The Iowa Lions Eye Bank was pleased to welcome U.S. Congressman Dave Loebsack for a tour on Monday, August 28. Associate Medical Director Dr. Mark Greiner, ILEB Executive Director Cindy Reed, and ILEB Director of Research Greg Schmidt gave the congressman a tour of the eye bank facility in Coralville and shared some of the cutting-edge research the eye bank conducts in concert with the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Iowa.
The ILEB also shared information highlighting its impact on sight restoration in Iowa and beyond, as well as the economic impact of restoring sight to cornea recipients. Each of Iowa’s 350 annual cornea transplant recipients benefits Iowa’s economy by nearly $150,000 in gained productivity and avoidance of further medical costs, totaling around $52.5 million per year.
However, totaling the economic benefit for the hundreds of additional corneas ILEB distributes outside of Iowa each year, the annual lifetime value rises to around $145 million per year. The numbers are clear: cornea transplantation provides an enormous economic benefit. ILEB is proud to have created significant economic benefit in Iowa and beyond in its more than 60 years in operation.
Even more meaningful is the immeasurable impact that cornea recipients in their quality of life following transplantation. ILEB is humbled to honor the generous wishes of cornea donors and their families to bring sight to those who need it through this life-changing operation.
ILEB thanks Congressman Loebsack for taking time to learn more about our mission and leadership in the eye banking industry.
Photos courtesy of David Leshtz from Congressman Loebsack’s office.