San Francisco, CA—The American Academy of Ophthalmology (Academy) is one of only 21 organizations nationally to receive an Award of Excellence for its Task Force on Haiti Recovery work from the ASAE and The Center for Association Leadership as part of their Associations Advance America (AAA) program.
The Academy's Task Force on Haiti Recovery was created to respond to the urgent and ongoing need for quality eye care in Haiti and to coordinate ophthalmic recovery efforts. In cooperation with the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology (PAAO), the Task Force has coordinated donation and distribution of ophthalmic equipment and supplies to Haitian ophthalmologists, including several exam lanes (complete sets of the equipment needed to provide a thorough eye exam), thousands of doses of ophthalmic medication, surgical supplies, educational materials and much more. This out-pouring of support by the international ophthalmic community came in response to the Academy's initial campaign to provide portable eye units to Haiti. In total, the campaign solicited in-kind donations valued at more than one-half million U.S. dollars. In addition to the portable eye unit campaign, the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology established a Disaster Relief Fund to provide ophthalmic resources and facilitate much-needed patient care. All of the funds collected will be used for Haitian recovery efforts.
"Our receipt of this award is a testament to the dedication of our task force team and all of our partners who have, and continue to, contribute to this tremendous, critical, undertaking," said Jane Aguirre, vice president of Global Alliances for the Academy.
"The Academy's program truly embodies the spirit of the AAA campaign. It is an honor and an inspiration to showcase this activity as an example of the many contributions associations are making to advance American society," remarked 2009-2010 AAA Committee Chair Ping Wei, director of educational opportunities for the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Now in its 20th year, the prestigious AAA awards program recognizes associations that propel America forward—with innovative projects in education, skills training, standards-setting, business and social innovation, knowledge creation, citizenship, and community service. Although association activities have a powerful impact on everyday life, they often go unnoticed by the general public.
About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons—Eye M.D.s—with more than 29,000 members worldwide. Eye health care is provided by the three "O's" – opticians, optometrists and ophthalmologists. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who can treat it all: eye diseases and injuries, and perform eye surgery. To find an Eye M.D. in your area, visit the Academy's Web site at www.aao.org.