Texas Chapters hold first Advocacy Day
Leaders from the North and South Texas Chapters of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) met in Austin in September for their first Texas Advocacy Day. After receiving a grant from the ACS, the Texas Chapters chose to focus their meetings with state legislators on graduate medical education (GME).
The event began with a dinner that included an address by Stacey Silverman, PhD, Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Academic Quality, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, which is responsible for GME in the state. Dr. Silverman highlighted the fact that the state spends $180,000 per medical student and that exporting medical students out of state costs Texas hundreds of millions of dollars. State Rep. Trent Ashby (R), who sponsored the Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Act (UEVHPA) bill for the ACS a few years ago, and State Sen. Charles Schwertner (R), an orthopaedic surgeon, also attended the dinner. Both commented on the need for more residency slots in Texas.
Darren Whitehurst, vice-president of advocacy, Texas Medical Association, briefed the group the following morning and offered advice on how to advocate within the legislative system. Participants then met with their elected officials at the Texas State Capitol.
GSACS meets in the “Hostess City of the South”
The Georgia Society of the ACS (GSACS) Annual Meeting took place August 19−21, in Savannah, GA. For the second year, the GSACS partnered with the Georgia Trauma Foundation to include A Day of Trauma. Peter M. Rhee, MD, FACS, chief of acute care surgery, Grady Memorial Hospital, and medical director, Marcus Trauma Center, Atlanta, delivered the keynote address, Traumatic Brain Injury: What Are We Really Doing Differently?
GSACS President Christopher K. Senkowski, MD, FACS, welcomed guests to a GSACS breakfast meeting with the exhibitors before the opening address from then-ACS First Vice-President, Walter J. Pories, MD, FACS, professor of surgery, biochemistry and kinesiology at East Carolina University, Greenville, NC. Attendees enjoyed presentations on such topics as breast cancer in the era of precision medicine, robotics and the future of minimally invasive thoracic surgery, thyroid cancer treatment strategies, implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) Reauthorization Act (MACRA), treatment of solid lesions in the liver, and abdominal wall reconstruction.
After dinner, the annual surgical skills competition got under way. The winning team was from Mercer University School of Medicine at The Medical Center of Central Georgia, Atlanta.
New officers were elected, and Thomas E. Reeve III, MD, FACS, a general surgeon from Carrollton, assumed the presidency.
Massachusetts Chapter participates in Advocacy Day
On September 20, members of the Massachusetts Chapter of the ACS (MCACS) participated in the chapter’s fourth Advocacy Day. The event took place in the Great Hall of Flags of the Massachusetts State House, Boston, and more than 80 health care professional and political leaders participated, including chapter members, trauma personnel, first responders, law enforcement officials, government officials, and legislators and their staff.
The program focused on the theme of the Surgical Experience in Response to Firearm Violence. Peter Koutoujian, Sheriff of Middlesex County, moderated a panel session featuring speakers from Boston trauma centers, including Michael P. Hirsh, MD, FACS, UMass Memorial Hospital; Eric Goralnick, MD, MS, Brigham and Women’s Hospital; and David R. King, MD, FACS, of Massachusetts General Hospital, who spoke about operationalizing the “Stop the Bleed” campaign. The MCACS arranged to have enough combat-quality tourniquets available for all members of the legislature.
William Evans, Commissioner, Boston Police Department, spoke on the importance of surgeon involvement in policy discussions, while House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D) emphasized that the important relationships that surgeons have established with Massachusetts State House members that have enabled passage of several pieces of legislation that were designed to protect patient access and prevent injuries. In addition, the fourth John Collins Warren Award was presented to Sen. Jason Lewis (D). MCACS presented the award to Senator Lewis for his work on health care policy in the Massachusetts Senate.
In the afternoon, registered medical personnel had personal appointments with their legislators or their aides and brought tourniquets to demonstrate their ease of use as a lifesaving measure.
