Who We Are

The Cleveland Eye Bank Foundation collaborates with others to change lives in Northeast Ohio and beyond through the restoration and preservation of sight. We raise and provide funds and resources for vision research, and community and professional education. We work to increase the number of people whose sight is preserved or restored through its support of transplants, education and research.

Partners

Cleveland Foundation

The Cleveland Foundation, one of the nation’s largest and longest-standing community foundations, is a strategic and philanthropic partner of the Cleveland Eye Bank Foundation. Together, we have access to the best in class investment management, and we are growing our endowment through our planned giving initiatives.

Local Institutions and Researchers

Our current partnership with Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute and University Hospitals Eye Institute has secured Cleveland as a hub for groundbreaking research by supporting scientists in furthering their advancements in treatments for some of the world’s most prolific and devastating diseases including corneal diseases, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, and glaucoma. 

Read more details on CEBF’s partnership with these two institutions in our feature in Crain’s Cleveland Business.

Board of Directors

The CEBF Board of Directors is a diverse group of professionals with deep connections throughout the community, supporting our extensive and successful fundraising activities to achieve our mission.

Board President

  • Allen Roth, MD

Vice President

  • Ted Ward

Secretary

  • Colleen Flynn Goss

Treasurer

  • Barry Effron, MD

Directors

  • Heather M. Fox
  • Lee Jordan
  • Jonathan Lass, MD
  • James P. Sacher
  • William R. Yeakley, MD
  • Susan V. Janssen, Emeritus

Staff

  • Debbie May-Johnson, Executive Director
  • Leanna Mullen, Engagement Coordinator

Why serve on the CEBF Board of Directors? Take it from our Board Members:

“Serving on CEBF’s Board of Directors, I love being surrounded by a diverse group of individuals with backgrounds ranging from medical professionals, to lawyers, to finance, to multimedia. I am captivated by the science and innovation coming from the Cleveland medical community and I am excited to be a part of Cleveland Eye Bank Foundation and our work of providing the gift of sight through its funding of valuable and impactful vision research.”

— Heather M. Fox

“I have been a proud member of the Cleveland Eye Bank Foundation Board of Directors since 2012. As a cornea-fellowship trained ophthalmologist, I have devoted my entire career over the past 40 years at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals to advance the success of corneal transplantation to restore vision with corneal blindness as a surgeon and researcher.  And as chairman of Ophthalmology at CWRU and UH between 1993-2013 I facilitated the growth of vision research at both institutions to help prevent and restore vision for blinding diseases such as cataract, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. CEBF and its mission to support vision research in Northeast Ohio absolutely complements my work.” 

— Jonathan Lass, MD

For inquiries on joining the CEBF Board of Directors, email Executive Director Debbie May-Johnson: [email protected]

What We Do

The Cleveland Eye Bank Foundation is a model, a highly visible foundation that is known for enabling the gift of sight through its funding of impactful and valuable vision research and professional and community education and engagement. Collaborations with others, strong relationships with professionals in the field, engagement with those affected by our work, and the creation of a climate that produces an adequate supply of tissue for both transplant and research is the hallmark of our activities.  

For example, our fundraising supports research aimed at generating awareness and accelerating cures for some of the most critical eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. Chances are, the effects of blindness may touch close to home.

More than 82% of individuals over age 50 suffer from some form of impaired vision.

Age-related macular degeneration

About 11 million people in the United States have some form of age-related macular degeneration. This number is expected to double to nearly 22 million by 2050. Advanced age-related macular degeneration is a leading cause of irreversible blindness and visual impairment in the world.

Diabetic retinopathy

From 2010 to 2050, the number of Americans with diabetic retinopathy is expected to nearly double, from 7.7 million to 14.6 million. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness in American adults.

Glaucoma

According to the World Health Organization, Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world. Estimates put the total number of suspected cases of glaucoma at over 60 million worldwide.

AMD – https://www.brightfocus.org/macular/article/age-related-macular-facts-figures
DR – https://nei.nih.gov/eyedata/diabetic
Glaucoma – Quigley and Broman “Number of people with glaucoma worldwide in 2010 and 2020”, 2006;

Resources

Eversight

Eversight restores sight and prevents blindness through the healing power of donation, transplantation and research.

Lifebanc

Serving as Northeast Ohio’s  nonprofit organ and tissue recovery organization, Lifebanc began more than 30 years ago and serves over four million people and works with 80 hospitals in a 20-county area of Northeast Ohio. 

Donate Life Ohio

A coalition of Ohio’s eye, organ and tissue recovery agencies dedicated to educating Ohioans about the need for eye, organ and tissue donation and motivating them to join the OHIO DONOR REGISTRY. Sign up to be a donor today.

Cleveland Sight Center

Cleveland Sight Center has served the needs of Northeast Ohio residents who are blind or have low vision for over a century. They provide developmental, rehabilitation and vocational services to ensure success in today’s society.

Lions Clubs

With over 1.4 million members, Lions Clubs are the largest service organization in the world.  

Transplant Games of America

The games are a multi-sport festival event to help promote the need for eye, organ and tissue donation. The purpose is to show the world that transplantation is a treatment that does indeed work. 

National Eye Institute

As part of the federal government’s National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Eye Institute’s mission is to “conduct and support research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs with respect to blinding eye diseases, visual disorders, mechanisms of visual function, preservation of sight, and the special health problems and requirements of the blind.”

Bright Focus

BrightFocus funds exceptional scientific research worldwide to defeat Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration, and glaucoma and provides expert information on these heartbreaking diseases.