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The Lions Medical Eye Bank and Research Center of Eastern Virginia

The Lions Medical Eye Bank and Research Center of Eastern Virginia is a Non-Profit Transplant Agency that Provides People the Opportunity to Donate Eye Tissues, Healthcare Professionals the Means to End Blindness & Patients the Hope of Clear Vision.

Our mission is to:

  • Maintain public confidence by acting with dignity, honesty, and accountability;

  • Maintain strict quality control to assure safe and efficient use of donor eye tissue;

  • Retain eye bank personnel who are properly trained and committed to the benefits of donation, and who contribute to the overall success of the operation;

  • Foster the altruistic nature of donation through professional and community education;

  • Provide local and international health care professionals the highest level of service;

  • Encourage nurses and physicians to remain aware and enthusiastic about their role in the donation process;

  • Participate in research through tissue placement for research purposes and use of staff and financial resources to support research projects


Thank You

In 2023, Hampton Roads eye donors restored sight to nearly 700 individuals all over the world. These priceless gifts, given by people who signed up to be a donor, given at a time of the donor families’ tremendous loss, demonstrate the very core of the human spirit – kindness to our neighbors. Thank you!

Congratulations to Kendra Philippy on the 2021 Jachin Misko Scholarship for Technical Advances in Eye Banking

LMEB's Award Winning Staff!

David Korroch's Heise Award, a glass circle on a dark base reading Heise EBAA 2017

The Lions Medical Eye Bank is proud to announce that we have recipients of the EBAA Leonard Heise Award among our staff! Dave Korroch (2017), and our latest, Brian Philippy, was presented his award at the 2022 EBAA Annual Meeting in Baltimore. Brian's presentation at the 2022 EBAA conference talked about the Future of Eye Banking and Corneal Transplantation.

Brian Philippy's Heise Award, a glass circle on a dark base reading Heise EBAA 2021

New Surgical Techniques

For nearly 100 years, corneal transplantation was performed in roughly the same manner. The last few years have been marked by great innovation in the ways that corneal transplants occur. Lions Medical Eye Bank and Research Center of Eastern Virginia is changing, too, and is offering more services to help surgeons offer more ways of treating their patients.

Our State-of-the-Art Facility

In 2008 LMEB built our current offices within Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

This facility allows us to help more eye donors give the Gift of Sight, and allows more opportunity for medical students to learn about eye donation and corneal transplantation. LMEB was the first eye bank in the world to have a dedicated OR quality room for processing corneal tissue.

Research and Education from a Global Perspective!

The Lions Medical Eye Bank and Research Center of Eastern Virginia supplies corneal tissue globally. Our staff has a network of Surgeons, Ophthalmologists, Researcher and Eye Bankers across the globe who all contribute to the education of local medical students interested in ophthalmology and eye surgery.

Dr. Yu, Jim & Nancy Yuan, and LMEB staff pose for a photo in the LMEB offices
Dr. Yu, Jim & Nancy Yuan speak with LMEB staff about the Daqing Eye Bank, which is designed based off of the LMEB facilities

January of 2023, LMEB was proud to welcome Dr. Yu, along with Jim & Nancy Yuan, as our guests. Dr. Yu is the President of the Daqing Eye Hospital and Founder of the Daqing Eye Bank. The design for the Daqing facilities was inspired by the Lion's Medical Eye Bank's own facilities within Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. In 2013 Dave Korroch and Karen Kirkpatrick visited Daqing, China and provided lectures and didactic sessions to help teach and train their new eye bank staff.

Dr Ponzin speaks with EVMS students in the LMEB conference rooms
Dr Ponzin poses for a photo with EVMS students in the LMEB conference rooms

In July of 2022 LMEB was excited to be able to again host Dr. Diego Ponzin, the Medical Director of Fondazione Banca degli Occhi del Veneto Onlus, the eye bank in Venice, Italy and Vice Chairman of the European Eye Bank Association. Dr. Ponzin’s lecture to eye bank staff and EVMS ophthalmology residents, "Cornea Transplantation in the COVID Era, Fears, Hopes, and Lessons Learned" was a fascinating look at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and our profession.

Dr. Jung-Yul Choi and other guests look at a display in the LMEB offices

We were honored to host Dr. Jung-Yul Choi, Immediate Past President of Lions Clubs International, and his wife, Seong-Bok for a tour of the Lions Medical Eye Bank in May 2022.

David Korroch gives a presentation to Dr. Jung-Yul Choi and other guests in the LMEB conference room
Dr. Jung-Yul Choi and his wife view a sclera in the LMEB Lab
Dr. Jung-Yul Choi and guests view a magnified photo of a cornea in the LMEB lab

Why Eye Banking?

I’m passionate about eye banking because cheerful service brings me joy. Since the mid-90’s it’s been my honor to both restore sight to the visually impaired and to salve the grief of the recently bereaved. While I’m known to have a penchant for analyzing data, what most folks don’t know is how these numbers represent very real people to me. After 24 years of service, the names and faces and stories of donors, donor families, surgeons, and recipients guide me not only in my journey to help even more people, but also in my daily life. My passion for this way of life is infectious and I’m proud of that – it’s attracted some of the most wonderful people to share in this beautiful calling. I would like to cast my gratitude to the wonderful crew of eye bankers and surgeons at Lions Medical Eye Bank & Research Center of Eastern Virginia for their tireless service, 24/7/365, and to the constellation of eye bankers and surgeons around the world, fighting the good fight alongside us.

-Brian Philippy, Technical Consultant

Every member of the LMEB staff is passionate about giving the Gift of Sight. We would not be able to make a difference in the ways that we do without their constant hard work and dedication to our Mission. 

A Real Life Account from A Donor Coordinator:

In eye banking, a Donor Coordinator is the person responsible for checking to see whether recently expired patients are medically suitable for cornea donation and if they are, reaching out to the families to offer them that option. In the three years I was a donor coordinator for the Lions Medical Eye Bank and Research Center of Eastern Virginia, I saw people at their best far more than you might think. You never know what to expect when a grieving family member picks up that phone. Every approach is different but memorable in its own way.  Read More...


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