As of 2015, the Alabama Eye Bank has celebrated 47 years of helping blind eyes to see. The illustrious history began in Mobile, AL in 1959, some fifteen years after the first Eye Bank had been established in New York City, making Eye Banking in this state nearly a half-century old. Dr. Eugene de Juan and Eugenia Walker Metzler, RN, began this first effort in Mobile about the same time that an Eye Bank was established at University Hospital in Birmingham by Drs. Stephen Grant and Christopher Kelly, co-chiefs of ophthalmology at the Medical School.
In the mid-1960s, several Eye Banks were started in the state, ultimately culminating with the full accreditation of the then named Alabama Lions Eye Bank by the Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA). This entity establishes standards for the industry as directed by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. AEB has been an active, contributing member of the EBAA since 1969. To date, AEB has recovered almost 100,000 tissues for transplant, research and training.
We are a federally regulated, licensed and accredited 501-C3 not-for-profit organization. Our headquarters are based in Birmingham and have regional offices in Huntsville, Montgomery & Mobile. Our mission is about the restoration of sight, through the timely recovery, excellent processing and efficient distribution of the highest quality of eye tissue for transplantation, ophthalmic research and training. We are honored to have a strong history of being one of the top eye banks in the United States and continue to strive towards excellence to bring clarity to as many Alabamians as we can.