Prof Ken Boffard (front, right) and his wife, Dr Virginia Boffard (front, left), holding the Christiaan Barnard Memorial Award. With them are (left to right) Dr Anchen Laubscher, Mande Toubkin, Marc van Heerden, and Dr Richard Friedland.

World-renowned South African trauma surgeon
Prof Ken Boffard whose contributions to life-saving surgical practice and
academia are acknowledged the world over, has been awarded Netcare’s highest
honour, the Christiaan Barnard Memorial Award.

“What award can be presented to Professor
Ken Boffard that can even begin to convey the enormous respect and esteem with
which he is regarded, not only within Netcare and South Africa, but also
internationally,” noted Netcare CEO, Dr Richard Friedland.  

“When one considers the tremendous stature
of Professor Boffard and his numerous achievements, not least of which are the
countless lives he has saved over his illustrious career, he is a most worthy
recipient of this, the highest honour Netcare bestows upon medical
professionals practising in our facilities.”

Prof Boffard is
Director of Trauma at Netcare Milpark Hospital Academic Trauma Centre, which is
a satellite training centre of the Department of Surgery at the University of
the Witwatersrand, and an accredited Level I Trauma Centre Trauma Society of
South Africa (TSSA). He is Professor Emeritus, and Honorary Consultant in the
Department of Surgery of the University of the Witwatersrand. He was previously
Chief Specialist and Head of the Department of Surgery at Charlotte Maxeke
Johannesburg Academic Hospital, prior to which he was Head of the Johannesburg
Hospital Trauma Unit, which is the world’s oldest, and one of the busiest
trauma centres in the world.

“We at Netcare, and indeed every person who
holds human life dear, owe a debt of gratitude to Prof Boffard for his tireless
work and unswerving commitment to building international expertise in his field
and establishing standards in trauma and critical care that have dramatically
improved patient outcomes,” noted Dr Anchen Laubscher, medical director of the
Netcare Group.

 “It was under his leadership during his
tenure as President of the International Association for Trauma Surgery and
Intensive Care, that the world’s most advanced open trauma course, the Definitive
Surgical Trauma Care [DSTC] and Definitive Anaesthetic Trauma Care (DATC)
Course was developed,” Dr Laubscher added.

“Few individuals have made such a
contribution to broadening access to critical surgery and continually raising
the standard of surgery and trauma medicine both in South Africa and
internationally. We are indeed extremely fortunate that he has been so keen to
share his immense knowledge, so that other medical professionals are able to
learn from his expertise and secure better outcomes for their patients – even
in settings with limited resources.”

Prof Boffard was the first African
President of the International Society of Surgery (ISS), the world’s oldest
International Surgical Organisation, which he now serves in the role of
Secretary General. He is also past President of the Trauma Society of South
Africa and a previous Governor of the American College of Surgeons.  He has served as Honorary Colonel for the
School of Medical Health Training for the South African Military Health
Service.

Dr Laubscher adds that Prof Boffard, who is
himself a licensed fixed wing and helicopter pilot, was a driving force behind
the introduction of helicopter emergency medical services in South Africa,
which has since become an essential resource in pre-hospital management of
critically injured patients in appropriate circumstances.

Accepting the award, Prof Boffard said that
his life’s work is to enhance the effectiveness of trauma care.

“It is a privilege for me to be recognised
with the Christiaan Barnard Memorial Award, and to work with the uniquely
talented trauma team at Netcare Milpark Hospital. We continuously strive to
improve on our already formidable reputation for trauma care in the context of
a wider trauma system of integrated pre-hospital emergency care, in-hospital
care and rehabilitation of trauma patients, so that all of these elements are
integrated to achieve the best possible outcomes for patients,” he says.

“The honour of this award is the
recognition of what every member of the team has contributed to make this
excellence of care possible,” Prof Boffard concluded.