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 2024 nomination process will be open January 4 – March 8. Submit your nomination here.

2023 Distinguished Award for Humanitarian Service Recipient

This year’s AAO-HNSF Distinguished Award for Humanitarian Service goes to Robert J. Sinard, MD. He is a professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery and was most recently the residency program director in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Dr. Sinard began his 20-plus-year history of humanitarian efforts with trips to Nigeria with James L. Netterville, MD, AAO-HNS/F Past President and recipient of the 2004 Distinguished Award for Humanitarian Service. More recently Dr. Sinard has taught advanced ablative and reconstructive surgery in Kijabe, Kenya. He and his team demonstrated the value of free flap mandibular reconstruction for young patients with life-limiting jaw tumors to hospital staff and administration as well as local surgeons. He not only taught the surgical team the proper techniques, but also showed the operating room staff, anesthesia team, and floor nurses how to manage these complex surgeries in low-resource settings.

Recognizing the unique needs of local and regional health systems as a major factor in the success of his program, Dr. Sinard now works to fulfill additional teaching needs of Kenyan surgeons and hospitals. He seeks to advance the efforts of local surgeons by supporting their work to build a head and neck surgery fellowship. He also serves as a constant resource for them to discuss difficult cases.

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. Dr. Sinard is a model humanitarian and relentlessly seeks to make a positive difference in the world.

Previous Recipients:

  • 2022: Edward E. Dodson, MD
  • 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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