The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Clinical Congress 2015 in Chicago, IL, provided surgeons, medical students, surgical residents, and other members of the operating room team with the opportunity to participate in myriad educational experiences and to interact with their peers. Total registration for the meeting was 13,481, including 8,801 physicians; the remaining attendees were exhibitors, guests, spouses, and convention personnel.
J. David Richardson, MD, FACS, professor of surgery and vice-chairman, department of surgery, University of Louisville School of Medicine, KY, was installed as 96th President of the ACS at the 2015 Convocation October 4. Dr. Richardson was unable to attend the Clinical Congress; in his stead, David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, Executive Director of the ACS, delivered Dr. Richardson’s Presidential Address, Challenges for the Second Century, to those of the College’s 1,679 Initiates in attendance and other audience members.
Two Vice-Presidents also assumed office at the Convocation: Ronald V. Maier, MD, FACS, as First Vice-President; and Walter J. Pories, MD, FACS, as Second Vice-President. Dr. Maier is the Jane and Donald D. Trunkey Professor of Trauma Surgery and vice-chair, department of surgery, University of Washington Medicine, Seattle, and is director and surgeon-in-chief, Harborview Medical Center, the regional Level I trauma center based in Seattle. Dr. Pories is founding chair, department of surgery; professor of surgery, biochemistry, and kinesiology; and director, bariatric surgery research group, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC.
In addition, Honorary Fellowship was conferred on six international surgeons: Emmanuel Quaye Archampong, MB, BS, FRSCEd, FRCSEng, Accra, Ghana; William B. Coman, MD, MB, BS, FACS, FRCSEd, FRCSEng, FRACS, Brisbane, Australia; Mahesh R. Desai, MB, BS, MS, FRCSEd, FRCSEng, Nadiad, India; Abraham Fingerhut, MD, FACS, FRCSP(g), FRCSEng, Poissy, France; Eduardo de Santibañes, MD, PhD, Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Sir Errol Ricardo Walrond, MB, BS, BSc(Hon), FACS, FRCSEng, FCCS, Cave Hill, Barbados.
Clinical Congress featured several Named Lectures, starting with the Martin Memorial Lecture, presented immediately after the Opening Ceremony on October 5. Paul E. Farmer, MD, PhD, chief strategist and co-founder, Partners in Health; the Kolokotrones University Professor and chair, department of global health and social medicine, Harvard Medical School; and chief, division of global health equity, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, delivered the well-received lecture, Addressing Unmet Surgical Need: The Role of Academic Surgery.
Other Named Lectures presented at the Clinical Congress 2015 were as follows:
- Joseph E. Bavaria, MD, FACS, Brooke Roberts/William Maul Measey Professor of Surgery, vice-chair, cardiovascular surgery, and director, thoracic aortic surgery program, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, presented the John J. Gibbon, Jr., Lecture: The Innovation Imperative in Cardiothoracic Surgery: Lessons from Thoracic Aortic Disease.
- Major General Brian C. Lein, MD, FACS, commanding general, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, presented the Charles G. Drake History of Surgery Lecture: Lessons Learned from 15 Years of Armed Conflict: Implications for Further Military and Civilian Surgical Collaboration.
- Melvin J. Silverstein, MD, FACS, medical director, breast center, and the Gross Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Oncoplastic Breast Surgery, Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, Newport Beach, CA; and clinical professor, surgery, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, presented the I. S. Ravdin Lecture in the Basic and Surgical Sciences: Radical Mastectomy to Radical Breast Conservation: Revolutionary.
- H. Randolph Bailey, MD, FACS, professor of surgery and emeritus director, residency training program for colon and rectal surgery, University of Texas Medical School; and clinical professor of surgery, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, presented the Herand Abcarian Lecture: Surgical Mentorship, More Than Just Teaching.
- Monica Morrow, MD, FACS, chief, breast surgical service, and Annie Burnett Windfohr Chair of Clinical Oncology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; and professor of surgery, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY, presented the Excelsior Surgical Society/Edward D. Churchill Lecture: Redefining the Local Therapy of Breast Cancer in the Multimodality Era.
- J. Wayne Meredith, MD, FACS, Richard T. Myers Professor of Surgery and chairman, general surgery, Wake Forest Medical Center; director, general surgery residency program, and chief, surgery, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center; and founder and medical advisor, Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma, Winston-Salem, NC, presented the Scudder Oration on Trauma: If Charles L. Scudder Could See Us Now.
