AFSH History

The American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand (AFSH) was founded by the ASSH Council in February of 1986 with the goal of providing funding to support educational services, to stimulate research, and to increase the outreach efforts of the Hand Society. Visit the ASSH History page to learn more about history of the Hand Society since our first gathering in January 1946.

Historical Highlights

1986
ASSH Council establishes the American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand.

1987
IRS officially recognizes the Foundation as a 501(c)(3) organization.

2000
Adrian E. Flatt Endowment Fund created to support the Adrian E. Flatt Residents and Fellows
Conference which precedes the ASSH Annual Meeting. 

2003
AFSH establishes an Endowment Fund with the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF), directing 5% of AFSH earnings annually to hand related research and education.

2003
International Scholarship Program is created to provide training in the care of disorders of the hand and upper extremity to qualified physicians from underserved populations.  Scholarship covers the cost of 3-month U.S. visit to participate in clinics, conferences, laboratory exercises, and surgical demonstrations.

2003
AFSH Founders Circle is established to recognize donors who pledge $10,000 (paid over 2 years) or $15,000 (paid over 3 years).

2004
AFSH underwrites cost of new educational product “Crucial Elements of Hand Surgery” providing core knowledge based learning for hand surgery techniques.  Available as stand-alone Continuing Medical Education (CME) product and as an extended learning tool for program directors. 

2004
The Foundation establishes annual Patient Education grant to the Society to help support the patient website, public service announcements, and patient education brochures.

2005
Restricted Bunnell Traveling Fellowship Fund created to ensure program may continue in perpetuity.  

2006
Future in Hand Capital Campaign is launched with goal of sustaining funding for important research endeavors.  The goal of the Future in Hand Campaign is to raise $3 million over four years, to double endowment and allow AFSH to fund more than $200,000 in yearly research grants.

2007
AFSH partners with Health Volunteers Overseas to create the AFSH-HVO Young Surgeon Traveling Fellowship.

2007
AFSH begins tracking extramural grant recipients and impact of research fund.  

2008
AFSH supports two ASSH members to participate in the ACS Young Surgical Investigators Conference to improve grant-writing abilities.  

2008
The Lee Gordon Fund is created to support Health Volunteers Overseas programming.  The goal of this outreach fund is to support the care of patients in developing areas across the world. 

2008
First Andrew J. Weiland Medal is awarded to recognize an outstanding mid-career researcher
and help support his/her continued interest in hand surgery research.  The award is funded by a special AFSH endowment established in honor of Andrew J. Weiland, MD.

2008
Hand Surgeon-Scientist Award is created to help young investigators develop research careers.  Award is intended for a hand surgeon who has already received a K08 (basic science) or K23 (clinical) grant.  The AFSH partners with the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) and the Plastic Surgery Education Foundation (PSEF) to help fund this award.  

2008
The Order of the Complus Manus giving circle is established to recognize and support giving by young members.  Candidate Members may join Complus Manus by pledging $1,500 (paid over three years),  and young ASSH Members (joined within last three years) may join Complus Manus by pledging $3,000 (paid over a three year period). 

2008
Annual Meeting Traveling Scholarships program created to cover the cost of registration, travel and housing for residents, fellows, and medical students to attend the Adrian E. Flatt Residents and Fellows Program and the ASSH Annual Meeting.  Program was expanded to include active-duty military in 2011.

2009
AFSH establishes the J. Leonard Goldner Pioneer Research Award to honor the memory of former ASSH president, educator and pioneering hand surgeon, J. Leonard Goldner, MD.  The award is given to the most meritorious ASSH Research Grant application.

2010 
AFSH Military Surgeon-Scientist Research Grant is established to encourage military investigators by providing funding for research projects related to the field of upper extremity surgery.

2010
AFSH reveals “The Future in Hand” video

2011 
Robert E. Carroll Founders Lecture Fund established to support an annual honorarium for the ASSH Annual Meeting Founders Lecture speaker.  

