• Leading Ophthalmology Organizations Team up to Support Hurricane Survivors

    American Academy of Ophthalmology and Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology create relief fund to get vital services to people who need it

    SAN FRANCISCO and Arlington, TEXAS — The American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology today announced that they are establishing a Hurricane Relief Fund in response to the devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Katia.

    The goal is to help those in affected areas – who have suffered unimaginable loss – get the vital services and help they need.

    The organizations are seeking contributions from their combined 35,000 members, with 100 percent of donations going to Americares.

    Americares is a non-profit disaster relief and global health organization providing immediate response to emergency medical needs and supporting long-term health care initiatives for people in the United States and around the world.

    Americares was chosen because more than 97 percent of all donations directly improve the health of people in need, while less than 3 percent are used for administration and overhead. For every $10 donated, Americares can provide $200 in aid.

    "We extend our thoughts and prayers to the people who have been affected by the catastrophic winds and rain associated with Hurricane Harvey and Irma,” said David W. Parke II, MD, CEO of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “We are eager to help and support the work of Americares.”

    Right now Americares is responding to the urgent needs of people in Hurricane Irma’s path. And they are still in Texas, distributing water, aid and mobilizing medical outreach with local partners.

    “We are lucky to partner with the Academy to help the Americas in these difficult times,” said J. Fernando Arevalo, MD, FACS, president of the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology. “We know of many patients in the Caribbean who are dealing with dual devastation, eyesight problems, and the hurricane. Our colleagues are struggling to get back on their feet to treat their patients after the destruction caused by Irma. Victims from Harvey in Texas, from Katia, which struck the east coast of Mexico, and the earthquake in Mexico, are also in our minds and prayers.”

    About the American Academy of Ophthalmology

    The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. A global community of 32,000 medical doctors, we protect sight and empower lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for our patients and the public. We innovate to advance our profession and to ensure the delivery of the highest-quality eye care. Our EyeSmart® program provides the public with the most trusted information about eye health. For more information, visit aao.org.

    About the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology

    With members in more than 26 countries around the world, the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology offers the unique opportunity to reach across borders and cultures to educate and exchange knowledge, to collaborate, and to build lifelong relationships with other ophthalmologists in the Americas who are deeply committed to sharing new ways to standardize and advance ophthalmic knowledge and skills for the improvement of patient care.  For more information see www.paao.org.