Message from the PAOF Chair
J. Fernando Arevalo MD PhD
PAOF Chair, 2021-2024
with Miguel Burnier, PAAO President 2019-2022
with Angela Fernandez, PAAO Executive Vice President, and Paulo Dantas, PAAO President 2022-2025
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID 19) has turned 2019-2022 into a difficult period for all of us, the world, and our Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology (PAAO) could not escape to its consequences. This pandemic precluded us to have our vital in person Pan-American Congress in 2021 and then again in 2022. Only in 2023, will we be able to get together again in Buenos Aires, Argentina for our Pan-American Congress. Efforts from the whole PAAO EC, our amazing staff, and President Dr. Miguel Burnier has kept us in the right path. With his leadership, Dr. Burnier, guided us though the storm and the PAAO was able to maintain the same level of excellence that we are accustomed to with our e-learning committee leading the way thanks to Drs. Eduardo Mayorga, Eduardo Viteri, and Helena Filipe; and so many speakers from The Americas that we are thankful for, including many PAAO YO members. We thank Miguel for his guidance, leadership, creativity, generosity, and tremendous courage, and broad knowledge so important during these trying times. Luckily, Miguel is not going anywhere and will continue to be part of the PAAO EC as our Past-president to share his wisdom and contribute with our team to Dr. Paulo Dantas’ success.
Next month, in an unprecedented virtual ceremony, Dr. Paulo Dantas will become our new PAAO President. I am sure he will be able to follow on the footsteps of the many giants that preceded him including Dr. Burnier. Paulo with his determination, lion’s heart, proven loyalty to PAAO, and tireless efforts will be the president during our congress in Buenos Aires and next PAAO term 2022-2025 and will count with an amazing team that will lead him and PAAO to success. Dr. Burnier and Dr. Pablo Daponte will be co-presidents of the congress in Buenos Aires that promises to be a resounding success where we (ophthalmology and The Americas) will be reunited again in-person. We will all work together to secure a successful social and scientific reunion in Argentina. We miss seeing all our friends in person and it is time to get together!
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 (https://paao.org/paof/donate/) throughout the year. The more gifts donated, the more support the Foundation can provide to PAAO programs.
The goal is to meet again at our XXVI Pan-American Regional Course in conjunction with Bascom Palmer’s XLIV Inter-American Course (CURSO) October 16-19, 2022 in Miami, FL, and of course our XXXV Pan-American Congress of Ophthalmology, March 17-20, 2023 in Buenos Aires Argentina! It’s at these two meetings where ophthalmology from all the Americas come together to meet and you cannot miss that!
J. Fernando Arevalo MD PhD FACS FASRS
Pan-American Ophthalmological Foundation (PAOF)