Chairman’s Report: 2013

We are pleased to announce that great strides were made over the last year in achieving the Foundation’s two goals – supporting the education of retinal medical personnel and increasing public awareness of retinal diseases.

Grants and fellowships were made to three Canadians in several parts of Canada.

Photobr was even more successful than last year.

Increasingly close relations were established with the Retinal Surgeons Association, and we look forward to developing exciting synergies with them.

And descriptions of retinal diseases were improved on our web site, which has been made even more user friendly.

Our thanks to all those who helped us to achieve these goals – the donors, medical advisors, board members and many others.  We promise to do even more next year.

EDUCATION

Last year we awarded two grants of $5,000 each for clinical retinal research to Dr Jonathon Micieli, University of Toronto, and Dr. Anastasia Neufeld of Dalhousie University.

The Retina Fellowship Fund of $45,000 was awarded to Dr David Almeida of Queen’s University.

Applications had been received from individuals across Canada; and the Medical Advisory panel reviewed and evaluated the many applications.  The panel now has representatives from Toronto, Calgary, and St John‘s Newfoundland, as well as Montreal, again reflecting our cross Canadian perspective in the awarding of grants.

We thank them for all the work they did in evaluating the applications, and determining which ones should receive the grants and fellowship.

Results of the research will be posted on our web site as it becomes available.  A blog has also been established to allow interested parties to begin a dialogue.

AWARENESS

When patients first notice the symptoms of a retinal problem, they naturally look anywhere and everywhere to find out more.  We believe our precise and medically accurate descriptions of the various diseases and their possible remedies can be very helpful to them in identifying that there is a problem and seeking help as quickly as possible.

We will continually improve this section of the web site, as we consult with patients to find out what they really want to know.

GOVERNANCE

It is very important in the activities of any Foundation that they are handled in as professional and efficient manner as possible. We are pleased to note that our legal structures meet all the requirements of the federal government and the tax authorities.

Our Board of Directors are all professionals, with broad experience in retinal medicine, law, finance, and information technology.

We would also like to acknowledge our Honorary Chairman, Dr Sean Murphy, one of the important developers of this area of medicine, for his interest and support in our endeavors.

FINANCE

Our financial systems, banking relationships, and accounting processes are all of the highest standards.

Last year, we received $51,400 in revenues, and spent $ 60,813, using a small amount left over from last year.  Our operating expenses were minimal, at $775. Board members were very helpful in reducing the costs of operating the Foundation.

We would also like to acknowledge our sponsors who have supported us this year –  Alcon Canada, Bayer, Novartis, and Tenaquip Foundation.  They provide a firm base on which we can operate, and we are extremely thankful that they have shown their confidence in us.

Our many donors are also highly appreciated – individuals, corporations and foundations.

PHOTOBR

Our fun fundraising effort called Photobr, or Photos in October, attracted even more interest last year.  We received double the number of pictures, many of very high quality – all of interest.  The purpose is that supporters vote on their favorite pictures by donating amounts of money.  We are pleased that we also raised twice the amount of money as last year.

This is a great way to support education and awareness while having fun at the same time – go to the web site, choose which is your favorite, and support it with a small donation.

SUMMARY

In summary 2013 was a very productive year, meeting our goals of increased awareness and educational support.  But we do not wish to have it stop there.

We will continue to expand our membership and Board across Canada, as we have done with the medical panel and grants, so that we can become a truly national enterprise.

Please help us to achieve this goal by contacting us (info on the web site) so we can work together to build a greater presence in your part of Canada.

And again, many, many thanks to our supporters and donors, the medical advisory panel, and the Board for all their work in making 2013 another successful year!