals that achieve at least 10 donors and have an eye donation consent rate exceeding 45 percent. Fewer than 15 percent of Saving Sight’s partner hospitals in Missouri, Kansas and Illinois 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, Saving Sight Chief Executive Officer. “We are grateful to our partners at Freeman 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 last year.”


In 2016, Saving Sight provided corneas to more than 2,900 corneal transplant recipients. Each year, approximately 48,000 individuals in the United States require a cornea transplant to restore vision that has been lost due to disease, disorder or injury.

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