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Nikhil J. Bhatt, MD International Humanitarian Award

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

2020 International Humanitarian Award Recipient: Marlinda Adham, MD, PhD.

This year’s awardee is Marlinda Adham, MD, PhD. Dr. Adham's distinguished academic career includes important leadership positions such as the current General Secretary of the Indonesian Otorhinolaryngology –Head and Neck Society, Past-President of the Asian Society of Head and Neck Oncology, and Founder and Course Director of the Indonesian ORL-Head and Neck Surgery and Oncology Training Program.

In 2006, Dr. Adham organized the annual Thyroid Mission in Southern Maluku. She chose this district because many of the local population have thyroid nodules thought to be caused by iodine deficiency. Most of the patients are poor, live far from the hospital, and have transportation difficulties.

The local hospital-Karel Sadsuitubun and the agency Empowerment of Family Health (PKK) informs the community and primary care physicians by radio to announce the arrival of the Thyroid Mission. The PKK assists in informing, collecting, and preparing the patients for surgery.

Composed of ENT Faculty and residents from various medical centers in Indonesia, the Thyroid Mission stays onsite for one week performing around 50 thyroid surgeries in five days. All specimens are examined by Pathologists in the RSCM Hospital in Jakarta. Patients who are found to have a malignant tumor are followed up with a total thyroidectomy. Dr. Adham’s work with the Thyroid Mission has shaped the spirit of cooperation and sharing to help the unfortunate patients.

A native of Indonesia, Dr. Adham received her medical degree from the University of Indonesia, followed by a residency in otorhinolaryngology. She received her PhD from the Free University in Amsterdam, Netherlands. She is currently a member of the faculty in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Indonesia, Dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo (RSCM) Hospital in Jakarta.

Previous Recipients:

2019 – José Manuel Colmenarez Mendoza, MD | Venezuela

2018 – Professor Mohan Kameswaran | India

2017 – Johanna Sembergman, MD | Venezuela

2016 – Nega Kiros Hagos, MD | Ethiopia