Barbara Crow, Chief Executive Officer of Lions VisionGift (LVG), has announced her retirement; her final day will be December 31, 2016. Ms. Crow has served as Executive Director/CEO of LVG, formerly Lions Eye Bank of Oregon, since 1998. She came to the organization from Oregon Health & Sciences University where she served as Executive Director of the Oregon Eye Bank at OHSU from 1987, and is credited, along with Dr. Joseph Robertson and Lion George DeHart, with merging the two eye banks in 2000.
Ms. Crow’s tenure saw the eye bank through its growth years as a program of the Oregon Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation, to its present day status as a world renown eye bank dedicated to its mission of honoring its donors and their gifts of sight in order to eradicate preventable blindness through transplantation, vital eye research, education and the provision of medical products used to treat specific conditions in the eye. As she puts it, “I came to a program that had 7 employees and a 24 member Board of dedicated Lions, many of whom stayed with the eye bank to provide guidance and support through the years. FDA regulations soon pushed the eye bank into a new world of increasing tasks to complete the same job. Today LVG has a staff of 60 and provides over 1500 corneas a year for transplant in Oregon and across the world. We’ve added serum eye drops to ease dry eye conditions, a patented “halo®” group of sterile tissues used in glaucoma surgeries, and vital eye research projects in conjunction with local cornea surgeons and with researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD.”Read More +
According to Ms. Crow, “This has been a ‘Dream’ job for me; I’ve been assisted by a superlative staff and a group of steady Lions who believed in the eye bank. Together we have built an organization that is the envy of eye banks all across the world. Our Medical Advisory Board is filled with surgeons renowned in the world of ophthalmology; our Board and community has a staunch group of Lions and non-Lions that have stood by us, acted as tissue couriers for us and cheered for every milestone we crossed. We have ventured into cell biology research in a partnership with Johns Hopkins University, and soon we will open Lions VisionGift East in Boston, MA. This latest venture will facilitate the delivery of tissue to our many surgeons in the eastern part of the US. I feel this is the right time for me to step aside and watch as LVG soars to new heights! I will forever be grateful to many Lions, some of whom are no longer with us but stay with me only in spirit. No one could have had a better career than to come to work each day and know that we make a difference in the lives of those who have suffered with unnecessary blindness. My time with LVG will be extended as a consultant during 2017, to ensure a smooth transition in leadership of this fine organization.”