Awards and Promotions

If you or a WTS Member colleague have recently been honored with an award or promoted to a new position, please e-mail the information to to be reviewed for posting on this page.

  • Drs Jessica Donington and Melanie Edwards were awarded the second annual Carolyn Reed Traveling Fellowship Award.  Their receipt of this award was acknowledged at the 2015 TSFRE awards held in conjunction with the AATS meeting in Seattle.
Jessica Donington receiving Reed Award

Jessica Donington receiving Reed Award

Reed Award received on behalf of Melanie Edwards

Reed Award received on behalf of Melanie Edwards

  • Shanda H. Blackmon, MD, was promoted to Associate Professor, Weill Cornell Medical College, at the Methodist Hospital, Houston in August 2013.
  • Yolonda Colson, MD, PhD, was promoted to Professor of Surgery, Harvard University/Harvard Medical School in July 2013.
  • Meena Nathan, MD received the 2013 TSFRE Braunwald Research Grant
  • Valerie Rusch, MD received the 2012 Association of Women Surgeons (AWS) Foundation Nina Starr Braunwald Award. Dr. Rusch received this award in recognition of her leadership in advancing women in surgery.
  • WTS Member and Past President, Yolonda Colson, MD, was appointed to be a Director of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. Congratulations to Dr. Colson on this accomplishment!
  • WTS Member, Jennifer Lawton, MD was promoted to full Professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis.
  • WTS congratulates the Americas Team on their win during the International Thoracic Surgery Masters Cup at the 20th European Conference on General Thoracic Surgery. This competition took place in conjunction with the ESTS meeting in Essen, Germany, and we are pleased to note that the winning team included of two of our very own WTS members, Yolonda Colson, MD and Gail Darling, MD.
  • WTS congratulates our thoracic surgeon female representatives participating at the October 2012 International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus meeting:
    Gail Darling, MD (Toronto General Hospital): “The evolution of symptoms and quality of life in patients with untreated achalasia”
    Daniela Molena, MD (Johns Hopkins): “Nationwide treatment and outcomes in patients hospitalized with esophageal achalasia in the United States;”
    Katie Nason, MD (UPMC): “Molecular target immunohistochemistry panel can aid prognostication of patients with oesophageal-gastric cancer;”
    Virginia Litle, MD (University of Rochester): “Gender differences in esophageal adenocarcinoma genomics.”
  • Kristine Guleserian, MD was promoted to Associate Professor at UT Southwestern/Children’s Medical Center Dallas in 2012.
  • 2011 ABTS Diplomates
    Congratulations to the following women who were recently certified by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery.
    Adanna Akujuo, MD – Clinton, NY
    Sharon Ben-Or, MD – Greenville, NC
    Michelle DeWing, MD – Roseburg, OR
    Cherie Erkmen, MD – Grantham, NH
    Nervin Fanous, MD – Baton Rouge, LA
    Lauren Kane, MD  – Los Angeles, CA
    Sylwia Karpinski, MD – Clinton Twp., MI
    Eva Proctor, MD  – Memphis, TN
    Ghazala  Rahman, MD – Rochester, MN
    Lana Schumacher, MD – Oakmont, PA
    Mini Sivadasan, MD – Chicago, IL
    Courtnye Walker, MD – Fort Smith, AR
  • Rebecca Wolfer, MD, was promoted to Full Professor in 2010. She is currently Professor, Marshall University School of Medicine; Dept of Surgery Director Thoracic Surgery; Director, Surgical Critical Care Cabell Huntington Hospital; and Director, Trauma Cabell Huntington Hospital.
  • Jennifer Hirsch, MD was awarded the Nina Starr Braunwald award in March, 2010
  • Leora Balsam, MD, Joanna Chikwe, MD, Yolonda Colson, MD, Blair Marshall, MD, and Shari Meyerson, MD were awarded Simulation in Thoracic Surgery Education Grants
  • Jessica Donnington, MD recently received the initial IASLC/Lung Cancer Foundation of America Young Investigators Award
  • A.J. Carpenter, MD, PhD, has recently been promoted to Professor of Thoracic Surgery of the University Health System, San Antonio, Texas.
  • Shanda Blackmon, MD, was the recipient of the 2009 STS Legislative Advocacy Workshop Young Physicians Scholarship. Dr. Blackmon attended the event in Washington, DC, Sept. 13-15 and was able to meet with Texas members of the House of Representatives as well as both Senators (K.B. Hutichison and J. Cornyn). Dr. Blackmon said, “The workshop came at a crucial time during the health care debate.”
  • 2009 ABTS Diplomates
    Congratulations to the following women who were recently certified by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery.

