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Nikhil J. Bhatt, MD International Awards

The AAO-HNS Foundation supports otolaryngologists around the world who demonstrate a unique commitment to the specialty as part of our continued effort to foster a global otolaryngology community. 

The AAO-HNSF Nikhil J. Bhatt, MD International Public Service and Humanitarian Awards recognize the achievements of non-U.S. otolaryngologist—head and neck surgeons. The Awards are in fulfillment of the AAO-HNSF’s aim to foster a global otolaryngology community, and made possible through the generosity of Nikhil J. Bhatt, MD, a longtime advocate of AAO-HNSF international affairs. 

International Humanitarian Award

The International Humanitarian Award honors a non-U.S. otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon who has selflessly treated persons for whom access to care would have been financially or physically prohibitive.

This year, the International Humanitarian Award recognized the efforts of Nega Kiros, MD, of Ethiopia.

Nega Kiros, MD

Dr. Kiros began his medical career as the only physician for a 60-bed hospital in eastern Ethiopia. After two years, he joined a residency program in Addis Ababa where he received a scholarship to Germany to study otolaryngology. Unlike many, he returned to Ethiopia to serve his country, collaborating with the Ethiopian Orthodox church to establish a new ENT hospital for the poor and underserved. He continues to bring better otolaryngic care in Ethiopia with mobile care programs, support for community-based hearing health rehabilitation and education programs, and personal and kind treatment to those in most need.

International Public Service Award

The International Public Service Award honors a non-U.S. otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon whose achievements have advanced the specialty.

This year, the International Public Service Award recognized the efforts of Lokman B. Saim, MD, of Malaysia.

Lokman B. Saim, MD

During his considerable academic career, Dr. Saim has become known as the father of cochlear implant microsurgery in Asia. Through his teaching and advocacy, more than 500 deaf children and adults in the region have benefitted from this procedure. Although retired now, he continues to assist in such surgeries throughout the region. 

To further this work, Dr. Saim and his family began “Hospitals Beyond Boundaries” dedicated to sustaining healthcare efforts in the area’s vulnerable communities, enlisting youth volunteers and the community in the health enterprise.

These new international awards expand the AAO-HNS/F’s encouragement and support for the delivery of otolaryngic patient care worldwide. This commitment was evidenced during the International Symposium, which presented 23 sessions during four days of the 2016 Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO.