SightLife Surgical announced that it has entered a partnership with the Lions Eye Bank of Texas at Baylor College of Medicine (LEBT), allowing the Lions Eye Bank (LEBT) to continue to perform eye and cornea donation functions, expertise the organization has mastered over the last 6 decades, and allow SightLife Surgical to provide local surgeons and their patients more choices for cornea treatments.
“By working with SightLife Surgical and continuing to work with LifeGift, our federally designated Organ Procurement Organization, LEBT brings together three industry leaders, which will have an incredible impact on the cornea transplant community in our region,” Samantha Colborn, executive director of LEBT, said in a company news release. “Together, we are expanding the opportunities to give the gift of sight to more people in our region than ever before.”
In the partnership, Sightlife Surgical will process and distribute corneal tissue recovered by LEBT. Through SightLife Surgical’s extensive network and the solid base LEBT has created, local surgeons will have access to a larger donor pool of tissue from which they can meet the specific needs of their patients. In addition, SightLife Surgical provides education and training opportunities and an expanding offering of innovative products and services tailored to corneal surgeons.
“SightLife Surgical is proud to have been invited to partner with LEBT. This relationship will help the local community and supports our mutual mission to eliminate corneal blindness worldwide by 2040,” said Monty Montoya, president and CEO of SightLife Surgical. “In 2017 alone, working with best-in-class eye banks and surgeons across the country allowed us to provide a record-breaking 14,274 corneas to those in need worldwide.”
“We are happy to have the opportunity to partner with SightLife Surgical in this endeavor,” said Tim Stout, MD, chairman of the department of ophthalmology at Baylor College of Medicine. “We believe that we will be able to reach many more patients in need. This partnership is firmly committed to the elimination of corneal blindness, and I think this is a great step forward.”
“This new partnership is a win-win for our community,” said Dr. Sumitra Khandelwal, assistant professor of Opthalmolgy at Baylor and medical director of LEBT. “Surgeons win as they can get all of their cornea transplant services and products from the experienced SIghtlife Surgical team. Meanwhile, Lions Eye Bank of Texas can focus on donor families and their needs as well the missions of Baylor College of Medicine: education, research and community service.”