AANS2019 Award Winners

The awards presented at the 2019 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting saluted neurosurgeons who have dedicated their careers to the specialty and its patients.

Cushing Medalist: James T. Rutka, MD, PhD, FAANS


Introduced by AANS President Shelly Timmons, MD, PhD, FAANS, FACS, who called him a gentleman and a scholar, Dr. Rutka called the award the greatest honor of his professional career. He commented that he had had the most fun and, perhaps, the greatest impact professionally, while working with the AANS in the many roles he has held.

AANS International Lifetime Recognition Award: Franco Servadei, MD


Dr. Servadei accepted his award noting that, “we do not live in a closed room of society. In reality there is a vast shortage of even basic neurosurgical care around the world.” He concluded in Latin, “Nemo solus satis sapit,” which translates to no one is wise enough by himself.

AANS Cushing Award for Technical Excellence and Innovation in Neurosurgery: Kevin T. Foley, MD, FAANS


Called a “phenomenal technician, who has transformed spine surgery across the world,” Dr. Foley took a moment to thank the AANS and express his appreciation for the recognition of his efforts.

AANS Distinguished Service Award: M. Ross Bullock, MD, PhD


The Distinguished Service Award is awarded by the AANS president and given in gratitude and appreciation for dedicated service to the specialty.

AANS Humanitarian Award: David I. Sandberg, MD, FAANS


Dr. Sandberg, who has personally organized 19 international missions, commented that, “when you save the life of a single person, it feels as though you have saved the entire world.” He concluded saying, “while the problems in the world seem unsolvable, the are not. We can make incremental changes: we can make a difference.”