“Are You Optimistic About the Way That Things Are Going?” asked the band, Chicago, in the classic song “Questions 67 & 68.” The Foundation of the AAGL (FAAGL) Board of Directors and I are optimistic about the future of the FAAGL as we begin this new year!
After joining the FAAGL Board of Directors two years ago, I have come to realize the passion of our board to pave the way for generations of MIGS surgeons while simultaneously supporting women’s healthcare on a global scale. In 2022, FAAGL surpassed their one-million-dollar goal in assets. I now ask for you, our membership, to embrace our mission, as I personally challenge each of you to monetarily support our four pillars – Education, Mentorship, Global Outreach, and Advocacy. Help us reach our 2023 goal of two million dollars! As Chicago sings “We can change the world now… we can make it happen.”
Our Education Pillar provides educational programs for residents, fellows, and lifelong learners, grant funding for fellowship programs, scientific achievement awards at the AAGL Congress through term endowments and scholarships.
Our world class Mentorship Pillar matches physicians in training with practicing physicians for teaching. Term endowments provide scientific achievement awards for MIGS surgeons serving as mentors, AAGL honorary resident members demonstrating leadership qualities and women who are influential leaders in MIGS.
Our Global Outreach Pillar sponsors medical mission trips, including training and assistance to developing communities, as well as providing scholarships at the AAGL Congress for physicians from underserved countries and international rising stars.
Finally, our Advocacy Pillar provides patient support infrastructure, support to patient advocacy groups, and term endowments to provide awards in excellence to those advocating on behalf of patients.
At the Foundation Board’s last meeting, we started this work by approving the first Foundation grant available for patient advocacy groups. We are in the process of developing the application process and hope to roll out more information by the end of this first quarter. We have only just begun our fundraising efforts in this area and are optimistic we will continue raising more funds to help women around the world find the best MIGS surgeons in their area.
The 2023 FAAGL Board of Directors includes 11 talented members, each with a diverse background, but all with the goal of enhancing the Foundation through philanthropy. I cannot thank them enough for their time, thought-provoking insight, and generosity to serve on our Foundation Board.
I am pleased to introduce our two newest board members, Amy Garcia and Ido Sirota! *
Amy Garcia, MD
Amy works at the MIGS Center for Women’s Surgery in Albuquerque, NM and is a Clinical Assistant Professor with the Department of OBGYN at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences. Amy is certain that the future of MIGS is bright.
“My life as a physician and practice as a MIGS surgeon would not be possible but for the AAGL. For all the work I do and have done there is only one thing that motivates me and that is providing the best possible care for women. Whether it is through surgical education, mentorship, outreach, or patient advocacy, the values and vision of the Foundation of the AAGL meet squarely with my own. Because for us both, at the end of what we do, is another woman whose life will be changed for the better. It is my honor to have the opportunity to serve on the Board of the Foundation of the AAGL, to give back and to support minimally invasive gynecologic surgery in all the ways that improve women’s lives.”
Ido Sirota, MD
Ido is a Director at the Center of Excellence in MIGS and Robotic Surgery – Raphael and Assuta Hospitals in Tel Aviv, Israel. Ido is optimistic about the future, and he too wanted to share a few thoughts on why he joined the Foundation of the AAGL’s Board:
“I would like to join forces with the other board members and help grow the potential of The Foundation of the AAGL to improve women’s health worldwide. I am committed to implementing its vision of increasing awareness to MIGS worldwide, supporting education for residents and fellows as well as training and assistance to underserved communities.”
“Are you optimistic about the way that things are going?” We say: “Absolutely!” Through the work of the Foundation, we are seeing our board members, AAGL members, and industry partners devoting their ideas, their resources, and some, even their lives, to providing the best possible care for women. As you think about the future and your legacy, remind yourself that none of us has the right to sit back and expect that the world is going to keep getting better. We have a responsibility to do everything we can to push women’s healthcare in the right direction.
Optimism can be a powerful call to action, and it can have a multiplier effect – the more optimists there are working to improve women’s healthcare, the more reasons we must be optimistic about women’s healthcare! Again, as Chicago sings “We can change the world now… we can make it happen.”
For more information on the Foundation’s mission, vision and four pillars or to learn about ways to give to the Foundation, please visit the FAAGL Website or contact the Foundation office at email@example.com or 714-503-6200.
* For a complete list of the 2023 FAAGL Board of Directors, please visit our Board Page on the Foundation website.