Surgical Volunteerism Awards Honor Four Members of the American College of Surgeons for Service to the Medically Underserved

Newswise — Earlier this evening, four members of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) were recognized for their selfless efforts as volunteer surgeons who provide care to medically underserved individuals in the United States and in international locations. The following surgeons were named recipients of the 2010 Surgical Volunteerism Award of the College and Pfizer, Inc.: Richard S. Bransford, MD, FACS, Kijabe, Kenya, received the Surgical Humanitarian Award; Samuel B. Broaddus, MD, FACS, Portland, ME, received the Surgical Volunteerism Award for international outreach; Col. Michael W. Cruz, MD, FACS, Tamuning, Guam, received the Surgical Volunteerism Award for military outreach; and T. Peter Kingham, MD, New York, NY, received the Surgical Volunteerism Award for resident outreach. The Surgical Volunteerism Awards were presented in conjunction with the award program’s sponsor, Pfizer, Inc. The ACS/Pfizer awards were presented during the American College of Surgeons Board of Governors dinner, which is one of the highlights of the College’s 2010 Annual Clinical Congress being held this week in Washington, DC. The volunteerism award is given “in recognition of those surgeons and surgical residents committed to giving something of themselves back to society by making significant contributions to surgical care through organized volunteer activities.”

Dr. Bransford received the 2010 American College of Surgeons/Pfizer, Inc. Surgical Humanitarian Award, which recognizes surgeons who have dedicated a substantial portion of their career to ensuring the provision of surgical care to underserved populations without expectation of commensurate reimbursement. Dr. Bransford has spent more than 30 years in dedicated service to surgical patients in Africa, particularly children. Following his education and training, and his service in the United States Air Force, Dr. Bransford served as a missionary surgeon in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Comoros before moving with his family to Kenya, where he spent more than three decades at AIC Kijabe Hospital, initially as a staff surgeon, then as the program director of pediatric rehabilitation surgery. During his time in Kenya, Dr. Bransford has cofounded a pediatric health care facility and a children’s hospital, the Bethany Crippled Children’s Centre and BethanyKids at Kijabe Hospital, respectively, to provide much-needed care to disabled children. He has also spent a great deal of time caring for surgical patients during disasters and crises elsewhere in Africa, including in Rwanda, Somalia, southern Sudan, and Zaire. Dr. Broaddus was given the Surgical Volunteerism Award for international outreach in recognition of his service to the medically underserved and his commitment to improving the care of surgical patients in Haiti. Dr. Broaddus has been a surgical volunteer since finishing his work as a urology resident, spending two years post-training teaching surgeons to perform trans-urethral prostate surgery in mission hospitals outside of the U.S. He has been passionate, however, about helping the Haitian people, volunteering there often over the past 16 years. Annually, from 1994 to 1998, Dr. Broaddus spent two weeks at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in central Haiti, performing urological surgery where there would otherwise have been no urologist. In the years since, he has worked to improve basic health care in northern Haiti, led annual surgical missions to a teaching hospital operated by the Haitian Ministry of Health, and worked tirelessly to help improve surgical infrastructure and surgical residency training in the island nation.

Dr. Cruz received the Surgical Volunteerism Award for volunteer work performed while serving as an active duty military surgeon. During his service with the Guam Army National Guard, Dr. Cruz cofounded and is currently president of the Ayuda Foundation, which aims to address the vital health needs of neighboring Pacific Islanders. From its beginning in 1994, the Ayuda Foundation has organized medical missions providing a wide range of pro-grams to the islands of Micronesia. Additionally, the foundation works to provide assistance to hospitals struggling with a backlog of surgical cases and a lack of infrastructure by organizing surgical teams and large quantities of surgical and medical supplies. Dr. Cruz served tours of duty with the National Guard in Iraq, Philippines, Cambodia, and Afghanistan. His deployment in Afghanistan gave him the opportunity to provide clinical assistance and medical education to Afghani surgeons. In addition to his work with Ayuda, Dr. Cruz is the incumbent Lt. Governor of Guam.

Dr. Kingham is the recipient of the Surgical Volunteerism Award for volunteer outreach undertaken during surgical residency training. A 2001 graduate of SUNY Stony Brook School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY, Dr. Kingham completed a surgical oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, where he is a faculty member in the hepatopancreatobiliary division. Much of Dr. Kingham’s time during his residency was spent volunteering in South Africa, Malawi, and Mexico, and in 2007, he cofounded Surgeons OverSeas (SOS), to help save lives in developing countries through the improvement of surgical care. As a result, assisting in the enhancement of medical infrastructure in developing countries, most notably in Sierra Leone, has been the organization’s focus. Its efforts have included working with the Sierra Leonean Ministry of Health to develop a surgical residency program, which will produce the country’s first surgical residents in thirty years, the creation of a mass casualty disaster training course, and organizing surgical missions and sending supplies. The work that SOS has undertaken is a model of surgical development that the organization intends to contribute as part of a process of collaborating with other organizations to improve medical infrastructure around the world. Drs. Bransford, Broaddus, Cruz, and Kingham bring the total number of recipients of the ACS Surgical Volunteerism Award to 23, since the award was inaugurated in 2003.

The surgical volunteerism awardees are determined by the ACS Governors Committee on Socioeconomic Issues, and the awards are administered through the ACS Operation Giving Back program.

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and to improve the care of the surgical patient. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 77,000 members, and it is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. For more information, visit