- Julie A. Freischlag, MD, FACS, vice-chancellor, human health sciences; dean, school of medicine; and professor and chair, surgery, University of California-Davis Health System, presented the Olga M. Jonasson Lecture: Resilience.
- Koffi Herve Yangni-Angate, MD, professor of surgery, and consultant and head, cardiovascular and thoracic surgery department, Bouake University Teaching Hospital, and professor and chairman, cardiovascular and thoracic diseases department, Bouake University, Côte d’Ivoire, presented the Distinguished Lecture of the International Society of Surgery: Challenges in Open Heart Surgery in Africa: Côte d’Ivoire Experience.
- N. Scott Adzick, MD, FACS, surgeon-in-chief, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; founder and director, Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment; and C. Everett Koop Professor of Pediatric Surgery and professor of pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, presented the John J. Conley Ethics and Philosophy Lecture: Fetal Surgery: Tribulations and Trials.
- Robert S. DiPaola, MD, FACS, director, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey; vice-chancellor for cancer programs, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences; and professor of medicine, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ, presented the Commission on Cancer Oncology Lecture: Precision Medicine: Implications for Scientific Discovery and Delivery of Care.
The revitalized Excelsior Surgical Society, composed of military surgeons and dedicated to their unique needs and issues, held its inaugural meeting October 4. A highlight of the meeting was the presentation of the first U.S. Army Major John P. Pryor Lecture by C. William Schwab, MD, FACS, FRCS, professor of surgery, University of Pennsylvania; director, University of Pennsylvania Trauma Network; and director, fellowship program in trauma surgery and critical care, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. The lecture, Training of a Combat Surgeon and TEAM, focused on how to properly prepare surgeons to provide care in combat situations. The lecture also set the stage for much of the remainder of the meeting, which centered on the need for coordinated training between all branches of the military and civilian trauma centers. M. Margaret “Peggy” Knudson, MD, FACS, ACS Medical Director of the Military Health System Strategic Partnership with the ACS, gave an update on the program established at last year’s Clinical Congress.
Several new member engagement activities took place at Clinical Congress 2015. The ACS Taste of the City offered Fellows, families, staff, and guests the opportunity to experience Chicago’s diverse dining and cultural scene and to network with other ACS members and leaders. The ACS Selfie Scavenger Hunt challenged Clinical Congress attendees to snap photos of themselves with various ACS leaders and members at various conference events and to post the photos on Twitter. Also new this year was the Chapter Speed Networking event, which allowed chapter council members, staff/administrators, and ACS Governors a chance to interact and listen to 15-minute table talks on a range of chapter-related topics.
Awards and honors
Several surgeons were honored for their contributions to the ACS. John A. Weigelt, MD, DVM, FACS, the Milt & Lidy Lunda/Charles Aprahamian Professor of Trauma Surgery, professor and chief, division of trauma and critical care, associate dean for quality, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; and a general surgeon and medical director, clinical quality, Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital, received the ACS Distinguished Service Award, the College’s highest honor, at the Convocation. The Board of Regents presented the award to Dr. Weigelt “in appreciation of his continuous and devoted service as a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons” and “in recognition of his superb skills in synthesizing and applying surgical knowledge and conveying effectively critical concepts to learners that have positively impacted the practices of numerous surgeons.”
The Fellows Leadership Society (FLS) of the ACS Foundation presented the 2015 Distinguished Philanthropist Award to Paula and Danny R. Robinette, MD, FACS. The award was announced at the 26th annual FLS Benefactor Recognition Luncheon and recognizes Mrs. and Dr. Robinette’s philanthropic contributions and service to the international and surgical communities.
In addition to the Distinguished Philanthropist Award, this year the ACS Foundation Board of Directors presented the first Distinguished Organization Award to the Norman M. Rich Department of Surgery at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD, in honor of its generous philanthropic partnership with the College.
Dr. Maier received the National Safety Council Surgeons’ Award for Safety at the annual ACS Committee on Trauma (COT) Dinner. The award citation points to Dr. Maier’s “distinguished career and visionary leadership dedicated to prevention of injuries, regionalization of trauma care, innovative trauma research, and lifelong commitment to the care of trauma patients.”