Support for residents and young surgeons in Southern California Chapter
The Southern California Chapter of the ACS (SCCACS) held its annual three-day Scientific Conference earlier this year, attracting 355 surgeons and residents and comprising 38 plenary oral presentations, 20 oral poster presentations, and eight subspecialty sessions.
Surgical residents from 11 surgical training programs in the Southern California area participated, and the SCCACS held a Young Surgeons breakfast, during which work/life balance was discussed with distinguished guest surgeons. The Young Surgeons group also awarded three $1,200 travel stipends to defray meeting costs. The 2016 awardees were Dawn Elfenbein, MD, University of California (UC), Irvine; Susanne Warner, MD, City of Hope National Cancer Center; and Ali Zarrinpar, MD, University of California, Los Angeles.
Also at the meeting, the Resident Research Awards were given to the top three papers. The 2016 winners were as follows:
- First place: Jessica Reynolds, MD, Los Angeles County University of Southern California Medical Center ($500)
- Second place: Aaron Parrish, MD, Harbor-UC Los Angeles Medical Center ($300)
- Third place: Syed Pairawan, MD, Loma Linda University Medical Center, CA ($200)
Maris Jones, MD, John Wayne Cancer Institute, Santa Monica, won the 2016 Physician-in-Training Cancer Research Paper Competition, also held in conjunction with the SCCACS Annual Scientific Meeting, for her paper, Second Primary Melanoma: Risk Factors, Histopathologic Features, Survival and Implications for Follow-Up.
For the eighth year, the SCCACS held a Surgical Jeopardy competition at the Annual Scientific Meeting. The winning team was the UC, Irvine, team, represented by Sarath Sujatha-Bhaskar, MD, and John Gahagan, MD. In this session, Southern California residency programs competed.
Michigan Chapter delegation meets U.S. Senators
The 63rd Annual Meeting of the Michigan Chapter of the ACS and the 65th Annual Surgical Residents Competition took place May 18−20 at Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island. The Michigan Committee on Trauma (COT) hosted the 66th Annual Keyport Trauma Symposium on May 18 in conjunction with the chapter meeting.
Led by Michigan Chapter President Wayne E. VanderKolk, MD, FACS, and Program Chair Craig A. Reickert, MD, FACS, the meeting included an ACS Update from then-ACS President J. David Richardson, MD, FACS. Ronald M. Stewart MD, FACS, Chair, ACS COT, delivered the 19th annual Mo Henig Trauma Lecture, titled Perspectives on the Profession.
Alongside other chapters, Michigan surgeons also participated in the ACS Leadership & Advocacy Summit this past spring. The Michigan delegation included ACS Governor Mark Puls, MD, FACS; Nicolas J. Mouawad, MD, MPH, MBA; Donn M. Schroder, MD, FACS; Amalia Stefanou, MD, FACS, and Majid T. Aized, MD.
The group met with U.S. Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Reps. Dan Benishek, MD, FACS (R-MI), and Dan Kildee (D-MI). The meetings focused on issues that are important to surgeons, including surgeons and MACRA implementation; liability protections for trauma providers and the Health Care Safety Net Enhancement Act; funding for cancer initiatives and accreditation of cancer programs through passage of a Resolution Recognizing Commission on Cancer Accreditation; the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act; surgical workforce in underserved areas provisions in the Ensuring Access to General Surgery Act of 2016; and the Responsible Data Transparency Act.
Chapter Speed Networking at Clinical Congress
The ACS Board of Governors Chapter Activities Domestic and International Workgroups hosted its annual Chapter Speed Networking event October 18 at Clinical Congress.
During the event, chapter leaders, administrators, and Governors learned about best practices through “table talks” on a spectrum of topics that are relevant to managing domestic and international chapters. Topics included advocacy, chapter administration, membership recruitment and retention, Operation Giving Back, and international chapter development. Approximately 60 people attended the event and a networking reception that followed.
