AAO foundation, programs celebrate anniversaries

January 6, 2010

The Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the fundraising arm of the AAO, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, as is its first program, the Museum of Vision. EyeCare America, a public service program of the foundation, is marking its 25th anniversary.

San Francsico

-The Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (FAAO), the fund-raising arm of the AAO, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, as is its first program, the Museum of Vision. EyeCare America, a public service program of the foundation, is marking its 25th anniversary.

The museum’s collection initially included literature, instruments, photographs, spectacles, and the AAO’s archive. Today, it houses 38,000 items related to ophthalmic history and has expanded its holdings to include art, furniture, stamps, coins, medals, memorabilia, and pharmaceuticals.

Over the years, EyeCare America, originally known as the National Eye Care Project, has helped connect more than 1 million people to resources, such as free eye health information, eye exams, and care, of which more than 90% is provided at no cost to the patient, according to the FAAO.

In 1991, the FAAO embarked on its first major fund-raising capital campaign to create an endowment that would provide research and development funding in perpetuity for new educational initiatives by the AAO for its members. The next year, the fund was named the Bruce E. Spivey, MD, Educational Trust Fund to honor the leadership of Dr. Spivey. Among the programs it has supported is the Ophthalmic News and Education network, launched in 2002.