Humanitarian Award

The Humanitarian Award recognizes AAOS Active Fellows, Emeritus Fellows, and International members who have distinguished themselves through outstanding musculoskeletal-related humanitarian activities in the United States or abroad.

This award is presented each year at the AAOS Annual Meeting. Recipients receive a $5,000 honorarium.

Candidates for the award will be evaluated for activities that include:

  • Give of himself or herself regardless of compensation
  • Provide services without expectation of remuneration
  • Provide services to all equally, impartially, cooperatively and neutrally
  • Embrace common moral decencies such as altruism, integrity, freedom, justice, honesty, truthfulness, responsibility and compassion
  • Respect and embrace human diversity
  • Improve the lives of those in need through selfless, courageous, creative, and compassionate acts
  • Efforts to bring healthcare access to the underserved (also include humanitarian efforts organization if applicable)
  • Measurable and/or tangible impact of humanitarian activities by candidate
  • Number of patients/people impacted by candidate’s humanitarian activities

Who is Eligible?

  • Must be an AAOS Fellow, Emeritus Member or International member who has distinguished himself or herself through outstanding musculoskeletal-related humanitarian activities in the United States or abroad
  • Cannot have served on the Communications Cabinet within the three years prior to the award year
  • Must have demonstrated an exemplary and outstanding commitment to musculoskeletal-focused humanitarian activities, either domestically or abroad
  • Only one nominee may be nominated (not a joint nomination)

Who May Nominate/Sponsor?

  • Cannot be a member of the Board of Directors or the AAOS Awards Committee
  • Must be an AAOS member; Resident members are eligible to nominate candidates, as well

2021 Humanitarian Award Nomination Form

AAOS Awards Policy

Steven J. Meyer, MD, Receives 2020 Humanitarian Award

Steven J. Meyer, MD, FAAOS, of Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, began his humanitarian work in 1996 when he and his wife traveled to Tanzania on a three-week mission with their church. After witnessing the country’s dismal standard of living, they felt compelled to act. Within six months of their return home they established the nonprofit organization, Siouxland Tanzania Educational Medical Ministries (STEMM). The nonprofit is dedicated to bringing medical care and educational opportunities to the East African region.

In 2017, Dr. Meyer and the STEMM team rescued three children from a bus crash that killed 32 children. He and his team transferred them to Iowa, restored their health and returned them to Tanzania. Today, STEMM has completed more than 1,000 general and orthopaedic surgeries, sent 10,000 children to high school and university, and donated approximately 10 million dollars of medical and educational supplies.

In addition, STEMM has improved the country’s infrastructure by building roads, bridges, classrooms, teacher housing, a birthing center and a fully staffed 50-child orphanage. STEMM feeds 5,000 kids from the school lunch program every day and continues to take on new initiatives. 

Learn more about Dr. Meyer and the 2020 Humanitarian Award

Previous AAOS Humanitarian Award Winners

Sameer Attar, MD, FAAOS
2019 Humanitarian Award Winner

Rick D. Wilkerson, MD, FAAOS
2018 Humanitarian Award Winner

David A. Spiegel, MD, FAAOS
2017 Humanitarian Award Winner