John L. Tarpley, MD, FACS, FWACS, a general surgeon from Nashville, TN received the ACS Surgical Volunteerism Award for his international work serving the medically underserved population of Nigeria. Dr. Tarpley has provided surgical services during volunteer medical expeditions to Nigeria over the course of 28 years in collaboration with his partner Donald Meier, MD, FACS, FWACS. In making these trips, he has provided surgical and medical training to numerous Nigerians and has been dedicated to improving the health care system in that country. Dr. Tarpley's efforts encourage many fellow faculty members, residents, and medical students to join him in his humanitarian efforts. His work in Nigeria is based on equalized health care and health care education in the country and has provided humanitarian opportunities for American physicians and nurses who have traveled there to provide health care to patients and training to Nigerian physicians and surgeons.
During his time in Nigeria, Dr. Tarpley became immersed in the Ogbomoso culture and helped provide surgical and medical care to the community of more than one million people. Furthermore, Dr. Tarpley directed the Baptists Medical Centre residency program for 13 years and served as director of the hospital's department of surgery for 10 years. Additionally, Dr. Tarpley helped establish an accredited general practice residency training program at the Baptist Medical Centre. The residency program, which has a surgery section, along with medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, and community health sections, is responsible for helping more than half of Nigeria's general practitioner fellows successfully pass examinations required to achieve fellowship status in the Nigerian College of General Medical Practice.