Saving Sight Presents Award to Mercy Jefferson

May 13, 2015

Chief Nursing Officer Sheila Julien accepts the

Excellence in Eye Donation Award from Saving Sight

representative Wendy White-Mitter.

CRYSTAL CITY, Mo. – Saving Sight, one of the largest eye banks in the country, recognized the staff at Mercy Hospital Jefferson for their outstanding support of eye donation.

Wendy White-Mitter, partner relations coordinator for Saving Sight, presented the Excellence in Eye Donation Award on May 12. Chief Nursing Officer Sheila Julien, accepted the award on behalf of the staff.

Saving Sight awarded the Excellence in Eye Donation Award to its partner hospitals that achieved an eye donation consent rate that exceeded 45 percent and had at least 10 patients donate eye tissue in 2014. Mercy Hospital Jefferson received this award for achieving a consent rate of 64 percent last year, and 98 patients there made the heroic decision to donate their eyes to help others suffering from severe vision loss. Fewer than 15 percent of Saving Sight’s referral partners received this award.

Americans will receive approximately 48,000 cornea transplant surgeries this year to preserve or restore their vision. With healthy vision, these people will be able to resume joyful, independent lives. Thanks to the generosity of eye donors, their families and supportive hospital staff like those at Mercy Hospital Jefferson, Saving Sight was able to provide donated eye tissue for 2,985 corneal transplants in 2014, an average of 8 people per day.

            According to the Eye Bank Association of America, “over 95 percent of all corneal transplant operations successfully restore the corneal recipient’s vision.” Eye donors have an incredible impact on the lives of recipients, often relieving pain and reviving independence.

“The EBAA’s study does a great job of illustrating that eye donors not only give the gift of sight to recipients but they also enhance prosperity in our communities,” said Tony Bavuso, chief executive officer of Saving Sight.

To speak with a Saving Sight representative about the Excellence in Eye Donation Award at Mercy Hospital Jefferson, or cornea donation and transplantation, please contact Wendy White-Mitter, at 217-679-2987 or

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