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  • The Generosity of Our Donors Ensured a Year of Success

    Despite challenging times, our donors chose to give back to the profession and our patients, ensuring that the American Academy of Ophthalmology Foundation accomplished a great many things. We opened the doors of the Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye®; launched a new campaign to build a state-of-the-art meeting center named for former CEO (Chief Executive Officer) David W. Parke II, MD; supported EyeCare America®, increased funding for the Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring program; innovated to educate on the Ophthalmic News and Education (ONE®) Network; and so much more. We hope you take immense pride in the ways your generosity helped all of us be extraordinary.


    Letter From the CEO

    Dear Friends and Colleagues:

    We are pleased to share with you our Foundation Annual Report and the importance and impact of your support. The American Academy of Ophthalmology delivers on its commitment to protecting sight and empowering lives for our patients through the support of education across the entire span of training and practice, quality of care and the research that informs it, professional development for our community and our leadership in public health and public policy. It is the Foundation that helps to sustain these programs and allows us to innovate and develop the initiatives that lead us into new and important areas of service.

                    Dr. Skuta

    Letter From the Chair

    Dear Colleagues and Friends:

    In reflecting on the enormous ongoing impact of the American Academy of Ophthalmology Foundation, I first would like to thank David W. Parke II, MD, for his outstanding leadership in advancing the growth and mission-based focus of the Foundation during his 13-year tenure as the Academy’s CEO. I also would like to welcome our new CEO, Dr. Stephen D. McLeod, who already is introducing insightful new perspectives and ideas as we reimagine the future of the Foundation.


    Letter From the President

    Dear Colleagues and Friends,

    I am delighted to report on another impactful year for the activities of the Foundation. Building on the long-term successes of past initiatives, anchored around the Ophthalmic News and Education (ONE) Network, the IRIS Registry and EyeCare America, the Foundation has continued expanding into adjacent areas, often anticipating new emerging issues well in advance of attention by the mainstream. An example of this is the Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring Program. Initially launched in 2016 in collaboration with the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology, it started with only 25 mentees before diversity, equity and inclusion became a regular topic of organizational governance and media focus. During 2020 and COVID-19, the program pivoted to virtual delivery and expanded to 50 students. In the past year, over 100 qualified applicants were accepted.


    The Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring Program—Increasing Diversity, Improving Patient Care

    The Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring program aims to increase diversity in ophthalmology by helping qualified students who are underrepresented in medicine become competitive ophthalmology residency applicants. Public health evidence reveals that access to care improves when the physician community reflects the population at large. The Foundation launched a campaign to raise $1 million for the Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring program. We raised more than $200,000 in 2021, getting us off to a good start. This campaign will help build a physician membership that more accurately reflects the demographics of the patients we serve—protecting more patients’ sight and empowering more lives as we reach more patients across a broader spectrum of cultural groups and languages.


    Building and Strengthening Relationships with the Parke Center

    The Academy is building a new conference center at Academy headquarters that will enhance our ability to build and strengthen relationships with ophthalmic leaders and key partners. Named after former CEO David W. Parke II, MD, the Parke Center will leverage existing plans to upgrade the current courtyard and adjacent spaces. Thank you to our founding fund partners, the Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Co. and David and Molly Pyott, and all our generous supporters to date. The Foundation seeks to raise $2.5 million to create this new jewel and to date has raised over $1.4 million dollars. Join our donor wall today and be acknowledged as a founder in the future.


    The IRIS Registry—Harnessing Data From 22% of U.S. Population

    The IRIS Registry (Intelligent Research in Sight) was established almost eight years ago 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, the IRIS Registry boasts over 440 million patient visits from about 22% of the U.S. population. In 2017–2021, it had a direct economic value of $1.4 billion in MIPS penalty avoidance. Unlike many other societies, the Academy offers our registry as a free member benefit, thanks to donor support.


    The Museum of the Eye Welcomes Thousands of Visitors

    The Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye has fascinated thousands of people from all over the world during its first year being open to the public. Visitors can enjoy the permanent displays and this year’s special exhibit, “Spectacular Spectacles,” including a hands-on learning experience with the museum’s touch collection. Our museum has rave reviews on travel websites and social media and visitors have contributed beautiful drawings of eyes, letters of thanks and stories about how ophthalmology has affected their lives. You can find a video of these messages on our blog and YouTube channel.


    Impacting Global Communities Through the Power of Knowledge

    The Academy Foundation provides training materials to help new ophthalmologists make a positive impact in their community, no matter where they live or practice. Through our Education Distribution Project, our kindhearted donors, in partnership with the Ophthalmology Foundation, provided over 100 Basic and Clinical Science Course (BCSC) sets to ophthalmology training programs in developing countries, including the Lumbini Medical College Teaching Hospital in Nepal (pictured). In the fiscal year ending 2022, we also granted ONE Network access to over 90,000 ophthalmologists in 98 developing countries, with a third of them logging in and claiming CME credit over 17,500 times.


    Continuing a Legacy of Service in Our Local Communities

    In 2021, the EyeCare America program received 7,403 referrals for at-risk seniors and others who received no-cost eye exams and resources.

    “I discovered EyeCare America while searching for an eye exam I could afford. My eyes had not been examined for well over a decade and reading and driving had become increasingly difficult. EyeCare America gave me a referral to an excellent ophthalmologist. I received an extremely thorough eye exam, the best of my life at no cost to me. I am retired and very active and the quality of my life has much improved.”
    - Alana Minor, Aurora, CO


     Donor Spotlight

    J. Ricardo Castanon-Moreno, MD

    My ophthalmology life story began years ago at the lnstituta Barraquer in Barcelona, Spain. I was fortunate to be a part of the 1976 Basic Science Course of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. I may have been one of the few Latin American students to be able to be a part of that program.


    Donor Spotlight

    Cathleen M. McCabe, MD

    I believe it is our privilege and responsibility to support the efforts of the Academy Foundation. These funds will make a meaningful difference in areas of our profession that require a coordinated and continuous focus. I have been a consistent and enthusiastic supporter of the Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring program because underrepresentation in ophthalmology has been persistent and requires a coordinated effort to make appreciable change.


    Thank You, Donors

    The Academy Foundation is extremely grateful for the generous support we receive from our private and corporate donors. 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 2022 (April 1, 2021 - March 31, 2022)

    • Foundation Contributions - FYE 2022
    • 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.