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Distinguished Award for Humanitarian Service

The Distinguished Award for Humanitarian Service recognizes an Academy member who is widely known for a consistent, stable character distinguished by honesty, zeal for truth, integrity, love and devotion to humanity and a self-giving spirit. The awardee is an outstanding example and model to emulate for a life dedicated to a nobler, more righteous, and more productive way for the human to live as an individual on this earth. The awardee is well known for professional excellence and has demonstrated professional dedication by the giving of professional skills freely, and without desire for personal gain or aggrandizement, to those in this world who cannot otherwise, physically and financially, receive them. The President presents this award during the Annual Meeting Opening Ceremony.

2019 Distinguished Award for Humanitarian Service Recipient: Glenn C. Isaacson, MD.

This year's awardee is Glenn C. Isaacson, MD. Dr. Isaacson is Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Pediatrics at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. As Ethiopian Medical Director for Healing the Children (HTC) for the greater Philadelphia chapter, Dr. Isaacson has organized 20 semi-annual surgical and educational missions to Addis Ababa, the capitol of Ethiopia. Working closely with Addis Ababa University's young ENT residency, HTC has helped train and equip a new generation of otolaryngologists—increasing the number of trained surgeons fivefold and helping to expand the breadth of their skills.

During its 10 years in Africa, HTC changed its focus from direct delivery of healthcare to collaboration with existing training programs. During each of its semi-annual visits, the team transferred knowledge to Ethiopian trainees through lectures, simulation training (including soft tissue and temporal bone labs), and hands-on training in the clinic and in the operating room. HTC sought other otolaryngology groups that had been visiting Ethiopia and worked to coordinate their collective educational efforts into a curriculum.

Dr. Isaacson shares three lessons learned in a decade of global medicine: 1) No number of medical missions is sufficient to change the population health status in a large, resource-challenged country. 2) Long-term positive change comes from supporting and reinforcing a nation's educational system and healthcare resources, not from imposing our own systems. 3) The things we want to give a developing country may not be the things they need.

Dr. Isaacson began work in Ethiopia in 2009 after stepping down as the Chair of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Temple University School of Medicine.

Previous Recipients:
  • 2018: Dr. Susan R. Cordes, MD
  • 2017: Bruce H. Campbell, MD, FACS
  • 2016: Wayne M. Koch, MD
  • 2015: H. Dennis Snyder, MD, FACS
  • 2014: John Thomas Roland, Jr., MD, FACS
  • 2013: James E. Saunders, MD
  • 2012: John M. Hodges, MD, FACS 
  • 2011: Anna H. Messner, MD 
  • 2010: Peter S. Roland, MD 
  • 2009: Richard Wagner, MD
  • 2008: James D. Smith, MD
  • 2007: Drew M. Horlbeck, MD
  • 2006: Craig P. Hedges, MD
  • 2005: Brent A. Senior, MD
  • 2004: James L. Netterville, MD
  • 2003: Byron James Bailey Jr., MD
  • 2002: David S. Parsons, MD
  • 2001: Michael J. McGee, MD
  • 2000: Sylvan E. Stool, MD
  • 1999: Juan J. Garro, MD
  • 1998: Daniel M. Martinez, MD
  • 1997: No award
  • 1996: Salyaveth Lekagul, MD and Soontorn Antarasena, MD
  • 1995: Hans von Leden, MD
  • 1994: Jack V. D. Hough, MD
  • 1993: Samuel O. Massey Jr., MD
  • 1992: M. Coyle Shea Jr., MD
  • 1991: M. C. Culbertson Jr. MD
  • 1990: Col. Joan Zajtchuk, MD