It was easy to see why Passavant Area Hospital earned a new award on Thursday.
Hospital staff were presented with the 2015 Excellence in Eye Donation award from the non-profit Springfield organization Saving Sight, which works to help facilitate eye donations from donors at the hospital.
Saving Sight spokesman Richard Hamilton observed that Passavant Hospital helped facilitate 14 eye donation cases last year, which resulted in 22 individuals receiving restored sight through a cornea transplant. The hospital achieved a 57 percent consent rate for eye donation.
“Last year, with the generosity of donors and their loved ones, eight individuals every day received a cornea transplant through tissues provided by Saving Sight. Eight people every day escaped a lifetime of blindness. Parents were able to continue watching their children grow, men and women returned to lost hobbies or the independent way of living that they once knew,” says Hamilton.
“The gift of sight is an incredible one donors and their families give, and hospital staff play a significant role in helping to honor those wishes to make eye donation possible. The staff at Passavant Area Hospital have truly been exceptional partners in our mission to change lives by saving sight,” he adds.
Passavant Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer Karen Daum notes that the effort to encourage eye tissue donation started years ago with the Lions Club.
“Our community has always supported the gift of sight, and it’s just really amazing that we’re able to receive this as a small community hospital, and still continue to support so many people. We all are sitting here with our sight, so it’s hard for us to appreciate if you don’t have that gift, and what it means to have someone donate that gift to you,” she says.
“I have to give a lot of kudos to our staff they work diligently to make for sure that we’re able to meet all of our patient and family wishes in these situations, and also for our partnership with Saving Sight, who have been able to support us throughout the year,” continues Daum.
Daum says the hospital will continue its relationship with the non-profit group for “many years”.
Hamilton said the award is given to less than 15 percent of the 220 hospitals served by Saving Sight.
According to a press release, around 48-thousand people each year in the United States require a cornea transplant to restore vision that has been lost due to disease, disorder ot injury.