Honorary Awards & Lectures

Additional Information

The Holt Leadership Award for Residents and Fellows

The Holt Leadership Award is awarded annually to the Resident or Fellow-in-Training who best exemplifies the attributes of a young leader: —honesty, integrity, fairness, advocacy, and enthusiasm. The Award recognizes exemplary efforts on behalf of the Section for Residents and Fellows-in-Training of the AAO-HNS/F for the promotion of the missions and goals of the association.

Nominees are brought forward annually from the SRF. Two candidates are submitted to the AAO-HNS/F Executive Committee for their final selection. The award, a check for $500 and a plaque, is presented at the annual SRF General Assembly and the awardee is announced during the Annual Meeting Opening Ceremony.

This award is supported by an endowment from G. Richard Holt, MD, MPH, former Executive Vice President of the Academy.


  • 2014: Jayme R. Dowdall, MD
  • 2013: Mark E. Zafereo, Jr., MD 
  • 2012: Jeffrey C. Liu, MD
  • 2011: Vasu Divi, MD
  • 2010: Lily Love, MD
  • 2009: Spencer C. Payne, MD
  • 2008: Jacob D. Steiger, MD
  • 2007: Monica Tadros, MD
  • 2006: Angela M. Powell, MD and Mark E. Boston, MD
  • 2005: Adam T. Ross, MD
  • 2004: Paul L. Leong, MD
  • 2003: Liana Puscas, MD and Robert Puchalski, MD
  • 2002: F. Christopher Holsinger, MD
Distinguished Award for Humanitarian Service

The President presents this award at the Opening Ceremony to an Academy member who is widely recognized 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.

2013 Recipient: James E. Saunders, MD

Dr. James E. Saunders, for his exemplary life-long dedication to the Otologic and Hearing Health Care for patients world-wide. Involved in projects in international medicine related to ear disease and hearing loss, he cofounded Mayflower Medical Outreach, a non-profit organization that has been working to improve healthcare for hearing loss and ear disease in Nicaragua. Dr. Saunders has now trained a generation of otolaryngology staff and residents in ear surgery, and has started the development of a cochlear implant program. He is currently coordinating a collaborative program with the World Health Organization and two other non-governmental organizations to develop a national program for hearing loss in Nicaragua. He has served on several international expert advisory panels for hearing loss. He is a long-time member, past Chair, and Consultant for the Humanitarian Efforts Committee. Dr. Saunders is currently the Regional Director for Africa and has been selected to serve as the Foundation Coordinator for International Affairs, starting October 2013.  

Previous Awardees are:

  • 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

2013 Distinguished Award for Humanitarian Service
James E. Saunders, MD

Jerome C. Goldstein, MD, Public Service Award

The Jerome C. Goldstein, MD, Public Service Award recognizes members for commitment and achievement in service, either to the public or to other organizations within the United States, when such service promises to improve patient welfare. The awardee is honored during the Annual Meeting Opening Ceremony.

2014 Recipient:  Keith F. DeSonier, MD 

Dr. Keith DeSonier  worked as an educator in the Armed Services, teaching residents at Brooke Army Medical
Center, and instructing military surgeons during Desert Shield/Desert Storm. He has worked to promote
patient and physician friendly legislation in Louisiana through chairing the Council on Legislation of the
Louisiana State Medical Society (LSMS) and the Louisiana Medical Political Action Committee (LAMPAC).
His work has been critical in protecting physicians from scope of practice infringements from
optometrists and advanced practice nurses and in promoting transparency and reform in the Louisiana
Medicaid program Bayou Health. He has also served the LSMS as President and Chair of the Board of
Councilors/Board of Governors, and has worked to promote patient welfare in his community through
volunteering with American Legion, as a Physician Coordinator for the Children’s Miracle Network, and
as a Fourth Degree Knight in the Knights of Columbus. Today, Dr. DeSonier continues to serve on the
AMA Delegation of the LSMS, to chair our Council on Legislation, and to chair LAMPAC. His success in
promoting public health and successful passage of patient and physician legislature has been

For a list of previous awardees, contact Executive Operations at execops@entnet.org

Presidential Citations

Presidential Citations recognize individuals personally selected by the president who have left a personal imprint on the life and/or career of the president, and/or have made a lasting impression through their outstanding contributions and dedication to the Academy, Foundation, or greater house of medicine. Citation awardees are recognized during the Annual Meeting Opening Ceremony.

