Orlando, FL; June 20, 2017 – KeraLink Southeast, a division of KeraLink International, hosted their 3rd annual tour and teach in with the Central Florida Area Health Education Center’s (AHEC) Health Careers Camp to inspires youth to explore the career opportunities available in the healthcare industry. High school juniors and seniors from across central Florida toured the KeraLink Southeast Ocular Center, got a first-hand look at what happens at the eye bank and learned how corneal transplantation is saving and restoring sight to thousands each year.
During their tour, the students experienced how eye banking helps fight corneal blindness and got to sample some of the different jobs performed by the KeraLink staff; from family consent to transplantation, and everything in between. They learned the basic anatomy of the eye, reviewed some of the steps and equipment used to prepare tissue for transplant and even watched how an eye technician performs a corneal recovery.
They also had an opportunity to hear from corneal transplant Makisha Odom talk about her battle with Sarcoidosis and how corneal transplants restored her vision and her life. “Sarcoidosis robbed me of my sight, my independence, my hope and my will to live. My transplants gave me my life back,” said Odom, a transplant recipient.
KeraLink Southeast continues to educate and bring awareness to the power of cornea donation by growing partnerships with various groups like AHEC and local school districts in the central Florida area. They also participate in trainings and educational opportunities with local hospitals and community events to broaden the reach and understanding of donation and the gift of sight through corneal transplantation.
“Our visit made a tremendous impact on so many of our students by introducing them to a new health career path and increased their knowledge about the importance of donation,” said Jennifer Wolowitz, Special Projects Coordinator AHEC Health Career Camp.
About KeraLink International
KeraLink International is a non-profit, non-governmental network of eye banks and related programs committed to reversing corneal blindness wherever it exists. The organization accomplishes this by investing in world-class facilities, medical education, collaboration with other members of the transplant community, creative development campaigns and cutting-edge research, as well as by providing charitable tissue both domestically and internationally to patients in need. KeraLink International is proud that its cooperative relationships with multiple Organ Procurement Organizations and other eye banks allow it to extend its reach. With seven processing centers strategically located throughout the United States, KeraLink International is positioned to process and deliver high quality tissue to surgeons and their patients. In addition, KeraLink’s international arm, the International Federation of Eye Banks (IFEB), provides support, oversight and innovative programming assistance to 29 IFEB members around the world.
About KeraLink Southeast
KeraLink Southeast was established as the Medical Eye Bank of Florida in 1978 with a vision to serve local donor families, surgeons, hospitals, and recipients with a comprehensive eye banking program; recovering, processing, and distributing ocular tissue throughout the region and world. For almost 40 years, KeraLink Southeast has brought a rich tradition of service to Central Florida, focusing on directing local tissue to local recipients.
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