Pierce E. Scranton Humanitarian Service Award


The Pierce E. Scranton Humanitarian Service Award was established by the Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Foundation in 2020 to recognize exemplary service to AOFAS/Foundation humanitarian programs. The award is named after Pierce E. Scranton Jr., MD, founder of the Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Foundation, who started the Overseas Outreach Project to Vietnam and was integral in the early years of the project.

Recipients of this award will demonstrate a passion for foot and ankle orthopaedic humanitarian work by providing surgical expertise and training in areas of the world with limited foot and ankle care.


2024 Recipient
Eric C. Gokcen, MD

Eric C. Gokcen, MD

Eric C. Gokcen, MD, is deeply committed to orthopaedic humanitarian work, particularly in Ethiopia and Kenya. For seven years, he lived in Africa while working with CURE International as the Medical Director and Chief of Orthopaedic Surgery at the CURE Ethiopia Children's Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and as an Orthopaedic Surgeon in Kijabe, Kenya. He also helped create successful orthopaedic surgery residency training programs in both countries. Since returning to the US, he has continued to travel to Kenya on medical mission trips and was instrumental in expanding the Foundation's Overseas Outreach Project to Kenya.

2023 Recipient
Robert G. Veith, MD

Robert Veith, MD

For more than 20 years, Robert G. Veith, MD, has volunteered his time and surgical expertise around the world, including many trips to Vietnam with the Overseas Outreach Project. After joining the Board of Directors for the Prosthetic Outreach Foundation (later renamed Mobility Outreach International), he initiated a program to teach the Ponseti technique for serial casting in Vietnam, improving treatment and outcomes for clubfoot in the country. In 2019, he was awarded a medal by the Ministry of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs (MOLISA) in Vietnam for his dedication and service.

2022 Recipient
Ruth L. Thomas, MD

Ruth Thomas, MD

Ruth L. Thomas, MD, has been involved with humanitarian work in the United States and abroad. She volunteered for the Overseas Outreach Project to Vietnam several times, caring for patients in need and educating local surgeons. She has also participated in humanitarian trips to Uganda, Haiti, Bangladesh, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, and served as director for the annual Soles4Souls event in Arkansas.

2021 Recipient
Naomi N. Shields, MD

Naomi Shields, MD

Naomi N. Shields, MD, participated in the first Overseas Outreach Project to Vietnam 20 years ago and has returned every year since. In addition to providing outstanding surgical care on these trips, she educates Vietnamese doctors, coordinates supplies, and mentors first-time volunteers. Outside of AOFAS, Dr. Shields has volunteered on numerous trips to Haiti, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua.

About Dr. Scranton

Pierce Scranton, MD, with patients in VietnamPierce E. Scranton Jr., MD, was the founder and first president of the Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Outreach and Education Fund, now known as the Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Foundation. In 2001, under Dr. Scranton's leadership, the Foundation supported the first Overseas Outreach Project to Vietnam. The project brings AOFAS surgeons to underserved areas of Vietnam to treat patients with lower extremity injuries and deformities. 

As a result of Dr. Scranton's vision and commitment, AOFAS members have performed more than 1,500 surgeries in Vietnam and evaluated more than 3,500 patients since 2001. Many of these patients are unable to afford advanced medical services and would get limited or no care without the Overseas Outreach Project. In 2019, the program expanded to Kenya with additional sites being considered for the future.