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Massachusetts Chapter

MA Chapter Kickoff Event | June, 2016

The Massachusetts Chapter of the Association of Women Surgeons was created in the spring of 2016 by a core group of motivated women surgeons across the state. The concept of a Massachusetts Chapter of AWS first arose at the 2015 AWS Networking Breakfast in Chicago. The breakfast is always a welcome opportunity to see old friends and make new connections. Ironically, several Massachusetts women surgeons had traveled halfway across the country to connect with one another, even though they all practice in the same state, less than an hour away from each other! It was then and there, over bacon and eggs, that this group of women surgeons determined that there was a real need for a Massachusetts Chapter of AWS.

The Massachusetts Chapter of AWS allows female surgeons across the state to experience many of the same benefits that some of us have already been fortunate enough to have at the national level. We recognize that many women surgeons struggle to get the week of the “College” off to attend national AWS events, due to clinical obligations or family responsibilities. Consequently, the multiple professional development needs for women surgeons were not otherwise being met at the local level. Massachusetts is home to multiple major academic centers where surgical excellence is globally renowned. While individual institutions in Massachusetts have established lectureships, networking events, dinners, and mentoring programs that that promote and support the careers of woman surgeons, we sought to create a common infrastructure to connect these small groups with each other. Through the Massachusetts Chapter of AWS, we extend the main objectives of the national organization—to engage, empower, and excel—on a more local scale.


  1. To create opportunities for the women surgeons of
    Massachusetts to come together as a group and focus on leadership, networking, mentoring, research advancement, and work-life integration

  2. To provide a forum for these women surgeons to have a collective voice to advocate for their careers

  3. To increase participation in AWS at the national level

We are thrilled to have hosted our Kickoff Event in June at the home of Jennifer Davids, MD, in Wayland, MA. Not only did we have a wonderful turnout (especially for a week night!), but everyone had a great time connecting through food, drink, and conversation. Attendees were informally surveyed and expressed significant interest in building the group membership with more networking events throughout the year. We are looking forward to hosting a larger event this fall.

Officers 2019-2021

President: Jacqueline Wu, MD
Vice President: Nelya Melnitchouk, MD
Treasurer: Anna Weiss, MD
Secretary: Salewa Oseni, MD
Immediate Past President: Jennifer Davids, MD


Advisory Members:

Kathryn Hughes, MD
Virginia Litle, MD
Sareh Parangi, MD
Susan Pories, MD
Anne Larkin, MD

Executive Committee:

Lilian Chen, MD
Leigh Anne Dagueforde, MD
Lisa Ferzoco, MD
Elizaveta Ragulin Coyne, MD
Erika Rangel, MD, MS

Specialty Committee:

Jennifer Yates, MD (urology)
Danielle Paterson, MD (urogynecology)
Jessica Aidlen, MD (orthopedics- spine)

Interested in joining the MA Chapter? Join now!