October 18, 2016, Washington, DC. Dr. Nilas Young receives the American College of Surgeons International Volunteerism Award for his outstanding accomplishments. Heart to Heart programs provide advanced cardiac education and training to help clinicians around the world provide care for their patients – from newborn babies to grandparents.

Heart to Heart Founder & Medical Director Dr. Nilas Young is a 2016 recipient of the ACS/Pfizer International Surgical Volunteerism Award conferred annually by the American College of Surgeons. The honor recognizes Dr. Young’s commitment “to giving back to society by making significant contributions to surgical care through organized volunteer activities.” The ACS defines volunteerism as “professional work in which one’s time or talents are donated for charitable clinical, educational, or other worthwhile activities related to surgery…. Volunteerism should be characterized by the prospective, planned surgical care to underserved patients with no anticipation of reimbursement or economic gains.”

Heart to Heart has been a volunteer-driven charity organization since our founding in 1989. Upon learning of the award, Dr. Young remarked:

“Heart to Heart’s primary goal is to provide cardiac education and training to expand surgical care for children and adults in areas of need worldwide. The American College of Surgeons is a driving force in setting international standards for surgical education and care. This recognition by the ACS of our international impact is a real tribute both to the doctors and nurses we have trained, and to my fellow volunteers who have shared their expertise to develop self-sustaining new programs where they are desperately needed.”

In the beginning, California, 1990. Dr. Young (holding stethoscope) welcomes the first delegation of Russian colleagues from Leningrad Children’s Hospital No. 1. Between 1990 and 1999, Young led 20 surgical training missions to Leningrad. In 2002, this children’s heart program was recognized as Russia’s best infant cardiac surgery program. To date, cardiac specialists there have saved the lives of nearly 10,000 babies and children.

The awards ceremony was held in Washington D.C. as part of the ACS annual Clinical Congress.  Founded in 1912, nonprofit ACS is the leading nationwide professional association for surgeons of all specialties. With 64 chapters in the U.S. and 39 in other countries, it is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. Their mission is to improve the care of the surgical patient and to safeguard standards of care in an optimal and ethical practice environment.