About UsThe Power of the Pan-American Network
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
Miguel N. Burnier Jr, MD
Peter McDonnell, MD
Baltimore, MD USA
Carol L. Karp, MD
Secretary, English Language Region
R.V. Paul Chan, MD
Associate Secretary, English Language Region
Paulo E. C. Dantas, MD
São Paulo, SP Brazil
Angela M. Fernández Delgado, MD
Executive Vice President
Pablo Daponte, MD
Secretary, Spanish Language Region
Valentina Franco Cardenas, MD
Associate Secretary, Spanish Language Region
Mexico City, Mexico
Jorge E. Valdez García, MD MA
Chair, Pan-American Ophthalmological Foundation
J. Fernando Arévalo, MD
Immediate Past President
Teresa J. Bradshaw
Mauricio Maia MD
Secretary, Portuguese Language Region
Rubens N. Belfort MD PhD
Associate Secretary, Portuguese Language Region
The PAAO Staff
Teresa J. Bradshaw
PAAO/PAOF Executive Director
IT and Graphic Design