Chapter news

Louisiana Chapter annual meeting features mock oral exam

Participants of the WIS Breakfast at the Louisiana Chapter Meeting, including (from left)  Ms. Zuniga; Samire Almeida, resident at Universidad Federal do Pará; Dr. Moore; and Dr. Soto.

Participants of the WIS Breakfast at the Louisiana Chapter Meeting, including (from left) Ms. Zuniga; Samire Almeida, resident at Universidad Federal do Pará; Dr. Moore; and Dr. Soto.

The Louisiana Chapter of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) held its annual meeting January 16−18 at the InterContinental Hotel in New Orleans. This year’s event featured opening remarks by Louisiana Chapter President Barry Landry, MD, FACS. ACS President Andrew L. Warshaw, MD, FACS, FRCSEd(Hon), provided an update on College activities and commented on the strengths of the chapter.

Also in attendance from the College was James Wadzinski, Director of Operations, ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP®), and Susan Chishimba, Business Development Associate, ACS NSQIP. Mr. Wadzinski shared the podium with Scott J. Ellner, DO, MPH, FACS, who spoke on Identifying and Sustaining Surgical Quality Improvement. In addition, Tara Leystra-Ackerman, State Affairs Associate, and Frank G. Opelka, MD, FACS, Medical Director for Quality and Health Policy, ACS Division of Advocacy and Health Policy, spoke about issues under their purview in the College’s Washington office.

This year’s annual meeting included many educational sessions, Resident Paper Awards, a Poster Competition, and the Sixth Annual Surgical Jeopardy Bowl, moderated again by Donnie F. Aultman, MD, FACS, assistant vice-chancellor, graduate medical education designated institutional official, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport. The grand prize winner of the 2015 Resident Jeopardy Bowl was Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans.

Representatives from the local Committee on Trauma and Commission on Cancer groups each held meetings, as did the Louisiana Chapter Women in Surgery (WIS) Committee. The WIS Committee Chair, Eliana A. Soto, MD, FACS, welcomed meeting attendees. WIS member Rachel L. Moore, MD, FACS, chief, section of metabolic surgery, Louisiana Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, introduced featured speaker Kathleen Zuniga, partner with Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC, who spoke on balancing a demanding full-time career with raising a family.

A mock oral exam was offered the day before the Louisiana Chapter annual meeting. The event was open to Fellows and postgraduate year (PGY)-4 residents; 20 examiners and 14 residents participated, and 10 chapter members donated the use of their hotel rooms for the four-and-a-half-hour program. The event ended with a social hour for meeting participants, College staff, and some chapter members.

Jordan Chapter holds first council meeting as a new chapter

The Jordan Chapter of the ACS hosted its first official council meeting February 18 at the Jordan Hospital in Amman. The meeting followed the chartering of the chapter by the Board of Regents on February 7. Presiding officers at the meeting were Abdalla Yunis Bashir, MB, BCh, FACS, ACS Governor, and Chapter President Mahmoud Abu-Khalaf, MB, BCh, FACS. Also discussed at the council meeting were activities planned by the chapter for the upcoming year and the formation of standing committees in the areas of education, membership finance, communications, issues and social events, and Resident and Associate members. All Jordan Chapter members will be encouraged to volunteer for the proposed new committees based on personal interest. Abdul Naser Al Shunaigat, MB, BS, FACS, Chapter Treasurer, introduced a discussion of chapter dues during the council meeting. Osama Hamed, MB, BS, FACS, Chapter Secretary, encouraged all present to attend the first annual meeting of the chapter, which took place April 25.

North Texas Chapter meeting offers travel awards

Attendees at the North Texas Chapter meeting, including (from left) Dr. Watkins; Michael S. Truitt, MD, FACS, North Texas Chapter President, Methodist Dallas Medical Center; Subhasis Misra, MB, BS, FACS, North Texas Program Co-Chair, Midwestern Regional Medical Center, Amarillo, TX; and Jeffrey P. Lamont, MD, FACS, Program Chair, Texas Oncology, Dallas.

