Health—General & Rehabilitative

Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank

  • Aurora, CO
  • http://www.corneas.org

Mission Statement

The Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank (RMLEB) was established as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization on August 11, 1982 by a group of concerned civic leaders who believed that the Colorado community needed to recognize children and adults whose blindness can be cured through transplantation and that we must do something to help them become active members of society.

The Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank's mission is to fulfill the wishes of donors and their families to help others overcome blindness through transplantation and research.

Our mission compels us to provide and improve direct services to donor families, improve service delivery systems with medical professionals, and provide eye tissue transplantation training, education and consultation programs throughout Colorado and Wyoming.

RMLEB is also very proud to increase eye tissue donor awareness, engage in advocacy, and secure and provide resources for anyone to “Share the Circle of Light" through eye donation. The eye bank has carried out this wish of over 41,000 eye donors in Colorado and Wyoming by facilitating more than 40,000 sight-restorative transplants locally, throughout the U.S. and the world. Another 14,000 tissues were used in valuable medical research to overcome blindness.

Main Programs

  1. Tissue Recovery and Distribution
  2. International Surgery Fund
  3. Eye, Organ & Tissue Donation Education
  4. Circle of Light Photo Project
Service Areas

Self-reported

International

Corneas donated by donors in Colorado and Wyoming are placed first with transplant recipients in Colorado and Wyoming. If no suitable recipient is found, corneas may be placed elsewhere in the United States. If no suitable domestic recipient is found, the eye bank works to find a recipient through international networks.

ruling year

1984

Executive Director

Self-reported

Mr. Edmund Jacobs

Keywords

Self-reported

Cornea, Eye Bank, Organ and Tissue Donation, Sight, Transplantation, Lions Clubs

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EIN

84-0890204

 Number

5259097162

Physical Address

1675 Aurora Court Suite EI2049

Aurora, CO 80045

Also Known As

R.M.L.E.B.

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Organ and Tissue Bank (E65)

Eye Diseases, Blindness and Vision Impairments (G41)

Education N.E.C. (B99)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

• Improve the lives of children and adults whose blindness is curable by transplantation and help strengthen those recipient families
• Create and nurture new programs designed to assist and aid anyone with corneal blindness or who has had an eye tissue transplant
• Engage and educate the community about the issue of blindness, eye tissue transplants and how to become an eye tissue donor
• Present objective findings to affect policies as advocates for blind children, adults and eye, organ and tissue donors and their families
• Apply transplantation research findings for replication in other communities with eye banks

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Tissue Recovery and Distribution

The primary mission of the eye bank is to fulfill the wishes of eye donors and their families to help others overcome blindness through transplantation and research. Donated eye tissue is first placed with recipients on a local transplant waiting list. If a suitable recipient cannot be found, the eye bank can extend their range to national or international recipients.

Category

Eye Diseases, Blindness & Vision Impairments

Population(s) Served

None

None

None

Budget

Program 2

International Surgery Fund

This fund defrays costs associated with international tissue placement, such as increased shipping fees, additional testing and a lower cost reimbursement. Without this vital support, eye tissues unable to be placed with recipients in the United States would be destroyed. The fund also supports humanitarian missions of local transplant surgeons who donate their time and skills in developing countries. Addressing the worldwide need, the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank has helped establish eye banking practices and donation programs on every continent.

Category

Eye Diseases, Blindness & Vision Impairments

Population(s) Served

None

None

None

Budget

Program 3

Eye, Organ & Tissue Donation Education

The eye bank brings eye, organ & tissue donation education to a variety of audiences the eye bank relies on to fulfill its mission. These include physicians, nurses, coroners, funeral directors, hospices and hospitals. Its partnerships with other organizations in the local donation community help the eye bank to bring the donation message to thousands through schools, faith communities and other public venues.

Category

General/Unspecified

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

None

None

Budget

Program 4

Circle of Light Photo Project

The Circle of Light Photo Project is a collection of images photographed by people whose blindness was cured through a cornea or sclera transplant. It aims to show the impact eye, organ and tissue donation has on our communities and hopes to inspire others to leave the legacy of sight and life by becoming eye, organ and tissue donors.
http://www.circleoflightphotoproject.org/

Category

General/Unspecified

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

None

None

Budget

Results

Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

1. In the calendar year of 2015-16, RMLEB provided eye tissue donation transplantation services for

Target Population
General/Unspecified, Children and youth (0-19 years), Aging, elderly, senior citizens

Connected to a Program?
Tissue Recovery and Distribution
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
2,069 donors and families, directly served 1,930 recipients, and consulted, trained, and presented to over 3,000 medical professionals.

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    The Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank: 1) develops, implements, treats and evaluates programs treating blind children and adults; 2) educates donor families and caregivers; 3) trains medical professionals; 4) promotes collaboration of multidisciplinary teams of medical, social services, law enforcement and educational professionals; and, 5) researches new methods to heal blind children and adults via transplantation. RMLEB also: 1) raises funds from diversified sources; 2) conducts high visibility campaigns to enlighten the public about identifying the causes and possible effects of blindness, and how to become more involved in eye tissue donor activities; 3) maintains a safe and professional facility for the eye bank to collaborate with the medical community both locally, for the Anschutz Medical Campus staff, and for visiting professionals and patients.

