ANN ARBOR, Mich., July 6, 2021 — Eversight awarded five individuals and organizations across Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey and Ohio with the 2021 Shared Vision Awards.
Since 2009, the Eversight Shared Vision Awards have recognized those who offer extraordinary support of Eversight’s mission to restore sight and prevent blindness through donation, transplantation and research. Recipients are nominated by Eversight staff based on achievements in:
- Engaging in multiple programs to raise awareness about the gift of sight and increase the number of registered organ, eye and tissue donors
- Engaging new community partners and advocates
- Raising philanthropic support
- Significantly advancing Eversight’s mission in the healthcare and allied workplaces involved with the donation process, including hospitals, hospice agencies, medical examiners’ offices and funeral homes
The following individuals and organizations were honored with 2021 Shared Vision Awards.
- Ken and Irma Bates are philanthropically minded Illinois recipient parents who give back to their local community through donations to local organizations, including Eversight. Their daughter, Angelina, received a cornea transplant through Eversight’s work to provide tissue for transplantation. This sparked the Bates’ interest in supporting organ, eye and tissue donation. Irma served as a member of Eversight’s Board of Directors and both she and Ken continue to ensure that cornea transplant services are available for individuals just like their daughter. The Bates’ are also longtime supporters of the Gift of Sight Masquerade, which helps raise funds and awareness for tissue donation and transplantation.
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) is a nonprofit mutual insurance company that provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.7 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies residing outside the state. They take corporate social responsibility seriously and are committed to building and supporting programs that positively impact healthcare. In the past two years, BCBSM has formed a tremendous partnership with Eversight, engaging and learning about the sole eye bank serving Michigan residents, and in supporting aftercare for donor family members through the annual Michigan Donor Family Gathering.
- Alan Daninhirsch has served on the Eversight Board of Directors since 2018 and prior to that, served as a Director of the Connecticut Eye Bank and Visual Research Foundation before it became part of the Eversight family. His interest in vision care began when he joined the New Britain Lions Club in 1972. Daninhirsch has played a key role in bridging relationships between Eversight and the Connecticut business community. His advocacy helped Eversight secure funding through the Connecticut Lions Eye Research Foundation and Connecticut Eye Bank and Visual Research Foundation, both highly influential statewide foundations.
- Jonathan H. Lass, MD is the Charles I Thomas Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and has served as Program Director for Ophthalmology residency programs at Case Western and University Hospitals from 1993-2013. He remains on staff at University Hospitals Eye Institute, following 20 years of service as Department Chair, and currently serves as Medical Director for both Eversight and the University Hospitals Cornea Image Analysis Reading Center. Dr. Lass also serves on the Eversight Board of Directors and Medical Advisory Committee, providing proven leadership and years of experience in unsurpassed clinical guidance. His commitment to Eversight is essential in restoring sight and preventing blindness in not only Ohio, but across all Eversight service areas.
- John Ryan is a retired executive and active Lions Club member in New Jersey. He has been a Lion for more than 30 years, over the course of which he built a strong relationship with Eversight as a state project of the Lions of New Jersey. He currently serves as Chair of the Eversight New Jersey Advisory Board. His leadership of the Advisory Board through the global COVID-19 pandemic was unsurpassed. Through it all, he helped establish vital local business and community relationships while assisting the New Jersey service area with philanthropic outreach.
Eversight honored the 2021 Shared Vision Award recipients during the Golf for Good! Eversight Vision Classic online closing ceremony on Saturday, June 19. This event raised more than $27,000 in charitable support for sight-saving transplants and vision research. Visit eversightvision.org/give to contribute to our life-changing mission.
Eversight is a nonprofit organization with a mission to restore sight and prevent blindness through the healing power of donation, transplantation and research. The Eversight network is responsible for recovering, evaluating and providing human eye tissue for transplantation; supporting research into the causes and cures of blinding eye conditions; promoting donation awareness through public and professional education; and providing humanitarian aid to people around the world in need of corneal transplantation. Operating in Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio and South Korea, Eversight works in collaboration with surgeons, researchers, academic medical centers and eye banks across the United States and abroad. For more information, visit eversightvision.org.
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