Astria Sunnyside Hospital partners with SightLife to provide life-changing cornea donations

(SUNNYSIDE, Wash., November 9, 2021) – November is National Eye Donation month and Astria Sunnyside Hospital (ASH) recently received recognition from the nonprofit organization, SightLife, for organizing and providing two cornea donations to patients in need of corneal transplants locally, statewide and globally.

“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 Chief Executive Officer and ASH Administrator. “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 great sacrifice. We couldn’t do this without the partnership of SightLife and it is a great pleasure to work with them.”

ASH and SightLife have worked together since 1969. According to SightLife Regional Partner Relations Manager, Sarah Gillespie, SightLife 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, SightLife 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 ASH and stated that she receives great support from the ASH team.

The Astria Health System, headquartered in the heart of the Yakima Valley is the largest nonprofit healthcare system based in Eastern Washington. Astria Health is the parent nonprofit organization of Astria Sunnyside Hospital and Astria Toppenish Hospital along with outpatient Astria Health Centers, Ambulatory Surgical Center, Astria Hearing and Speech, and Astria Home Health and Hospice with healthcare sites and providers conveniently located in towns and cities throughout the region.

Posted November 18, 2021


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