The 2014 recipients are:

Byron J. Baily, MD
Reginald F. Baugh, MD
Julius N. Hicks, MD
David R. Nielsen, MD

For a list of previous citation winners, contact Executive Operations at execops@entnet.org

Honor and Distinguished Service Awards

Honor Awards and Distinguished Service Awards are part of the Academy’s system for recognizing meritorious service. Members receive honor points for participation in a variety of activities and leadership roles. Non-members can receive honor points but are not eligible for Honor Awards or Distinguished Service Awards. However, points earned as a non-member convey if the individual becomes an AAO-HNS member.

The Honor Award is the first award a member can obtain for participation in certain activities. A member can earn only one Honor Award in a lifetime. To receive an Honor Award, a member must earn 10 volunteer service points over a minimum of five years. The Honor Award point system is constructed to promote recognition not only for the quantity of service, but also for the variety and longevity of service. A maximum of two points, each of which must come from a different category of service, can be accrued each year.

The Distinguished Service Award (DSA) is a recognition of volunteer service beyond the level of an Honor Award. Members who attain 50 honor points, including the 10 points received for an Honor Award, receive the Distinguished Service Award. There is no limit on the number of Distinguished Service Awards a member may receive. All honor points, regardless of quantity earned in each category in a year, are credited toward the DSA.

As of 2010, the AAO-HNS has bestowed 1,515 Honor Awards and 248 Distinguished Service Awards.

BOG Model Society Award

The Board of Governors (BOG) Model Society Award recognizes outstanding local/state/regional societies that exhibit effective leadership, institute Academy and Foundation programs, and further Academy goals through active participation in the BOG.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Must have all three (3) BOG representatives appointed (Governor, Legislative Representative, Public Relations Representative)
  • Must have attended at least two (2) of three (3) previous BOG meetings
  • Must have demonstrated local public awareness activity

Note that some years have multiple award winners

2013: New York State Society of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (NYSSO)
2012: Connecticut Ear, Nose, & Throat Society
2011: Pennsylvania Academy of Otolaryngology-HNS 
2011: Honorable Mention: Virginia Society of Otolaryngology-HNS
2010: No award given
2009: Massachusetts Society of Otolaryngology-HNS
2009  Honorable Mention: Pennsylvania Academy of Otolaryngology-HNS
2008: New York State Society of Otolaryngology-HNS
2007: Massachusetts Society of Otolaryngology-HNS
2006: Kentucky Society of Otolaryngology-HNS
2006: Alabama Society of Otolaryngology-HNS
2005: Georgia Society of Otolaryngology-HNS
2004: Massachusetts Society of Otolaryngology-HNS
2003: Michigan Otolaryngological Society
2002: Oklahoma Academy of Otolaryngology-HNS
2001: Kansas Society of Otolaryngology-HNS
2000: Rhode Island Society of Otolaryngology-HNS
2000: Massachusetts Society of Otolaryngology-HNS
1999: Georgia Society of Otolaryngology-HNS
1998: Washington Metro Otolaryngology-HNS
1997: Michigan Otolaryngological Society
1997: Florida Society of Otolaryngology-HNS

2013 BOG Model Society Awardee
New York State Society of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (NYSSO)

BOG Practitioner Excellence Award

The Board of Governors Practitioner Excellence Award recognizes the prototypical clinical otolaryngologist one wishes to emulate. Board of Governors Representatives will nominate individuals who, within the past 10 years, have practiced medicine in an exemplary manner and are sought out by other physicians because of their personal and effective care. The nominee should have, in addition to his or her clinical skills, one or more of the following attributes:

  • Civic leadership
  • Charitable activity
  • Leadership involvement with state, local or national medical organizations
  • Community education
  • Local civic and/or community activities
  • Academy member in good standing


2013: Michael Setzen, MD
2012: No award given
2011: Marcy Bothwell, MD
2010: Sanjay K. Gupta, MD
2009: James L. Netterville, MD
2008: No award given
2007: No award given
2006: No award given
2005: Rick G. Love, MD
2004: Michael D. Seidman, MD
2003: Helen F. Krause, MD
2002: David W. Kennedy, MD
2001: M. Coye Shea, Jr., MD
2000: Neil O. Ward, MD
1999: Howard P. House, MD
1998: Jack L. Pulec, MD
1997: Fred D. Owens, MD
1996: John M. Conoyer, MD

2013 BOG Practitioner Excellence Awardee
Michael Setzen, MD

WIO Helen F. Krause, MD Trailblazer Award

This award recognizes an individual who through scholarship, advocacy, leadership, and/or mentorship has furthered the interests of women in the field of otolaryngology.

