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AWS Holds Successful 2019 Annual Conference

Friday, November 1, 2019  
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On October 26-29, AWS held their Annual Conference at the Parc 55 Hotel in San Francisco. Held in conjunction with the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress, this year's meeting brought together a diverse group of people dedicated to empowering women in surgery. With a sold-out group of over 400 attendees, this meeting was one of AWS's most successful Annual Conferences yet.

View photos from the event.

On Saturday, October 26, AWS hosted the educational sessions of its 2019 Annual Conference, with the theme "Sculpting Our Future, " inspiring attendees to create the future they want to see, inside and outside of the operating room. Sessions covered the importance of improving diversity in surgery, the latest scientific research, and gave attendees tools to build their personal brand and achieve new career goals. To kick off the conference, AWS President-Elect Sharon Stein, MD, FACS, and President-Elect of the American College of Surgeons, Valerie W. Rusch, MD, FACS addressed attendees, which highlighted the commitment of both organizations to increasing diversity in surgery.

The meeting also offered workshops, panels, a keynote presentation on "Disruptive Technology in Surgery" by Gretchen P. Jackson, MD, PhD, FACS, "S.H.E." talks based off the popular TED talk format, breakout sessions, and more. On Sunday, October 27, Marjorie Stiegler, MD, hosted training for AWS's new Signature Speaker Series and delivered a keynote address on the art and business of public speaking, with the ultimate goal of more female representation on panels at conferences. Coaches participating in the second year of the AWS Coaching Project also received training on Sunday.

Throughout the meeting, attendees were able to connect with each other at social events. This year, highlights included a Student & Resident Mixer, a charity ride at Flywheel benefiting the AWS Foundation, and the AWS Networking Breakfast, sponsored by Stryker. On Monday, October 28, the AWS Foundation Awards Dinner honored the winners of their 2019 awards program.

This year's conference also featured a new philanthropic initiative. AWS partnered with Raphael House, which supports women and families experiencing homelessness in San Francisco. Attendees were able to make a positive impact by donating clothing in bins set up around the meeting space. 

Thank you to all attendees, speakers, donors, and supporters for making the 2019 Annual Conference a meaningful and valuable experience for everyone who attended.

AWS would like to recognize the following people for their outstanding work at Annual Conference, and congratulate all who presented.

AWS-AJS Manuscript

Kristin Rojas, MD, "Mastectomy is No Longer an Indication for Postoperative Opioid Prescription at Discharge"

Starr Poster Contest for Medical Students and Residents

Student Winners

First Place: Kayla Hicks, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, "Sex Dependent Differences in Cardiac Myocyte Excitation-Contraction Coupling after Chronic Stimulation of the Delta or Kappa Opioid Receptors During Normoxic and Hypoxic Conditions"

Second Place: Nandini Rajaram Siva, Cook County Health, "Rescuing the Rescuers: Should Trauma Centers Screen for Post-Traumatic Stress in First Responders?"

Third Place: Abra Shen, Stanford University, "Pre-Treatment with Transdermal Deferoxamine Improves Outcomes of Fat Grafting in Irradiated Tissue"

Resident Winners

First Place: Courtney Harris, Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Northwestern, "Presence of Follicles in the Discarded Processing Media in Pediatric Ovarian Tissue Cryopreservation"

Second Place: Alexandra Columbus, Brigham and Women's Hospital, "In Her Chair: Influences Upon the Professional Success of Female Surgical Department Chairs"

Third Place: Ashley Krepline, Medical College of Wisconsin, "Impact of Area of Deprivation Index on Hospital Readmissions after Surgery for Pancreas Cancer"

Save the date for next year's Annual Conference: October 3-6, 2020, in Chicago, Illinois.