Fellows honored for volunteerism 
and humanitarianism

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_media_grid style=”load-more” items_per_page=”6″ btn_size=”lg” grid_id=”vc_gid:1508855044572-ee84c87f-94b6-1″ btn_el_id=”gallery-load-more” include=”455,457,458,461,462,454,456,459,460,463″][vc_column_text]Recipients of the 2017 American College of Surgeons (ACS) Surgical Humanitarian Awards and Surgical Volunteerism Awards will be recognized at the Board of Governors annual reception/dinner, 7:00–11:00 pm Tuesday at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, Harbor Foyer/Ballroom. Recipients were selected by the Board of Governors Surgical Volunteerism and Humanitarian Awards Workgroup.


The ACS/Pfizer Surgical Humanitarian Award recognizes Fellows who have dedicated much of their careers to ensuring that underserved populations have access to surgical care and have done so without expecting commensurate compensation. This year, two individuals will receive Surgical Humanitarian Awards.

Robert E. Cropsey, MD, FACS, a general surgeon from Ypsilanti, MI, will receive a Surgical Humanitarian Award for his work in Togo. After completing his general surgery training at St. Joseph Mercy, Ann Arbor, MI, he went to Togo to provide care to the medically underserved people of the country. He arrived and collaborated with locals and other medical professionals and missionaries to open the Karolyn Kempton Memorial Christian Hospital (KKMCH) in 1985, working with the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism. Dr. Cropsey has served as the hospital director, chief of staff, and chief of surgery since KKMCH opened. In 2005, Dr. Cropsey and KKMCH were invited to open a hospital in Mango. Over the next 10 years, Dr. Cropsey traveled between Togo and the U.S. to plan, coordinate, fundraise, design, and build the first real medical center in the area—the Hospital of Hope in Mango.

Francis Robicsek, MD, PhD, FACS, a retired cardiothoracic surgeon from Charlotte, NC, also will receive a Surgical Humanitarian Award. Dr. Robicsek began his humanitarian work in the early 1960s in Honduras, treating tuberculosis patients. He then expanded his surgical services to other countries, providing direct surgical care to patients in Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Eastern Europe. Perhaps more influential even than his surgical skills has been the sustainable medical aid that Dr. Robicsek has brought to the region through training, supplies, and infrastructure. He was a cofounder in 1959 of Heineman Medical Outreach, Inc., a one-time research organization in Charlotte, NC. As president of Heineman Medical Outreach for nearly 50 years, Dr. Robicsek has guided its evolution toward being a local and humanitarian aid program in partnership with the Carolinas HealthCare System.


The ACS/Pfizer Surgical Volunteerism Awards recognize ACS Fellows and members who are committed to giving back to society through significant contributions to surgical care as volunteers. Three surgeons will receive these awards.

Sherry M. Wren, MD, FACS, 
FCS(ECSA), a general surgeon in Palo Alto, and professor of surgery and director of global surgery, Center for Innovation and Global Health, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA, will receive the International Surgical Volunteerism Award. In addition to her clinical work and short-term assignments with Médecins Sans Frontières (also known as Doctors Without Borders) to provide humanitarian aid and surgical care in several African countries, Dr. Wren has spearheaded research and training initiatives in the region that have had a significant effect on patient care. Her first long-term project was at the University Teaching Hospital, Harare, Zimbabwe, where she created a bidirectional surgical residency exchange program. Dr. Wren also designed the International Humanitarian Aid Skills Course at Stanford, a course in North America dedicated to preparing surgeons for a role in humanitarian aid. The course has been presented approximately 10 times to more than 400 physicians from all over the world.

CAPT Zsolt T. Stockinger, MD, FACS, a U.S. Navy general surgeon, Fort Sam Houston, TX, will receive the Military Surgical Volunteerism Award. In 2010, Dr. Stockinger volunteered for the U.S. military mission to Haiti to provide medical care after the earthquake that ravaged the country. He was the only U.S. military general/trauma surgeon present for the USNS Comfort’s entire seven-week mission. Dr. Stockinger also has served on voluntary deployments to embattled regions of Afghanistan. In addition to his work in Haiti and the Middle East, Dr. Stockinger has provided direct surgical intervention, infrastructure development, and surgical training in Pakistan, Ukraine, Mauritius, Ghana, and Southeast Asia.

Yihan Lin, MD, a fourth-year general surgery resident at the University of Colorado Hospital, Denver, will receive the Surgical Resident Volunteerism Award. Dr. Lin has been active in surgical volunteerism since she was a medical student. In 2015, Dr. Lin was accepted as a Paul Farmer Global Surgery Research Fellow in the Harvard Medical School Program in Global Surgery and Social Change, Boston, MA. There she has been involved in developing surgical capacity, infrastructure, and research capability in Zambia and Rwanda. In addition to her work in Africa, Dr. Lin has worked with the World Health Organization on a variety of projects, including developing a manual on strengthening surgical systems and leading a research project at Harvard to create a surgical hospital assessment tool for low- and middle-income countries.

For more information about the Humanitarian and Volunteerism Award winners, see the September 2017 issue of the Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons,
 http://bulletin.facs.org/2017/09/surgeons-honored-for-volunteerism-and-humanitarianism/. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]