OMI Faculty Member Dr. Roger Haertl Named AANS Humanitarian of the Year

May 24, 2022

Dr. Haertl, the director of neurosurgery spine at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medicine, co-director of Och Spine at NewYork-Presbyterian, director of Weill Cornell Medicine’s Center for Comprehensive Spine Care, and OMI faculty member was honored by The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) with its prestigious Humanitarian of the Year award.

The AANS lauded Dr. Haertl for his work as founder of the Global Neurosurgery Initiative at Bugando Medical Centre in Mwanza, Tanzania and for his commitment to global neurosurgical education. The Bugando Medical Centre has also been an official partner of the Open Medical Institute for more than 12 years.

Dr. Haertl’s program has blossomed over the last 15 years. What began as a single trip to deliver supplies morphed into a robust, year-round program with an exchange of fellows and an annual hands-on neurotrauma course. African-trained doctors come to train alongside Dr. Haertl at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medicine, then take their newfound skills back home to train peers in their own country. Despite travel interruptions due to the pandemic, Dr. Haertl maintained the program using virtual meetings.

In awarding Dr. Haertl this honor, the AANS also recognized his many years of involvement in the Salzburg Weill Cornell Seminar program in Salzburg, Austria, which educates international surgeons on neurosurgery and spine surgery. The Neurosurgery (Spine) seminar will take place for the 16th time in September 2022.

The OMI is proud of Dr. Haertl’s dedication and is honored to have him as a long-term faculty member. We agree that he is very deserving of this award!

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