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News from the American College of Surgeons
For Immediate Release

Illinois surgeon David P. Winchester, MD, FACS, will receive Distinguished Service Award from American College of Surgeons

CHICAGO (September 2, 2021): Today the American College of Surgeons (ACS) announced that it will present its highest honor given annually, the Distinguished Service Award, to general surgeon David P. Winchester, MD, FACS, who practiced for many years in Evanston, Illinois.

Dr. Winchester will be honored at the virtual Convocation ceremony, the evening of Sunday, October 24, during the ACS Clinical Congress, also a virtual event. The ACS Board of Regents’ Honors Committee selected Dr. Winchester for this distinction “in appreciation for his exceptional and continuous service as a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and his role as Medical Director for the College’s Commission on Cancer (CoC), the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC), the National Cancer Database, and the American College of Surgeons Cancer Research Program,” according to the award citation.

Dr. Winchester is considered a natural leader, who possesses integrity, vision, and a steadfast commitment to the College’s initiatives and principles. He serves as a role model to surgeons everywhere “to always do the right thing for patients,” the citation notes.

The award recognizes “his vision and dedication in developing a national accreditation program related to the alignment of the highest standards and quality of care in the treatment of breast cancer and rectal cancer”—the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) and the National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer, respectively. It also acknowledges “his exemplary leadership of the College’s many Cancer Program initiatives”; his representation on behalf of the College to other surgical and medical professional organizations; and “his role as a mentor, teacher, and trainer of the next generation of surgical oncologists.”

A Fellow of the College since 1974, Dr. Winchester served as Medical Director, ACS Cancer Programs from 1985 to 1998 and 2001 to 2019, when he retired from ACS. In this capacity, he also served at Executive Director, AJCC (1992−1998, 2001−2019), and Chairman of the Board, NAPBC (2006−2011).

Dr. David P. Winchester (left) with surgical team members, son David J. Winchester, MD, FACS, and  daughter Diane Chisman, RN, MSN

He spent much of his career in active practice at Evanston Hospital, Illinois, and in academic surgery at Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago. At Evanston Hospital, he served in the following positions: senior attending surgeon (1976−2013); head, surgical oncology (1977−1995); chief, division of general surgery (1986−1995); chairman, department of surgery, Evanston Northwestern Healthcare (ENH, 1995−2007); and chairman of the board, ENH Medical Group (1998−2007). At Northwestern, he was professor of surgery (1992−2009) and associate dean for medical affairs (2000−2007).

Other Honors, Leadership Roles, and Memberships

In addition to the College’s Distinguished Service Award, Dr. Winchester has been honored by many other institutions and professional societies. He was named outstanding faculty teacher of the year, department of surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (1990, 1993, 1998, 2006, and 2007) and honored by the graduating class for outstanding teaching (1994, 1995, 1998). He also received the 2008 Dean’s Award from Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine and the Excellence in Teaching Award, department of surgery, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine (2011, 2012, 2013).

He has received the St. George Medal, Illinois Division, American Cancer Society (1994); the James Ewing Medal, Society of Surgical Oncology (1998) and was the first recipient of the society’s Distinguished Service Award (2013). He delivered the Robert Moreton Lecture at the 1997 Annual Meeting of the American College of Radiology (1997) and is an Honorary Fellow of that organization (2000).

He has held leadership positions in several professional societies. He was a member of the board of directors (1980−1992) and president (1986−1988), Illinois Division, American Cancer Society. He was a member, board of directors of the Rice Foundation (1988−1997). He has been a member of the executive council (1988−1998), secretary (1993−1996), president (1997−1998) of the Society of Surgical Oncology, as well as president of the Northwestern University Medical School National Alumni Board (2013−2015).

Dr. Winchester is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, The Institute of Medicine of Chicago, Association for Academic Surgeons, Chicago Surgical Society, Central Surgical Association, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Western Surgical Association, American Surgical Association, American Society of Breast Surgeons, M. D. Anderson Associates, American Radium Society, and American Society of Breast Disease.

Contributions to the Medical Literature

Dr. Winchester has served on the editorial boards of The Journal of the Northwestern University Cancer Center; Cancer (associate editor, 1999 Annals of Surgical Oncology; Journal of Surgical Oncology; International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics; AJCC Cancer Staging Atlas (Editor, 2002). In addition, he is an ad hoc reviewer for the New England Journal of Medicine, Archives of Surgery, Journal of the American College of Surgeons, and American Journal of Surgery.

Dr. Winchester has authored or coauthored 252 articles for publication in scholarly journals, 10 book chapters, 5 books, and 7 monographs. He has completed 14 visiting professorships at international renowned academic medical centers, been an invited speaker at 85 professional society meetings, and has mentored 12 ACS Clinical Scholars.

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About Dr. David P. Winchester

He earned his bachelor of arts, medical, and master of science degrees at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, and Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago. He completed his internship at Evanston Hospital and performed his general surgery residency at Northwestern University Medical Center. He was a senior clinical fellow in surgery and was faculty associate, department of surgery, University of Texas, M. D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute, Houston. Dr. Winchester was a Captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps (1964−1966) at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD, and the Republic of Vietnam.

About the American College of Surgeons

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for all surgical patients. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 84,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. For more information, visit>


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