PAAO President’s Message

March 2022

Miguel N. Burnier Jr. MD PhD
PAAO President, 2019-2022

Dear Friends & Colleagues,

Imagine all the people

Living life in peace.

You may say I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one.

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will be as one.”

– John Lennon

The time has come for me to send my final message as President of the PAAO. Having reflected on the last few years, I am very grateful for my time as your President. It has been a true honor. I am very proud of what we have accomplished together as a Society and what is still yet to come.

There is no doubt that it has been a difficult few years in the world, dealing with the struggles of an ongoing pandemic. The pandemic forced us to work and conduct ourselves in different ways in our clinical, research and academic fields, as well as in our daily life. It has showed us how resilient we can be. Now also facing the struggles of an unexpected war in Ukraine. In time of war, the truth is always the first victim. I am hoping the leaders will get together and we will have a peaceful resolution.

During these extraordinary times, I am particularly proud of the PAAO for our quick adjustment to all our virtual webinars, in large thanks to Eduardo Viteri, Eduardo Mayorga and Helena Filipe.  I am also very proud of the PAAO-YO and their impressive growth over the last few years.  

I would like to express a large, heartfelt thanks to Teresa, Terri and with the big help of Krista and Mapy, for their hard work, administrative support and wonderful discussions.

A grateful thanks to my Vice-President Peter McDonnell and the rest of my Executive Committee, Paulo Dantas, Fernando Arevalo, Angela Fernandez, Carol Karp, Teresa Bradshaw, Pablo Daponte, Mauricio Maia, Paul Chan, Valentina Franco Cardenas, Rubens N. Belfort Neto III and Jorge Valdez, in particular to our “petit comité” who meet every Monday evening. Thank you also to my Board of Directors for all their support.

I know that the PAAO will be in great hands with Paulo as President and Helena as Vice President. I look forward to being present under their leadership as immediate Past President. I am also delighted that Carol Karp has accepted to be the President- Elect. The PAAO’s future is bright.

I have learned great lessons, being part of the PAAO as its President, in particular the collegiality of the decisions made, the generosity and solidarity of the PAAO members, as well as the great work of the PAAO-YO representing the present and the future of our Organization. I do hope that others will follow; learning that only, the pursuit of diversity and equality through solidarity will make a better society. The best way to pursue those dreams is within organizations like the PAAO.

I look forward to seeing you all in Buenos Aires for the PAAO-CAO Congress, March 17-20, 2023.

On a very personal note, once again, many thanks for this honor of being your President.

Please be safe.

With affection and admiration,

Miguel N. Burnier Jr., MD, MSc, PhD, FRCSC
PAAO President



2022-2025 PAAO Executive Committee
Top row (left to right): Paulo E.C. Dantas (Brazil), President; Helena Filipe (Portugal), Vice President; Carol Karp (USA), President-elect; Miguel Burnier (Canada), Past President; Angela Fernandez (Colombia), Executive Vice President; and R.V. Paul Chan (USA), Secretary, English
Middle row (left to right): Jorge Fortun (USA), Associate Secretary, English; Camila Ventura (Brazil), Associate Secretary, Portuguese; Rubens N. Belfort (Brazil), Secretary, Portuguese; Pablo Daponte (Argentina), Secretary, Spanish; Valentina Franco Cardenas (Mexico), Associate Secretary, Spanish; Fernando Arevalo (USA). PAOF Chair
Bottom row; Teresa Bradshaw (USA), Executive Director; Staff: Terri Grassi (USA); Mapy Padilla (Peru); Krista Jonas (USA)