June 15, 2024

Geoffrey Dunn MD Research Award in Surgical Palliative Care

Geoffrey Dunn, MD, FACS

“Surgical Palliative Care is the attention to suffering in all of its
of the patient and the family under surgical care.”

The Association for Academic Surgeons Foundation (AASF) is delighted to announce a new award, the Geoffrey Dunn MD Research Award in Surgical Palliative Care. Surgical palliative care reveres each patient’s values and honors their dignity by anticipating and managing all aspects of suffering – physical, psychological, social, and spiritual – while employing parallel patient-centered state of the art procedures, operations, and critical care treatments. This award will provide investigators with the opportunity to pursue research interests, specifically germane to the field of surgical palliative care. Proposals may focus on symptom control in surgical patients, surgical decision-making, and communication among others as well as encompass any research approach (e.g., quantitative, quantitative, mixed methods, implementation science).

Donate now and help us reach our $1,000,000 goal to ensure this award, honoring Dr. Dunn’s transformative work will be sustained for future innovative surgical care leaders.



Read how Dr. Dunn has inspired our donors.

“I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Dunn as a PA student. His wisdom and teaching are carried with me every day as a surgeon, improving the lives of my patients.”

“Geoff Dunn is a courageous pioneer in surgery who introduced palliative care when there was little if any acknowledgment in surgery that it was needed or that surgeons needed additional skills to care for patients with serious illness. It is a big deal to swim upstream, it’s probably an even bigger deal to swim upstream when the river is full of people who don’t believe in your agenda. Surgeons and surgery owe a great deal to Geoff and his efforts. This is an extraordinarily great way to recognize his contributions. Thank you for doing it.”

Dr. Geoffrey Dunn is a talented artist and writer, a gifted and compassionate surgeon, and considered the father of the Surgical Palliative Care Movement. Geoffrey P. Dunn, MD, FACS, received a BA in religion at Haverford College and his surgical training with the Harvard system at New England Deaconess Hospital. His surgical experiences included trauma, burns, pediatrics, and surgical oncology in US and abroad. He was Chairman of the Department of Surgery at Hamot Medical Center before working full time in the field of palliative and hospice care with Great Lakes Hospice and at Hamot Medical Center. For the past 25 years he’s dedicated his life and his practice to raising the awareness of surgeons to their responsibilities to holistically helping patients with serious illness. Dr. Dunn was a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine’s exam writing committee for the first certification examination for the sub-specialty of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Dunn was responsible for the integration of palliative medicine into the work of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the largest surgical organization in the country. Much of what has occurred in the field of surgical palliative care including research, educational initiatives, and board certification have been built upon his work. His impact of the field of palliative care is extraordinary, both nationally and internationally. Thanks to his tireless efforts, his willingness to learn from and work with leaders in the field and his dedication to disseminating his knowledge, generations of surgeons have learned how to integrate palliative medicine into their practices thus improving the lives of countless patient and families.

Applications for the Geoffrey Dunn MD Research Award in Surgical Palliative Care
will open during ASC 2024.

Vanitas study. Oil on canvas board 2021. Geoffrey Dunn, MD, FACS

“Dr. Geoffrey Dunn, a highly accomplished surgeon and fine artist, could see clearly that suffering is an integral aspect of surgical illness as well as its treatment. More than anyone of his generation of surgeons in the United States, he has been a catalyst for profound change within surgical culture wherein concern and care for the suffering of surgical patients are now recognized as foundational to the science and art of surgery.”

Daniel B. Hinshaw, M.D., FACS
Inaugural Member of the American College of Surgeons Taskforce on Surgical Palliative Care