Nominations sought for 2012 volunteerism and humanitarian awards

The American College of Surgeons (ACS), in association with Pfizer, Inc, is accepting nominations for the 2012 Surgical Volunteerism Award(s) and Surgical Humanitarian Award.

The ACS/Pfizer Surgical Volunteerism Award—offered in four potential categories each year—is given in recognition of those surgeons who are committed to giving back to society by making significant contributions to surgical care through organized volunteer activities. The awards for domestic, international, and military outreach are intended for ACS Fellows in active surgical practice whose volunteerism activities go above and beyond the usual professional commitments, or retired Fellows who have been involved in volunteerism during their active practice and into retirement. ACS members who have been involved in significant surgical volunteer activities during their postgraduate surgical training are eligible for the resident award. Surgeons of all specialties are eligible for each of these awards.

For the purposes of these awards, “volunteerism” is defined as professional work in which one’s time or talents are donated for charitable clinical, educational, or other worthwhile activities related to surgery. Volunteerism in this case does not refer to uncompensated care provided as a matter of necessity in most practices. Instead, volunteerism should be characterized by the prospective, planned surgical care to underserved patients with no anticipation of reimbursement or economic gain.

he ACS/Pfizer Surgical Humanitarian Award is given in recognition of those ACS Fellows who have dedicated their careers to ensuring the provision of surgical care to underserved populations without expectation of commensurate reimbursement. This award is intended for a surgeon who has dedicated a significant portion of his or her surgical career to full-time or near full-time humanitarian efforts rather than routine surgical practice. This effort may reflect a career devoted to missionary surgery, the founding and ongoing operations of a charitable organization dedicated to providing surgical care to the underserved, or a retirement characterized by surgical volunteer outreach. Having received compensation for this work does not preclude a nominee from consideration, and, in fact, may be expected, based on the extent of the professional obligation.

Nominations will be evaluated by the Socioeconomic Issues Committee of the ACS Board of Governors, with final approval of award winners by the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors.
Potential nominees should make note of the following:

  • Self-nominations are permissible but require at least one outside letter of support.
  • Renomination of previous nominees is encouraged but requires an updated application.
  • Supplemental materials should be kept to a minimum and will not be returned.

The nomination forms will be available for download from the “Announcements” section of the Operation Giving Back website during January and February at Nomination forms can also be requested by mail, if preferred. Contact Akiyo Kodera, Operation Giving Back Program Coordinator, with such requests or any questions.

Completed nomination forms should be addressed to the attention of Selwyn M. Vickers, MD, FACS, Chair, Board of Governors’ Socioeconomic Issues Committee, and may be submitted electronically, or by mail c/o Akiyo Kodera, American College of Surgeons, 633 N. Saint Clair St., Chicago, IL 60611; 312-202-5458; fax 312-202-5021;, or All nominations must be received by Friday, February 24, 2012.

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