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  •     Gregory L. Skuta, MD
    Gregory L. Skuta, MD
    Chair, Foundation Advisory Board

    News From the Chair

    Spring 2023

    I write with deep appreciation for the support you, our members and key leaders in the ophthalmic industry have provided to the American Academy of Ophthalmology Foundation over the past year. Very special thanks go to the Sir Knights of the Knights Templar Eye Foundation for an extraordinary gift to launch a new virtual reality program for pediatric ophthalmology. Foundation fundraising drives new initiatives and creates innovative updates to all the major Academy programs we rely on to provide the best quality eye care to our patients. In celebrating the generous support for these efforts, we raise a glass to each one of you who steps up to serve.

    Under the leadership of the Foundation Advisory Board, we are focused on the future by raising funds to support two major campaigns now underway:

    The Parke Center will be a new conference facility at Academy headquarters, named to honor David W. Parke II, MD, our chief executive officer from 2009 to 2022. Thank you to our lead donors: Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Co. (OMIC) and David and Molly Pyott, and to over thirty members who have given in honor of Dr. Parke. The design phase is now underway.

    The Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring program is a great success. The Foundation is supporting the program with a $1 million campaign. Now in our second year of a five-year campaign, we are proud of the impact this program is having on medical students around the country.  Over 300 ophthalmologist volunteers are currently giving their time to the program. On Match Day in February 2023, we learned that 16 out of 16 applicants supported by the program matched into ophthalmology residencies across the country.

    Membership Has Many Privileges – Join the 1896 Legacy Society Today!

    In March, William L. Rich III, MD, wrote to many of you regarding the benefits of making an estate gift to the Foundation by becoming a member of our 1896 Legacy Society. This is an easy and simple way to give back to the Foundation. Members who join before July 1 will receive the following recognition and benefits:

    • 1896 Legacy Society members will be acknowledged in the Academy Foundation’s 2022-23 annual report and on our website.
    • One complimentary ticket to The Orbital 2023: Gold Rush (formerly the Orbital Gala) at AAO 2023 ($300 value) in San Francisco on Nov. 5.
    • Invitation to an 1896 Legacy Society member event during AAO 2023.

    To make a commitment, just complete our 1896 Legacy Society Form – that is all that is required! Need more information? Contact Todd Lyckberg at 415.447.0361 or Visit our website and view the names of colleagues who have made a commitment as 1896 Legacy Society Members.

    The Orbital Gold Rush!

    Get your gold on and join your friends at the Foundation’s major fundraiser of the year. Christie L. Morse, MD, and The Orbital committee are planning a fun 20th anniversary event Sun., Nov. 5, at San Francisco’s iconic St. Francis Heights room, 32nd floor, Westin St. Francis Hotel.  Enjoy delicious food and great drinks, see old friends and Academy leaders – all while you bid on unique “must have” items.

    This year’s Orbital Honorees are philanthropists David and Molly Pyott.  We will also toast the Academy’s 2023 Artemis Award recipient selected by the Senior Ophthalmologist Committee. 

    The Academy’s Leadership Development Program (LDP) will be the beneficiary of this year’s fundraising efforts.

    Tickets go on sale June 21.

    Thank you again for your continued support of the Academy Foundation. Contact me any time at

    Warmest regards,

    Gregory L. Skuta, MD
    Chair, Foundation Advisory Board

    Questions for the Foundation? Contact Tina McGovern, Executive Director, at or +1 415.561.8508.