Skip to main content
  • In a Challenging Year, Our Donors Went Above and Beyond

    COVID-19 threw a curveball into everyone’s plans. Yet, thanks to the extraordinary generosity of our donors, the American Academy of Ophthalmology Foundation was able to not only meet, but exceed our goals. Your benevolence closed our campaign for the new museum, created the most successful Orbital Gala ever and ensured that elderly and at-risk populations got the sight-saving care they need.

    Ever optimistic, we’re future-focused, supporting programs that make a difference for patients, practices and communities for generations to come.

    Read below for highlights of donor generosity that elevated our programs in the past year.


    Letter From the CEO

    Dear friends and colleagues:

    This will be my last opportunity to contribute to the annual report of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

    In this, my final such letter, it’s only fitting to highlight not the funding, the fundraising, or even individual initiatives. Rather, I wish to celebrate the people behind the Foundation. While the Academy Board of Trustees also serves as the Foundation board, the president and chair of the Foundation Advisory Board provides overall guidance.

                    Dr. Skuta

    Letter From the Chair

    Dear Colleagues and Friends:

    Although we continue to be impacted by a lingering pandemic, the American Academy of Ophthalmology and its Foundation have much to celebrate as we reflect on 2021.

    In a year marked by transitions, we welcome David E.I. Pyott, the former chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Allergan, as the new president of the Foundation Advisory Board (FAB). We also thank Tony McClellan for his outstanding service as the FAB chair from 2010 to 2020 and Dr. David W. Parke II for his extraordinary 12-year tenure (2009 to 2021) as the Academy’s CEO.


    Letter From the President

    Dear Colleagues and Friends,

    I have been involved with the Academy Foundation for over 20 years, originally when I was Chairman & CEO of Allergan, and more recently as a philanthropist involved in education and training of ophthalmologists, particularly in the lower- and middle-income countries of this world.


    Timely, Curated Clinical Content Fed ONE Network Growth—Free for Academy Members

    If you haven’t checked out the Academy’s Ophthalmic News and Education (ONE®) Network recently, we invite you to do so now. The world’s largest compendium of online ophthalmic resources continues to grow, with new videos, podcasts, images, assessments, simulations, journals and news added regularly. Recent additions include the entire Focal Points® archive and The Wills Eye Manual. Don’t have much time? Challenge yourself with a weekly Diagnose This case or watch a 1-Minute Video. All ONE Network resources are free to Academy members, thanks to generous donor contributions.


    The IRIS Registry Celebrated 7 Years—A Source of Great Pride for Ophthalmologists

    The IRIS® Registry (Intelligent Research in Sight) was established as a profession-wide clinical data registry to be used principally as a quality improvement tool, but with the potential to report under Medicare programs and to contribute to the science of ophthalmology. Now, celebrating its seventh birthday, the IRIS Registry supports 62 electronic health record systems and boasts nearly 400 million patient encounters from about 20% of the U.S. population. In 2017–2020, it had a direct economic value of $1 billion in MIPS penalty avoidance. Unlike many other societies, the Academy offers our registry as a free member benefit, thanks to donor support.


    Our Amazing Donors Gave Life to the New Museum of the Eye®

    Three years ago, the Foundation established an audacious goal to raise $12 million to build the first free, publicly accessible museum of the eye, vision and ophthalmic heritage at Academy headquarters in San Francisco. We reached our goal during the 2020 Orbital Gala and could not have done it without our donors’ benevolence. We’ve now opened the Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye® to the public, who can see antiquarian medical tomes, glasses made of whale baleen, and Egyptian eye amulets; and can use virtual reality to take a “walking tour” through the eye and visualize the effects of blinding eye diseases.


    Even a Pandemic Didn’t Stop Global Outreach Efforts

    Though we’re an American society, the Academy’s mission is to protect sight and empower lives around the world—and even COVID-19 can’t stop us. Through our Education Distribution Project, our kindhearted donors helped provide hundreds of Basic and Clinical Science Course (BCSC®) sets to ophthalmology training programs in developing countries, including the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital at Bayero University in Nigeria (pictured). In fiscal year ending 2021, we also granted ONE Network access to 89,402 ophthalmologists in 96 countries, with a third of them logging in and claiming CME credit nearly 17,000 times.


    We Continued the Legacy of Service in Our Local Communities

    Despite the pandemic, 4,853 EyeCare America® volunteer ophthalmologists took 5,543 referrals for eye exams for at-risk seniors and others. One of those volunteers was Douglas Wilson, MD. His patient, Genida White, had sight-saving cataract surgery in both eyes, just in time to celebrate Thanksgiving. She went from reading just two lines of the Snellen chart to easily reading all lines—an improvement that paid off in her weekly bowling games. Thanks to our donors’ charitable gifts, EyeCare America volunteers are improving their patients’ quality of life and, in many cases, saving their sight. You, too, can become a volunteer today.


    Donor Spotlight

    Jane C. Edmond, MD

    I have been honored to serve the Academy over the past 30 years, ranging from committee member to Trustee at Large. The Academy has had a tremendous impact on me personally and professionally, and the Honor a Mentor campaign was the perfect way to pay tribute to the individual who has had equal and immeasurable impact on me — Dr. Dan B. Jones.


     Donor Spotlight

    Stella L. Luo, MD and Sunir J. Garg, MD

    Of all the incredible things the Academy does, its ability to provide relevant, high quality, trustworthy educational information remains most important to us, and the Foundation supports that mission.

    The ONE Network has become an indispensable part of our education — and it's critical to ophthalmologists around the world. We have easy access to colleagues who are subspecialty experts and we get to learn from them every day.


    Donor Spotlight

    James V. Mazzo

    Just as it is important to eat, exercise and sleep well on a consistent basis, it is important to enrich our profession consistently. We are in an exciting era of medicine, and the research and support we give to the ophthalmology community always pays itself back tenfold. We are privileged to help millions live better lives, and the Academy Foundation plays a proud role in this quest to improve health.


    Thank You, Donors

    The Academy Foundation is extremely grateful for the generous support we receive from our private and corporate donors. Especially in these challenging times, we celebrate your devotion to championing our educational, quality-of-care and service programs. The fruits of your patronage are reflected in the appreciative patients our members serve every day.

    View the list of our donors. (PDF)

    View the list of our corporate and institutional supporters. (PDF)


    Financial Contributions & Statements

    Fiscal Year End 2021 (April 1, 2020 - March 31, 2021)

    • Foundation Contributions - FYE 2021
    • Statement of Financial Position
    • Statement of Activity and Changes in Net Assets

    View all. (PDF)

    Give the Gift of Sight

    Eight out of 10 Americans fear losing their sight, and for many people, sight is the sense they would most hate to lose. Our donors make it possible for the Academy to deliver best-in-class ophthalmic education and services to protect sight and empower lives. Eighty cents of every dollar are dedicated to Academy programs. Join us by making a gift today.

    Donate Now

    The Foundation can help you meet your charitable-giving needs through your support of the Academy and its important mission. Contact Foundation staff to discuss outright cash gifts, pledges, matching gifts, securities, real estate, life insurance or financial/estate planning.