Attendees at the North Texas Chapter meeting, including (from left) Dr. Watkins; Michael S. Truitt, MD, FACS, North Texas Chapter President, Methodist Dallas Medical Center; Subhasis Misra, MB, BS, FACS, North Texas Program Co-Chair, Midwestern Regional Medical Center, Amarillo, TX; and Jeffrey P. Lamont, MD, FACS, Program Chair, Texas Oncology, Dallas.

The 2015 ACS North Texas Chapter meeting took place February 20–21 at the Cityplace Conference Center in Dallas, with more than 150 surgeons, residents, and medical students participating. Assisting the Chapter Council with annual meeting preparations was new Chapter Administrator Carrie Steffen.

This year the North Texas Chapter offered financial assistance to 12 resident surgeons and medical students traveling to the meeting from institutions outside Dallas.  Each recipient was compensated for up to two nights hotel accommodations and given $200 to offset the cost of travel.

Representing the College at the meeting was Kenneth L. Mattox, MD, FACS, ACS Second Vice-President, who offered an update on ACS activities along with an overview on best practices for using the online ACS Communities.

In addition, the North Texas Chapter meeting featured the annual Resident Paper Competition, a Poster Exhibition, and a Resident Jeopardy Competition. The 2015 Winner for Best Overall Paper was Jeffrey R. Watkins, MD, a PGY-4 general surgery resident at Methodist Dallas Medical Center. Dr. Watkins was awarded $250 for his paper “Keyhole Mesh in Large Paraesophageal Hernias: A Safe Technique with Low Rates of Dysphagia.” Best Poster was awarded to Bharti Jasra, MD, PGY-5, at the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, for “Failure of a Breast Density Notification Law to Impact the Screening of Women with Dense Breasts.” A trophy was given to the Resident Jeopardy Competition winners, the team from the department of surgery at Texas Tech University, Lubbock.

Connecticut Chapter holds 2015 Lobby Day in Hartford

Attendees at the Connecticut Chapter meeting, including (from left) Scott H. Kurtzman, MD, FACS; Gary J. Price, MD, FACS; Kathleen A. LaVorgna, MD, FACS; Dr. Bailey; Scott J. Ellner, DO, MPH, FACS; and Valerie J. Vitale, MD, FACS, President, Hartford County Medical Association.

Attendees at the Connecticut Chapter meeting, including (from left) Scott H. Kurtzman, MD, FACS; Gary J. Price, MD, FACS; Kathleen A. LaVorgna, MD, FACS; Dr. Bailey; Scott J. Ellner, DO, MPH, FACS; and Valerie J. Vitale, MD, FACS, President, Hartford County Medical Association.

The Connecticut Chapter of the ACS, in conjunction with the Connecticut State Medical Society, sponsored a Lobby Day March 11 in Hartford. Several ACS Fellows were in attendance and advocated on legislation being debated in the statehouse, including bills that would establish a legal definition of surgery, increase coverage for bariatric surgery, and mandate truth in advertising. The day opened with Connecticut Chapter members commenting on the activities of the Connecticut Surgical Quality Collaborative and the Enhanced Recovery after Surgery initiative, and a national legislative update from Patrick V. Bailey, MD, FACS, Medical Director of Advocacy, ACS Division of Advocacy and Health Policy. The day’s activities also included a conversation with State Comptroller Kevin Lembo. Chapter members were briefed on the current legislative environment, and then adjourned to attend individual meetings with state legislators, including Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D). The day concluded with a luncheon featuring leaders from both sides of the Connecticut General Assembly.

Revitalized Alaska Chapter elects officers, holds first annual meeting

Dr. Robinette (at podium) addresses chapter members and ACS staff at the first annual meeting of the revitalized Alaska Chapter.

Dr. Robinette (at podium) addresses chapter members and ACS staff at the first annual meeting of the revitalized Alaska Chapter.

On March 14, the Alaska Chapter held its first meeting since the mid-1980s, with newly elected Chapter President Danny R. Robinette, MD, FACS, presiding over the day’s educational and social events. The meeting took place at Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage, named for Captain James Cook, who was the first person credited with mapping the state’s jagged coastline. A total of 20 Fellows attended the meeting, and a combined total of 28 Fellows, guests, sponsors, and College staff participated in an evening reception and dinner.

