American Society of Anesthesiologists honors Alexander Hannenberg, M.D., with its Distinguished Service Award - American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA)

American Society of Anesthesiologists honors Alexander Hannenberg, M.D., with its Distinguished Service Award

CHICAGO – The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) today presented Alexander A. Hannenberg, M.D., of Wellesley, Mass., with its 2015 Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his passion for global health and humanitarian outreach and his remarkable contributions to ASA. The award is the highest honor ASA bestows and is presented annually to a member who has transformed the specialty of anesthesiology.  

Dr. Hannenberg is associate chairman of the Department of Anesthesia at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton, Mass. He is also president and founder of the ASA Charitable Foundation, which aims to improve health and medical care in under-served communities by advancing the quality of anesthesia care.

Following the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, Dr. Hannenberg became a champion of global health and humanitarian outreach. During this time, he worked to develop a coordinated response to deliver medical aid to the people of Haiti. In late 2012, Dr. Hannenberg was instrumental in the creation of Lifebox USA, a not-for-profit organization that improves anesthesia safety in low income countries by providing pulse oximeters, a standard medical device that measures the level of oxygen in a patient’s blood, and encouraging the use of simple safety checklists that help to reduce surgical complications and mortality such as the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist.

Dr. Hannenberg’s service to ASA and other professional medical societies has been extensive. He is a past ASA president and served as chair of the Committee on Economics and vice president for Professional Affairs. During his tenure at ASA, Dr. Hannenberg has contributed to the creation of the Anesthesia Quality Institute (AQI) and the National Anesthesia Clinical Outcomes Registry (NACOR). He has also held positions within the American Board of Anesthesiology, Massachusetts Society of Anesthesiologists, Massachusetts Medical Society and American Medical Association.

No stranger to academia, Dr. Hannenberg is a clinical professor of anesthesiology at Tufts University School of Medicine and a senior research scientist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Ariadne Labs) in Boston. He served on the Board of Directors for the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research (FAER) for nine years. Through his work with FAER, he recognized the need to create interest in anesthesiology research among medical students and introduced the FAER Medical Student Anesthesia Research Fellowship Program. To date, 569 medical students and 60 anesthesia departments have participated in this eight week-long program.

“Dr. Hannenberg’s continuous and exceptional record of service to ASA is deeply appreciated,” said ASA President Daniel J. Cole, M.D. “In addition to his commitment to global health outreach, his vision to create AQI and NACOR was pioneering for our specialty.”  

Dr. Hannenberg received his medical degree from Tufts University and completed his residency in anesthesiology at Beth Israel Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston. He also completed the Hospital Leadership Development Program at Harvard Business School.

The Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor ASA bestows. It is presented annually for outstanding clinical, educational or scientific achievement, contribution to the specialty and/or exemplary service to the Society. ASA House of Delegates establishes policies governing the selection of a recipient for the Distinguished Service Award.

Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 52,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care every patient deserves. 
For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists online at To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit Join the ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2016 social conversation today. Like ASA on Facebook, follow ASALifeline on Twitter and use the hashtag #ANES16.

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