    RMLEB has a number of programs that:
    • Raise public awareness about child and adult blindness and how to become an eye tissue donor
    • Train medical professionals and educate recipient families and caregivers about blindness and transplantation recovery
    • Research, develop, implement and evaluate programs treating blind children and adults through transplantation
    • Provide consultation to multidisciplinary teams of medical, social services, law enforcement and educational professionals
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    RMLEB gathers standardized data for analyzing and reporting the annual activities and outcomes of our fiscal programs. The benefits from collecting and disseminating essential RMLEB benchmark data include: enhanced planning, outcome reporting, year-over-year comparisons, fulfilling funding requests and reporting requirements, increased transparency, possible efficiency gains and providing information of programmatic successes.

    In the calendar year of 2014, RMLEB provided eye tissue donation transplantation services for 2,069 donors and families, directly served 1,930 recipients, and consulted, trained, and presented to over 3,000 medical professionals. RMLEB provided services to children, adults and/or trained medical professionals from 84 Colorado and Wyoming counties, 23 additional states and eight other countries including Germany, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, China, South Korea, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

    Services to children and adults included: eye tissue donation assessment and transplantation; surgeons, nurses, social workers and coroners with consultations; locating suitable recipients; comprehensive travel arrangements of eye tissue donations; support of research programs.

    In addition, RMLEB collaborated with more than 3,000 medical professionals including: educational consultations with physicians, nurses, coroners, funeral directors, hospices and hospitals. RMLEB also had informative meetings with the public to bring the donation message to thousands through public education programs and community events.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    The continued success of RMLEB hinges on effective governance, mission-focused strategies and caring donors and volunteers. The greatest challenge is to ensure the long-term growth and sustainability of RMLEB. In FY2016-17, it is anticipated that unemployment will remain high, Colorado state and local governments' budgets will continue to experience shortfalls, individuals' savings will continue to be depleted, and discretionary income will be tenuous. RMLEB's FY2016-17 fundraising focus is to increase individual, corporate giving and event net income, maintain foundation and government grant income levels, and build a consistent planned giving effort.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    RMLEB partners with 111 hospitals and hospices in Colorado and Wyoming, and a wide range of community agencies such as Donor Alliance and 180 Lions Clubs (135 in Colorado and 45 in Wyoming), and schools through their transplantation science programs. Graduate students in medicine and social work from various universities are trained by RMLEB's staff.

    As RMLEB develops new technologies, it looks to help surgeons integrate them into their practices. For example, RMLEB is teaming up with Moria Surgical, one of the best-known and most respected ophthalmic companies in the world, to teach surgeons an innovative technique for performing the Descemet's Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty, or DMEK, procedure. These educational “wet labs" will allow local surgeons to learn the technique using eyes donated for research use. The result will be improvements in the standard of care across RMLEB's service areas. Today, RMLEB is one of the handful of eye banks in the world preparing these grafts and the only one in the U.S. preparing an “ultra-thin" graft.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    By all accounts, the 2015-16 fiscal year was wildly successful for RMLEB. The year was marked by an increased number of eye donations, an increased number of domestic transplants performed and a healthy financial performance. At the same time, we faced numerous challenges. Among these:
    • The fast pace of new transplant techniques requires us to look forward into the future as an eye bank.
    • An unusually high number of eye donations were lost due to the involvement of coroners, causing us to look at new approaches to coroner relationships in order to maximize donations.
    • Rapidly changing dynamics in health care and reimbursement forced us to re-examine every aspect of our operations in order to work leaner and more efficiently.
    • Eye, organ and tissue donation has become a community standard, with nearly 70 percent of residents in Colorado and nearly 60 percent in Wyoming signed up to be donors. As the number of citizens signing up in state registries increases, reaching the remaining non-donors through education efforts becomes more and more difficult. New, research-based strategies and tactics are needed to reach those who for whatever reason are still hesitant to become donors.
Service Areas

Self-reported

International

Corneas donated by donors in Colorado and Wyoming are placed first with transplant recipients in Colorado and Wyoming. If no suitable recipient is found, corneas may be placed elsewhere in the United States. If no suitable domestic recipient is found, the eye bank works to find a recipient through international networks.

Social Media

Funding Needs

1. Program funding 2. New equipment funding 3. Capital campaign funding

External Reviews

Source: greatnonprofits.org

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN LIONS EYE BANK
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

Executive Director

Mr. Edmund Jacobs

BIO

Edmund Jacobs became the Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank in 1990, and has since nurtured expansive growth in the organization resulting in annual records in eye tissue transplantation. "Our vision," says Mr. Jacobs, "is to establish an endowment to ensure our continued success in worldwide sight-restoration through corneal transplantation."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Ed Wright

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization


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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?