Dan Poenaru, MD, FACS, a pediatric surgeon from Montreal, QC, received the 2015 ACS/Pfizer Surgical Humanitarian Award for starting East Africa’s first pediatric surgical fellowship and for educating and training pediatric surgeons in Africa. Additionally, three surgeons received the ACS/Pfizer Surgical Volunteerism Awards. Susan Miller Briggs, MD, MPH, FACS, a trauma and general surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, received the International Surgical Volunteerism Award for working with not-for-profit organizations and the U.S. National Disaster Medical System to provide surgical care during humanitarian emergencies throughout the world. Rifat Latifi, MD, FACS, a trauma and general surgeon from Tucson, AZ, received the International Surgical Volunteerism Award for helping to establish telemedicine and e-health programs in underdeveloped countries, especially those nations recovering from conflict and in need of major rebuilding of their health care systems. Shilpa Shree Murthy, MD, MPH, a fourth-year general surgery resident at Indiana University, Bloomington, received the Surgical Resident Volunteerism Award for developing the Clinical Breast Exam Simulation Training Course to provide care and education in Rwanda.
The 2015 Scientific Forum abstract supplement was dedicated to Michael T. Longaker, MD, MBA, FACS, the Deane P. and Louise Mitchell Professor, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA, and professor of bioengineering and of materials science and engineering; director, Program in Regenerative Medicine; co-director, Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine; and director, Children’s Surgical Research, Stanford University. Dr. Longaker was honored in recognition of his exemplary leadership and mentorship of surgery residents.
Practicing surgeons, residents, and medical students were recognized for their contributions to advancing the art and science of surgery. Recipients honored with the Scientific Forum Excellence in Research Awards included the following: Julia Greene, MD; Mark H. Hanna, MD; Evren Dilektasli, MD; Yue-Yung Hu, MD, MPH; Jordan D. Bohnen, MD, MBA; Zeinab Alawadi, MD; Sanjay Mohanty, MD; Andre Valentin; Brian Blackwood, MD; Ruth Tevlin, MB, BCh, BAO, MRCSI; Christopher Scally, MD; Andrew P. Loehrer, MD; Ian R. Flindall, MB, BS, BSc(Hon), MSc, MRCS; Jonathan W. Scott, MD; Kumar Jayant, MD; and Kenneth W. Howell, MD.
Benjamin Levi, MD, assistant professor of surgery, divisions of burn and plastic and reconstructive surgery, and director of the burn/wound and regenerative medicine laboratory, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, received the 11th Joan L. and Julius H. Jacobson II Promising Investigator Award. The award honors outstanding surgeons who engage in research, advance the art and science of surgery, and demonstrate early promise of making significant contributions to the practice of surgery.
The 13th annual ACS Resident Award for Exemplary Teaching was presented to Brian C. George, MD, a fifth-year general surgery resident at Massachusetts General Hospital. The award recognizes excellence in teaching by a resident and highlights the importance of teaching in residents’ daily lives. Dr. George was selected by an independent review panel of the Committee on Resident Education.
The third annual Jameson L. Chassin, MD, FACS, Award for Professionalism in General Surgery was presented to Anji E. Wall, MD, PhD, a chief resident in general surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN. The award recognizes a chief resident in general surgery who exemplifies the values of compassion, technical skill, and devotion to science and learning. The ACS established the award with gifts from the Chassin family, colleagues, and friends of the late Dr. Chassin, who was a skilled surgeon, teacher, and scholar in New York, NY. Dr. Wall was selected by an independent review panel of the Committee on Resident Education.
Members of the ACS Scientific Forum Committee, including Mary T. Hawn, MD, FACS, Chair; Dennis P. Orgill, MD, PhD, FACS, Vice-Chair; Ali Tavakkoli, MB, BS, FACS; and Paula M. Termuhlen, MD, FACS, awarded the Best Scientific Poster of Exceptional Merit to Michael C. Hu, MD, MPH, for Wounds Outcompete Tumors for Neovascularization. The coauthors of this poster included Zeshaan N. Maan, MB, BS, MS, MRCS; Wan Xing Hong, MS; Graham G. Walmsley; Robert C. Rennert, MD; David Atashroo, MD; Dominik Duscher, MD; Ruth Tevlin, MB, BCh, BAO(NUI), MRCSI; Andrew S. Zimmermann; Michael T. Chung, MD; Adrian McArdle, MB, BCh, BAO(NUI), MRCSI; Geoffrey C. Gurtner, MD, FACS; Amato J. Giaccia, PhD; H. Peter Lorenz, MD, FACS; and Dr. Longaker.
