Sierra Donor Services Eye Bank has a global vision – to ensure that every person in need receives the “Gift of Sight.” Our nonprofit agency works with surgeons around the world to fight treatable and preventable blindness.
SDS Eye Bank partners with physicians worldwide to provide both domestic and international placement of corneas for transplant and research to those in need. When cornea grafts cannot be placed in the US, we provide tissue around the globe, including the countries of: Guatemala, Egypt, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Dominican Republic, Kenya, China, Ecuador, Germany, Hong Kong, Argentina, Israel, Malaysia, Turkey and others.
Among our many projects, we have worked with surgeons who traveled to Honduras and Peru to teach doctors there how to do the surgical eye procedures. One of the leaders of that international effort is Dr. Mark J. Mannis, Ocular Medical Director for the Sierra Donor Services Eye Bank.
Dr. Mannis has traveled to San Salvador, El Salvador as part of the Flying Eye Hospital sponsored by ORBIS and FedEx Corp. In El Salvador, Dr. Mannis participated in a comprehensive skills exchange program aimed at strengthening the field of corneal surgery and raising awareness of eye care related conditions.
Domestically, we are also sharing the light. In Tennessee, SDSEB Associate Medical Director, Dr. Groos has been awarded Volunteer of the Year by Prevent Blindness Tennessee. Dr. Groos initiated a program for cataract surgery for indigent Tennesseans and performs about 10 gratis surgeries per year. This program is continuing as a partnership between local community health clinics and the Eye Surgery Center of Nashville, of which, Dr. Groos is medical director.
“Many talented and compassionate people are involved in helping to give the people of underserved populations the gift of sight,” Mannis said. “We are all working to fight curable and avoidable blindness around the globe. Through programs such as the Flying Eye Hospital and Prevent Blindness Tennessee, we can offer not just corneas recovered by SDS Eye Bank, but also skills-exchange opportunities to a wide range of eye health care professionals, while focusing on the development of pediatric ophthalmology, an area of great need in disadvantaged countries.”