The Plastic Surgery Foundation
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Distinguished Career Research Award

This award was established to recognize outstanding achievements in research that have advanced the specialty of plastic surgery. It is meant to recognize a plastic surgeon whose novel and significant work over their career has had a far-reaching impact on the practice of plastic surgery.

Latest Award Recipient

Carolyn Kerrigan, MD

Dr. Kerrigan has more than 30 years of diverse leadership experience as a clinician, educator, researcher, healthcare leader and mentor with significant accomplishments in systems redesign, quality improvement, physician performance measurement, strategic planning and team-building. She trained at McGill and New York University. She practiced in Montreal for 12 years with an active research lab investigating skin flap physiology. With her move to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (1996), her research interests shifted to patient-reported outcomes. Under Dr. Kerrigan's leadership, DH has implemented a system-wide program to integrate patient-reported outcomes in the electronic medical record and clinical practice. She has mentored Canadian, US and Danish trainees. She has received $2.3M in grant funding, published 17 book chapters and 100 peer-reviewed articles.

Dr. Kerrigan has held national leadership roles: President, Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons (1995-96), Secretary, American Board of Plastic Surgery (2002-04), President, Plastic Surgery Educational Foundation (2006-07). She was instrumental in developing a collaboration between ABPS and PSF for a common registry: MOC and TOPS.

She received her Masters in Health Care Delivery Science from Dartmouth College (2013) and is currently teaching in the MHCDS program and coaching quality improvement to diverse frontline teams.

Achilles Thoma, MD

Dr. Thoma was born in Cyprus in 1950 and immigrated to Canada in 1966. He completed his BSc (1974), MD (1976) and a Head and Neck surgery fellowship (1981) at McMaster University. He completed McLaughlin fellowships in Hand Surgery and Microsurgery in the USA (1982). He received his MSc in Health Research Methodology (2002).

Dr. Thoma established a microsurgical service and training lab at McMaster affiliated hospitals and served as the head and program director for the Division of Plastic Surgery for over 29 years, collectively. He just completed a 10-year term as the Director of the Surgical Outcome Research Centre. He was past president of the Educational Foundation of the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons (CSPS) (2005-07) and President of CSPS (2008). He was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award by the CSPS in 2016.

He is a clinical professor of surgery at McMaster and an Associate Member of the Dept of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact. His research focuses on evidence-based surgery, quality of life and cost-effectiveness analysis in hand and breast surgery. He has over 200 publications, including a newly published book: Evidence-Based Surgery: A Guide to Understanding and Interpreting the Surgical Literature.

Past Award Recipients

  • 2019: Carolyn Kerrigan, MD
  • 2019: Achilleas Thoma, MD
  • 2018: James R. Sanger, MD
  • 2018: Hani S. Matloub, MD
  • 2017: Warren Garner, MD
  • 2016: Michael Longaker, MD, MBA, FACS
  • 2015: Elof Eriksson, MD, PhD