Nominations for 2016 volunteerism and humanitarian awards due February 29

The American College of Surgeons (ACS), in association with Pfizer, Inc., is accepting nominations for the 2016 Surgical Volunteerism Award(s) and Surgical Humanitarian Award. All nominations must be received by February 29, 2016.

Volunteerism Awards

The ACS/Pfizer Surgical Volunteerism Award—offered in four potential categories—recognizes 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 volunteer activities go above and beyond the usual professional commitments or for retired Fellows who have been involved in volunteerism in the course of active practice and into retirement. Resident Members and Associate Fellows of the College who have been involved in significant surgical volunteer activities as part of 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 clinical practices. Instead, volunteerism should be characterized by prospective, planned surgical care to underserved patients with no anticipation of reimbursement or economic gain.

Humanitarian Award

The ACS/Pfizer Surgical Humanitarian Award recognizes an ACS Fellow whose career has been dedicated to ensuring the provision of surgical care to underserved populations without expectation of commensurate reimbursement. This award is intended for surgeons who have dedicated a significant portion of their surgical careers to full-time or near full-time humanitarian efforts rather than routine surgical practice. Examples include a career dedicated 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.

The ACS Board of Governors’ Surgical Volunteerism and Humanitarian Awards Workgroup will evaluate the nominations and forward their selections to the Board of Governors’ Executive Committee for final approval.


The following conditions apply to the nominations process:

  • Self-nominations are permissible but require at least one outside letter of support
  • Re-nomination of previous nominees is acceptable but requires completion of a new application

For the nominee to have a fair review, detailed information is required, including the following:

  • Demographic information about the nominee and nominator
  • Details about the nominator’s relationship to the nominee, along with background information on the nominee’s career in surgery
  • Completion of seven questions related to the nominee’s volunteerism or humanitarian work (2,500 characters maximum for each question) to include questions on the following: type of service provided, sustainability of programs, advocacy efforts, additional roles, and others

The nomination website will open January 4 for electronic submission and can be accessed through the Operation Giving Back (OGB) section of the ACS website. For more information, contact the OGB at

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