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Lee Vander Lugt, DO Leadership Award Program

This award was established by the AOAO Board of Directors in 2023 to foster and support future leaders in honor of Dr. Lee Vander Lugt, who exemplified a strong leader and represented the Academy as Executive Director from 2008-2020. The program is intended for one year, and will be awarded to one candidate at least every two years.

2023-2024 Award Program

The current program begins January 2024 and concludes at the 2024 AOAO Annual Fall Meeting.



  • Must complete an online application
  • Must be an AOAO member in good standing
  • Must have demonstrated emerging leadership qualities
  • Must have an interest in leadership


The recipient of this award will agree to participate in the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Leadership Academy and agree to attend in person (where applicable):

  • The AOA Leadership Academy kickoff meeting in January at AOA headquarters in Chicago, IL
  • The AOA Leadership Academy’s series of 5 online webinars about leadership
  • American Orthopaedic Association’s Summer Leadership Meeting, June 18-22 in St. Louis, MO
  • 2024 OMED Conference, September 19-22 in San Diego, CA
  • AOAO 2024 Annual Fall Meeting to report to the AOAO Board of Directors, October 22, 2024 in Boston, MA describing their experience over the past year.


The recipient of the award will be selected by representatives from the AOAO Board of Directors in conjunction with the AOA, based on the above criteria.


The recipient will receive:

  • Reimbursement to cover air travel, lodging, meals, transportation and registration for all these events.
  • An honorarium of $5,000


  • Deadline to apply: August 11, 2023
  • Board selects recipient: October 4, 2023
  • Recipient notified by: October 15, 2023


The application is now closed for 2023-2024.