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“Our goal must be a world in which good health is a pillar of individual well-being, national progress, and international stability and peace. This cannot be achieved without partnerships involving governments, international organizations, the business community, and civil society.”

— Kofi A. Annan, ex-Secretary-General of the United Nations

About the Foundation 

Arnold Simonse, D.S.W., J.C.D., M. Div.


Dr. Arnold Simonse is a professor of Social Work at Mountain State University in West Virginia. Before joining the faculty of Mountain State University, he served as the general coordinator of the Glenmary Co-Missioners in Pineville, West Virginia, a lay Catholic group involved in community development and grass roots organizing in the rural South. Previously he was executive director of the Prevention of Blindness Society of Metropolitan Washington, where he was responsible for fundraising, developing policy, implementing educational and screening programs on eye health and safety, and providing medical eye care for the indigent in collaboration with the medical community.

He has also served as board president for the International Eye Foundation and board secretary for the Children's Eyesight Society. He co-founded, and served as president, for the National Association of Vision Professionals and the American Eye Association.

In 1965, he received his Master of Divinity degree from Mary Immaculate College, followed by doctorates in Church Law and Administration from St. Thomas University in Rome (1969) and in Social Work from Catholic University (1986).

Dr. Simonse joined the board of the Pan American Health and Education Foundation in April 1998. In 2006, he was re-elected to the board. That same year Dr. Simonse accepted the nomination to be its treasurer.

His reasons for joining the board are expressed here in his own words. "We are blessed to have the best medical technology available in the history of the world. And yet within all of the Americas, there are far too many people who cannot access the medical care that they need and deserve because of finances, distance, education and uneven distribution of medical personnel and centers. I am honored to be part of an organization, PAHEF, which works to assure equal access to medical care by all the peoples of the Americas."

Dr. Simonse signed a conflict of interest statement and agrees to abide by PAHEF's conflict of interest policy.