A True Partnership
The partnership between the Lions and the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Neurosciences came to life in 1960 with the establishment of the Minnesota Lions Eye Bank. This partnership has grown greatly over the decades since then and today encompasses:
- Minnesota Lions Eye Bank, which provides donor eye tissue for transplant, research, and teaching, and promotes donation through education. The Lions Eye Bank has helped restore sight to more than 22,000 people by providing cornea tissue for transplantation and is one of the largest and most successful eye banks in the world. In addition, the Lions Eye Bank has provided more than 20,000 corneas or eyes for basic research to help advance vision science.
- Minnesota Lions Children’s Eye Clinic, where more than 5,000 children receive care every year. The clinic is one of the largest and best-staffed clinics of its kind in the country.
- Lions Research Building, which provides nearly 12,000 square feet of research space and services for an immunology laboratory, extraocular and facial muscle laboratory, optic nerve rescue laboratory, corneal dystrophy laboratory, and three laboratories working on aspects of macular degeneration.
- William H. Knobloch Retina Chair, to support research and treatment of retina disease.
- Lions Macular Degeneration Center, known as “The MAC Center,” is an internationally recognized leader in research and clinical care. Equally important, the Minnesota Lions have been instrumental in rallying community support for vision issues and contributing countless hours of volunteer time throughout the state.
- Minnesota Lions Fund to Prevent Blindness in Infants and Children, a recent gift which will ensure that the finest eye care for infants and children can be delivered by our entire faculty, that newer and better ways will be found to prevent and treat vision-threatening disease, and that greater information and education will become available to eye care givers and the community.