Furthermore, the following medical students were honored for their Basic Science Research posters:
- First place: Michaela C. Bamdad, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT: Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors Protect the Intestinal Mucosa from the Effects of Chemotherapy
- Second place: Daniel Walden, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee: Xanthohumol, a Hop Plant Extract, Decreases NOTCH1 and Mediates Cellular Anti-Carcinogenic Pathways in Cholangiocarcinoma Cell Lines
- Third place: Jacob C. Young, University of Chicago, IL: Generation and Characterization of an IL13Rα2-Tropic Modified Adenovirus for the Personalized Treatment of Glioblastoma
The following medical students were recognized for their Clinical and Educational Research posters:
- First place: Michaela C. Bambad, Yale University School of Medicine: Antibiotic Standardization Decreases Antibiotic-Associated Costs in Pediatric Patients with Appendicitis
- Second place: Adam C. Fields, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY: Risk Factors for Unplanned Readmission Following Cholecystectomy: A NSQIP Analysis of 27,125 Patients
- Third place: Tania Hassanzadeh, University of Arizona, Tucson: Defining Non-Surgical Head Bleeds; When Do You Need a Neurosurgeon?
The International Relations Committee (IRC) on October 6 welcomed the International Guest Scholars (IGS) for 2015 and other guests, including the following: Ramzi Alami, MD, International Surgical Education Scholar (ISES); Olufemi B. Bankole, MD, BCh, IGS; Abebe Bekele, MD, Dr. Abdol and Mrs. Joan Islami Scholar II; Faustin Yali bin Ramazani, MD, Baxiram S. and Kankuben B. Gelot Community Surgeon Travel Awardee; Yin Kai Chao, MD, IGS; Kenneth Siu Ho Chok, MB, BS, MRSCEdin, FRCSEng, FCSHK, FHKAM, Carlos Pellegrini Traveling Fellow; Sabine Irtan, MD, Dr. Abdol and Mrs. Joan Islami Scholar I; Tracey Elizabeth Irvine, MB, BS, Murray F. Brennan Scholar; Taiwo Akeem Lawal, MB, BS, MD, IGS; Jane E. Mendez, MD, FACS, IRC Scholarship Subcommittee Co-Chair; Nikolaus V. Michalopoulos, MD, MSc, PhD, IGS; Anand Kumar Mishra, MCh, IGS; Juan José Cossa Morchio, MD, Elias Hanna Scholar; Giuseppe Nigri, MD, PhD, FACS, FRCS, FASCRS, IRC Scholarships Subcommittee Co-Chair; Jennifer Mary O’Connor, MD, FACS, Community Scholar Awardee; Daniel K. Ojuka, MB, BS, MMed, ISES; David Parés, MD, IGS; Edgar B. Rodas, MD, IGS; Anita R. Skandarajah, MB, BS, FRACS, Australia-New Zealand Exchange Fellow; Stavros Ioannis Tyritzis, MD, Stavros Niarchos Foundation Scholar; and Nikolaos Vassos, MD, PhD, Germany Exchange Fellow.
The Commission on Cancer (CoC) presented the State Chair Outstanding Performance Award to Paul Hansen, MD, FACS, Oregon, and Wade Dosch, MD, FACS, South Dakota.
Alexander J. Poole, MD, FACS, FRCSC, a general surgeon in Whitehorse, YT, attended Clinical Congress as the recipient of the 2015 Nizar N. Oweida, MD, FACS, Scholarship. In addition, Catherine J. Hunter, MD, FACS, a pediatric surgeon at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, Chicago, recipient of the 2014 Claude H. Organ, MD, FACS, Traveling Fellowship, gave a presentation before the ACS Scholarships Committee.
Lastly, the winners of the 2015 Resident and Associate Society (RAS) of the ACS essay contest spoke at the RAS Symposium. The theme of the essay contest was Social Media: Threat to Professionalism and Privacy or Essential for Current Surgical Practice? Johanna N. Riesel, MD, a third-year resident, department of surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Nakul P. Raykar, MD, MPH, a senior general surgery resident, department of general surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, were the first-place winners on the “essential” side. Lisa M. Kodadek, MD, a senior general surgery resident, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, was the first-place winner on the “threat” side.
