Awards & Endowments

Hal Foster Award

The Hal Foster Award was developed in 1991 and is presented to members of the Kansas City Society of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology who have demonstrated exemplary dedication and service to the Society and the local medical community.

Hal Lovelace Foster, M.D. was born July 7, 1858 in Fosters, Alabama, a town named after his grandfather. He received his A.B. degree from the University of Alabama, his M.D. degree from the New York University College of Medicine, and eye, ear, nose and throat training from New York Eye & Ear Infirmary and Manhattan Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital.

On September 17,1882, he came to Kansas City as its only Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist. At that time there were only two hospitals in town: St. Joseph’s and Kansas City General. He taught at both the Kansas City University Medical College and later at the University of Kansas School of Medicine.  He became a Charter or Founding Member of many organizations such as the American College of Surgeons, Kansas City Academy of Medicine, Western Ophthalmological, Otological, Laryngological and Rhinological Association, American Academy of Ophthalmology, Kansas City Academy of Medicine, Jackson County Medical Society, and Kansas City-Southwestern Clinical Society, and, of course, our own Kansas City Society of Ophthalmology and Otolarnygology.

It all started in 1896 when he organized the first regional professional educational meeting, sending 500 invitations to MDs in southern and western states. This led to formation of the first Society – The Western Ophthalmological, Otological, Laryngological, and Rhinological Association on April 9th, 1896 in Kansas City, MO.   Dr. Adolph Alt was elected President; Drs. Fryer, Pipino and Martindale, Vice-Presidents; Dr. Dayton, Treasurer; and Dr. Hal Foster, Secretary.  In 1898 the name was shortened and changed to the Western Ophthalmologic and Oto-Laryngologic Association.

By 1907 it was the largest specialty society in the US with 434 members. The group grew quickly with members from all over the U.S. and led in 1903 to the development of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology (AAOO) – which in turn grew so large it was necessary to split into separate academies for each specialty.  The American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Academy of Otolaryngology were incorporated as separate independent organizations in 1979.  In 1980 the American Academy of Otolaryngology added Head and Neck Surgery to become the American Academy of Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS).

For all his accomplishments and contributions, Dr. Foster was unassuming and preferred to stay in the background.  In 1896 he was nominated for the first president of the Society, but he declined because he felt that it would be best to begin with an older man.  He declined again the following year for the same reason.  Although he served as Secretary, he never served as President.

Dr. Foster, at the age of 83, after almost 60 years of practice, retired on December 31, 1941.  A little more than a year after the 50th anniversary (1945) of the Academy, Dr. Foster passed away at the age of 87.  He was buried in the Mount Moriah Cemetery in Kansas City, Mo.


1991Calvin J. Curts, MD2006Frederick W. Hahn, Jr., MD
1991Clarence H. Steele, MD2007Larry Piebenga, MD
1992William Barry, MD2008Michael Hughes, MD
1992Dick Underwood, MD2009Wilber Spalding, MD
1993Larry L. Calkins, MD2011Eugene Bortnick, MD
1993Gunnar O. Proud, MD2012Thomas Coulter, MD 
1994Fred N. Bosilevac, MD2014Larry Hoover, MD
1994Charley W. Norris, MD2014Charles Luetje, MD
1996Joel Wurster, MD2014King Lee, MD
1997Pat A. Barelli, MD2015William Mangum, MD
1997Lawrence L. Hyde, MD2015Felix Sabates, MD
1999Richard N. Barr, MD2018Carl Migliazzo, MD
Charles Lederer, MD
1999Jacquelyne Holdcraft, MD2018Bradley Thedinger, MD
2000Quentin C. Huerter, MD2019John Hagan, MD
2000Oscar T. Pinsker, MD2019Doug Girad, MD
2001William Case, MD2020Gerhard Cibis, MD
2002Thomas Cotton, MD2020Joseph Guastello, MD
2002Robert Weir, MD2021Andrew Pavlovich, MD
2021Delores “Dee” Bell, MD

Simone Speaker Endowment

In memoriam of Dr. Joseph Simone, we have established the Simone Speaker Endowment to fund future speakers at our Ophthalmology Journal Club Meetings.  Funding for our journal club has always been tenuous, and we are proud to honor Dr. Simone with this endowment.

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