Support AWS Foundation



The AWS Foundation is dedicated to sponsoring activities that advance women’s careers in surgery and address gender disparities worldwide.



To provide opportunities for the educational and professional growth of women in surgery.



The AWS Foundation was founded in 1994 in order to fund fellowships, research awards and scholarships that advance the careers of women surgeons as well as to recognize those individuals who are supportive of the AWS mission.


"Women begin their careers with fewer resources and receive significantly lower salaries than their male counterparts. Women, particularly minority women, are more vulnerable to discrimination, both explicit and implicit. I donate to AWSF in order to support the programs that address these disparities through our travel grants and visiting professor programs that advance the careers and professional development of women surgeons not just in the USA but also around the world."

- Hilary Sanfey MB. BCh. FACS Chair, AWS Foundation



“With the generous support you provided, I was able attend the ATLS Instructor course in Melbourne, successfully complete the ATLS instructor course, and am now recognized as Instructor Candidate. We have just finished translating the tenth edition of the ATLS student manual into Mongolian and are planning Instructor and Provider courses in September. With the certificate and the experience I gained from this course, I will be able to help other Instructors in Mongolia and teach many physicians and residents throughout Mongolia. Thank you very much for your support and all your help.”

- Dr. Sarnia Erdene


Annual AWSF Awards

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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Olga Jonasson Distinguished Member Award
    • The award is given to an AWS member who, through outstanding mentorship, enables and encourages women surgeons to realize their personal and professional goals.
  • 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.
  • Past Presidents Honorary Member Award
    • This award is given to non-members who are supportive of AWS’ goals and mission.
  • 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.




“I write to convey my deep gratitude for the travel grant. My people back home are very proud of it, me being the only doctor in the family. Please share the pictures that you may have of you presenting it to me to show them back home. Thank you again.”

- Dr. Heta Gohil, Pediatric Surgery Resident, Kenya


Learn about supporting the AWSF

Read about how the Association of Women Surgeons Foundation is supporting female physician led surgical research and recent educational programs that the AWSF has sponsored to advance the careers of women in surgery and donate today.

Click to download the AWS Foundation brochure