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Ozark Medical Center Recognized for Efforts to Change Lives by Saving Sight

Ozark Medical Center Recognized for Efforts to Change Lives by Saving Sight

West Plains, Mo. – Ozark Medical Center received Saving Sight’s 2016 Excellence in Eye Donation Award recently. This marks the second year the hospital has been honored for achievements in providing the gift of sight to those needing a cornea transplant. Overall, the hospital achieved a 58 percent consent rate for eye donation in 2016. Staff at Ozark Medical Center helped to facilitate 16 eye donation cases, which resulted in 17 individuals receiving restored sight through a cornea transplant.

“It is an honor to be recognized by Saving Sight for having a part in making a difference in 17 lives by restoring sight. Having the opportunity to work with Saving Sight is such a wonderful way to give back,” said Kurt Abbey, Chief Nursing Officer at OMC.

Created in 2014, the Excellence in Eye Donation Award recognizes hospitals that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to eye donation. Fewer than 15 percent of Saving Sight’s partner hospitals in Missouri, Kansas and Illinois will be recognized with a 2016 Excellence in Eye Donation Award. Partner hospitals that achieved an eye donation consent rate exceeding 45 percent with at least 10 donors during the 2016 calendar year will receive the award.

“Children see to learn, parents watch their children grow and older adults maintain independent lifestyles thanks to the vision made possible through corneal transplants each year,” said Tony Bavuso, CEO of Saving Sight. “We are grateful to our partners at Ozark Medical Center who believe in our mission to change lives by saving sight and work with our courageous donors and donor families to make the precious gift of sight possible for countless individuals last year.”

With the help of hospital partners like Ozark Medical Center, Saving Sight provided corneas for more than 2,900 corneal transplant recipients in 2016. Each year around 48,000 individuals in the United States require a cornea transplant to restore vision that has been lost due to disease, disorder or injury. For more information or to learn about becoming an eye, organ and tissue donor, please visit donatelife.net.

About Saving Sight

Saving Sight is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to change lives by saving sight. Founded in Columbia, Mo. in 1960, the organization introduced eye donation and the gift of sight to Missouri. Today, Saving Sight operates community healthy vision programs that serve more than 100,000 people worldwide each year with offices located in Missouri and central Illinois. For more information, please visit saving-sight.org.

Pictured left to right: Janette Strothcamp, Family Support Specialist with Mid America Transplant; Haley Lynn, Partner Relations Coordinator with Saving Sight; and OMC Coworkers Tammie Tettaton, RN, ICU; Malissa Reardon, RN, Director of Critical Care and Women’s Services; Leah Vanatter, Surgery Tech, OB; Shane Fleetwood, RN, CSU; Jennifer Tidwell, RN, OB; Barb Young, RN, OB; Tonya Aaron, RN, OB-GYN Clinical Supervisor; Kurt Abbey, Chief Nursing Officer; and Tom Keller, President and CEO.

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