2013 Helen F. Krause, MD Trailblazer Awardee
Dana M. Thompson, MD

Adam T. Ross, MD, Leadership Excellence Grant

The honor of the Adam T. Ross, MD, Leadership Excellence Grant is bestowed annually to a resident leadership grant recipient who has exhibited strong leadership commitment to the Academy throughout his or her residency. Members of the Sections for Residents and Fellows-in-Training (SRF) select this individual during their spring meeting.

2013 Adam T. Ross Awardee
Tara L. Rosenberg, MD

Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award

In 2009, the Arnold P. Gold Foundation selected the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) as one of three medical specialty societies to confer the Gold Foundation’s new Humanism in Medicine Award, with the goal of advocating for the compassion, empathy, and sensitivity displayed by practicing physicians caring for their patients. These goals align with our AAO-HNS/F vision of “Empowering otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeons to deliver the best patient care.”

The 2014 honoree is Raul Mata Cruz, MD

AAO-HNS/F Model Committee Award

The Model Committee Award recognizes committees that contribute in ways that lead to the overall success of the AAO-HNS/F mission: empowering otolaryngologist—head and neck surgeons to deliver the best patient care. Model committees have a passion for the AAO-HNS/F’s visions and for accomplishing the activities outlines in the AAO-HNS/F strategic plan.

John Conley, MD Lecture on Medical Ethics

This award, named for an esteemed leader in our specialty, is based on Dr. John Conley’s passion for head and neck surgery and belief in the professionalism of the practice of medicine. He was dedicated to the highest standard of moral and ethical behavior from physicians.

Rosemary Gibson

2014 Honored Lecturer

Rosemary Gibson

Howard P. House, MD, Memorial Lecture for Advances in Otology

Howard P. House, MD’s name stands out among those viewed as legends within our specialty. His passion for sharing knowledge through research and education is the reason we honor him through the establishment of a lectureship and to ensure that Dr. House’s desire to share knowledge on a global plane continues. This award is presented in odd-numbered years only.

2013 Honored Lecturer: Derald E. Brackmann, MD

H. Bryan Neel, III MD, PhD, Distinguished Research Lecture

Funded by the Neel family and friends, the H. Bryan Neel, III MD, PhD Distinguished Research Lecture was established in 1993 to disseminate information regarding new developments in biomedical science to the otolaryngologic community and has been a special feature of the Research Forum.

2014 Honored Lecturer

Carter Van Waes, MD, PhD

AAO-HNSF/International Hearing Foundation/Michael M. Paparella, MD Endowed Lecture for Distinguished Contributions in Clinical Otology

In conjunction with the International Hearing Foundation, this award recognizes outstanding achievements and significant sustained contributions to clinical otology and clinical otopathology. This award is presented in even-numbered years only.

2014 Honored Lecturer: Richard A. Chole, MD PhD

Cotton-Fitton Endowed Lecture in Pediatric Otolaryngology

Funded by Robin T. Cotton, MD and Cynthia M. Fitton, this award was established to educate otolaryngologists about considerations and care of children with diseases or disorders of the ears, nose, throat, head, and neck. The inaugural lecture was given in 2003. This award is presented in odd-numbered years only.

2013 Honored Lecturer: Joseph E. Kerschner, MD

Eugene N. Myers, MD International Lecture on Head and Neck Cancer

This award was endowed by Leslie Nicholas, MD, in honor of his nephew, Eugene N. Myers, MD, who is dedicated to the management of head/neck cancer and has interest in international medicine.

2014 Honored Lecturer: Professor Sheng Po Hao, MD, FACS, FICS