• Empowering Patients Through Your Hands


    In an election year we are reminded that polls matter. And polls consistently show that a majority of Americans fear losing their vision more than any of their other senses. Feeling vulnerable, that patient turns to us to treat their most valued sense. Our access to the latest knowledge profoundly impacts each life we encounter. With each patient visit we are reminded why we chose medicine as a career in the first place—to save sight and empower lives.

    I am proud of the Academy’s Foundation, which, for more than 30 years, has worked with you, our donors, to create the innovative programs which enhance your ability to serve patients. Programs supported by the Foundation ensure the Academy’s capability to affect patients and their families around the world for years to come.

    Outcomes are measured in a variety of ways. On a basic human level, there is no more important outcome than that of the patient in our office whose cataract is removed so that full sight is restored or the child whose eyesight is threatened, but thanks to you, can now see his/her parents. The ONE Network, the IRIS Registry, global outreach, EyeCare America, the Museum of Vision, and so many more Academy programs enable all of us to treat our patients with the latest information, best quality care and efficiency through technology. Without the Foundation’s effort, these programs would not be possible. 

    Last year, Foundation donors stepped up to support the ONE Network and its 87,000+ users. Dr. Roy D. Brod described the ONE Network as “a treasure chest of clinically relevant information” that is a “major contributor to outstanding patient care.” Dr. Brod, Dr. Stephen D. McLeod and many others contribute so that our colleagues around the world benefit from the constantly updated educational content on the ONE Network.

    Donors supported Dr. Flora Lum and her team to create the uniquely innovative IRIS Registry. The success of the registry continues to exceed all expectations. More than 100 million patient visits have been amassed in just the past two years. Quality patient care and practice efficiency are just two of the major benefits which impact the patient directly.

    Foundation donors impact each global outreach program, providing 35,000+ ophthalmologists in developing countries with the critical educational materials they need and cannot otherwise afford. In Bangladesh an ophthalmologist depended on this program to “gain a complete understanding of OCT diagnosis” and without this program was “unaware of this modern technique.” That is front line patient care made possible by Foundation donors.

    Foundation programs—EyeCare America, the Museum of Vision, disaster relief programs, the Rotary Club Host Project, and many others—reflect that we as ophthalmologists care about patients who we will never meet, but whom we are compelled to serve.

    Our community of ophthalmologists give in so many ways. Never before have the changes in technology and healthcare advanced so far in so short a time. Giving to the Foundation will enable every sightsaving procedure to be done with top quality knowledge at our fingertips.

    The Foundation is ophthalmology at its finest. Please partner with the Foundation this year and enable its impact to be felt more broadly and more deeply than ever before, through your hands to your patients. Thank you.

    David W. Parke II, MD, CEO
    American Academy of Ophthalmology