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Nikhil J. Bhatt, MD International Public Service Award

The AAO-HNS Foundation supports otolaryngologists around the world who demonstrate a unique commitment to the specialty as part of our continued effort to foster a global otolaryngology community. 

The AAO-HNSF Nikhil J. Bhatt, MD International Public Service Award honors a non-U.S. otolaryngologist—head and neck surgeons whose achievements have advanced the specialty. The Award is in fulfillment of the AAO-HNSF’s aim to foster a global otolaryngology community, and made possible through the generosity of Nikhil J. Bhatt, MD, a longtime advocate of AAO-HNSF international affairs.

Nominations for the 2020 Nikhil J. Bhatt, MD International Public Service Award are due April 15! 

In 2019, the International Public Service Award recognized the efforts of Johan J. Fagan.

This year's awardee is Johan J. Fagan, MD. Dr. Fagan has devoted much of his career to advancing ENT in Africa and developing countries around the world by creating awareness of global inequality of training opportunities and access to care. His department hosts the only fellowships in Sub-Saharan Africa in head and neck surgery, rhinology, and pediatric otolaryngology. He has trained 13 African head and neck surgeons and founded the African Head and Neck Society (AfHNS).

Dr. Fagan has used his executive positions in the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery Foundation, International Federation of ORL Societies (IFOS), and American Head and Neck Society to advance international collaboration and education opportunities for developing countries. He maintains an educational website for Developing World ENT and self-publishes The Open Access Atlas of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Operative Surgery, and the Open Access Guide to Audiology and Hearing Aids, chapters of which have been downloaded more than 2.3 million times (

Dr. Fagan received the Open Education Consortium (OEC) 2017 Award for Open Education Excellence in recognition of the Atlas and received a gold medal from IFOS for his contributions to otolaryngology in 2017. He currently spearheads the promulgation of the AfHNS Clinical Practice Guidelines for Head & Neck Cancers in Developing Countries and Limited Resource Settings.

After completing fellowships at the University of Pittsburgh in head and neck/cranial base surgery and in otology, Dr. Fagan was appointed the Leon Goldman Chair of Otolaryngology at the University of Cape Town in 2002. He has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and chapters and has lectured in more than 30 countries.

Previous Recipients:

2018 – Tania M. Sih, MD | Brazil

2017 – Sheng-Po Hao, MD | Taiwan

2016 – Lokman Saim, MD | Malaysia