American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

2015 International Volunteer Award: Susan Miller Briggs

Susan Miller Briggs, MD, MPH, FACS, a trauma and general surgeon, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Boston, MA, received the 2015 International Surgical Volunteerism Award for working with not-for-profit organizations and the U.S. National Disaster Medical System to provide surgical care during humanitarian emergencies throughout the world.

Dr. Briggs founded the International Trauma and Disaster Institute at MGH as an educational resource in trauma and disaster medicine to aid the many countries that have little or no organized systems for disaster preparedness and response. She developed and participated in numerous international train-the-trainer courses for multidisciplinary medical providers, which are provided at no cost. The second edition of the Advanced Disaster Medical Response Manual for Providers was recently developed and edited by Dr. Briggs with the MGH department of surgery and the Harvard Program in Global Surgery; at present, it is being translated into multiple languages. The first edition was translated into eight languages, including Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, and Spanish.

In collaboration with the American Refugee Committee and as a founding member of the Durant Fellowship for Refugee Medicine, Dr. Briggs served as a mentor to many of the recipients, both at MGH and in refugee camps throughout the world. Her involvement with Project Hope and the U.S. government included organizing and leading volunteer disaster medical teams to respond to many international emergencies, including earthquake disasters in El Salvador, Armenia, Iran, China, and Haiti, as well as a train disaster in Ufa, Russia. Dr. Briggs also worked with not-for-profit organizations to develop programs addressing gender-based violence, income generation, and austere medical care in low- and middle-income countries.

Dr. Briggs worked as a consultant in trauma and disaster medicine following humanitarian disasters, helping to develop sustainable programs in trauma care and rehabilitation medicine in conjunction with not-for-profit and international medical organizations. These programs provide in-country training of personnel, provision of medical equipment, and collaborative exchange programs. Dr. Briggs is an associate professor of surgery and affiliate faculty in global surgery, Harvard Medical School, Boston.

See more photos on the Bulletin website.