Nominations for 2018 volunteerism and humanitarian awards due February 28

The American College of Surgeons (ACS), in association with Pfizer, Inc., is accepting nominations for the 2018 Surgical Volunteerism Award(s) and Surgical Humanitarian Award. All nominations must be received by February 28, 2018.

Volunteerism Awards

The ACS/Pfizer Surgical Volunteerism Award—offered in four potential categories annually—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 retired Fellows who have been involved in volunteerism during their active practice and into retirement. Resident Members and Associate Fellows of the ACS 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 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.

Nominations will be evaluated by the ACS Board of Governors Surgical Volunteerism and Humanitarian Awards Workgroup, and their selections will be forwarded 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
  • Renomination of previous nominees is acceptable but requires completion of a new application

Plan to spend a minimum of 30 minutes completing the application form. 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 with the nominee, along with background information on the nominee’s surgical career.
  • Completion of narrative sections requesting detailed information about the nominee’s volunteerism or humanitarian work, including the type of service they provide, the sustainability of the programs they are involved in, any advocacy efforts they may have been involved in, and any additional roles they have played, among other items.
  • It helps to tell a story with your nomination. Specific examples and anecdotes are encouraged.
  • The information you provide will be shared with your nominee during our verification process. It may be worthwhile to obtain input from the nominee in advance.
  • The nomination form does not need to be completed in one sitting. You can start an application and then come back to enhance it with additional/more detailed information obtained about the nominee.

The nomination website can be accessed through the Operation Giving Back (OGB) section of the ACS website. For more information, contact OGB at

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