|“||Surgery is the boldest and most fearless of the healing arts. The Harper Avery Award celebrates those who have destroyed obstacles, altered the direction, and invented the future of how we are to live and heal and thrive. The surgeons in this room are redefining medicine for generations to come.||”|
— Catherine Avery presenting the 2014 Harper Avery Award
The Catherine Fox Award, formerly named the Harper Avery Award, is a fictional, famous medical award. It was originally created by physician Harper Avery to make surgeons who already are on the top of their game try to take it to an even higher level. In addition to the honor, the winner also receives $500,000. After the sexual assault allegations against Harper Avery it was renamed the Catherine Fox Award.
Every year, the five nominees receive a call to inform them about their nomination on the same Friday of the same month at 8 am East Coast time (5 am in Seattle).
The Harper Avery Award is completely detached from the Harper Avery Foundation, so members of the Foundation have no say in who will win the award, nor do they have more information about who will be elected as the winner.
In 2018, it was revealed that Harper Avery sexually assaulted several women. To keep the award and the foundation alive, Jackson and Meredith suggested dissolving the Harper Avery Foundation and creating the Catherine Fox Foundation in its place. The name of the award was also changed.
Note: All winners listed here won when the award was still named the Harper Avery
- Ellis Grey (twice, first in 1988)
- Margaret Goodwin (1996)
- Preston Burke (2008 or 2009)
- Ronald Myers (2014)
- Meredith Grey (2017)
Note: All nominees listed here were nominated when the award was still named the Harper Avery
- Ellis Grey (five times, first time in 1983; won twice)
- Erica Hahn (2008 or 2009)
- Cristina Yang (2014)
Notes and Trivia
- Erica Hahn was one of the considered applicants for the award for 2008 or 2009. Unfortunately for her, her rival Preston Burke won instead. Erica Hahn decided that it was because it was a big men's club, it didn't make sense because she worked harder and published more.
- Cristina was a very big help to Preston Burke but Burke did not mention her anywhere in the article.
- The Harper Avery was named after Shonda Rhimes' daughter Harper.
- When she didn't get her promotion, Callie Torres told the Chief she would win the Harper Avery Award and he would "rue the day."
- In an alternate universe in which Cristina decides to start a family, she handed over her trial to Shane Ross, who received an award for it.
- Cristina Yang embarrassed herself in front of Harper Avery when he came in after an accident, by misdiagnosing him. She thought this would ruin the chances of her one day winning the Award, yet in 2014 she gets nominated.
- In season 7, Jackson Avery stepped out of the Chief's clinical trial, because he felt that it had a shot to win the award, but he was afraid that if his name was on it, he'd ruin Richard's chances.
- In Season 10, Cristina Yang, even though she received votes to win the Harper Avery, did not receive it because she was working for the hospital that is partially owned by the Harper Avery Foundation.
- According to Dr. Richard Webber, the Harper Avery Award was the "gold standard" at Seattle Grace Hospital, but Catherine Avery "tainted" that.
- Ellis Grey was nominated, and subsequently won, for her first Harper Avery Award when she was still a surgical resident. No one before or since has been nominated at the resident-level.
- It was implied that Cristina Yang was the first fellow to be nominated.
- Meredith Grey felt like the award was useless and everything she and her mom Ellis Grey worked for was a lie, so she returned hers as well as her mother's awards. Later, when she and Jackson proposed the name change to Catherine, she was happy as long as the awards were re-engraved.