Eversight Connecticut Vision Fall 2016 | Page 8

SUMMER EVENTS Surgeon training—advancing treatment options Eversight Connecticut continually strives to support physicians and help them implement the best surgical techniques to improve patient outcomes. In May, nine surgeons from New Jersey and Connecticut gathered at Yale University for a hands-on training wet lab to learn techniques for performing Descemet’s Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK). DMEK surgery is an excellent solution for patients whose corneal condition affects only the innermost endothelial layer. The method, however, requires a special set of surgical abilities — skills instructors at the wet lab imparted in a one-on-one setting. Dr. Shahzad Mian, an ophthalmologist and associate professor at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center, was the provost, in addition to other speakers and instructors, including Dr. Christopher Hood, Dr. Kevin Shah, Dr. Lorenzo Cervantes, Dr. Scott Wagenberg and Dr. Pankaj Gupta. “This was the first Eversight wet lab in the Northeastern United States, and it showcased the leading clinical expertise and services that we provide to corneal surgeons,” said Eversight Connecticut Executive Director Ryan Cady. “It is these kinds of training opportunities that will ensure people in our community have access to the latest in quality care.” The next generation A major priority for Eversight Connecticut is to take advantage of opportunities to educate young ophthalmologists about eye banking so they can experience the full scope of donation. In June, Eversight Connecticut hosted five residents from the Yale School of Medicine. They practiced transplant suturing techniques and learned about the inner workings of the eye bank from Eversight Connecticut Professional Relations Manager Caithlin Lopes. “This was a great chance to meet future corneal surgeons and start developing an understanding with them about the donation process and what makes the gift possible,” Lopes said. “If they can get to know us, we hope they’ll decide to become ambassadors of donation and really make a difference in their community and profession as their careers progress.” Donor Family Ceremony In partnership with the New England Organ Bank and LifeChoice Donor Services, Eversight Connecticut cohosted a donor family ceremony in May to celebrate the memory of 70 donors who gave the gifts of life, sight and mobility. The gathering was a time of healing while families shared stories of their loved ones. Upon arrival, each family chose a glass filled with colored sand, and during the Sand Ceremony, the families carried their sand to the front of the ballroom and said their loved one’s name aloud. They poured the sand into a large glass vessel, and the intertwining layers of red, yellow, green, blue, orange and pink served as a symbol of the interconnectedness between people who make donation and transplantation possible. “These events are special for both the families and our staff,” Cady said. “It is a powerful opportunity to connect with each other and learn how together, we’re making vision a reality for people in need.” Fall 2016 | V I S I O N | Page 8 0929_CT-VISION-Fall2016.indd 8 10/13/16 11:39 AM