FAAGL: Reflections of an Unprecedented Year
In a year of unprecedented challenge, the Foundation of the AAGL (FAAGL) has much to be grateful for as we reflect on 2020.
While we dearly missed being with everyone in person at this year’s congress, the Foundation continued to work behind the scenes supporting the awards and stellar research in MIGS. This year we launched our new Branded Gifts Webpage where donors to The Foundation of the AAGL can choose a special gift, such as scrub hats, scrub sets, masks, or the very popular, Badass Surgeon Hoodie Sweatshirt in thanks for their donation. These gifts are also available for purchase year-round in a variety of sizes, styles and colors and make great presents for your colleagues and loved ones! Be sure to watch for new gift options as they launch throughout the upcoming year.
The 2020 awards reveal at the AAGL Virtual Global Congress inspired us all! This year’s Noteworthy Award, the prestigious John F. Steege Mentorship Award, recognized and honored Dr. Keith Isaacson from Newton Wellesley Hospital in Massachusetts. When he was nominated for this award, it was shared that Keith Isaacson is not only a gifted surgeon, but also a passionate, kind, dedicated teacher and mentor of over a decade’s worth of minimally invasive gynecologic surgeons through his fellowship. Through his mentorship and role modeling, his trainees leave his fellowship with the abilities to perform advanced surgical management of benign gynecologic disease. Many also go on to serve in leadership in national organizations. On behalf of our entire specialty, we thank you, Keith, for your service. We also thank Cooper Surgical for their generous support of the John F. Steege Endowment and Mentorship Award.
Winners of The Foundation of the AAGL Signature Awards are chosen from the top manuscripts submitted and graded by an independent committee. These awards promote and reward progress in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery. Congratulations to each winner whose papers represented the best of the best. It was wonderful to hear each of you present your work! Thank you to our industry sponsors, Olympus America and Karl Storz for your generous support of the Golden Laparoscope, Golden Hysteroscope and IRCAD Awards, respectively.
Donations to The Foundation and the establishment of endowments provide the support annually to fund these awards presented each year at our Congress. The development of new endowments, either by one donor, or in a group, is an excellent way to honor the legacy of a respected colleague or a loved one and makes a lasting contribution that promotes the advancement of minimally invasive gynecologic surgery. Contact the Foundation of the AAGL for more information on establishing a new endowment.
This year, The Foundation of the AAGL’s Fund for the Future program was able to provide significant financial scholarships to support four AAGL Fellowship Programs. We wish to thank Olympus America for their support of Fund for the Future and Congratulate our FMIGS 2020 winners: Penn State Health and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. We were also able to offer two Fund for the Future Robotics Scholarships thanks to the generosity of the Intuitive Foundation. Congratulations to the 2020 FFTF Robotics Scholarship winners: Columbia University Medical Center in New York and Mayo Clinic Arizona!
As I move into the role of Immediate Past President, I want to welcome K. Warren Volker, our new President, and thank each of the Foundation Board members for their dedication and support of the mission of the Foundation. I especially want to recognize our two dear members who are leaving the board this year: R. Edward Betcher, Immediate Past President, and Franklin Loffer, Emeritus Medical Director. Eddie and Frank have been critical contributors to the development of the Foundation of the AAGL as it stands today. Under their leadership, we’ve seen the financial assets and structure of the Foundation grow tremendously in these areas: update of the Foundation bylaws, built a full board, established essential policies, developed a new website, established the mission, vision and goals of the Foundation, established new endowments and funding, increased the Foundation’s presence at the annual meeting for the FAAGL awards, established the Foundation’s AAGL Branded Gifts Campaign, grew the Foundation’s general fund to support Foundation staffing, developed detailed financial records and statements and were instrumental in the Foundation’s giving campaigns. Besides this long list of accomplishments, they each brought their valuable insight, compassion, integrity, and creativity to the Board. Thank you for all you have done, you will both be missed!
At this time, the Foundation Board of Directors has one seat open for nomination. If you have a heart for philanthropy and progress in MIGS, please think about submitting your CV for consideration. Serving on the Foundation Board of Directors is a great honor with a fulfilling mission!
This holiday season and throughout the year, remember to support the Foundation of the AAGL by joining AmazonSmile and choosing The Foundation of the AAGL as your charity. Simply shop through AmazonSmile and Amazon will donate .5% of your eligible purchases to the Foundation of the AAGL.
As we close the 2020 year, we ask that you consider supporting the mission of the Foundation of the AAGL through your year-end giving. For more information about the Foundation of the AAGL or to make a donation, please visit our website at foundation.aagl.org.
It has been a joy to serve as the Foundation Board President. Thank you, each one of you, who gave to support the mission of the Foundation of the AAGL over this last year. Together we can make a difference!