Austria-Hungary Chapter holds assembly at 55th Congress of the Austrian Society of Surgery
The annual assembly of the Austria-Hungary American College of Surgeons (ACS) Chapter took place at the 55th Congress of the Austrian Society of Surgery on June 27 at the Messe Congress in Graz, Austria. Hosting the event was Albert Tuchmann, MD, FACS, ACS Governor for Austria-Hungary, and Prof. Freyja Smolle-Jüttner, MD, President of the Austrian Society of Surgery. At the meeting, Prof. Fritz Stellwag-Carion, MD, FACS, President of the Austria-Hungary Chapter, delivered a lecture titled A Journey of a Group of American Surgeons through Germany and Austria in the Early 20th Century. Since its inception in 2009, the Austria-Hungary Chapter has added a total of 40 Fellows and Resident Members: 32 from Austria and eight from Hungary.
Tennessee Chapter meeting includes grassroots advocacy training for council
More than 100 Tennessee surgeons, residents, medical students, and affiliate chapter members gathered at Paris Landing State Park, Buchanan, TN, on the shores of Kentucky Lake for the 2014 Tennessee Chapter of the ACS (TNACS) annual meeting. This year’s special guests included ACS President Carlos Pellegrini, MD, FACS, FRCSI(Hon); Mrs. Kelly Pellegrini; David McAneny, MD, FACS, from the Massachusetts Chapter; and Donna Tieberg, ACS Chapter Services Manager. During his keynote address, Dr. Pellegrini offered a moving memorial tribute to Thomas R. Russell, MD, FACS, former Executive Director of ACS, and presented an update of College activities and programs. Dr. Pellegrini also spoke on the treatment of esophageal cancer and other complex diseases. Dr. McAneny, a Board of Governors liaison to the ACS Health Policy Advisory Council and a member of the Governors’ Health Policy and Advocacy Workgroup, led the TNACS Executive Council members through a planning process to incorporate ACS SurgeonsVoice, the College’s grassroots advocacy program at the chapter level.
The Tennessee Surgical Quality Collaborative held its quarterly meeting in conjunction with the TNACS Chapter meeting. Five surgeon champions described how the collaborative has contributed to the quality improvement activities at their hospital facilities.
The Tennessee Committee on Trauma and Cancer also met in conjunction with the chapter, bringing together surgeons and other health care professionals involved in both areas of treatment. Four resident paper competitions took place during the Tennessee annual meeting. First place in the Trauma Paper Competition was awarded to Leah Hendrick, MD, of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), Memphis, and second place went to Rodrigo Interiano, MD, also of UTHSC. The first-place winner in the Cancer Paper Competition was Elena Paulus, MD, of UTHSC, and second place went to Dr. Interiano. The Basic Science Paper Competition first-place winner was Nathan Hinkle, MD, of UTHSC, and second-place winner was Lindsay Bools, MD, University of Tennessee Knoxville. For the Clinical Science Paper Competition, placing first was Brent Soder, MD, of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga. Second place went to Catherine Kling, MD, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville. A venue will be announced for the 2015 TNACS Annual Meeting, which will take place in Knoxville in mid-summer 2015.
New Jersey Chapter travels to Italy for annual pilgrimage
The New Jersey Chapter of the ACS traveled to Sicily, Italy, for its annual pilgrimage. A highlight of the trip was an Educational Symposium, jointly sponsored by the New Jersey and Italy Chapters on May 12 at the University of Catania School of Medicine. Michael J. Spedick, MD, FACS, President-Elect of the New Jersey Chapter, worked closely with officers of the Italy Chapter to organize this year’s New Jersey Chapter pilgrimage.
