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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 2016-2018

President: Jennifer Davids, MD
Vice President: Jacqueline Wu, MD
Treasurer: Nelya Melnitchouk, MD
Secretary: Genevieve Boland, MD, PhD

Advisory Members:

Anne Larkin, MD
Virginia Litle, MD
Sareh Parangi, MD
Susan Pories, MD
Heena Santry, MD

Executive Committee:

Lilian Chen, MD
Kathryn Hughes, MD
Ugwuji Maduekwe, MD
Elizaveta Ragulin Coyne, MD
Erika Rangel, MD, MS

Specialty Committee:

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

About the President


Jennifer S. Davids, MD, FACS is a full-time academic colorectal surgeon at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, MA. A Massachusetts native, she completed her residency in general surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA, in 2012, followed by a 1-year clinical fellowship in colorectal surgery at UMASS. An AWS member since 2010, Dr. Davids has demonstrated significant interest in mentoring and advocating for female surgeons.  Under the mentorship of Heena Santry, MD, at UMASS, she was motivated form a core group of motivated women surgeons from across the state to create the MA Chapter. She is an active member of the Massachusetts Chapter of ACS. She is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), a Fellow of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS), and serves on the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons Young Surgeons Committee and Social Media Committee.

Contact info:

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