Awards

Help AWSF recognize exceptional women surgeons and supporters by nominating a deserving individual whose character and accomplishments reflect the mission of AWSF and meet the criteria listed below. Selected awardees will be honored at the AWSF Awards Dinner and Gala on October 20, 2024, held in conjunction with the  AWS 2024 Annual Conference.

Nomination Deadline EXTENDED to Thursday, May 30, 2024.

Nominate a peer for a 2024 AWSF Award TODAY!

2023 AWS Foundation Award Recipients

The AWS Foundation has a variety of awards and career development opportunities that are presented on an annual basis.  The 2023 Award Recipients are:

  • Dr. Patricia Numann Medical Student Award: Amber Sheth, MD, MPH
  • Dr. Nina Starr Braunwald Award: Omaida C. Velazquez, MD, FACS
  • Dr. Olga Jonasson Distinguished Member Award: Lygia, Stewart, MD
  • The Dr. Sally Abston Association of Women Surgeons Distinguished Member Award: Helen Krontiras, MD   
  • Past Presidents Honorary Member Award: Herb Chen, MD, FACS
  • Dr. Hilary Sanfey Outstanding Resident Award: Katharine E. Caldwell, MD, MSCI and Nichole Starr, MD, MPH
  • Dr. Charles W. Putnam Distinguished Mentor Award: Gilbert R. Upchurch, MD, FACS
  • Dr. Kim Ephgrave Visiting Professor Award: Kimberly, Lumpkin, MD
Please continue to support the work of the Foundation by donating to one of the following:

Dr. Patricia Numann Medical Student Award

Named in honor of the founder of AWS, this award was established to encourage and support female medical students pursuing a career in surgery. The recipient is chosen based on their potential leadership qualities or research contributions to the field of surgery, response in a personal statement (in lieu of a nomination letter), and two letters of recommendation. Nominees must be in the fourth / final year of medical school at the time of nomination and have demonstrated a commitment to pursuing a career in surgery. Nominees are not required to be active AWS members. 

Previous Award Recipients | More about Patricia Numann, MD 

2022 Award Winners: Paige Ashley Campbell, MD, University of Chicago

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Dr. Nina Starr Braunwald Award


Established through an endowment, the AWS Foundation presents this award to a member or non-member surgeon in recognition of sustained, outstanding contributions to the advancement of women in surgery. The endowment for the Dr. Nina Starr Braunwald Award was established by her husband, Dr. Eugene Braunwald. Dr. Nina Starr Braunwald was one of the first women to perform open heart surgery, the first woman to be certified by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, and the first to be elected to the American Association for Thoracic Surgery. She developed several early mitral valve prostheses which bear her name.

Thanks to the generosity of our members and our supporters, the AWS Dr. Nina Starr Braunwald Award is now fully endowed. 

Read more: Nina Braunwald: A Female Pioneer in Cardiac Surgery
Previous Award Recipients | About Nina Starr Braunwald, MD

2022 Award Winner: Patricia L. Turner, MD, MBA, FACS, American College of Surgeons


Dr. Olga Jonasson Distinguished Member Award


This award is named in memory of Olga Jonasson, MD, who was the first female chair of an academic department of surgery and a leader in the American College of Surgeons. The award is given to an AWS member who, through outstanding mentorship, enables and encourages women surgeons to realize their personal and professional goals.

Previous Award Recipients | More about Olga Jonasson, MD

2022 Award Recipient: Paula Ferrada, MD, FACS, FCCM, MAMSE, Inova Healthcare

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The Dr. Sally Abston Association of Women Surgeons Distinguished Member Award

The Dr. Sally Abston Association of Women Surgeons Distinguished Member Award has been created by her colleagues and friends at University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) Galveston, to honor Dr. Abston (1934-2008) for the exemplary inspiration she gave to so many people throughout her career. She was a general, burn and trauma faculty surgeon at UTMB Galveston, who was beloved by her residents and patients alike. She gave her utmost to the betterment of her patients and was a staunch defender of her residents and students, insisting on collegial treatment for them in a time when there was less awareness of quality patient care and resident well-being. Her faculty colleagues knew her as a true and loyal friend who was always available when needed.

The award is given to an AWS member who, in addition to nationally recognized clinical expertise and providing outstanding mentorship, is a role model of "what I want my surgeon to be like." The recipient of this award will have demonstrated unwavering commitment to encouraging and enabling women surgeons to realize their personal and professional goals.


Dr. Abston was awarded the AWS Distinguished Member Award in 1994.

Previous Award Recipients| More about Sally Abston, MD

2022 Award Recipient: Mara Antonoff, MD, FACS, MD Anderson

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AWS Past Presidents' Honorary Member Award


This award is given to non-members who are supportive of AWS’ goals and mission. It was renamed in 2011 in recognition of both the legacy and the generous endowment provided by our AWS Past Presidents. 

Previous Award Recipients

2022 Award Winner: LD Britt, MD, MPH, FACS, FCCM, East Virginia Medical School

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Dr. Hilary Sanfey Outstanding Resident Award

Formerly the AWS Outstanding Resident Award, it was renamed to reflect the generous endowment established by Dr. Sanfey to support the award’s annual funding. Nominees will be surgical trainees who are in primary residency training in either general surgery or a surgical specialty at the time of nomination, and who demonstrate potential as future leaders in surgery. Nominees are not required to be active AWS members. Nominee must provide a personal leadership vision with their application. 

Thanks to the generosity of our members and our supporters, the Dr. Hilary Sanfey Outstanding Resident Award is now fully endowed. 

Previous Award Recipients | About Hilary Sanfey, MD

2022 Award Recipient: Deshka Foster, MD, PhD, Stanford University


The Dr. Charles W. Putnam Distinguished Mentor Award


The Dr. Charles W. Putnam Distinguished Mentor Award will be given to an AWS member or non-member who has a sustained record of mentoring women surgeons and is a true agent of change to create an environment in which women surgeons can achieve their personal and professional goals.

Previous Award Recipients

2022 Award Recipient: Justin B. Dimick, MD, MPH, University of Michigan

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Dr. Kim Ephgrave Visiting Professor Award

This program provides academic institutions with the opportunity to host leading women surgeons as speakers. Opportunities to lecture heighten the visibility of women surgeons while inspiring surgical residents and encouraging women medical students to pursue similar careers. In addition, the Dr. Kim Ephgrave Visiting Professor Program promotes dialogue between practicing surgeons and the academic community. The program was recently named in memory of Dr. Kim Ephgrave who served in the AWS Leadership from 1997 – 2002 and as AWS President in 2000/2001.

Past Professors | More about Kim Ephgrave, MD

2023 Visiting Professor: Kimberly Lumpkins, MD, FACSUniversity of Maryland School of Medicine

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Women Surgeons in Low & Middle Income Countries Award

This award was established in 2016 to enable a woman surgeon in a low or middle income country to attend a surgical meeting, participate in a workshop or other career development or educational opportunity.
The 2021 recipient of this award is Dr. Wairimu Ndegwa, a surgeon and educator at the Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital in Kenya. She is being supported by the AWSF in obtaining a Masters in International Public Health online from the Liverpool John Moores University in order to better serve her community.   
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Starr Medical Student and Resident Research Forum

The Starr Medical Student and Resident Research Forum, named for Dr. Nina Starr Braunwald, is designed to facilitate interaction and idea exchange between students interested in surgery, surgical residents, and faculty members of various institutions. We invite medical students and residents to select their best work for presentation at the AWS Annual Conference.

Previous Contest Winners | About Nina Starr Braunwald, MD

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