OSF Healthcare Leads Hospitals in Facilitating Eye Donations

Mar 7, 2017

OSF Healthcare is being recognized as the leading hospital in the state for eye donations for the fifth straight year.

Eversight Illinois, the statewide eye bank, says OSF helped facilitate 106 eye and corneal donations in 2016. 

“All hospitals are required to report all deaths for evaluation," Dave Hearn, community relations director at Eversight, said. "It’s just a matter of people being agreeable to donation. It’s not something required of somebody, but it’s offered when someone fits the criteria.”

Credit National Eye Institute / Flickr/Creative Commons

OSF beat similar sized hospitals in Chicago, by as many as 30 donations in 2016. Hearn says that speaks volumes to the generosity of people in Central Illinois and also to OSF Healthcare's agility in getting the tissue to the agency.  

“They participate in providing us information information about that donor in a timely manner, helping us get a hold of the family, and providing us the overall picture of what we’re looking at,” Hearn said. 

When a donor dies, hospitals are required to provide details about his or her medical history, so the organ and tissue agency can determine if the donation is safe to use for a transplant. Eye donations are also used for research, Hearn said.  

Eversight Illinois recognized OSF Healthcare during a presentation Tues., where the recipient of a cornea transplant read from a certificate with his newly-restored vision.

March is National Eye Donor Awareness Month.