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

2007 International Volunteer Award: Van C. Knowles

Dr. Knowles at work in India.

Van C. Knowles, MD, FACS, of Albany, GA, was selected as the recipient of the 2007 Surgical Volunteerism Award for his international outreach over the past quarter century in Karakonam, South India. Since 1983, Dr. Knowles has made a commitment to this community that has culminated in the creation of a 500-bed multidisciplinary hospital and clinic with 14 operating rooms, a staff of 500, and an associated nursing and medical school complex. For his dedication to this effort, the facility has been named the Van Knowles Surgical Complex. Dr. Knowles is currently developing training programs for residents in general surgery; ear, nose, and throat; obstetrics-gynecology; ophthalmology; and public health. As president and chief executive officer of the Southwest Georgia Medical Mission Team that has been involved with Karakonam for the past two decades, Dr. Knowles has inspired by example, overseeing outreach projects, procuring necessary funding, and, of course, forming a lasting and meaningful relationship with the people of Karakonam.