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Organ and Tissue Donation



LifeBanc is the federally mandated Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) assigned to the 20 counties of Northeast Ohio including Cuyahoga County. The mission of LifeBanc is to save lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation.  

Though an overall complex process with many different organizations involved, LifeBanc serves as the starting point of the process to identify donors, determine which organs or tissues may be suitable for donation, put together the recovery teams, and finally find the appropriate recipients for those organs. Since over 80% of suitable donors fall under the jurisdiction of a coroner, it has been imperative that LifeBanc work diligently with their respective coroner offices.  

LifeBanc and the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office have worked collaboratively for many years to create a “one of a kind” program not seen anywhere in the entire United States.  

LifeBanc has a full-time staff member housed at the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office to serve as a conduit of communication and information which helps to facilitate a seamless process from the time a death is declared through recovery of organs or tissues; all the while ensuring that the coroner has complete and thorough information so that they can, without compromise, release organs or tissues and still determine cause and manner of death.  

LifeBanc has a dedicated tissue recovery suite at the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office which is maintained at the same high level that a hospital operating room is maintained. LifeBanc has contracted with the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office for other clinical areas and appreciates the cooperation and effort put forth by the coroner and his staff.  

Through another “first of its kind” referral program here in Cleveland, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office is amongst the top 10 providers of tissue for transplantation, something that no other coroner or medical examiner’s office has ever accomplished.  

With over 100,000 names on the national organ waiting list, LifeBanc is pleased to work hand-in-hand with the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office to save many precious lives. For additional information on organ and tissue donation, log onto the LifeBanc website at


Contact Information

Daniel Martinelli,
Director of Organ Preservation
(216) 820-4907

For more than 50 years the Cleveland Eye Bank has served Northeast Ohio patients and corneal surgeons. The eye bank has its laboratory and administrative office at UH Case Medical Center. Our service area covers approximately seventy-five hospitals throughout the area.  The eye bank currently provides transplant tissue for penetrating keratoplasties, keratolimbal allografts, and endothelial keratoplasties.  Because of the eye bank’s strong commitment to research, tissue from donors with glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy is provided to national and local researchers. Practice tissue is also provided to residents and ophthalmologists.

According to the Eye Bank Association of America’s statistical report for 2008, there was an increase of 14.7% in eye donations (from 2007) across the nation.  In 2009, The Cleveland Eye Bank had an increase of local donations of 4% and almost doubled the number of donors recovered with the aid of the Medical Examiner’s office.  This can be attributed to teamwork and collaboration between the eye bank and the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s office.  They support the facilitation of eye donation for transplant and research, while still determining a cause of death.

For more information regarding eye donation, please visit our website at