Lions Clubs International

Lions Instrumental to America’s Eye Bank Network

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Lions Clubs International’s Support for Corneal Transplantation Contributes to Total Lifetime Net Benefit of Nearly $6 Billion

Washington, DC– (October 10, 2013) –  Corneal transplants performed in the United States this year will result in nearly $6 billion in total net benefits over the lifetime of the recipients, according to a six-month study undertaken by the Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA).  Over half of all EBAA-member eye banks were founded by Lions Clubs; these eye banks will provide nearly 25,000 corneas for transplant this year, with an estimated net lifetime benefit of $3 billion*.

The study compared the medical cost of transplant procedures to the direct and indirect lifetime costs of the alternative – living with blindness or severe vision impairment. With a corneal transplant, an individual avoids the direct expenditures that come with vision loss, such as higher routine medical costs and long-term care costs, and the indirect costs of potential years of lost productivity to both the patients and their family caregivers.

Eye disorders are the fifth costliest to the U.S. economy after heart disease, cancer, emotional disorders and pulmonary conditions.

Lions Clubs were instrumental to the establishment of America’s eye banking network”, said Kevin Corcoran, President and CEO of the Eye Bank Association of America. “Without their support, it’s almost inconceivable that we would now have an infrastructure that could provide over 70,000 corneas to people at home and abroad. Just as this study illustrates the value of eye banking in general, it clearly shows how the Lions’ impact continues to be felt today.

The Eye Bank Association of America commissioned this study to determine the economic impact of corneal transplants.  Researchers used previous years’ transplant numbers and census data to estimate total corneal transplants for the full 2013 calendar year.

The cost-benefit analysis depicted in the table below reveals that the lifetime benefit of the procedure is overwhelmingly greater than the costs of the surgery.

With a success rate greater than 95 percent, the one-hour procedure restores the patient’s sight and his or her quality of life. In fact, it’s one of the most common and least invasive transplant procedures. The EBAA study proves the value of the procedure and the economic benefit to the patient, family and society.

Corneal transplants also translate to direct federal and state government savings. This study assumed full retirement at age 65, so the net indirect cost savings is small for these patients, but the per-capita lifetime net medical benefits of $67,500 for patients age 65 or greater receiving corneal transplants in 2013 will save Medicare, Medicaid and patients a combined $2.4 billion nationally, and $1.2 billion among those communities served by Lions-affiliated eye banks.

For a full copy of the report, please contact EBAA at

About EBAA: The Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA), established in 1961, is the oldest transplant association in the nation and champions the restoration of sight through corneal transplantation.  Over 80 member eye banks operate in the United States, Canada and Asia.  These eye banks made possible more than 70,000 sight-restoring corneal transplants in 2012 and the opportunity to perform more transplants is significant. Aside from those suffering from infections or communicable diseases, virtually everyone is a universal donor. The function of corneal tissue is not dependent on blood type, age, strength of eyesight or the color of the eye. To learn more, visit

* Savings calculations are determined by multiplying the net lifetime benefit by the number of patients we served in 2012.

Media Contact:

Patricia Hardy

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Lions Clubs International

Lions in the Headlines

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Check out how Lions around the world are making headlines by serving their communities.
  • SINGAPORE: Lions celebrate Lions World Sight Day by providing free eye screenings for seniors.
  • NEW ZEALAND: LCIF and New Zealand Lions team up to rebuild community center damaged by earthquake.
  • CANADA: Lloydminster Lions Club hosts diabetes awareness event for local residents.
  • CAYMAN ISLANDS: The Lions Club of Tropical Gardens kicks off its annual breast cancer awareness campaign.
  • UNITED KINGDOM: Lions Club of Reading fireworks event to raise money for local causes.
Has your Lions club been featured in the local news recently? Share your story!

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Lions Clubs International World Sight Day

Today is World Sight Day!

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Today, Lions mark World Sight Day in Mossman, Australia. International President Barry Palmer and the Lions Board of Directors are participating in the day’s events, which include public vision screenings for students at Mossman State School in conjunction with Mossman Hospital Community Health Services. Lions are also providing vision screenings and eye health education at a local community center in Mossman.

In addition, LCIF partner Johnson & Johnson Vision Care (JJVC) is featuring the Sight for Kids program in its Donate a Photo app and #EyePledge campaign, in conjunction with World Sight Day. Participants can download the Donate a Photo app for free and submit a photo; for every photo uploaded on behalf of Sight for Kids, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 to help provide eye exams to children.*Photos are tagged #EyePledge and, when shared through social media, help raise awareness about the importance of eye health care and vision screenings. Sight for Kids has provided free vision screenings to more than 17 million children since 2002.

How is your Lions club celebrating World Sight Day?


*You can donate a photo to one cause, once a day through the Donate a Photo app. For every photo donated to Sight for Kids, Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc. will donate $1 to that cause. You can donate photos to Sight for Kids until November 30, 2013 or until it reaches its goal of $30,000, whichever comes first. Sight for Kids will receive a minimum of $15,000.

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Palmer’s Blog: The Hart Walker

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Lions: Hello from Australia! I’m here in Port Douglas for the Lions International Board of Directors meeting, and I just wanted to drop in and share an image, below, from our opening meeting on October 6. That’s Jessie, a young girl who, with the help of the Hart Walker, is following her dream of being able to walk.

Hart Walkers are one of the signature projects of Australian Lions. The first time I saw a child with disabilities empowered by the Hart Walker, my heart nearly melted. I feel the same way every single time I see children take their first steps in a Hart Walker. When I first saw the effect this amazing device had on children, that was the day I truly became a Lion.

Watch the video above to learn more about the Hart Walker and Freedom Wheels, two devices that allow children who lack mobility the opportunity to walk and ride a bike.

Lions Clubs International

Jessie demonstrates her Hart Walker to the Board. Watched by the Governor of Queensland and her mum and dad.

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Club Excellence Process

Build Membership Through Club Excellence!

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Successful clubs are in the best position to recruit and retain new members. The Club Excellence Process (CEP) is one of the most effective ways to keep your club on track for growth and success. CEP gives you the tools to strengthen your service, improve club effectiveness and enhance your membership experience.

We’ve made it even easier to participate in the program by offering two versions of CEP to choose from:

CEP proCEP Pro is designed for clubs that would like to have a trained Lion facilitator to come in and guide members through the workshop.

CEP Lite

CEP Lite is for clubs that would prefer to have a member of their club lead the workshop.

More than 2,000 clubs have registered for CEP since July. Your club will even be recognized with a banner patch when you complete CEP and submit a brief half-page report to LCI.  Share the CEP Overview at your next club meeting, and decide which version is right for your club. Learn more about CEP Today!

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