• Foundation

    Supporting Programs Benefiting All Ophthalmologists

    The 2015 gala honored Marilyn T. Miller, MD, a distinguished pediatric ophthalmologist and leader who has served on the Academy’s Board of Trustees and the Foundation Advisory Board. Left to right: Event Chair Ruth D. Williams, MD; Dr. Miller; and Dr. Morse.

    "As I begin my third year with the Foundation, I’m happy to report that thanks to you, we had another successful year in 2015," said Foundation Advisory Board Chair Christie L. Morse, MD. "We had a record 195 first-time donors, and our family of supporters is growing steadily. We can’t do this without you!"

    For more than 30 years, the Academy Foundation has supported the organization’s educational, quality-of-care and service programs. In 2015, the Foundation raised more than $3.5 million to fund key initiatives including the IRIS Registry, ONE Network, global outreach programs, EyeCare America® and the Museum of Vision®. These programs would not be possible without Foundation funding and the benevolence of Academy members.

    “I recognize the tremendous resource the Academy has established through the ONE Network,” said John S. Jarstad, MD. “My gifts to the Foundation are used to help where the need is greatest. I can't imagine a greater legacy – to help educate residents worldwide who will carry the torch in providing quality eye care long after I'm gone.”

    2015 Foundation initiatives included:

    The ONE Network Campaign: The Foundation launched a campaign to raise $10 million in funds for the second major phase of ONE Network development. This phase will provide access to more ophthalmologists globally, ensuring they have the educational tools to improve care and enable patients to live full, healthy lives. Through the generosity of ophthalmic industry, foundations and individual donors, the Foundation already has raised more than 60 percent of its campaign goal.

    The Foundation’s annual fundraiser, the Orbital Gala, celebrated its 12th anniversary at AAO 2015 with a masquerade ball at the Wynn Las Vegas. Nearly 350 guests in festive masks enjoyed a reception,silent auction, dinner, dancing and live entertainment. The Orbital Gala has become the premiere social event at the annual meeting. Since its inception, the event has raised more than $1.8 million in support of the Academy’s programs.

    The Foundation enables the Academy to deliver state-of-the-art ophthalmic education and services to improve all individuals’ quality of life. Learn more about the many convenient ways to give and make a gift today. To see how the Academy Foundation makes a difference, view our new video.

    Supporting Eye Care in Nepal After Devastating Earthquake

    With Academy support, member Pravin U. Dugel, MD, (right) set up a fund to support the Tilganga Eye Hospital and distribute food, medicine and shelter in Nepal’s most distant and severely damaged areas. The Academy also established a fund to further support Dr. Dugel’s and others’ efforts to restore eye care capabilities in Nepal.

    After the devastating 7.8-magnitudeearthquake that struck Nepal on April 25, 2015, the Academy and its Foundation established the Nepal Eye Care Relief Fund. This fund supports efforts to deliver much needed eye care to the people of Nepal. The earthquake took thousands of lives and affected millions more.

    Nepal’s eye-care needs preceded the earthquake. Approximately 93,400 people in this mountainous Himalayan country are blind, and more than 280,000 have low vision, largely due to preventable or treatable causes. In a country with more than 30 million people but fewer than 200 ophthalmologists, many Nepalese struggle to get the eye care they need. In the aftermath of the earthquake, patients found it even more difficult to get treatment that could help save their vision.

    To assist with recovery efforts, the Academy worked with long-standing partners at the Nepal Ophthalmic Society and Nepal Netra Jyoti Sangh, an in-country non-governmental organization for eye care, to provide support. The Academy has collaborated with both groups for many years to provide vital clinical education resources to Nepalese ophthalmologists to improve patient care.

    “By working closely with our colleagues in Nepal, we will support the re-establishment of critical eye care services and education through this challenging time,” said David W. Parke II, MD, CEO of the Academy. “We know that helping our Nepalese colleagues rebuild their eye care practices will have a ripple effect across the rest of this devastated population.”

    All of the funds collected through the Nepal Eye Care Relief Fund were used to rebuild capacity to deliver eye care in Nepal.