Patricia L. Turner, MD, FACS, Director, ACS Division of Member Services, provided an update on ACS activities and gave a presentation on Abdominal Wall Reconstruction. Meg Gilley, Congressional Lobbyist, ACS Division of Advocacy and Health Policy, offered an overview of the College’s legislative activities. Also in attendance was Donna Tieberg, ACS Chapter Services Manager, who worked with Dr. Robinette as administrator for the Alaska Chapter meeting and chapter activities during the revitalization period.

A view of the Cook Inlet, from the top of the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage. Most of the population of Alaska surrounds Cook Inlet.

A view of the Cook Inlet, from the top of the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage. Most of the population of Alaska surrounds Cook Inlet.

In addition, guest speaker Mika N. Sinanan, MD, FACS, ACS Governor and professor of surgery, University of Washington, Seattle, spoke on Managing the Complex Referral Patient. Frank D. Sacco, MD, FACS, a general surgeon at Alaska Native Medical Center, Anchorage, gave an Update on the State of Alaska Trauma System. A lively Town Hall discussion involving chapter members and guests focused on future chapter goals. The chapter council, including officers and councilors-at-large, met to further solidify and outline the goals discussed at the Town Hall session.

Over the past 18 months, a small yet active core group of Fellows in Alaska has been instrumental in reviving interest in the chapter. Significant motivating factors for bringing Alaska Fellows together include changes to medical reimbursements, the evolving political climate, and threats to both national and state trauma funding. The chapter plans to work closely with Jon Sutton, Manager of State Affairs, ACS Division of Advocacy and Health Policy, to obtain funding for a state lobby day.

ACS Chapter Services announces new webinar series

ACS Chapter Services is now offering a new free chapter webinar series for ACS members and chapter administrators/staff. The webinars focus on best practices and important issues in ACS chapter management. This series is aimed at anyone involved in ACS chapter management. The 45-minute webinars are presented live, with time for questions at the end of each session. These brief but informative sessions are being recorded and are accessible online after the webinars.

The series kicked off March 18 with “Protect Your Chapter’s History: Archiving 101,” hosted by Adam Carey, MA, MLIS, ACS Archivist. Other titles and presenters included When Board Members Go Bad: Practical Aspects of Hard Problems, featuring ACS legal counsel Paula Goedert, Esq., Barnes & Thornburg, LLP; and Governors 101: Building a Partnership, hosted by Betty A. Sanders, MBA, PMP, Senior Administrator, ACS Board of Governors.

To register and view a full list of webinars, go to the ACS Chapter Services webinar page. For questions regarding registration or accessing webinar recordings, contact Vivian Ross, Chapter Services Program Coordinator at vross@acs.org.

R. Phillip Burns Surgical Society established in Tennessee A large crowd of friends and colleagues were on hand to celebrate the establishment of the R. Phillip Burns Surgical Society February 23 in Chattanooga, TN. This new society recognizes the contributions that Dr. Burns, a Fellow and Past First Vice-President of the ACS, has made to surgical education and provides “a forum for the advancement of surgical training in Tennessee as well as to promote collegiality among surgeons.” Left: Attendees at the inaugural meeting included (from left): Kenneth W. Sharp, MD, FACS, Vanderbilt University Medical Center; Laura E. Witherspoon, MD, FACS, University Surgical Associates, Chattanooga; Dr. Burns, University Surgical Associates; ACS President-Elect J. David Richardson, MD, FACS; and Harold (David) Head, MD, FACS (retired), Signal Mountain, TN.

R. Phillip Burns Surgical Society established in Tennessee
A large crowd of friends and colleagues were on hand to celebrate the establishment of the R. Phillip Burns Surgical Society February 23 in Chattanooga, TN. This new society recognizes the contributions that Dr. Burns, a Fellow and Past First Vice-President of the ACS, has made to surgical education and provides “a forum for the advancement of surgical training in Tennessee as well as to promote collegiality among surgeons.”
Left: Attendees at the inaugural meeting included (from left): Kenneth W. Sharp, MD, FACS, Vanderbilt University Medical Center; Laura E. Witherspoon, MD, FACS, University Surgical Associates, Chattanooga; Dr. Burns, University Surgical Associates; ACS President-Elect J. David Richardson, MD, FACS; and Harold (David) Head, MD, FACS (retired), Signal Mountain, TN.

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