Sightlife and Northeast Pennsylvania Lions Eye Bank

We've joined forces to eliminate
corneal blindness worldwide

Combination with SightLife, the world's largest provider of cornea for transplant, allows accelerated progress toward eliminating corneal blindnessin the US and around the world

Click below to learn more about our exciting news!

Learn More

Our History

lion-club-logoIn 1957 the Lions of District 14-K founded the District 14-K Eye Bank Society. Later that year it was incorporated and officially deemed the Northeast Pennsylvania Lions Eye Bank. This Eye Bank, once headquartered at the home of then District Governor Walter Hicks in Easton, now resides in a 15,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility in Bethlehem, PA. We have evolved into a world-class Eye Bank that coordinates all services related to corneal donation and transplantation.

Since its inception, the Northeast Pennsylvania Lions Eye Bank has provided more than 40,000 corneas for sight-restoring transplantation.

PDG & Founder, Walter R. Hicks

PDG & Founder, Walter R. Hicks

Our Process

Our Pledge to You:

At the Northeast Pennsylvania Lions Eye Bank our goal is to provide our surgeons with the highest quality ocular tissue delivered on their time schedule.

  • Experienced Donor Services Coordinators facilitate donor screening, donor family interactions and donor data
  • Specially-trained Surgical Recovery Specialists (SRS) procure tissue as soon as possible, utilizing aseptic technique in a sterile field, within 24 hours
  • Certified Eye Bank Technicians (CEBTs) evaluate, process, and distribute the corneal tissue to ensure tissue quality and safety as well as determining donor suitability
  • Registered with the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and accredited by the Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA)


Available Tissue

The Northeast Pennsylvania Lions Eye Bank offers a range of ocular tissue to accommodate our surgeons and the needs of their patients.

Tissue Processing available for:

DSAEK: Descemet’s Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty

DMEK: Descemet’s Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty

ALK: Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty

Corneal Tissue Also Available for:


Scleral Tissue can be requested by:

Whole Globe, 10×10 mm piece, 15×15 mm piece

Research & Training Tissue also available:

Whole Globes, Corneas, Posterior Poles

We can accommodate special requests for a number of procedures, including:

KLAL, Corneal Patch Grafts

Tissue Request Form

Request Tissue online 24 hours a day, every day. Complete the Tissue Request Form below by downloading the form, saving the form to your computer, filling out the information and click to submit. Once you submit the form our lab staff will promptly respond to your request.

Request Form

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Certifications & Licenses

For more information about our credentials, please view our certifications and licenses below.

Medical Directors

Our Medical Directors maintain active roles in upholding the stringent standards dictated by the EBAA and FDA. They are readily available for medical consults as needed, and attend monthly meetings at our facility. Additionally, they oversee training of clinical staff on-site, to ensure compliance and the most up-to-date tissue processing techniques.

Harry W. Buchanan IV, MD

Alan B. Leahey, MD

David A. DeRose, MD

Across the Globe

We process and distribute approximately 2,000 corneas annually. If a recipient cannot be found locally, we reach out to our partnering eye banks regionally and across the United States. If our U.S. partners do not require tissue, we then contact our international networks to fulfill a patient’s need in other parts of the world.

Donor Families & Recipients

We owe everything we do to the donors and their families.  In an effort to honor the selfless gifts made by these families in a time of tremendous grief, the Eye Bank created a recognition program. The families receive a personalized certificate of gratitude on behalf of their loved one, recognizing this wonderful gift.



For information on how to correspond with your donor family, or if you are a donor family member, please contact our Donor Family Services staff for support.



Krysta's Story

Krysta Hankee collapsed while exercising in a gym in New York City in September of 2007, at the age of 22, and passed a few days later. Her parents, Chris and Bill Hankee honored Krysta’s wishes to be an organ and tissue donor, benefiting several individuals with her selfless gifts. Since 2007, the Hankees have created the Krysta Hankee Memorial Fund, a program that provides gas cards for medical travel, educational grants, and promotes organ & tissue donation, promotes organ & tissue donation.

Dr. Jeffrey H. Chaby

“A woman had come to see me while she was pregnant. She was suffering from corneal dystrophies in both eyes. We had to wait until after she had given birth to perform her transplants, separating the surgeries by a few months. She visited my office, baby in tow, to remove the bandages and assess her visual acuity. When I asked her to open her eyes, she smiled and exclaimed, ‘That’s my baby!’ and burst into tears. It wasn’t until that very moment that I realized this woman was actually seeing her child for the first time. As it turned out, the woman’s daughter, also developed corneal dystrophies at a very young age and was facing special education modifications as her vision was so poor. She too needed corneal transplant surgery. The gifts from families whom she might never meet enabled her to enroll in kindergarten with her peers.”

– Dr. Jeffrey H. Chaby, DO, Lancaster, PA

Stephen Waller, M.D.

“Thanks to the Northeast Pennsylvania Lions Eye Bank for responding with tissue at the last minute. One of your Distribution Staff, a pleasant young lady, turned her car around en route home on a Friday afternoon to get tissue to me for my mission trip to Tibet the following day! She went way ‘above and beyond the call of duty’.”

– Stephen Waller, M.D.

How to Help

Financial Contributions

With a corneal transplant, the individual not only regains his or her sight, but also avoids the direct expenditures that come with vision loss, including higher routine medical costs, long-term care costs and the indirect costs of potential years of lost productivity to both the patients and their family caregivers.  Eye banks are valuable assets to their communities as well as to those who receive the gift of renewed sight.

Our contributors have made our sight-saving efforts possible.

You, too, can help TOUCH the FUTURE by making a financial contribution to our mission.


Tissue Donation

Tell Your Family About Your Decision To Donate

Eye disorders are the fifth costliest to the U.S. economy after heart disease, cancer, emotional disorders and pulmonary conditions. Transversely, with a success rate greater than 95% corneal transplant surgery restores the patient’s sight and his or her quality of life, while also being one of the most common and least invasive of transplant procedures.

As an organ, eye or tissue donor, you could save or improve the quality of life for more than 50 people who suffer from organ failure, heart or bone defects, burns or blindness.

Register Today



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