First Annual Heart of Gold Gala

The UB Association of Women Surgeons and The UB Department of Surgery will be hosting our First Annual Heart of Gold Gala.

As part of an initiative to give back to the community we serve we have organized this annual event to raise funds for local charities. This year all proceeds will benefit The Haven House of Buffalo. This is a wonderful local organization that helps victims of domestic violence with leaving their situation, creating a new life, and the healing process. They provide plans, counseling, therapy, and temporary housing for victims and their families. This group helps so many men, women, and children in Buffalo every year. They really are a great example of an organization that helps to better this city and strengthen the community. We pride ourselves on being the City of Good Neighbors, and they truly embody that motto.

Fundraising will take part online over the next six weeks and will culminate in a black tie affair at the lovely Lafayette Hotel. This evening will include socializing with a diverse group of Buffalo professionals, food, open bar, live music, and dance performances. As part of the event we will also be hosting a silent auction. We are asking donors to contribute either a luxury item that can be auctioned on the evening of the Gala or alcoholic beverages to enhance the merriment of the evening. We will happily accept fiscal donations in lieu of an auction item. All donors will be recognized for their contributions. All charitable donations are tax deductible. Above all we would love to see you and your friends at the event! ​

Tickets and the opportunity to donate will be available online this Friday!

‘Nourishing the professional soul’

University at Buffalo surgical resident reinforces the value of her work with community service

Kelly Wagner volunteering

While most surgical residents fear work-induced burnout, Kelly Wagner is increasing her workload, and recommends other residents do the same.

Wagner is a surgical resident at the University at Buffalo and the president of the Buffalo chapter of the Association of Women Surgeons. She has been participating in community outreach through AWS since becoming involved with the chapter during her second year of residency. Wagner said her involvement in the community with AWS makes her happier and more invested in her work, despite the additional responsibility.

AWS held its most recent community outreach event at St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy, where volunteers educated students on the medical field and provided hands-on experience with surgical equipment.

Wagner said these events help increase local representation of women surgeons and provide underserved students with exposure to STEM fields.

volunteering event with high school

“I think sometimes all it takes is just a seven year old, or a seventh grader, or a high school girl to see, ‘Oh, you’re a surgeon, oh my god.’” Wagner said. “Sometimes it’s just seeing that person [who looks like you] and believing it is enough.”

Despite being an organization which highlights women in surgery, Wagner said all AWS’ events are inclusive try to uplift women without separating anyone else. Wagner also hopes to expand AWS’ outreach to include a mentoring program in the future, and is currently working on a Christmas in July event to give back to local organizations.

She said the extra work involved with AWS can be tiring, but the community engagement reminds her of the value of the work she provides.

volunteering event in soup kitchen

“By nourishing your professional soul by doing these other things that are still professional, but extracurricular, it makes you a better resident…” Wagner said. “You’re doing all these things and you’re so busy and it can be very easy to forget. But then when you go somewhere like the Ronald McDonald House, or you go to high schools and underserved areas and you see the community, you’re like, ‘Oh, yeah, this is what we’re doing here.’ And it reminds you a little bit more why you’re here in the first place.”

JACKLYN WALTERS – Health Journalist