    Dahlia M. Alspaugh, MD
    Romulus, NY
    Vanessa R. Gibson, MD
    Sandusky, OH
    Gurjyot Bajwa, MD
    Cleveland, OH
    Jasleen Kukreja, MD
    San Francisco, CA
    Leora B. Balsam, MD
    New York, NY
    Theresa D. Luu, MD
    Atlanta, GA
    Elizabeth G. Butler, MD
    Evansville, IN
    Alicia A. McKelvey, MD
    Hamden, CT
    Cynthia S. Chin, MD
    New York, NY
    Alden M. Parsons, MD
    Raleigh, NC
    Subashini R. Daniel, MD
    San Francisco, CA
    Sujata Subramanian, MD
    Seattle, WA
    Melanie A. Edwards, MD
    New Orleans, LA
    Betty C. Tong, MD
    Baltimore, MD
    Stephanie M. Fuller, MD
    Philadelphia, PA
    Karin P. Trujillo, MD
    Omaha, NE
  • Congratulations to WTS member Patricia A. Thistlethwaite, MD, who was named as a Councillor at Large for the Western Thoracic Surgical Association. Her term runs through June 2011.
  • Cardiac surgeon Cynthia Herrington, MD, a staff physician, surgical director of pediatric heart transplant and surgical director of lung transplantation at the University of Minnesota Medical Center in Minneapolis, has joined the medical staff at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, according to Vaughn A. Starnes, MD, director of The Heart Institute and chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, Hastings Distinguished Professor and chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California and the founding executive director of the new USC Cardiovascular Thoracic Institute. Dr. Herrington, who will hold the Ryan Winston Family Chair in Transplant Cardiology at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, began her assignment as an associate professor of cardiothoracic surgery at Children Hospital Los Angeles in July 2008.
  • Tracey L. Weigel, MD, Andrea Schnell, Nancy Steinhauer, Traci Bretl, Jens C. Eickhoff, and Noelle K. LoConte, all from the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, Madison, Wis., received the 2009 STS Geriatric Patient Care Award. This award is presented to the authors of the best STS Annual Meeting abstract on the topic of aging and cardiothoracic surgery.  Their research, “Preoperative Thoracic Oncogeriatric Assessment for Patients With Thoracic Malignancies,” explored preoperative Thoracic Onco Geriatric Assessments (TOGA) for older patients with thoracic malignancies. Their research determined that there was a positive trend that combined MNA, GDS, IADL, and BFI scores to predict postoperative events, but statistical significance had not yet been achieved. They concluded that TOGA is a concise, physician-friendly tool that may enhance geriatric patient care and may facilitate quality improvement and enable geriatric patients and their physicians to make informed treatment choices.
  • Jacquelyn Quin, MD, has been promoted to Associate Professor at the Southern Illinois University Medical School.
  • 2008 ABTS Diplomates
    Congratulations to the following women who were recently certified by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery.

    Farzaneh  Banki
    Los Angeles, CA
    Samantha E. Kwon, MD
    Boynton Beach, FL
    Reshma M. Biniwale, MD
    Glendale, CA
    Winnie W. Lee, MD
    St. Louis, MO
    Shanda H. Blackmon, MD
    Houston, TX
    Katie S. Nason, MD
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Yvonne M. Carter, MD
    Washington, DC
    Vita V. Sullivan, MD
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Vicky L. Chappell, MD
    Calera, OK
    Bethany B. Tan, MD
    Suffolk, VA
    Rose B. Ganim, MD
    Northampton, MA
    Alvina Won, MD
    Yakima, WA
    Carolyn E. Jones, MD
    Rochester, NY