PAAO President’s Message

June 2021

Dear Friends & Colleagues,

“I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.”

–       Helen Keller


“True friends are never apart, maybe in distance but never in heart.”

–       Helen Keller

I hope everyone is keeping well and staying safe. Today I thought I would share the importance of friendship amongst our colleagues. On this subject, I would like to highlight how important our weekly Monday evening executive team meetings are. I am very thankful to our team; Paulo Dantas, Fernando Arevalo, Angela Fernandez, Teresa Bradshaw, Terri Grassi, representatives of the PAAO-YO and various invited guests. Each and every Monday evening, we all meet together virtually for fruitful discussion and to make decisions on different topics together as a group of colleagues and as a group of friends.

 The discussions at these meetings revolve around key factors to enable us at the PAAO to come up with a strategic plan as a result of the COVID-19 impact in 2020 and 2021. As you are all aware of the many special projects that were developed such as; VIS, webinars, discounted membership rates, virtual PARD, as well as the move of the Arlington PAAO headquarters. These crucial decisions were all thought of, discussed and organized in our weekly meetings. We were all so pleased that these new initiatives were so well received. Excellent high quality online education is now more readily available, record breaking attendance in our various events such as VIS and Lo Mejor de la Academia, an increase in our PAJO publications, citations and readers, as well as an increase in our PAAO-YO activities and membership, are all among some of our best highlights from 2020-2021. None of this would have been possible, without our weekly meeting and collaborative group work. 

This shows the importance of a cohesive and friendly working environment with colleagues who support each other and who can come together to be even stronger during difficult times.

Please stay safe and well and remember that we must show solidarity, generosity and kindness now more than ever.

With best wishes,

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

PAAO President