Dr. Maier participates in ATLS Provider Course in Shenzhen, China
Ronald V. Maier, MD, FACS, FRCSEd(Hon), then-First Vice-President of the ACS, visited Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China, September 22–26, to review the Inaugural Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS®) Provider Course organized by the China Chapter (CHKC-ACS). During his visit, Dr. Maier attended a Chapter Reception; the Hong Kong Surgical Forum; the Shenzhen Surgical Forum organized by the department of surgery, University of Hong Kong; and the Inaugural ATLS course.
The CHKC-ACS has conducted ATLS courses in Hong Kong in collaboration with the department of surgery of The University of Hong Kong since 1997. The establishment of the university’s affiliated hospital in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, provides the platform for a training site in mainland China. With a translated student manual, the Inaugural Provider Course, delivered entirely in Putonghua, was conducted at the University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital. Chapter leaders who participated in the event include Richard Lo, MD, FACS, Governor of the CHKC-ACS; John Wong, MB, BS, FACS(Hon), President of CHKC-ACS; Chung-Mau Lo, MB, BS, FACS(Hon), head, department of surgery, The University of Hong Kong; Gilberto Leung, MB, BS, FACS, ATLS Program Director of CHKC-ACS; and Daniel Tong, MD, director of the Inaugural Provider Course in Shenzhen, as well as central and provincial government officials of the People’s Republic of China. The 16 trainees came from four different provinces; several were identified as candidates for the first Instructor Course in Putonghua in December 2016.
Physicians in mainland China have obtained ATLS training in Hong Kong and other countries for a number of years, but this course represents a major step toward the formal introduction of ATLS into a country with 2 million licensed physicians whose participation in internationally accredited training has until now been limited by a language barrier. This historic event will have a significant impact on patient care in China and the ATLS International community.
Italy Chapter hosts Annual Meeting with other surgical societies
The 2016 Annual Meeting of the ACS Italy Chapter took place September 25−29 in Rome. The meeting was held in conjunction with the Italian Society of Surgery and in association with many other surgical societies, including the MCACS.
The ACS Italy Chapter sponsored three sessions, which included lymphatics, environment and tumors, and surgical training.
The following members of the Italy Chapter participated as faculty: Corradino Campisi, MD, PhD, FACS; Massimo Carlini, MD, FACS; Massimo Chiarugi, MD, FACS; Antonio di Cataldo, MD, FACS, Governor; Nicola Di Lorenzo, MD, FACS, Second Vice-President; Achille Lucio Gaspari, MD, FACS; Gaetano La Greca, MD, FACS, President; Alberto Montori, MD, FACS; Franco Mosca, MD; Giuseppe Nigri, MD, FACS, Secretary/Treasurer; Alessandro Paganini, MD, FACS; Francesco Puccio, MD, FACS; Biagio Ravo, MD, FACS, First Vice-President; and Rosario Vecchio, MD, FACS. Douglas Smink, MD, FACS, associate professor of surgery, Harvard Medical School, and director, general surgery residency program, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, participated as a member of the chapter partner program. Dr. Smink presented on General Surgery Residency Program in USA: The Evolution of a Model.
During the meeting, five Italian residents participated in the resident paper competition. Serena Elisa Tempera, MD, won the competition, presenting “Role of Surgeon-Performed Neck Ultrasound Scan in the Detection of Central Neck Node Metastases in Patients with Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma.”
As part of the ACS International Exchange Program, a U.S. resident selected by the Resident and Associate Society of the ACS was invited to the ACS Italy Chapter Meeting. This year, the resident was Anthony Feghali, MD, from State University of New York at Syracuse, who presented Evolution of Robotic Training in the USA.
Drs. Smink and Feghali were invited to give a presentation at Sapienza University of Rome. Dr. Smink presented Simulation and Non-technical Skills in the Training Programs in General Surgery, and Dr. Feghali presented Updates in Training in Robotic Surgery.
