The American College of Surgeons (ACS), in association with Pfizer, Inc., will begin accepting nominations for the 2020 Surgical Volunteerism and Surgical Humanitarian Awards December 16, 2019. Nominations will be accepted through February 15, 2020.
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* are intended for ACS Fellows in active surgical practice who engage in volunteer activities that go above and beyond their usual professional commitments or retired Fellows who have been involved in volunteerism during their active practice and into retirement. Resident Members and Associate Fellows (members of the Resident and Associate Society of the ACS) who have been involved in significant volunteer activities during their postgraduate surgical training are eligible for the Resident award.† Surgeons in any surgical specialty are eligible to be nominated in each category.
For the purposes of these awards, “volunteerism” is defined as professional work donated for charitable clinical, educational, or other worthwhile activities related to surgery. Volunteerism does not necessarily require that care is uncompensated. Instead, volunteerism should be characterized by prospective, planned surgical care to underserved patients with no anticipation of commensurate reimbursement.
The ACS/Pfizer Surgical Humanitarian Award is given in recognition of a Fellow who has dedicated the majority of their career to ensuring the provision of surgical care to underserved populations without expectation of commensurate reimbursement.
This award is intended to honor an ACS Fellow who has dedicated his or her surgical career 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 leadership 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 and encouraged. Such nominations require at least two outside letters of recommendation. One of the letters must be submitted by a Fellow of the College. In addition, self-nominators must submit three references. It is required that at least one reference also be a Fellow of the College.
- Re-nomination of previous nominees is acceptable and encouraged. A resubmission requires completion of a new application. Applicants are encouraged to consider adding additional details and supporting narratives to strengthen their application.
- The Workgroup reserves the right to move a nominee from one category to another based on a review of the application.
- Detailed, precise information must be included in the application for nominees to have the best chance of success. Specific information for inclusion is as follows:
- Demographic information about the nominee and nominator.
- Details about the nominator’s relationship to the nominee, along with background information on the nominee’s surgical career.
- Quantifiable time spent participating in volunteer activities, including: number of trips per year, length of each trip, and the number of years that the nominee has been engaged in this work. (Note: Resident nominees are not expected to have the same quantity of volunteer experience as nominees in other categories.)
- Completion of narrative sections requesting detailed information about the nominee’s volunteerism or humanitarian work, including the type of service they provide(d), the sustainability of the programs in which they are involved, any advocacy efforts in which they may have been involved, and 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 and usually requires a significant time commitment. You can save and return to an application with additional information you have obtained about the nominee.
The nomination website will be open for electronic submission on December 16 and can be accessed through the Operation Giving Back (OGB) section of the ACS website. For more information, contact OGB at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Military nominees: Describe how the nominee participated in service above and beyond his or her assigned military duties.
†Resident nominees: Be advised that Resident nominees will be evaluated among other trainees; they are not expected to have the same experience as more senior nominees.