Page 3 - LGS Today Fall-Winter 2022
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  Achieving Excellence: Partnering with Minnesota Funeral Homes
DiD you know? Minnesota is home to more than 550 licensed funeral homes and more than 1,100 licensed morticians and funeral directors! Minnesota Funeral Di- rectors Association (MFDA) is a resource dedicated to supporting their members’ growth, professionally, ethically, and oper- ationally. Their mission is to enhance and support funeral service excellence. Anoth- er important organization in our state is the Arrowhead Funeral Directors Associ- ation, focusing on the northeastern part of Minnesota. Members of these two asso- ciations convened in person at locations throughout the state in September and October for District Meetings
and Continuing Education.
Lions Gift of Sight was pres-
ent at each of these meetings
as well as at the Minnesota
Funeral Directors Convention
in May. Our staff appreciated
the opportunity to express
our heartfelt gratitude in per-
son for the instrumental role
funeral service staff play in
supporting eye and cornea
donors and their families. These donors selflessly gave the Gift of Sight nearly 2,000 times in 2021! Well over one half of these gifts supported vital research, med- ical education, and training.
After a pandemic pause, LGS Partner & Community Relations instructors look forward to the academic year ahead and returning to support classroom efforts in collaboration with Kelly Romanowski, Life- Source Funeral Director Liaison and Mor- tuary Science Teaching Specialist. Edu- cating the next generation of morticians and funeral directors is both a pleasure and a responsibility.
Eye donation, while the most common among organ, eye, and tissue donations,
is still relatively rare. Just one half of one percent of all de- ceased persons in 2021 be- came eye donors in Minnesota.
 While there are valid reasons
not everyone becomes a do-
nor, we know that we can do
better. So, when meeting with
funeral service partners across
the state, we asked for their
thoughtful consideration on
how they might help meet the
need for corneas for transplant and eye tissue for research. We also presented
Visitors to the Lions Gift of Sight networking booth at the Min- nesota Funeral Directors Association annual meeting in May included Dr. Michael LuBrant, Director of the Program of Mor- tuary Science (left) and LifeSource liaison Melinda von Waus.
patient Dan Gowan, as told by his wife Ronda. (Dan’s story can be found on p. 8.) We often focus on the benefits that dona-
tion gives to corneal recipients and scientists. But the hope and healing that donation can give to family members should never be overlooked.
Our commitment to assuring every person has the same op- portunity for donation, regard- less of where they die or which funeral home they choose, is steadfast.Asweenterthisspe- cial season of thanks and giv-
ing, we are especially grateful to the many funeral service partners who wholeheart- edly support eye donation and are our Eye Donation Champions. We are equally grateful to those that are open to exploring the power they possess to play a positive role in eye, organ, and tissue donation. Let’s achieve excellence together!
  LGS Partner and Community Relations Manager, Patty Stockdale, presenting at the Arrowhead Funeral Directors Association Fall Continuing Education sessiononOctober18inProctor,Minnesota.
Minnesota statutes that support access to funeral homes for the purpose of recover- ing anatomical gifts. We shared a solution used successfully by a number of funeral homes: 24/7 keypad access for recovery staff. This practice is a win for all.
This year we also featured the impactful donation story of eye donor and hospice
 “What is funeral service? I believe that funeral service is more than just an industry. It is real-life people: morticians, support staff, grief specialists, product and service suppliers, and the list goes on and on. Funeral Service is people that come together
with full hearts; and that give freely of t”hose hearts to the families and the communi-
ties that we are so privileged to serve .
MFDA Board President, Brian Dingman Minnesota Funeral Directors Association Bulletin Fall 2022

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