The TOA Foundation

The TOA Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization with the following purposes: (1) the development and underwriting of educational programs in the field of ophthalmology and eye health care for the public, for physicians and for students; (2) the making of grants for health care awareness programs; (3) the support of public vision screening programs; and (4) the making of grants or loans to educational organizations and institutions which provide training in the field of medical and surgical eye care. 

The History

Born in Paducah, Texas in 1916, John Henry Fish grew up on a farm in rural Texas. A brief four years later in 1920, Anna Marie Hieserman was also born and reared on a farm not far from Iowa Park, Texas. In a time when things were difficult during the Great Depression, both John Henry and Anna Marie attended college. John Henry attended Texas Tech from 1933 and graduating in 1938, having taken a year off to work to finance his college education. Anna Marie attended Hardin Junior College in Wichita Falls before transferring to Texas Tech in 1937 where she met John Henry. 

When John Henry was accepted to medical school and moved to Galveston in 1938, Anna Marie transferred to the University of Texas and graduated from there in 1940. The couple were married in 1941 and they started their married life together in Galveston, Texas where Anna Marie worked for the Red Cross. After medical school graduation in 1942 and a subsequent internship in 1942-1943 at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, John Henry enlisted in the Army Air Corp and served during the war years until his discharge in September, 1946. In October, 1946, John Henry, Anna Marie and their first born son John moved to Boston for the Harvard course in ophthalmology. After graduation from the Boston course, John Henry and his family returned to Dallas, Texas for his residency training at City County Hospital. He became a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in 1957

Over the years, both John Henry and Anna Marie became more successful in their endeavors and the sons, under the tutelage of their parents, all secured graduate degrees. John, Gary and Kent became ophthalmologists and Barry has a PhD in chemical engineering. 

This marvelous story continued as John, Gary, Kent and Barry honored their parents in 1997 with the creation of the Fish Lectureship.  The Fish brothers approached the TOA about making a contribution at a time when the TOA was looking to establish an educational foundation. The timing was perfect. The four sons contributed $50,000 to endow a permanent lectureship to honor their parents. The first lecture was delivered by David Dillman, MD of Illinois in 1998. 

The original endowment will never be spent, but the TOA Foundation has grown thanks to the ongoing generosity of individual TOA members and the EyeCare Consortium of Texas. Each year, the TOA Foundation supports the Annual Scientific Meeting, specifically underwriting the John H. and Anna Marie Fish Memorial Lecture as well as the Barry Uhr, MD, Memorial Prize in Comprehensive Ophthalmology and the David G. Shulman, MD, Legislative Education Scholarship.  

Past John H. and Anna Marie Fish Memorial Lecturers:
2023 - James T. Handa, MD, Baltimore, MD
2022 - Douglas D. Koch, MD, Houston, TX
2020 - Alfredo A. Sadun, MD, PhD, Los Angeles, CA
2019 - Elliott Soh, MD, Iowa City, IA
2018 - J. Timothy Stout, MD, PhD, MBA, Houston, TX
2017 - Paul P. Lee, MD, JD, Ann Arbor, MI
2016 - Neil M. Bressler, MD & Susan B. Bressler, MD, Baltimore, MD
2015 - Dan B. Jones, MD, Houston, TX
2014 - Stephen Slade, MD, Houston, TX
2013 - Alan N. Carlson, MD, Durham, NC
2011 - Jeffery Daigrepont, Alpharetta, GA
1998 - David Dillman, MD, Chicago, IL

Anyone may donate to the Foundation here. 

The TOA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. No goods or services were provided in exchange for your generous financial donation. Tax ID: 74-2904029.