Caithlin Lopes women's history month

Celebrating women in eye banking

Balancing work with motherhood and more

By Caithlin Lopes, Director of Business Development 

My interest in the donation and transplantation field began in high school. My stepdad was a donation coordinator for an OPO and I remember watching him pump kidneys in our garage. The field has come a long way since. 

I volunteered my summers with the OPO and learned a lot more about how the whole process worked. One of my first jobs out of college was for New England Donor Services and then I parented full time for six years when my children were young. When it was time to return to working outside the home, I was given an excellent opportunity to get back to donation and transplantation by working at an eye bank. And the rest is history. 

I have been with Eversight for a decade and currently serve as the Director of Business Development. I love the role we play in our community for donors, their families and recipients, and I am honored to work with our surgeon partners to help restore sight to their patients. 

It is hard to “balance” any job with parenting and the 24/7 nature of eye banking adds an extra wrinkle. During my time at Eversight, I have been given the flexibility to be there for my family when needed. My kids also take a lot of pride in what I do and in our work at Eversight, which is rewarding. As with anything, I have found that you must be comfortable constantly adjusting personal and professional priorities—a skill that can take time to develop. 

I have had the privilege of working with current Eversight President/CEO Diane Hollingsworth throughout my tenure. She is a remarkable mentor. Her guidance, support and wisdom have been invaluable, empowering me to grow personally and professionally. Having a mentor like Diane has been instrumental in my career at Eversight. 

Eye banking is a wonderful opportunity for women to feel empowered by contributing to rewarding and impactful work. It is an opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others. I hope women in eye banking continue encouraging and supporting all colleagues, women or otherwise, so that eye banking can continue getting better every day as we work toward our shared mission to restore sight worldwide.

Editor’s note: This perspective was originally published by the Eye Bank Association of America in celebration of Women’s History Month. 

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