ILEB Student Researcher Spreads Joy and Education to Pediatric Patients

ILEB Student Researcher Spreads Joy and Education to Pediatric Patients
General News

Iowa Lions Eye Bank is proud to have Kenten Kingsbury on our research team as part of a 12-week summer research fellowship with Dr. Mark Greiner, ILEB Medical Director, as his mentor. Kingsbury has completed his first year of medical school at the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. Kingsbury became interested in ophthalmology as a specialty after shadowing an ophthalmologist near his hometown of Lawton, IA. His interest in the field grew while volunteering for the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences from 2018-2019.

As a student volunteer, Kingsbury, along with oculoplastic surgeon Audrey Ko, MD, created a program to provide personalized sock monkeys to children who must undergo eye removal surgery. Merry Monkey Makers distribute sock monkeys to pediatric patients throughout UIHC, and Kingsbury and Ko worked with the group to create monkeys that have a winking eye on the same side that the child's eye was removed, and the remaining eye is personalized to the child's eye color.

These personalized gifts not only provide comfort to the patient, but also have tags on their ears with a list of resources for parents and stories of other pediatric patients who have gone through the same surgery and recovery. The goal of these sock monkeys is to improve patient outcomes after surgery.

Improving patient outcomes is very important to Kingsbury. He worked on a clinical research study and poster presentation: Kingsbury KD, Yom KH, Carter KD, Shriver EM, Ko AC. The Effect of Visual Aids in Preoperative Patient Counseling for Oculoplastic Surgery. The poster was presented at 12th Annual Midwest Eye Research Symposium in Iowa City, IA, in August of 2019.

During his summer research fellowship at ILEB, Kingsbury is working on a research project to better understand the diabetic effects on corneal endothelial cells. He says he plans to continue to do research throughout his career because he is passionate about improving the quality of life of others through evidence-based practice.

After Kingsbury's summer research fellowship ends he plans to stay on the team part-time in the fall when medical school resumes. ILEB is delighted that he will continue to make a positive contribution to our research program.