ACS Board committee of Governors updates: Governors’ Committee on Chapter Relations

The Governors’ Committee on Chapter Relations (GCCR), previously the Governors’ Committee on Chapter Activities, serves as an advocate for all of the American College of Surgeons’ (ACS) chapters, and monitors and reports on chapters’ activities, resources, and issues. The GCCR reports to the Board of Governors (B/G), and to the B/G Executive Committee. The GCCR is staffed by the College’s Division of Member Services. As of January, the ACS has a total of 103 chapters: 64 in the U.S., two in Canada, and 37 throughout the rest of the world.

The GCCR has undertaken a number of activities over the last year. In a lengthy meeting of the committee during the 2011 Clinical Congress in San Francisco, CA, the members of the committee agreed to a restructuring so as to better align the GCCR with the College’s ongoing agenda, with a view toward avoiding duplication of activity. As a result, the GCCR members decided to change the committee’s name to better reflect its activities. The committee also agreed that the GCCR Vice-Chair should serve at least a one- or two-year term, before becoming Chair; this change in the GCCR guidelines will provide for successful leadership transitions in the future. The committee also created an executive committee to coordinate the activities of each of the subcommittees. All of these groups now meet via conference call on a quarterly basis.

Committee members also agreed to eliminate one of the GCCR’s four subcommittees in an effort to better focus their efforts and activities. The Subcommittee on Diversity was dissolved in light of the fact that the College has a strong interest in and is focusing on expanding opportunities and activities for a wide variety of surgeons, and is involved in a robust, ongoing effort to increase diversity. The remaining three subcommittees were realigned as follows.

Advocacy & Coalitions (A&C)

This subcommittee is responsible for increasing and supporting advocacy activities at the chapter level. David McAneny, MD, FACS, a general surgeon in Boston, MA, chairs this subcommittee, which is developing a pilot program for congressional grassroots advocacy. With assistance and close coordination with the College’s Health Policy Advocacy Council and the Division of Advocacy and Health Policy (DAHP), the Massachusetts and Tennessee chapters will participate in this grassroots demonstration project. Participants will meet locally with members of Congress in their home offices during recesses, and so forth.

In addition, the A&C Subcommittee assists the DAHP with two chapter-related activities. The first program, the ACS Chapter Advocacy Grant Program, provides grants to chapters to sponsor and/or host state lobby days. This grant program, which is managed by the DAHP State Affairs staff, provided grants to 17 chapters in 16 states for 2012 Lobby Days: Alabama, Northern California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Metropolitan Chicago, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, and Virginia.

For the second program, also managed by the DAHP State Affairs staff, the A&C Subcommittee assists in reviewing and selecting recipients of the Arthur Ellenberger Award for Excellence in State Advocacy. This award is named for Art Ellenberger, the long-time (now retired) Executive Director of the New Jersey Chapter and expert in grassroots advocacy. The award is presented to “recognize a career of outstanding leadership and distinguished service and commitment to protecting patients’ access to high-quality surgical care by their involvement with their state’s legislative and regulatory process.” The A&C Subcommittee reviews the nominations and provides recommendations to the final selection committee.

In 2011, James Hamilton, Jr., MD, FACS, President of the Kansas Chapter of the ACS, received the Ellenberger Award. Dr. Hamilton has been a steadfast advocate for a clean indoor air ordinance, which the Kansas legislature passed in 2010. Other recipients of the Ellenberger Award have included Peter Masiakos, MD, FACS, Massachusetts Chapter; Robert Harvey, Florida Chapter (former Executive Director); Thomas Gadacz, MD, FACS, Georgia Chapter; Andrew Warshaw, MD, FACS, Massachusetts Chapter; William Doscher, MD, FACS, New York Chapter; and, of course, Mr. Ellenberger, the inaugural recipient.

