Press Release

33rd Pan-American Congress of Ophthalmology

PRESS RELEASE: 33rd Pan-American Congress of Ophthalmology

The Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology (PAAO) celebrated its 33rd Pan-American Congress of Ophthalmology in Lima, Peru on August 9-12, 2017.   Over 3,400 ophthalmologists from 46 countries attended this meeting, marking a record breaking attendance.  Dr. José Antonio Roca presided as Congress President.  Dr. Francisco Contreras (Peru) presided as the Congress Honorary President and Dr. Juan Verdaguer (Chile) was the Congress Guest of Honor.

Presenting scientific material on state of the art topics in research and medical and surgical techniques in all subspecialties of Ophthalmology, the Pan-American Congress had over 1,200 speakers participating in over 211 symposia and courses, 238 Free Papers, 252 Posters, 34 scientific videos and 12 industry symposia.  The Scientific Program Committee was co-chaired by Dr. Dino Natteri (Peru) and Dr. Jorge Valdez (Mexico).

The scientific program featured four Named Lectures:  Dr. Carlos E. Siverio Zaffirio (Peru) presented the Peruvian Society’s lecture on Cincuenta Años en el Manejo de las Ulceras Corneales; Dr. Carol Shields (USA) presented the Gradle Lecture entitled Uveal melanoma: Millimeters, personalized prognosis, and new therapies; Dr. Lihteh Wu (Costa Rica) presented the AJO Lecture on Diabetic Macular Edema: A Look to the Past, Present and a Leap to the Future and Dr. Ana Luisa Hofling (Brazil) presented the Moacyr E. Alvaro Pan-American Lecture entitled Global trends in Diagnosis, Treatment and Prophylaxis of Infectious Endophthalmitis – Learning from the outbreaks.

Traditional medals and awards were presented at the Opening Ceremony on Wednesday, August 9, 2017.   Dr. Eduardo C. Alfonso (USA), PAAO President, presented to Dr. William C. De La Peña (USA) and Dr. Bruce E. Spivey (USA) the A. Edward Maumenee Medal for Distinguished Services.  Dr. Samuel Boyd Lewis (Panama) presented the Benjamin F. Boyd Humanitarian Award to Dr. Van Charles Lansingh (Mexico).  Dr. J. Fernando Arévalo (Venezuela), PAAO President-Elect, presented the Gradle Medal for Good Teaching to Dr. Eduardo Mayorga (Argentina), Dra. Helena Filipe (Portugal), and Dr. Eduardo Viteri (Ecuador), Co-Chairs of the PAAO eLearning Committee.

The Opening Ceremony featured awards from the PAAO’s partner societies, the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB); the International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) and the Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF).  Dr. Francisco Martinez Castro (Mexico) presented the IAPB – Vision 20/20 Francisco Contreras Award to Dr. Rainald Duerksen (Paraguay).  Dr. Hugh Taylor, ICO President (Australia) and Dr. Karl C. Golnik (USA) presented the ICO Mark Tso Golden Apple Award to Dr. Rafael Sánchez Fontán (Mexico).  Dr. Manuel Jesús Ordóñez Rondón (Peru) presented the Lions/PAAO Prevention of Blindness Award to Dra. Mercedes Zambrano (Peru).

A special tribute was presented to Dr. Contreras during the Opening Ceremony for his years of service to Ophthalmology by Dra. María del Carmen Calle Dávila (Peru) Director of the Peruvian Ministry of Health.  Earlier in the year, the Director of the Instituto Nacional de Oftalmología (INO), Dra. Malena Tomihama Fernández, organized the name change to Instituto Nacional de Oftalmología “Dr. Francisco Contreras” to pay homage to his years of service.

Dr. Luis Izquierdo Villavicencio (Peru), President of the Peruvian Society of Ophthalmology presented awards to the University Directors in Ophthalmology:  Dr. Luis Izquierdo Vásquez (Peru), Dr. José María Viaña Pérez (Peru), and Dr. Enrique Graue Wiechers (Mexico).  Dr. Enrique Graue Hernández (Mexico) received the award on behalf of Dr. Graue Wiechers.

Two award winning papers were featured in the Opening Ceremony.  Dra. Liana Ventura (Brazil), President of the Pan-American Ophthalmological Foundation (PAOF) presented the Paul Kayser / RRF Global Award to Dr. Jennifer Kang-Mieler (USA) for her award-winning paper A novel microsphere-hydrogel ocular drug delivery system for anti- vascular endothelial growth factors (anti-VEGFs).  Dr. Jorge Valdez (Mexico) presented the Troutman-Véronneau Prize to Dr. Juan Serna Ojeda (Mexico) for this award-winning paper on Análisis de los resultados a corto plazo del trasplante alogénico de células troncales expandidas in vitro con fenotipo ABCB5+/p63+ en pacientes con deficiencia bilateral de células de limbo.

The 3rd Summit of the Americas was held on Tuesday, August 8, 2017, bringing together the Presidents of the 26 affiliated national ophthalmological societies of the PAAO.  Topics highlighting the workshop were Standardizing Education in the Americas and Defense of Ophthalmology. Featured speakers were Dr. Eduardo Mayorga (Argentina), Dra. Gabriela Palis (Argentina) and Dra. Cynthia Bradford (USA), President of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

During the Pan-American Congress, the Pan-American Ophthalmological Foundation (PAOF) offered three exciting events to support the educational and prevention of blindness programs of the Pan-American Association.  The Pan-American Cena y Fiesta featured traditional Peruvian cuisine and entertainment at the local Cascajal Restaurant in Lima.  The Pan-American Tournament for Golf and Tennis presented exciting sport opportunities on the final day of the Congress.  A new event was launched at the Pan-American Congress for Young Ophthalmologists at the Victoria Bar.  All three were sold-out events and the proceeds go to support education and prevention of blindness projects of the Pan-American.

On Friday, August 11, 2017, at the PAAO Board of Directors meeting, Dr. Arévalo was presented with the President’s Medal for his upcoming term 2017-2019.  Dra. Ventura recognized Dr. Alfonso’s important contributions as PAAO President (2015-2017) with an award.  Ms. Milena Razack was introduced as the new PAOF Development Manager.

Over 85 companies and industry partners from all over the world participated in the technical exhibition of the Pan-American Congress.  The companies presented the latest information, research and technologies available to help advance education in Ophthalmology and to promote advancements in patient care.


For More Information Contact:

Teresa J. Bradshaw, PAAO/PAOF Executive Director
[email protected]

Milena Razack, PAOF Development Manager
[email protected]

Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology
Pan-American Ophthalmological Foundation

1301 South Bowen Road, Suite 450
Arlington, Texas 76013 USA