SUS Announces the 2021 Lifetime Achievement and Trailblazer Award Winners
Lifetime Achievement Award Winner: B. Mark Evers, MD
The Society of University Surgeons (SUS) has awarded B. Mark Evers, MD, Professor, Department of Surgery, Director, Lucille P. Markey Cancer Center, and Markey Cancer Center Director Endowed Chair, University of Kentucky, the 2021 SUS Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Evers will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by SUS President Dr. Kasper Wang on Tuesday, February 1, 2022, at the 17th Annual Academic Surgical Congress (ASC) in Orlando, Florida.
The Society of University Surgeons initiated the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. This award is designed to recognize individuals who have had a sustained career in academic surgery with significant and impactful contributions to surgical science and/or the development and training of surgical leaders and surgeon scientists. In addition, past commitment to the Society of University Surgeons is desired but not required. This may be manifest by prior engagement as a past leader in the society and/or participation in the society through annual attendance at the Academic Surgical Congress and active participation and discussion of papers, attendance of member events and society functions.
The Society of University Surgeons seeks to honor and recognize these individuals because of their embodiment of the principles of the Society. We seek to recognize these individuals to establish role models for younger generations of surgeons to honor and emulate their contributions to the science of surgery, and moreover to the Society of University Surgeons.
Dr. Evers was nominated and selected by his peers based on his leadership and contributions to academic surgery, as well as his strong support of the SUS. Dr. Evers’ service to the SUS, as Publications Committee Chair, Secretary, President-Elect, and President of the Society, as well as the SUS Foundation President, exemplify commitment to the organization. Years ago, he was integral as a key SUS leader in the efforts to partner with the AAS to establish the Academic Surgical Congress, which has subsequently become arguably the most successful surgical conference in the world. Dr. Evers is an outstanding surgeon-scientist with decades long continuous NIH funding and, in fact, ranks as one of the highest NIH-funded surgical scientists of all time. His legacy of training countless other surgeon-scientists is unparalleled. As such, we wish to recognize his immense contributions to the field of academic surgery with the LTAA.
Trailblazer Award Winner: Julie Freischlag, MD, FACS, FRCSEd (Hon), DFSVS
The Society of University Surgeons (SUS) has awarded Julie Freischlag, MD, FACS, FRCSEd (Hon), DFSVS, Chief Executive Officer at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Dean, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, and Chief Academic Officer, Atrium Health Enterprise, the 2021 SUS Trailblazer Award. Dr. Freischlag will be presented with the Trailblazer Award by SUS President Dr. Kasper Wang on Tuesday, February 1, 2022, at the 17th Annual Academic Surgical Congress (ASC) in Orlando, Florida.
The SUS created the Trailblazer Award in 2020. This award is designed to recognize individuals who have developed a new area of academic pursuit or opened new avenues of investigation or academic thought that have the potential to be groundbreaking for years to come. The “trailblazing” contributions of the nominee can be broadly interpreted and is not limited to traditional surgical science. Nominations should specify how this individual has created a new and sustained domain of scholarship or knowledge. The SUS seeks to honor and recognize these individuals because of their embodiment of the principles of the Society and to establish role models for future generations of surgeons to honor and emulate their contributions to the science of surgery.
Dr. Julie Freischlag was nominated and selected by her peers because of her absolute dedication to medicine and serving as a strong health system and community leader. She is a revered colleague in surgery and across health professions, and a national voice for improving health and healthcare. Dr. Freischlag is the embodiment of true leadership and has espoused “leadership development” for many of her disciples. Her academic contributions, which are significant and impactful, led to her election to the National Academy of Medicine. She has received numerous teaching awards, an achievement award from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and recognitions as a Triad Power Player and Most Admired CEO by the Triad Business Journal (Winston Salem NC)! Dr. Freischlag has steadfastly mentored students, trainees and young faculty and is a content expert not only for vascular diseases but perhaps more importantly on teamwork and patient safety, leadership, work-life balance, and how women can succeed in health professions. Most notably, however, has been her profound personal and professional impact on past and current generations of leaders, particularly of women surgeon leaders who transcend to hospital and health system roles.