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.

2021 Distinguished Award for Humanitarian Service Recipient

This year’s awardee is Peter J. Koltai, MD, who has made lifetime contributions to global health. He is a professor emeritus of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery (pediatrics) at the Stanford University Medical Center and is a senior fellow in Stanford’s Center for Innovation in Global Health.

Dr. Koltai is committed to advancing otolaryngology and patient care internationally and, specifically, has been instrumental in increasing access to otolaryngological care in Zimbabwe. He has traveled to Zimbabwe extensively to assist with surgeries and share his knowledge with local otolaryngologists. While in Zimbabwe, he arranged and participated in “ear camp” clinics in rural areas to address hearing needs for those who could not travel for care.

Dr. Koltai worked with a local otolaryngologist to establish the pediatric clinic at Harare Children’s Hospital in 2017. It was the first clinic of its type in Zimbabwe and only the second in Africa. A year later, Dr. Koltai worked with local colleagues to launch the Paediatric ENT Association of Africa.

To support the next generation of otolaryngologists in Zimbabwe, Dr. Koltai has hosted numerous University of Zimbabwe otolaryngology trainees at Stanford University. His leadership and service has also inspired many Stanford otolaryngology residents, fellows, and faculty to volunteer their own time and talents in Zimbabwe.

Dr. Koltai served as Chair of the AAO-HNSF International Otolaryngology Committee from 2009 to 2011.

2021 Distinguished Award for Humanitarian Service Honorable Mention: Susan D. Emmett, MD, MPH

Previous Recipients:

  • 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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