Chapter Support (CS)

This subcommittee is responsible for identifying the characteristics of successful chapter organizational structures and education programs and for communicating this information to the chapters. In addition, the CS Subcommittee provides new ideas and topics for presentation at chapters’ educational programs, which may help unify surgical specialists on topics of broad appeal or shared concerns. John Rioux, MD, FACS, a general surgeon from Port Charlotte, FL, is chairing this committee. Dr. Rioux has organized the subcommittee members by region, and the Governors are tasked with providing direct, personal communication with every chapter in their region (see roster, page 28). The CS Subcommittee is pursuing multiple projects, including: (1) strengthening the liaison with chapters; (2) developing checklists for chapter performance; (3) assisting chapters with educational curricula for both continuing medical education (CME) and CME with self-assessment in compliance with Part II of Maintenance of Certification; (4) developing membership strategies; and (5) planning the Best Practice session for chapter leaders for the 2012 Clinical Congress, which will take place on Tuesday, October 2, from 2:30 to 4:00 pm, at McCormick Place convention center in Chicago, IL.

International Activities (IA)

The IA Subcommittee is composed largely of international Governors. In addition, a coordinating committee that includes international Governors and liaisons from the B/G Executive Committee, the International Relations Committee, and the Young Fellows Association has been appointed. The IA Subcommittee serves as a forum or meeting ground for all international Governors. Ray Price, MD, FACS, a general surgeon from Murray, UT, chairs the subcommittee.

The IA Subcommittee is working with all of the international chapters to both improve and facilitate membership in the College. The subcommittee’s current focus is on developing strategies to communicate the benefits of ACS membership to the international community and to work with several specific chapters for recruitment strategies. Also, the IA Subcommittee will review and develop recommendations for the ACS website. Presenting a resource-friendly website could help international members use their ACS membership benefits more effectively.

Lastly, with regard to international advocacy efforts, the international Governors will be asked to seek their country’s support for a World Health Organization draft resolution titled “Surgical Care and Anesthesia.” This resolution addresses the belief that development of health care systems in any nation must include access to, and support for, appropriate surgical care and anesthesia in equal relationship to other critical health care components. As noted in the College’s support letter for the resolution, this recommendation underscores the ACS mission of promoting access to quality, safe, appropriate surgical care; improving the care of the surgical patient; and safeguarding standards of care in an optimal and ethical practice environment. The College’s letter of support will serve as a model for the international Governors who would like to support these advocacy efforts.

Governors’ Committee on Chapter Relations

Member (region)
Kevin P. Lally, MD, FACS, Chair, South Texas Chapter (6)
George M. Fuhrman, MD, FACS, Vice-Chair, Louisiana Chapter (4)
George Alsop, MD, FACS, South Texas Chapter (6)
Gerard V. Aranha, MD, FACS, Metropolitan Chicago Chapter (5)
John Armstrong, MD, FACS, Florida Chapter (4)
Lisa Bailey, MD, FACS, Northern California Chapter (9)
Miguel Cainzos, MD, FACS, Spain Chapter (15)
Gregory Spicer Cherr, MD, FACS, Western New York Chapter (2)
David W. Dexter, MD, FACS, Northwest Pennsylvania Chapter (3)
William G. Hawkins, MD, FACS, Missouri Chapter (7)
Daniel S. Johnson, MD, FACS, Illinois Chapter (5)
Danielle A. Katz, MD, FACS, New York Chapter (2)
Joel D. Lafleur, MD, FACS, Maine Chapter (1)
Matthew B. Martin, MD, FACS, North Carolina Chapter (4)
Eric Matayoshi, MD, FACS, Hawaii Chapter (10)
David B. McAneny, MD, FACS, Massachusetts Chapter (1)
Raymond R. Price, MD, FACS, Utah Chapter (8)
John P. Rioux, MD, FACS, Florida Chapter (4)
Hilary A. Sanfey, MB, BCh, FACS, Illinois Chapter (5)
Samual Robert Todd, MD, FACS, New York Chapter (Manhattan Council) (2)
Bruce J. Waring, MD, FACS, Colorado Chapter (8)
International Relations Committee liaison members
Quyen Chu, MD, FACS (6)
Jamal J. Hoballah, MD, FACS (17)
Fabrizio Michaelissi, MD, FACS (2)
B/G Executive Committee Liaison
Gary Timmerman, MD, FACS, South Dakota Chapter (8)

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