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AWS Foundation Awards

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

Thanks to the generosity of our members and our supporters, the AWS Nina Starr Braunwald Award, the AWS Past Presidents’ Honorary Member Award and the Hilary Sanfey Outstanding Resident Award are now fully endowed. Therefore we are no longer accepting donations to these funds.

Please continue to support the work of the Foundation by donating to one of the following:

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 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.


Applications for the 2019 Visiting Professor Program are now open. Apply before February 15.

2018/2019 Visiting Professor:
Geeta Lal, MD, MSc, FRCS(C), FACS | Physician and Associate Professor, Division of Surgical Oncology and Endocrine Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Iowa

2018/2019 Host Institution: University of Texas at Austin

Past Professors | More about Kim Ephgrave, MD

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 2017 recipient of this award is Dr. Mumba Chalwe-Kaja for her work as the first female urologist in Zambia.

The 2016 recipient was Dr. Lydia Nanjula, a neurosurgery resident from Uganda. The award enabled her to attend the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) and Women in Surgery Africa (WISA) annual meetings in Mombasa, Kenya.

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, and letter 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.

2018 Award Winner: Lisa Bevilacqua, Stony Brook University School of Medicine

Previous Award Recipients | More about Patricia Numann, MD

Starr Medical Student & Resident Poster Contest

Starr Medical Student & Resident Poster Contest, 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

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.

2018 Award Winner: Sharona Ross, MD, FACS, Florida Hospital Tampa

Previous Award Recipients | About Nina Starr Braunwald, MD

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.

2018 Award Recipient: Anne Mosenthal, MD, FACS, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Previous Award Recipients | More about Olga Jonasson, MD

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 2007 in recognition of both the legacy and the generous endowment provided by our AWS Past Presidents.

2018 Award Recipient: Ronald V. Maier, MD, FACS, University of Washington School of Medicine

Previous Award Recipients

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.

2018 Award Recipient: Rebecca Hoffman, MD, University of Pennsylvania

Previous Award Recipients | About Hilary Sanfey, MD