Date: 5/23/2013

Lions Eye Bank presents staff with Vision Award

Community Hospital is recipient of the Vision Award from the Indiana Lions Eye Tissue and Transplant Bank (ILETTB). Over the past five years, nearly 300 people have had cornea transplants due to hospital staff efforts and the generosity of patients. Accepting the award from (standing, far right) ILETTB hospital coordinator Michael Henderson are members of the hospital’s dedicated Tissue Requestor Team (standing from left to right) Barbara Betchen, RN, Jill Dybel, RN, Jana Lacera, RN, hospital liaison to ILETTB, Shannon Szelinski, RN, and (seated, left to right) Kris Conner, RN, Patrice Culp, RN and Janice Vallo, RN.

Changing the future for patients with sight needs, Community Hospital is recipient of a “Vision” award from the Indiana Lions Eye Bank. The distinction is presented to organizations that demonstrate leadership and commitment to their donor program and the communities they serve.

“Community Hospital has developed an excellent donor program ensuring that all patients have the opportunity to become donors,” said Tim Fischer, President/CEO for the Indiana Lions Eye Bank. “The keys to their success have been the nurses in the hospital who understand the impact they have in the lives of others and how the possibility of donation can offer something positive to families who have suffered a loss,” he said.

The goal of any donor program is to ensure that every individual and family is presented with the opportunity to become a donor, according to Jana Lacera, director of the IRB and Bio-Ethics Committee at Community Hospital. “Our mission is to spread awareness of the important healthcare decisions patients can make to assure that their decisions are followed regarding organ, tissue and eye donation” she said. “Community Hospital has established a program that ensures this while maintaining the dignity of donors and their families.”

Dedicated tissue requestors play a key role in initiating the conversations regarding donation and are the ones who have the opportunity to make a significant difference by the way they communicate with family members, Lacera explained.

“Here at the hospital, we are in the business of saving lives, but through our cornea, tissue and organ donor programs we have the opportunity to save or enhance the lives of others,” Lacera said. “We’ve created a culture of donor awareness and I’m proud to work with everyone involved in our gift of sight and gift of life programs.”

In 2012, Community Hospital was responsible for making a difference in the lives of nearly 80 individuals through the Gift of Sight. Over the past five years, nearly 300 people have had cornea transplants due to the hospital staff efforts and generosity of patients.

“These are our family members, friends and neighbors who now have their vision restored thanks to the kindness and dedication shown at Community Hospital,” said Fischer.

“The Indiana Lions Eye Bank is honored to present this award to Community Hospital for their outstanding commitment to help restore vision through cornea transplantation,” stated Mike Henderson, hospital coordinator for the Indiana Lions Eye Bank.

For more information on how to get involved, visit