Message from the PAOF Chair

Sep 22, 2020From the PAOF Chair

Dear Colleagues:

The year 2020 will be long-remembered in the history books. I remember in my childhood learning in school about England and their famous motto from World War II: “Keep Calm and Carry On.” No one knew how long World War II was going to last and it became a quest of endurance. Everyone’s capabilities were tested no matter your social station in life. Fast forward to present day and it seems that we are all reliving those same challenges brought before us with the pandemic of COVID-19.

Through these challenging times, I see that our Pan-American spirit has prevailed and even is expanding. Because of modern technology, we are able to keep in touch with our family, friends and colleagues. I have witnessed so many examples of generosity among my colleagues. I have seen colleagues reaching out to support each other and particularly to young ophthalmologists who are just starting out. Mentoring in this difficult time helps to show that we are not alone.

Quoting from a famous British actress, Angela Lansbury, “It’s better to be busy than to be busy worrying.” Now is the time that we need to put energy into recovery. We need to rebuild and to continue to support one another.

One important way to support one another is through the Pan-American. We continue to need your help and no amount of support is too small. We are sure that the spirit of Pan-Americanism will prevail in the times to come. We are counting on your support to help us accomplish our mission of continuing training and education, prevention of blindness and cultural exchange.

We want everyone to be and stay in good health. The rules have not changed: frequently wash your hands with hot, soapy water for at least 20 seconds. For those in the medical profession, we need to follow all the safety protocols which include, but not limited to, wearing PPE’s and social distancing.

I close this message with wishing you all well. Take care and stay connected. Help your families and senior citizens. Only by working together will we surmount this challenge.


Jorge E. Valdez MD PhD
President, Pan-American Ophthalmological Foundation (PAOF)