Esteemed pediatric surgeon Henri R. Ford, MD, MHA, FACS, FRCS, FAAP, will receive this year’s Owen H. Wangensteen Scientific Forum Award during tonight’s Convocation ceremony. The ACS Scientific Forum Committee annually honors a successful individual who has advanced academic surgery as an expert clinician, accomplished researcher, and outstanding educator and mentor.
Dr. Ford is renowned for his groundbreaking research in necrotizing enterocolitis, significant history of extramural funding, and his reputation for mentorship and sponsorship.
Born in Haiti, Dr. Ford’s family fled to New York, NY, when he was 13 years old, settling in Brooklyn. He knew no English upon entering the United States, but within 4 years he had enrolled at Princeton University in New Jersey. There he was awarded the Myron T. Woods Prize for best senior thesis at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs (now the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs) and has served on the Board of Trustees of Princeton University for 10 years.
Dr. Ford attended Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, completed his general surgery residency at New York-Presbyterian, Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, and a pediatric surgical residency and a research fellowship in immunology at the University of Pittsburgh, PA. Dr. Ford remained on the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh and became the Benjamin R. Fisher Chair in Pediatric Surgery and surgeon-in-chief at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
In 2005 he was appointed vice-president and surgeon-in-chief at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, CA, and professor of surgery at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, where he quickly ascended to vice-dean of medical education. In 2018, he became the dean and chief academic officer at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine in Florida. He also chairs the council of deans of the Association of American Medical Colleges, leading 156 medical school deans in North America.
Dr. Ford served on the ACS Board of Regents from 2012 to 2021. As a Regent, he chaired the Ethics and Program Committees and led the College’s efforts to provide trauma care for children injured during the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. In 2015, he led a team that performed the first successful separation of conjoined twins in the island nation and in the Caribbean.
He also served on the ACS Board of Governors and Advisory Council for Pediatric Surgery. He is past president of The Society of Black Academic Surgeons and the first Black president of the Association for Academic Surgery, Surgical Infection Society, and American Pediatric Surgical Association. He has been a stalwart supporter of the Scientific Forum as a research mentor and member of the ACS Scientific Forum and Program Committees.