October 16, 2018

Dr. Douglas Wood, The Henry N. Harkins Professor, and Chair, UW Department of Surgery, Dr. Sharmila Dissanaike, Professor and Peter C. Canizaro Chair, TTUHSC Department of Surgery, Assistant Medical Director, Timothy J. Harnar Burn Center, and Dr. Eileen Bulger, Professor & Chief, Trauma, UW Department of Surgery

The Harkins’ Society was started in 1955 to honor our first department Chair, Henry N. Harkins on the evening of his 50th birthday celebration. It has since grown to our Department of Surgery’s alumni association with members including faculty, former chief residents and fellows. The Harkins’ Society and its members strive to maintain fellowship and unity to our greater University of Washington Surgery community, and in doing so, support our current trainees as they prepare for their surgical careers.

Each year the Harkin’s Society recognizes the professional achievements and humanitarian services of one of our outstanding members. This year, the Harkin’s Society is honored to name Dr. Sharmila Dissanaike as our Distinguished Alumnus.

Dr. Dissanaike was nominated by our colleague Dr. Giana Davidson, Associate Professor, Division of General Surgery, and selected unanimously by our Society leadership. Dr. Dissanaike graduated from our surgical critical care and trauma fellowship in 2007 and has since gone on to a very successful career in trauma and burns. She is now the Peter C. Canizaro Chair and Professor of Surgery at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center TTUHSC. In addition, she carries active roles in the Verification Committee for the American Burn Association, and both the Committee on Trauma and Ethics Committee for the American College of Surgeons. She has won numerous awards for her research endeavors, academic achievements, clinical expertise and resident mentorship and education. Notably last year she was also awarded the Woman of Excellence award from the YWCA.

Dr. Dissanaike is an incredible example to all young surgeons and embodies this in her role as a surgeon educator. She states “we emphasize teamwork, collegiality, and an ‘all for one and one for all’ type of mentality” when discussing her resident and fellow trainees.”

We are privileged to honor Dr. Sharmila Dissanaike as our 2018 Distinguished Alumnus. Congratulations, Dr. Dissanaike!