APSA Foundation

APSA Foundation Enrichment Grants

In 1991, a small group of APSA members led by Dr. Albert H. Wilkinson, Jr, of Jacksonville, FL discussed establishing a Foundation for APSA to foster support for scientific investigation in the field of children’s surgery by providing an Annual Enrichment Grant to qualified applicants. The group included former Presidents Kathryn Anderson, James A. O’Neill, Jr, the late Alfred A. de Lorimier, then current President Dick Ellis, the APSA Treasurer Bradley Rodgers and the APSA Secretary Keith Ashcraft. Dr. Wilkinson was the driving force, and with the aid of a Jacksonville law firm, he developed the Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation which took effect on October 7, 1992. The Articles of Incorporation of the APSA Foundation were filed with the Secretary of State of Florida on February 2, 1993. Certification followed on March 19, 1993. The initial officers of the Foundation include President Dick Ellis, Secretary, Keith Ashcraft, and Treasurer Bradley Rodgers, Dr. Wilkinson served as the Foundation Agent in the State of Florida. On May 3, 1994 an application for a 501(c3) tax exempt charitable corporation was filed with the Internal Revenue Service and was approved by the US Department of Treasury, Internal Revenue Service on March 15, 1995. At the time, the Foundation Board was led by Jay Grosfeld, APSA President, Donald R. Cooney, Treasurer and Howard Filston, Secretary.
Initially, only 2% of the APSA membership contributed to the fledgling Foundation. The corpus of the Foundation grew slowly, and the first Enrichment Grant was awarded in 1996 to Dr. Michael Caty in the amount of $9,825. In 1997, the Foundation by-laws were amended and the Board of Directors membership revised to include (1) the 4 past-presidents of APSA, (2) the APSA Secretary, (3) the APSA Treasurer and (4) one at-large member, elected to a three-year term by the general membership at the Annual Business Meeting. A formal grant application process with stringent peer review was established as the method for selecting each Annual Enrichment Grant recipient.
By its third year, contributors to the APSAF had increased to 7% of the total APSA membership. In 1998, efforts to enhance donor participation were increased by further formalization of the donation process. Dr. Grosfeld was asked to continue as Chairman of the Board of Directors, serving indefinitely at the discretion of the Board. In 2003, Dr. Wilkinson stepped down as Foundation Agent and was replaced by Dr. John Noseworthy. 

The active APSA President was considered an ex officio member of the Foundation Board, and in 2007, a second at-large member was added to the Board. Unfortunately, both Drs. Wilkinson (2015) and Noseworthy (2014) have subsequently passed away, and we are ever so grateful to them for their loyal service to the Foundation. Dr. Dan Robie of Jacksonville, FL is the current Foundation agent.
APSAF gift level categories were established including Donor (up to $1,000), Gold Donor ($1,000 or more), Robert E. Gross benefactor ($5,000) and more recently, the William A. Ladd Society level of giving ($10.000) was added. The latter three levels can be achieved by cumulative annual gifts. The corpus of the Foundation has at times exceeded $650,000 despite the fact that less than 20% of the membership have as yet contributed to the Fund. The stipend for each Grant has gradually increased, at first to $10,000, and subsequently to $25,000. Currently, two Grants are awarded annually. Since its inception, donations to the APSA Foundation have eclipsed $1,000,000. The Foundation has provided more than $560,000 in grant support for our young pediatric surgeon-scientists (see the recipient list). The return on investment has been extraordinary! Most of the recipients (>50%) have used their Enrichment Grants from the APSA Foundation as a springboard from which to acquire significant external funding from the NIH and other sources.

APSAF provides a unique opportunity for charitable giving. It has a very low overhead (quite unique), an enormous economic return-on-investment, and makes it possible for all of us to truly advance the surgical care and health of the children for whom we care so much.  Thank you for all you do for pediatric surgery and especially for what your next gift to the APSAF can achieve in the future!
The APSA Foundation Board of Directors
Thomas M. Krummel, MD, Chair
Max Langham, Jr., MD
Mike K. Chen, MD, Treasurer
Directors:  Mary Fallat, MD, Diana L. Farmer, MD, Henri R. Ford MD, David Wesson, MD
Daniel Robie, MD, APSA Foundation Agent
Ex Officio: Ronald Hirschl, APSA President

Donation Methods and Helpful Links 

How Your Donation Pays Off

Ten of the 26 recipients of the annual foundation enrichment grant award have subsequently received external funding from the NIH or other sources following their preliminary research accomplished with APSA Foundation funds. Your tax-exempt contributions to APSAF have energized young and deserving pediatric surgeons to become some of the leading surgeon-scientists of the future.

"The 2011 APSA Foundation Scholarship has provided critical support for my laboratory to test our cutting edge ideas on intestinal regeneration. During the period of this grant, we have obtained critical supporting evidence that is now being packaged into a RO1 application that will be submitted in 2013. In a time of diminishing federal funding for basic science research, the APSA Foundation Scholarship provides a critical support mechanism for young, aspiring surgeon scientists. Without this type of support we risk losing an entire generation of surgeon scientists."

Peter F. Nichol, MD, PhD
American family Children's Hospital, Wisconsin, USA
2011 APSA Foundation Scholar

Levels of Support

All contributions, large and small, are very much appreciated. We have a number of preset contribution levels starting under $100 (regular donor) up to the $1000 Gold Supporter level. To make your philanthropic planning more streamlined, special categories of support are available that recognize individuals who have demonstrated a high level of commitment.  A donation of $5,000 is necessary to become a Robert E. Gross Benefactor and providing a contribution of $10,000 will allow you to be a member of the William E. Ladd Society. All contributions, regardless of amount, are cumulative. You may choose to submit the entire amount, the balance based on previous contributions, or pledge the remaining amount over a three-year period. 

Dr. William E. Ladd was one of the grandfathers of Pediatric Surgery and one of the first to dedicate his entire practice to the surgical care of infants and children. Dr. Robert E. Gross was also one of the forefathers of childhood surgery and served as the first President of APSA. He trained many early leaders in the field and promoted the establishment of pediatric surgery as a recognized specialty. We believe this is an appropriate method of honoring their considerable accomplishments and pioneering efforts to our profession.


All donors are recognized for their contributions according to their level of giving (i.e. donor, Gold donor, Gross benefactor or Ladd Society) in the APSA Annual Meeting Program.

The first APSAF grant to support a pediatric surgical research scientist was awarded in 1996. We hope that each APSA member will remember the APSA Foundation in their annual giving program. The APSA Foundation welcomes the support of donors from among the new members and recent members of APSA who have yet to contribute and recognizes its sustaining contributors each year.