Women's Leadership Initiative


The AOFAS Women's Leadership Initiative supports and encourages women in foot and ankle orthopaedic surgery. Current programs include the Women's Leadership Awards, which recognize outstanding female leaders in foot and ankle orthopaedics, and the Women's Leadership Scholarship Program.


Women's Leadership Awards

The Women's Leadership Awards honor outstanding female leaders in foot and ankle orthopaedics through two awards:

  • The Career Impact Award recognizes women who have made exceptional contributions to the field of orthopaedic foot and ankle surgery.

  • The Career Development Award recognizes the professional aspirations and commitment of early- and mid-career women in orthopaedic foot and ankle surgery.

Read about the past recipients of the Women's Leadership Awards.


Congratulations to the 2024 Award Recipients!

Career Impact Award
Loretta B. Chou, MD

Loretta Chou, MD

Loretta B. Chou, MD, is an accomplished researcher, educator, and leader in orthopaedic surgery. She is the Chief of Foot and Ankle Surgery and Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Stanford University in California. Dr. Chou has authored 65 peer-reviewed research articles and was the editor of Orthopaedic Knowledge Update: Foot and Ankle, editions 5, 6, and 7. She is the Deputy Editor of Foot and Ankle for the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS). Notably, she has led several research studies examining the increased prevalence of breast cancer among women orthopaedic surgeons. As an AOFAS member since 1990, Dr. Chou has served as a reviewer for Foot & Ankle International, a member of the Humanitarian Services and Program Committees, and a volunteer surgeon for the Overseas Outreach Trip to Vietnam.

Career Development Award
Elizabeth Cody, MD


Elizabeth Cody, MD, is an Assistant Attending Surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery and New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York and Stamford Hospital in Connecticut. She is also an Assistant Professor of Clinical Orthopaedic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College and Instructor of Orthopaedic Surgery at New York Medical College. Dr. Cody has authored more than 40 publications, including peer-reviewed research articles and book chapters. In the AOFAS, she currently serves as Vice Chair of the Public Education Committee, Assistant Editor of Contemporary Reviews for Foot & Ankle International (FAI), and a member of the FAI Managerial Board.

Women's Leadership Scholarships

The Women's Leadership Scholarship Program provides leadership opportunities for women AOFAS members and promotes professional growth and female leadership within AOFAS.

The 2024 scholarship covers program fees, lodging, and a travel stipend for the recipients to attend the American Orthopaedic Association (AOA) APEX Leadership Conference.

Congratulations to our 2024 scholarship recipients!


Sara Galli, MD

Sara H. Galli, MD
Madison, Wisconsin

Meghan Kelly, MD, PhD

Meghan Kelly, MD, PhD
New York, New York

Kathryn O'Connor, MD

Kathryn M. O'Connor, MD
Durham, North Carolina

If You Can See It, You Can Be It

Women in orthopaedics share how their mentors, family, and role models inspired and supported their careers.

Thank you to Treace Medical Concepts, Inc. for their support of this video.

"If You Can See It, You Can Be It" Photo Gallery

The Women's Leadership Initiative is funded through gifts to the Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Foundation. We thank the individuals and companies who have contributed to this program since it began in 2017.

Give to the Women's Leadership Initiative