Women's Leadership Award Recipients


The Women's Leadership Initiative supports and encourages women in foot and ankle orthopaedic surgery. Since 2018, the Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Foundation has presented the Women's Leadership Awards to outstanding female leaders in foot and ankle orthopaedics.


2021 Award Recipients

Career Impact Award
Barbara Piclet-Legré, MD

Barbara Piclet-Legre, MD

Barbara Piclet-Legré, MD, of Marseilles, France, is a pioneer and innovator in orthopaedic foot and ankle surgery. Dr. Piclet-Legré specialized in foot and ankle orthopaedic surgery in 1986, traveled extensively throughout the 1990s to acquire new technologies, and opened her own foot and ankle practice, Centre Du Pied, in 2000. In 2014 she opened a second practice, while continuing to mentor numerous orthopaedic surgeons from around the world. Additionally, Dr. Piclet-Legré is the first female vice president and future president of a French orthopaedic society.


Career Development Award
Andrea N. Veljkovic, MD, MPH, FRCSC

Andrea Veljkovic, MD

Andrea N. Veljkovic, MD, MPH, FRCSC, of Vancouver, Canada, is an Associate Clinical Professor and Director of the Adult Foot and Ankle Reconstruction Fellowship at the University of British Columbia. After completing her orthopaedic residency training at the University of Alberta, Dr. Veljkovic completed an arthroscopy and athletic injuries fellowship at the University of British Columbia, followed by a foot and ankle fellowship at the University of Iowa. An accomplished orthopaedic researcher, she has published more than 80 scientific papers and was nominated as a finalist for the AOFAS J. Leonard Goldner Award in 2017 and the Roger A. Mann Award in 2019.

Past Recipients

2020 Career Impact Award
Naomi N. Shields, MD

Naomi Shields, MD

Naomi N. Shields, MD, of San Antonio, Texas, is a highly regarded orthopaedic surgeon and humanitarian. Dr. Shields served in the military as a general medical officer at Rhein Main AFB in Germany. Upon her return, she was the first woman in the orthopaedic surgery residency program at Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center in Texas and went on to complete a foot and ankle orthopaedic fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Dr. Shields continues to give back by participating in the Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Foundation's Overseas Outreach Project to Vietnam almost every year. In addition, she served as president of the Foundation, a member-at-large on both the AOFAS and AAOS Boards of Directors, and a member of several committees.


2020 Career Development Award
Laura K. Dawson, DO

Laura Dawson, DO

Laura K. Dawson, DO, of West Point, New York, completed her orthopaedic surgery residency at Texas Tech University Health Service Center and a foot and ankle orthopaedic fellowship at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Currently, she serves as the United States Corps of Cadets Senior Medical Officer and an orthopaedic surgeon at Keller Army Community Hospital in West Point. Prior to her medical career, Dr. Dawson had more than 15 years of experience in the military and received five awards for exemplary service. In addition to serving on the AOFAS Research Committee, she is a member of the AAOS Limb Salvage Clinical Practice Guideline Team, the AOA Emerging Leaders Program, and the Society of Military Orthopaedic Surgeons.


Judith F. Baumhauer, MD, MS, MPH


Judith F. Baumhauer, MD, MPH, of Rochester, New York, is an esteemed surgeon, researcher, educator, and innovator in orthopaedics. For nearly 25 years, she has mentored future surgeons at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York and currently serves as professor, foot and ankle fellowship director, associate chair of academic affairs, and PROMIS medical director for the school. Dr. Baumhauer was president of the AOFAS from 2011-12 and also is a past president of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and Eastern Orthopaedic Association.


Kelly C. Stefani, MD, PhD


Kelly C. Stéfani, MD, PhD, of São Paulo, Brazil, currently works at Instituto de Assistência Médica ao Servidor Público Estadual, a public hospital, while also maintaining a private practice. Dr. Stéfani is an associate editor of the Scientific Journal of the Foot & Ankle, the official publication of the Brazilian Foot and Ankle Society. An athlete who has participated in several Ironman triathlons, she gives back to her community as a volunteer with Street Ski, an organization that improves the lives of underserved children through athletics.


Ruth L. Thomas, MD

Ruth Thomas, MD

Ruth L. Thomas, MD, of Little Rock, Arkansas, exemplifies leadership, strength, and perseverance. After completing her orthopaedic residency at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS)—only the second female to do so—she received her fellowship training at the Campbell Clinic. Dr. Thomas has been an integral part of orthopaedic resident education for 25 years in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at UAMS. She has given back through many humanitarian missions to Africa, South America, and Asia, including the Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Foundation Overseas Outreach Project to Vietnam. In addition, she has served as a member and chair of committees for AOFAS, AAOS, and the American Orthopaedic Association.


Su-Young Bae, MD, PhD

Su-Young Bae, MD, PhD

Su-Young Bae, MD, PhD, of Seoul, South Korea, completed her orthopaedic training at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, and learned from AOFAS Past President Lew C. Schon, MD, as a Research Fellow at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. She also was part of the first AOFAS Traveling Fellowship Program in 2005. Dr. Bae has published several scientific articles and serves on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Korean Foot and Ankle Society. As the only female foot and ankle orthopaedic educator in South Korea, Dr. Bae is a mentor for students at Inje University Sanggye Paik Hospital, and an example for women in her country and beyond.