Message from the PAOF Chair

Nov 22, 2021From the PAOF Chair

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

Dear All:

It’s been quite a couple of years in the grip of the SARS CoV-2 pandemic. We saw the development and introduction of an incredibly effective vaccine, monoclonal antibody infusions and the development of oral treatment for the disease that also looks highly successful. We thank our clinician-scientist working overtime to help humanity. Even though our in-person meetings have been put on hold with this pandemic, the PAAO has made all efforts to maintain our education at the maximum level with our eLearning programs. We have to thank our leader Miguel Burnier, all the PAAO Executive Committee, our eLearning team: Eduardo Viteri, Eduardo Mayorga and Helena Filipe, and our staff Teresa Bradshaw, Terri Grassi, Krista Jonas, and Mapy Padilla. What a dream team!

And that’s what PAAO and the PAOF are all about, isn’t it? Developing and sharing new knowledge for The Americas.

I’m so excited and honored to chair the PAOF from 2021-2024. After 29 years as an active member of the Pan-American Association and 14 years in the Executive Committee, I believe this is the right time to continue serving our beloved organization in this new role. My connections all over the world will help significantly increase the internationalization, and globalization awareness and presence of the Pan-American and PAOF. My emphasis will be on fundraising for educational and academic collaboration with institutions all over the world and to create new opportunities for young ophthalmologists, and to support PAAO and its Educational Programs. We have great ideas to create new hybrid programs between LA and the USA so that our young ophthalmologists can gain experience from the best of both worlds. We want to create tributes to personalities and professors now and from the past that need recognition. We wish to increase our legacy funds opportunities to create new scholarships. Finally, we will revamp the Circle of Vision and create a fund raiser committee chaired by Bronwyn Bateman.

I want to thank Jorge Valdez, outgoing chair of the PAOF, for his amazing work for the past three years. More than half of it during the pandemic. He increased our programs and support of PAAO in every possible way. I come very humbled as new chair of the PAOF following on the footsteps of giants like Jorge and all before him. The list of giants is too long to mention here but it is a list of who is who in our field:

The PAOF continues to support the PAAO membership, particularly our junior/early-career members via various grants/awards, and opportunities through our travel awards, and scholarships.

We hope that PAAO members will generously support the Foundation ( especially now, but really throughout the year. The more gifts donated, the more support the Foundation can provide to PAAO programs.

Thank you all for the honor and opportunity to serve! You can count on me for anything you need specially in these trying times! It will be an honor to work with all of you and specially to serve our PAAO president, EC, membership and needs of the PAAO.

I look forward to seeing you soon as our community re-assembles October 16-19, 2022 in Miami, FL for our XXVI Pan-American Regional Course in conjunction with Bascom Palmer’s XLIV Inter-American Course (CURSO), and of course our XXXV Pan-American Congress of Ophthalmology, March 17-20, 2023 in Buenos Aires Argentina.

Thank you,

J. Fernando Arevalo MD PhD FACS FASRS

Pan-American Ophthalmological Foundation (PAOF)