Dr. Ronald Stewart receives Distinguished Service Award from American College of Surgeons

Announcement by American College of Surgeons

Edited for UT Health San Antonio Newsroom

BOSTON (Oct. 23, 2023) — Ronald M. Stewart, MD, FACS, trauma surgeon, professor and chairman of surgery at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, received the Distinguished Service Award — the American College of Surgeons’ highest annual honor — during the ACS Clinical Congress Convocation Ceremony on Oct. 22.

Photo of Ronald M. Stewart, MD
Ronald M. Stewart, MD

The award is in recognition of exceptional and continuous service as an ACS Fellow, as well as a career distinguished by devotion to patient care and the principles and ideals that guide all surgeons in their professional practice.

“I am honored and humbled to receive the ACS Distinguished Service Award,” Stewart said. “I am so grateful to be a member of the American College of Surgeons. Partnering with inspirational colleagues, toiling to reach the ACS Committee on Trauma’s goal of optimal patient care, transformed my life. To me, this recognition is a tribute to colleagues across the American College of Surgeons.”

Stewart, who has been an ACS Fellow since 1997, is being recognized for his tireless work as an instructor, mentor and colleague, encouraging many with his “7 Ps to B”: “Be participatory, be professional, be a problem solver, be a performance improvement leader, be passionate, be patient and be perseverant.”

Among Stewart’s contributions to the College are 27 years of service on the ACS Committee on Trauma (COT), serving as vice chair of his state COT, state chair, region chief in the Regional COT, COT Central Committee member and COT Chair. He has been the medical director for ACS Trauma Programs and a member of the ACS Board of Governors. Stewart also helped spearhead the national launch of STOP THE BLEED®.

National leader

Notably, Stewart has been a driving force behind the college’s efforts to reduce injury, death and disability from firearm violence, testifying before the U.S. Congress on the need to treat firearm injury as a critical public health issue. As a trauma surgeon, he has been in the unfortunate position of caring for victims from two of the largest mass shootings in modern U.S. history — Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church in 2017 and Robb Elementary School in Uvalde in 2022.

Firearms Strategy Team

In his work for the ACS to make firearm injury prevention a reality, he helped develop the ACS-COT Firearms Strategy Team (FAST) in 2017. The FAST group, comprising highly regarded trauma surgeons, developed a strategy covering 13 areas to reduce firearm injury, death, and disability.

Stewart has served more than 30 years with the health science center, also called UT Health San Antonio, where he is chair of the Department of Surgery.


Stewart helped develop the Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council (STRAC), which has advanced trauma system development and disaster preparedness in the San Antonio region. STRAC serves as a regional medical operations center in times of disaster and stands as a model for the nation.

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Stewart is a prolific researcher in trauma care, critical care, injury prevention and other topics, authoring more than 150 peer-reviewed articles and 13 book chapters. He has presented nearly 300 lectures on firearm injury prevention, trauma care, STOP THE BLEED and more. Among these lectures is his Scudder Oration on Trauma, which he delivered at Clinical Congress in 2022 on the COT’s 100th anniversary.

Stewart earned his medical degree and completed his residency at UT Health San Antonio, followed by fellowships in trauma and surgical critical care at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.

The ceremony was livestreamed on the ACS website and is available on-demand.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) is one of the country’s leading health science universities and is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. With missions of teaching, research, patient care and community engagement, its schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions, graduate biomedical sciences and public health have graduated more than 42,300 alumni who are leading change, advancing their fields and renewing hope for patients and their families throughout South Texas and the world. To learn about the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit UTHealthSA.org.

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