Message from the PAOF Chair

Jul 25, 2023

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

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The word philanthropy comes from Ancient Greek φιλανθρωπία (philanthrōpía) ‘love of humanity’, from phil– “love, fond of” and anthrōpos” humankind, mankind”. Philanthropy involves charitable giving to worthy causes on a large scale, but it is much more than just a charitable donation. Philanthropy is an effort an individual or organization undertakes based on an altruistic desire to improve human welfare, and wealthy individuals sometimes establish private foundations to facilitate their philanthropic efforts. I cannot think of a PAAO member who has not been a philanthropist in their hearts since medical school. Again, it is not only giving money but it includes the time an effort we donate every day to help our patients whether or not we get paid.

In this issue of e-vision, I would like to congratulate and recognize a major PAAO philanthropist couple this month. David & Molly Pyott have devoted their life to The David and Molly Pyott Foundation which is a private U.S.-based charitable foundation dedicated to achieving three major goals: teaching and educating ophthalmologists worldwide to provide better eye care; improving care for disabled individuals; and enabling youth secure employment. The Pyott Foundation has generously supported the PAAO and PAOF over many decades.

David Pyott was the CEO of Allergan, a pharmaceutical company, from 1998 to 2015, when Allergan was acquired by Actavis. Allergan, through David’s support, became a major sponsor of ophthalmology in The Americas with awards, scholarships and travel grants for our young ophthalmologists. David and Molly continue today supporting the PAAO and PAOF in many ways both through philanthropy, and David dedicating his time and expertise with the PAOF financial committee.

Following the Pyott’s example, the PAOF continues to work tirelessly and supports the PAAO membership, particularly our young/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 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 XXVII Pan-American Regional Course of Ophthalmology, March 14-18, 2024 in San Juan, Puerto Rico! XXXVI Pan-American Congress of Ophthalmology, May 30-June 2, 2025 in Bogota, Colombia! It’s at these superb meetings where ophthalmology from all the Americas come together to meet and you cannot miss that!


Dr. Fernando Arévalo
PAOF President