About Us

The Power of the Pan-American Network

Education

Meetings, on and offline courses, webinars, Fellowships and Scholarships

Networking

Collaborate with respected international ophthalmologists

Leadership

Learn from the best international leaders and put your leadership skills to work creating positive change in opthalmology

PAAO

The Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology (PAAO) is a non-profit organization founded in 1939. The mission of the PAAO is continuing education for ophthalmologists, prevention of blindness, and promotion of scientific and cultural exchange among ophthalmologists of the Western Hemisphere and beyond. With members in more than 35 countries, the PAAO provides a forum for professionals from all over the world to gather and focus on ways to standardize and improve ophthalmic knowledge and skills for the improvement of patient care.

What is the PAAO? … An Outcome of World War II

 

World War II had interrupted the International Congress of Ophthalmology in Europe. Because of this, in May 1939, Harry S. Gradle MD, from Chicago, immediate past president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology (AAO&O), Moacyr Alvaro MD, a prominent ophthalmologist from São Paulo, Brazil, and Conrad Berens MD, from New York, were inspired to create a new international forum in ophthalmology in the Americas for the exchange of scientific information and the development of restoration of sight programs.

The Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology (PAAO) was born.

Its first educational program was the Pan-American Congress of Ophthalmology on October 10-12, 1940 in Cleveland, Ohio, co-sponsored by the AAO&O.  This first Pan-American Congress was attended by 240 ophthalmologists from North America and 25 from Latin America. Those from Latin America had to travel from 12 to 20 days by ship to reach the United States and nearly 12 hours additional travel by train from the Atlantic seaboard to Cleveland.

This is a history of dedicated men and women of different generations and cultural backgrounds joined together by friendship and professional identity. Motivated by a profound desire to bring about major positive changes in the lives of millions of people through education and the restoration of sight, the Pan-American has been striving to elevate the standards of the practice of ophthalmology and the quality of eye care in the Americas.

There is a Pan-American movement of great force in ophthalmology rooted in scientific and professional progress. This weaving together is the result of the scientific exchange, mutual understanding and cooperation, sincere friendship and respect makes the PAAO like no other.

The PAAO Executive Commitee
2019-2021

Miguel N. Burnier Jr, MD

Miguel N. Burnier Jr, MD

President

Montreal, Canada
Peter McDonnell, MD

Peter McDonnell, MD

Vice President

Baltimore, MD USA

Carol L. Karp, MD

Carol L. Karp, MD

Secretary, English Language Region

Miami, FL USA
R.V. Paul Chan, MD

R.V. Paul Chan, MD

Associate Secretary, English Language Region

Chicago, IL USA
Paulo E. C. Dantas, MD

Paulo E. C. Dantas, MD

President Elect

São Paulo, SP Brazil

Angela M. Fernández Delgado, MD

Angela M. Fernández Delgado, MD

Executive Vice President

Bogotá, Colombia
Pablo Daponte, MD

Pablo Daponte, MD

Secretary, Spanish Language Region

Buenos Aires, Argentina
Valentina Franco Cardenas, MD

Valentina Franco Cardenas, MD

Associate Secretary, Spanish Language Region

Mexico City, Mexico

Jorge E. Valdez Garcí­a, MD MA

Jorge E. Valdez Garcí­a, MD MA

Chair, Pan-American Ophthalmological Foundation

Monterrey, NL  Mexico
J. Fernando Arévalo, MD

J. Fernando Arévalo, MD

Immediate Past President

Caracas, Venezuela
Teresa J. Bradshaw

Teresa J. Bradshaw

Executive Director

Arlington, TX USA
Mauricio Maia MD

Mauricio Maia MD

Secretary, Portuguese Language Region

Assis, SP Brazil
Rubens N. Belfort MD PhD

Rubens N. Belfort MD PhD

Associate Secretary, Portuguese Language Region

São Paulo, SP Brazil

The PAAO Staff

Teresa J. Bradshaw

Teresa J. Bradshaw

PAAO/PAOF Executive Director

Arlington, TX USA
Krista Jonas

Krista Jonas

IT and Graphic Design

Saint Louis, MO USA
Terri Grassi

Terri Grassi

Administrator

Arlington, TX USA
Mapy Padilla

Mapy Padilla

Public Relations

Lima, Peru