2011
AFSH launches Hand and Upper Limb Fellowship Grant to provide institutions partial funding for a second year of fellowship training in upper limb care and surgery, to complement a year of an accredited fellowship in hand surgery.  Official two-year fellowships begin in 2013.

2010
Resident and Fellow Fast Track Grants program is offered to help provide seed grants for innovative projects related to hand surgery.  

2011
AFSH establishes Leadership Circle to honor and recognize those who pledge $20,000 (paid over 3 years) or $25,000 (paid over 4 years).  

2012
AFSH mission is expanded to include “outreach” in addition to research and education.

2012
AFSH launches its 25th Anniversary Capital Campaign (1987-2012) “OUR Future in Hand” with the goal of collecting $5 million in pledges by the end of 2015.  Funds will be used to help support Research (“Reaching Hands”), Education (“Teaching Hands”) and Outreach (“Touching Hands”).  

2012 
AFSH reveals campaign video “OUR Future in Hand." 

2012
The AFSH commemorated its 25th Anniversary by awarding a $100,000 grant for a well-designed, prospective multi-center clinical research study. 

2012
AFSH establishes the Heritage Society to recognize and honor those who have made planned gifts to the Hand Foundation. 

2012
In honor of the 25th Anniversary Campaign, the AFSH establishes the “Show of Hands” wall in the ASSH office.  Donors who pledge $25,000 (paid over 5 years) can have a hand cast made for display. 

2012
Robert A. Chase Library Fund is created for the development of the Chase Library and Museum in the new ASSH Central Office.    

2013
Hand Surgeon-Scientist Grant is awarded to a K08 basic science recipient.  This five-year grant is designed to support young faculty members at teaching institutions who have demonstrated success in research.

2013
AFSH reveals 25th Anniversary Campaign Video “To Reach, To Teach, To Touch the Lives of Our Patients."

2013
AFSH funds a Hand-e grant from the Education Fund in support of the Hand-e Online Learning Portal.  

2013
AFSH offers a $100,000 Clinical Arthritis Grant, open to submissions on clinical topics, including trials of treatment or rehabilitation, diagnosis, outcomes research and health services research. 

2014
First Touching Hands Project outreach mission takes place in Haiti. 

2014
The first non-CME Fellows Precourse supported by AFSH and industry support on “The Complete Hand Surgeon: Flaps You Should Know after Fellowship” takes place in Boston during the 2014 ASSH Annual Meeting.

2014 
The Ronald Linscheid & James Dobyns “Excellence in Wrist Surgery Award” is created to honor the legacy of Drs. Linscheid and Dobyns by annually recognizing the best wrist research paper presented at the ASSH Annual meeting 

2014
Creation of the A. Lee Osterman Excellence in Education Award is announced.  This award will annually recognize an ASSH member (>15 years) who has demonstrated excellence in educating students, residents, fellows and other surgeons and has dedicated his/her career to the advancement of hand surgery education.  

2014 
The first Richard H. Gelberman Scholar Award is presented at the 2014 ASSH Annual Meeting.  This award will be used to defray all or part of the cost of a young hand surgeon’s visit(s) to a national or international center of excellence in order to learn necessary operative or research techniques that will be utilized early in the surgeon’s academic practice of hand, upper extremity, or microsurgery.  

2014
The Riordan Hand Society establishes the Daniel C. Riordan Scholarship Award through the Annual Meeting Traveling Scholarship Program.  Riordan Scholarship recognizes a talented resident or fellow who has shown a sincere interest in teaching and patient care.  

2014
The AFSH and AHTF present the AFSH/AHTF Collaborative Research Award to promote collaboration of hand therapists and hand surgeons.  Award will be presented  during years where joint ASSH/ASHT Annual Meetings occur. 

2014
Joint AFSH/ACS Research Career Development Award is announced. $80,000 grant will sponsor a surgeon specializing in hand surgery research who has already received a K08 or K23 award.  Recipient will have the opportunity to renew initial award for 5 years or total of $400,000.

2015
Innovation in Education grants program begins to seed-fund new or innovative educational initiatives that will benefit ASSH members and/or surgical residents and fellows.

Last updated December 2015.