Distinguished Award for Humanitarian Service

About the 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.

2022 Distinguished Award for Humanitarian Service Recipient

This year’s Distinguished Award for Humanitarian Service goes to Edward E. Dodson, MD, who, since 1995, has helped the underserved population of the Dominican Republic (DR) through Project Ear, a humanitarian organization that medically assists patients who are financially unable to access hearing healthcare. Dr. Dodson has served as president of Project Ear since 2000, when the organization became an official nonprofit.

Underserved from an otolaryngologic perspective, the DR has no fellowship-trained otologists. Under the guidance of Dr. Dodson, Project Ear has completed nearly 60 weeklong biannual trips with over 1,200 otologic surgeries, 1,500 ear exams, 700 screening audiograms, and 300 hearing aid fittings. Surgeries are performed at a small mission hospital with just four operating rooms and equipment that is nearly 30 years old.

To kickstart Project Ear, Dr. Dodson personally bought two otologic microscopes and shipped them to the DR. He has also helped train a local otolaryngologist who is now performing advanced otologic surgery, including cochlear implantation. Even more impressive has been Dr. Dodson’s impact on resident education—there are now two otolaryngology residency programs thanks to his efforts.

As a professor and neurotologist at The Ohio State University, Dr. Dodson plans his next medical mission by gathering supplies that would otherwise be discarded by the hospital, obtaining new equipment (often personally funded), and recruiting volunteers. He also invites surgeons from other otolaryngology-head and neck surgery subspecialties to help train residents in techniques with which they may not be familiar.

Dr. Dodson’s dedication to global health has touched thousands of patients’ lives in the DR and instilled a sense of compassion and dedication to hundreds of trainees both American and Dominican.

Previous Recipients:

  • 2021: Peter J. Koltai, MD
  • 2020: Merry E. Sebelik, MD
  • 2019: Glenn C. Isaacson, MD
  • 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
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