News from the Portugal Chapter
The Esophageal and Gastric Cancer Initiative—a joint meeting of the Grupo de Investigação do Cancro Digestivo, the International Gastric Cancer Association, and the ACS—took place in Lisbon, Portugal, June 16−18. This conference was the inaugural meeting of the European Chapters of the ACS and was organized and promoted by the ACS Portugal Chapter.
The State Secretary of Health and the presidents of the organizing societies addressed the audience in the Opening Ceremony. The Lisbon Initiative was a scientific meeting of experts in esophageal and gastric cancer. The participation of ACS Fellows from Europe and other regions as speakers was impressive. The Initiative addressed the New Trends of Multimodal Approach to Upper GI [gastrointestinal] Cancers. The scientific program has focused on some of the hottest topics in esophageal and gastric cancer, from bench biology to clinical oncology, and from guidelines to individual patient treatment. The 348 attendees were specialists in various fields of upper GI cancer, and young physicians participated in the discussions.
Dr. Maier chaired a special session on the Challenges for the ACS Overseas, which addressed strategies for recruiting ACS members and fortifying the network of European chapters. Presidents and Governors from the European chapters, including Austria-Hungary, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland, who lectured on several topics, including The Value of Membership for the ACS European Surgeons; Strategies to Enlarge the Recruitment for FACS, RAS, and Students Among European Chapters; ACS Quality Programs and Fellowship Opportunities; [Continuing Medical Education] for Senior Trainees: What Can the European Chapters Do?; Research Fellowship in the USA: Implications for the European Surgical Trainee and the ACS; and Leaping Forward: A Network among European Chapters.
The European chapter leaders also discussed their vision to consolidate and to move their common organizational structure forward. This inaugural regional meeting of the European ACS chapters will open up a new trend of regional meetings and will strengthen networking among the ACS European chapters.
Dr. Townsend speaks at ACS Korea Chapter meeting
ACS President Courtney M. Townsend Jr., MD, FACS, was the guest speaker at the Annual Meeting of the Korean Surgical Society, November 3–5, in Seoul, South Korea. Dr. Townsend, who gave a presentation on Education and the Quality Programs of the ACS, also attended the ACS Korea Chapter Meeting November 3. He offered an update on ACS activities in a session moderated by Choong Bai Kim, MD, FACS, President of the ACS Korea Chapter. Other topics presented at the meeting included Impressions of a New FACS by H.S. Chang, MD, PhD, FACS, Chapter Secretary General; Quality Improvement Projects by Sun Whe Kim, MD, FACS, Governor; Academic-Society Based Surgical Quality Improvement Project Cholecystectomy and Surgical Quality Improvement Project Thyroidectomy by H.K. Lee, MD, FACS; and a course on off-the-job training in trauma during general surgery residency by C. Y. Park, MD, FACS.
Dr. Richardson participates in Saudi Arabia Chapter’s 25th anniversary celebration
The Saudi Arabia Chapter of the ACS held its annual meeting September 28 and celebrated its 25th anniversary. Dr. Richardson attended the meeting, which took place at the Amwaj Rotana Hotel, Dubai, UAE. A total of 60 surgeons representing a variety of specialties and nations attended.
The meeting was divided into a scientific program, during which several surgeons presented their research and scientific projects, followed by a special business session that included presentations of chapter member activities, including College programs such as the ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program, as well as quality programs in bariatric surgery, organ transplantation, and trauma.
The chapter presented a gift to Dr. Richardson (see above image) designed by the Saudi Arabia Chapter Governor Jamal Jomah, MB, BS, FACS, FRCS(Ed). Each faculty member delivered several lectures followed by a discussion.
Members of the Chapter Council were named, with the additions of several new members. The social program included a visit to the opera house, a city tour, a daytime canal cruise, and a faculty dinner.
The Saudi Arabia media covered several events, including sessions on three-dimensional simulations and printing and plastic surgery, health insurance and its impact on medical practices, trauma incidence and prevention in Saudi Arabia, and pedestrian injuries during the Hajj Pilgrimage.