Astria Toppenish Hospital partners with Lions World Vision Institute to provide life-changing cornea donations

Astria Health received recognition from the nonprofit organization, Lions World Vision Institute, for organizing and providing successful cornea donations to five patients in need of corneal transplants locally, statewide and globally in 2023. All five of the successful donations came from Astria Toppenish Hospital.

“Organ, eye or tissue donation is a sacred and significant responsibility for healthcare organizations and providers to offer during critical moments in the lives of donors’ families and donor recipients,” said Brian Gibbons, Astria Health President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our team of experts make sure that the donation process goes smoothly in order to extend the quality of life in donor recipients while at the same time offering comfort and care to the donor’s family and honor their sacrifice. We couldn’t do this without the partnership of Lions World Vision Institute and it is a great pleasure to work with them.”

Astria Health and Lions World Vision Institute, formerly SightLife, have worked together since 1969. In 2022, Astria Sunnyside Hospital provided 4 successful cornea donations, and Astria Toppenish Hospital provided two. According to SightLife Regional Partner Relations Manager, Sarah Gillespie, Lions World Vision Institute is the only accredited Eye Bank of Association of America (EBAA) in Washington State. Gillespie stated in an email that “unlike organ donation, there is no waiting list for a cornea transplant in the USA…there is a constant need, however, Lions World Vision Institute and other USA Eye Banks can fulfill it.” Gillespie continued by saying that there are over 12 million people worldwide who are waiting for a corneal transplant and most of these people reside in developing countries with limited health care access. Gillespie expressed appreciation for the partnership with Astria Health and stated that she receives great support from both the Astria Sunnyside Hospital and Astria Toppenish Hospital teams. For more information regarding Lions World Vision Institute, and how you can support the organization, please visit:

Astria Health, headquartered in the heart of the Yakima Valley, is a non-profit healthcare system based in Eastern Washington. Astria Health is the parent organization of Astria Sunnyside Hospital and Astria Toppenish Hospital, along with 20 outpatient clinics offering primary care and specialty services, including but not limited to behavioral health, home health and hospice, neurosurgery, oncology, podiatry, rehabilitation therapy, orthopedics, and sleep medicine. For more information, visit

Posted January 10, 2024


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