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State's Eye Banks Will Merge

The state's two eye banks in Louisville and Lexington are merging to better coordinate with Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates and other eye banks around the country.

The eye banks procure donor tissue and distribute corneas for transplant to patients.

The Kentucky Lions Eye Bank in Louisville served the western part of the state while the Eye Bank of Lexington covered the eastern part of Kentucky and parts of West Virginia. The two eye banks were affiliated with the University of Louisville and University of Kentucky.

The labs at the two universities will be centralized in Louisville over the next five years.

The merger occurred in January. A release says the merger was the culmination of 25 years of negotiations.

In 2015, there were 79,000 corneal transplants performed in the U.S.