Message from the PAOF Chair

Jan 24, 2023From the PAOF Chair, PAOF

J. Fernando Arevalo MD PhD
PAOF Chair, 2021-2024

Dear Friends,

As the year is only getting started, we look ahead to many Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology’s (PAAO) exciting activities with the support of the PAOF. With education as a core mission for the Pan-American, we just came back from our PAAO’s Curso de Liderazgo; we joined forces in the meeting with the Academy’s Leadership Development Program (LDP) in San Francisco, CA. It was an extraordinary event!

The Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology’s Curso de Liderazgo was created to prepare the future leaders of the PAAO at the national society level, subspecialty society level, and PAAO level. The program combines elements of mentoring, organizational education, skills training and guided experiences while covering the philosophy, principles and practice of leadership, as they each relate to national ophthalmic societies and to PAAO. I would like to personally thank Drs. Zelia Correa, Angela Fernandez, and Peter Quiros, and Mrs. Teresa Bradshaw and Terri Grasi for a superb course organization and moderation.

In 2022, PAAO asked ophthalmic societies to nominate an ophthalmologist who had demonstrated a commitment to their organization, had potential for growth, and would likely serve in a leadership capacity in the nominating society and potentially at PAAO. Many answered the call, and seventeen ophthalmologists from the Americas, the Caribbean and Europe were selected and agreed to participate in the 2022-2024 Curso de Liderazgo. During the Curso/LDP weekend, participants heard from a wide array of speakers and participated in interactive workshops on association management and leadership topics, including communication, media relations, negotiating effectively, team building and running efficient meetings.

After a full weekend of Curso activities, we were very impressed by the quality of the Curso and the participants as well. We now understand why so many of our national society presidents have been PAAO Curso alumnae.

The PAOF continues to work tirelessly and supports the PAAO membership, particularly our junior/early-career members via various grants/awards, and opportunities through our travel awards, and scholarships. We are in the process of creating more opportunities for you as we speak. We hope that PAAO members will generously support the Foundation ( throughout the year. No gift is small, donate what you can. The more gifts donated, the more support the Foundation can provide to PAAO programs.

The New Year is always a fresh start full of promises. The future is great if we stick together as a Pan-American community! We are better, stronger and the goal is to meet again at our XXXV Pan-American Congress of Ophthalmology, March 17-20, 2023 in Buenos Aires Argentina! It’s at these superb meeting where ophthalmology from all the Americas come together to meet and you cannot miss that!

Happy New Year!

Fernando Arevalo MD PhD

PAOF Chair