Annual Business Meeting
The ACS Annual Business Meeting of Members convened October 7 with Dr. Maier presiding in Dr. Richardson’s stead and the following officials presenting reports: Mark C. Weissler, MD, FACS, Chair of the Board of Regents; Michael J. Sutherland, MD, FACS, Chair of the ACS Professional Association political action committee (ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC) Board of Directors; Fabrizio Michelassi, MD, FACS, Chair of the Board of Governors (B/G); and Dr. Hoyt.
The election of the ACS President-Elect, Vice-Presidents-Elect, Regents, and Governors also took place at the Annual Business Meeting.
Courtney M. Townsend, Jr., MD, FACS, the Robertson-Poth Distinguished Chair in General Surgery, department of surgery, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, was elected President-Elect. Hilary Sanfey, MB, BCh, BAO, MCh, MA, MHPE, FACS, FRCSI, FRCS, professor of surgery and vice-chair for educational affairs, department of surgery; and associate director, Academy for Scholarship and Education, Southern Illinois School of Medicine, Springfield, was elected First Vice-President. Mary C. McCarthy, MD, FACS, Elizabeth Berry Gray Chair and Professor, department of surgery, Boonshoft School of Medicine, and adjunct graduate faculty, School of Engineering, Wright State University; and an acute care surgeon at Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton, OH, was elected Second Vice-President.
The B/G elected Valerie W. Rusch, MD, FACS, a cardiothoracic surgeon, New York, NY, Chair of the Board of Regents. Michael J. Zinner, MD, FACS, a general surgeon, Boston, was elected Vice-Chair of the Board of Regents.
The B/G also elected four new Regents: James C. Denneny III, MD, FACS, FAAOA, an otolaryngologist, Alexandria, VA; Timothy J. Eberlein, MD, FACS, a general surgeon, St. Louis, MO; Linda G. Phillips, MD, FACS, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Galveston; and Anton N. Sidawy, MD, MPH, FACS, a vascular surgeon, Washington, DC.
The following Regents were reelected to serve a second term: John L. D. Atkinson, MD, FACS, a neurologic surgeon, Rochester, MN; Henri R. Ford, MD, FACS, a pediatric surgeon, Los Angeles, CA; Enrique Hernandez, MD, FACS, a gynecologic oncologic surgeon, Philadelphia, PA; L. Scott Levin, MD, FACS, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Philadelphia; Beth H. Sutton, MD, FACS, a general surgeon, Wichita Falls, TX; and Steven D. Wexner, MD, FACS, a colorectal surgeon, Fort Lauderdale, FL. The following Regents were reelected to serve a third term: Leigh A. Neumayer, MD, FACS, a general surgeon, Tucson, AZ; and Marshall Z. Schwartz, MD, FACS, a pediatric surgeon, Philadelphia.
The B/G reelected Dr. Michelassi, a general surgeon, New York, NY, as Chair of its Executive Committee; Diana L. Farmer, MD, FACS, a pediatric surgeon, Sacramento, CA, was elected Vice-Chair; and Steven C. Stain, MD, FACS, a general surgeon, Albany, NY, was elected Secretary. Newly elected to the B/G Executive Committee for an initial one-year term were Daniel L. Dent, MD, FACS, a general surgeon, San Antonio, TX; and James W. Fleshman, Jr., MD, FACS, FASCRS, a colorectal surgeon, Dallas, TX; Susan K. Mosier, MD, MBA, FACS, an ophthalmic surgeon, Lawrence, KS; and Francis D. Ferdinand, MD, FACS, FRCSEd, a cardiothoracic surgeon, Wynnewood, PA, were both elected to serve initial two-year terms on the B/G Executive Committee.
Clinical Congress 2016
Be sure to attend the Clinical Congress 2016, October 16–20, in Washington, DC. Details regarding the educational program, registration, housing, and transportation will be posted at facs.org.
Portrait of a photographer
Chuck Giorno (left), ACS event photographer, passed away at the close of this year’s Clinical Congress (see dedication). These photos capture Chuck at work, as he prepared the ACS Distinguished Service Award recipients for their annual photo.