CHOP’s Surgeon-in-Chief N. Scott Adzick Wins 2024 Robert E. Gross Award

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dr. adzick The American Pediatric Surgical Association (APSA) awarded N. Scott Adzick, MD, Surgeon-in-Chief at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), the 2024 Robert E. Gross Award for Excellence in Pediatric Research and Achievement on Saturday, May 18, at its annual meeting in Phoenix, Arizona. The award recognizes a seminal contribution by an individual who has made a major impact on pediatric surgery, whose innovative contributions have resulted in a significant change in how pediatric surgeons manage a particular problem, and the results have been demonstrated to be durable with time and widely accepted by pediatric surgeons as “standard practice.”

Adzick has been a trailblazer in the field of fetal medicine since its inception. His steadfast dedication to quality of surgical care and translational research has profoundly shaped the medical community’s approach to pediatric and fetal surgery.

“I was deeply touched to learn of this prestigious recognition,” said Adzick, who is also the C. Everett Koop Professor of Pediatric Surgery at CHOP and a Professor of Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. “It’s a privilege to be part of the legacy of Robert E. Gross MD who had a pioneering commitment to innovation, compassion, and excellence in the field of pediatric surgery.”

Adzick is the founder and director of CHOP’s Richard D. Wood Jr. Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment (CFDT). Opened in 1995, the center is the largest and most comprehensive fetal program in the world, treating expectant mothers and their unborn babies from all 50 states and more than 70 countries. He and his colleagues have cared for more than 32,000 expectant mothers and have performed more than 2,400 fetal surgeries, making fetal surgery a widespread and life-changing option for babies and families.

Since founding the CFDT, Adzick has continued to study and evolve the practice of fetal surgery. He was the principal investigator for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) “Management of Myelomeningocele Study” (MOMS) at CHOP, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2010. This breakthrough study demonstrated that performing fetal surgery for spina bifida could greatly enhance outcomes for children with this condition. He has since co-authored follow-up studies, revealing that these benefits have continued for more than 10 years and improve mobility and quality of life.

A relentless advocate for medical progress, Adzick was also the driving force behind the world’s first birth facility exclusively for mothers carrying babies with known birth defects. Babies delivered in CHOP’s Garbose Family Special Delivery Unit (SDU) are prenatally diagnosed with birth defects, such as spina bifida or congenital heart disease, and either undergo fetal surgery to treat the condition before birth or need immediate specialized care or surgery after birth.

A prolific researcher and educator in the field, Dr. Adzick has had National Institutes of Health grant support for more than 30 years. He has contributed more than 600 peer reviewed publications to the medical literature and has trained 56 pediatric surgery fellows and more than 50 pediatric surgical research fellows. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 1998.

In addition to his fetal surgery work as a pediatric general and thoracic surgeon, he performs a large volume of neonatal surgery. As a part of the Congenital Hyperinsulinism Center team, Dr. Adzick has performed more than 630 pancreatectomies —the most of any surgeon in the world — and more than 300 babies have been cured of focal hyperinsulinism through surgery.  He is also a leader of the Pediatric Thyroid Center team, which has demonstrated that high thyroid surgery volumes at CHOP are associated with extremely low complication rates.

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What to Expect

From the moment of referral through delivery and postnatal care, your family can expect a supportive experience when you come to us with a diagnosis of a birth defect.