Combined South Carolina/North Carolina Chapter meeting includes new scholarship program
The South Carolina and North Carolina Chapters of the ACS hosted a combined annual chapter meeting, July 18–20, at the Marriott Resort and Spa Grande Dunes in Myrtle Beach, SC. The meeting took place in conjunction with the South Carolina Vascular Society and Bariatric Society of the Carolinas. A guest speaker at the meeting was Patricia Numann, MD, FACS, Past-President of the ACS and a member of the Board of Directors of the ACS Foundation, who gave two presentations: What’s Happening in Surgery at the National Level? and Global Burden of Surgical Disease. Joseph Cofer, MD, FACS, Past-President of the Tennessee Chapter of the ACS, also delivered two presentations: ABS [American Board of Surgery]—Changing Case Requirements for Eligibility, and American Board of Surgery—Maintenance of Certification. Vice-Chair of the Resident and Associate Society of the ACS, Joseph Sakran, MD, MPH, assistant professor of surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina, spoke on The Resident Quality Curriculum—The Quality in-Training Initiative (QITI): The Next Generation.
New at the combined chapter meeting this year was the inclusion of both scholarship and resident presentation awards as part of the new Kankuben B. Gelot Scholarship Program, created by Raghuvir B. Gelot, MD, FACS, to commemorate the ACS Centennial and to honor his mother via the ACS Foundation. The Kankuben B. Gelot Scholarship provides an annual stipend of $2,000 to the Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital, Ahoskie, NC, to support a deserving nurse’s or resident’s attendance at the joint annual meeting of the North Carolina and South Carolina Chapters. The ACS Division of Member Services will administer the scholarship and awards, with the ACS Foundation serving as liaison. This year’s winner of the $2,000 travel award was Stacy W. Simmons, RN, BSN, patient care manager, medical and surgical units. Also in attendance at the meeting was Sarah Klein, Director of Donor Relations and Communications, ACS Foundation, who answered members’ questions regarding the Foundation and the new Gelot program.
There were eight resident oral presentations at the South Carolina/North Carolina Chapter meeting. The winners were: first place, Samuel W. Ross, MD, MPH, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, NC; and second place, Bindhu Oommen, MD, MPH, Carolinas Medical Center. There was a tie for third place with one award shared by Travis Benzing, MS, Ralph H. Johnson Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, and Swapnil Kachare, MD, East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine, Greenville, NC. The first-place resident presentation award winner received $1,000, the second-place winner received $600, and the third-place winners split $400. Plans are already under way for next year’s combined South Carolina/North Carolina Chapter annual meeting, July 17–19, 2015, at the Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa, Asheville, NC.
Georgia Society of the ACS holds diverse meeting on St. Simons Island
More than 70 Fellows, residents, medical students, and other attendees enjoyed the robust programming and social activities at the annual meeting of the Georgia Society of the American College of Surgeons (GSACS), which convened August 21–24 at the historic King and Prince Resort, St. Simons Island, GA. A total of 21 exhibitors also participated in the meeting.
Keynote speaker Patricia L. Turner, MD, FACS, Director, ACS Division of Member Services, opened the meeting with a state of the American College of Surgeons address and returned later in the conference to give a presentation and answer audience questions on Surgeons as Leaders. A second keynote speaker, John Hedstrom, JD, Deputy Director, ACS Division of Advocacy and Health Policy, provided an update on legislative activities, including the sustainable growth rate issue and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services activities. Mr. Hedstrom articulated the College’s standing as a progressive and active organization with respect to advocacy and offered an overview of the grassroots ACS SurgeonsVoice initiative. Also in attendance at the meeting was Ms. Tieberg.
Over the course of the two-and-a-half-day chapter event, attendees listened to diverse paper presentations from chapter members and residents. Festivities on Saturday night of the meeting included a well-attended reception and dinner, which ended with a lively Surgical Jeopardy Competition for residents and medical students. The close of the annual meeting on Sunday included the naming of the winner for the best General Surgery Resident Abstract Presentation—Brett Tracy, MD, Memorial University Medical Center, Savannah. First-place winner of the Resident Trauma Abstract Presentations was Brett Howard, MD, Mercer University, and second place in the Trauma Presentations went to Elise Hiza, MD, Emory University, Atlanta. Next year’s GSACS meeting in Atlanta is now being planned.