Tour of Lions Eye Bank reveals the heartfelt process of eye tissue donation

07.24.2015 | By Jeannie Peng-Armao

PASADENA, Texas – A recent trip to the Lions Eye Bank of Texas revealed to a group of San Jacinto College students how donors’ memories are passed on through the gift of eyesight.

The visit included a tour of the eye bank facility, the viewing of eye tissue samples, and a presentation on the broad impact of eye tissue donation. It was an opportunity that gave eye care technology students like Priscilla Reyna the inspiration to continue their educational and career paths toward transforming lives.

"I definitely know that I want to work more in the surgical side of eye care," said Reyna. “This trip helped me to narrow down where I want to work and to see the in-depth process of donating eye tissue and what happens during the cornea implant process."

The Lions Club of the Texas Gulf Coast and Baylor College of Medicine founded the Lions Eye Bank of Texas in 1953. The eye bank procures nearly 2,000 donations each year to provide ocular tissues to surgeons across the Texas Gulf Coast and the United States and throughout North and South America.

During the tour, Lions Eye Bank representatives encouraged students to send in their resumes upon completion of their program.

"Not only is this educational outreach, but the students learn of the Lions' mission about helping people and the complete aspect of the donation process," said Darlene Warren, community project coordinator for the Lions Eye Bank.

Debra Clarke, San Jacinto College eye care technology program director, said students regularly visit eye care facilities to gain knowledge on the many subspecialties of the eye care field. The Lions Eye Bank visit followed the students' recent classroom lesson on the cornea.

"We always embed service learning opportunities and fields trips into our curriculum," said Clarke. "This really ensures that we produce the most skilled and highly-trained eye care professionals for the workforce."

The San Jacinto College eye care technology program offers an Associate of Applied Science, Certificate of Technology, and Optician Preparatory Certificate. For more information, visit http://www.sanjac.edu/career/eye-care-technology.

About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.

For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, visit sanjac.edu, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.