Tuesday, June 30, 2015

AWS Foundation



By Hilary Sanfey MB. BCh. MHPE. FACS. FRCSI


Chair, AWS Foundation Board 

I have been approached on a number of occasions by young surgeons who begin a conversation with “You won’t remember me BUT…… I was your medical student / resident, and because of you I decided to become a surgeon”. These are the most fulfilling moments of my career. Nothing gives me more pleasure than knowing I did or said something to help another person achieve success. After all, this is the AWS mission; to inspire, encourage, and enable women surgeons to realize their professional and personal goals. A considerable number of the women surgeons who have achieved significant leadership positions are AWS members, and owe their success in part to the mentorship, support, and collegiality offered by other AWS members. For example:

Did you know that 9 of the 10 women surgeons who were successful in becoming chairs of academic departments of surgery are AWS members?

The AWS Foundation relies on the generous financial support of AWS members and friends like you to deliver meaningful educational opportunities for medical students, residents, and women surgeon members and thus continue our work. You have the opportunity to recognize the person that helped you develop the skills and confidence you needed on your path to becoming a great surgeon. Your mentor will receive a special tribute letter recognizing your gift in his / her honor and your gift will be acknowledged on the AWS website.

Donations will go to support AWS Foundation programs. These include:


  • The Kim Ephgrave Visiting Professor Program - provides medical schools with opportunities to heighten the visibility of women surgeons while encouraging women medical students to pursue similar careers.  In addition, the Visiting Professorship Program promotes dialogue between practicing surgeons, surgeons in training and the academic community.


  • AWS Foundation Awards Program – honors outstanding female medical students, residents and AWS Members and provides opportunities for career advancement through exposure to successful women surgeons and potential mentors.  Includes the Nina Starr Braunwald Award, Olga Jonasson Distinguished Member Award, the Past Presidents’ Honorary Member Award, Hilary Sanfey Outstanding Woman Resident Award and the Patricia Numann Medical Student Award. 
Click here to make your donation. Select “Legacy Fund” in the drop down menu under “Donation Type.” Following the amount of donation, click the “In Honor Of” box that will provide you with a drop down to enter your mentor’s name and contact information.

Thank you for honoring your mentor with a tribute gift today!

Dr. Hilary Sanfey is Professor of Surgery and Vice-chair for Educational Affairs at Southern Illinois University, and the current Chair of the AWS Foundation Board. She was previously a Professor of Surgery in the Transplant Division of the Department of Surgery at the University of Virginia (UVA), where she was a member of the university Senate, and of the UVA Academy of Distinguished Educators.

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