The Board of Directors of the American College of Surgeons Professional Association (ACSPA) and the Board of Regents (B/R) of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) met October 15 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Washington, DC. The following is a summary of their discussions and actions.
As of October 15, 2016, the ACS Professional Association’s political action committee, ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC, raised a total of $1,081,165 from more than 2,100 College members and staff. In addition, the PAC also had disbursed more than $1,044,000 to more than 160 congressional candidates, leadership PACs, and party committees. In line with congressional party ratios, 58 percent of the disbursements went to Republicans and 42 percent to Democrats. The ACSPA does not contribute to presidential campaigns.
In addition to reviewing reports from the ACS division directors, the Board of Regents reviewed and approved new policy approval and dissemination principles and a white paper on the ACS database integration project.
Division of Advocacy and Health Policy
The Division of Advocacy and Health Policy has established a Quality Payment Program (QPP) Resource Center, which contains several tools that are available to help surgeons understand the new payment system being implemented under the Medicare Access and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) Reauthorization Act (MACRA). Videos are available on the ACS website to explain the four components of the QPP’s Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)—Quality, Resource Use, Advancing Care Information, and Clinical Practice Improvement Activities.
The ACS also is working with colleagues at Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, and Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston, to develop alternative payment models for use in the QPP. A redesigned ACS Surgeon Specific Registry (SSR) will be available this month. The SSR is a useful means for surgeons to report their outcomes data to the Physician Quality Reporting System and will be useful in responding to the MIPS Quality mandates.
Division of Education
The 2016 Clinical Congress program comprised 24 Tracks, 128 Panel Sessions, 18 Didactic Courses, 14 Skills Courses, 45 Meet-the-Expert Luncheons, and 18 Town Hall Meetings. Three Special Sessions were offered on Firearm Injury Prevention, ACS Strong for Surgery, and Global Engagement.
In addition, the Division of Education collaborated with the Division of Integrated Communication on a targeted e-mail campaign to surgeons in 14 states, recommending courses that might help them fulfill their respective states’ maintenance of licensure requirements.
Division of Integrated Communications
The Division of Integrated Communications played a major role in the creation of Bleedingcontrol.org, a new website that highlights the Stop the Bleed program developed through a collaboration between the ACS Committee on Trauma, the White House, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and other federal agencies.
After 100 years as a print publication, the Bulletin is transitioning to an online-only publication beginning January 1. The member magazine is available in the following three digital formats: a website; an interactive version that replicates the print edition; and an app.
The Division of Integrated Communications was responsible for the development of two video series, which are posted on the ACS website. One video series centers on the value of ACS Fellowship and the other on the value of ACS educational programs.
The ACS Communities are now in their third year as a forum to discuss topics of interest to ACS Fellows. At present, there are 106 active ACS Communities.
Division of Member Services
The College had a record number of Initiates in 2016, a total of 1,823, with 1,256 from the U.S. and its territories, 21 from Canada, and 546 from 69 other countries. The B/R accepted resignations from four Fellows: two cardiothoracic surgeons, one general surgeon, and one ophthalmic surgeon. The B/R also approved a change in status from Active (dues paying) to Retired for 49 Fellows, and from Senior (non-dues paying) to Retired for 28 Fellows, for a total of 77 Fellows. In all, the College had more than 80,000 members at the end of October 2016.
The Initiate classes of 1966 and 1991 received special recognition at the Convocation Ceremony at Clinical Congress 2016. Special invitations and a recognition website were created to support this event.
The Realize the Potential of Your Profession campaign continued this year with young surgeon networking events in Sacramento, CA; Seattle, WA; and New York, NY. Non-member surgeons were invited to these events to meet ACS leaders and learn about the benefits of College membership.
Four new videos were released this past year highlighting key areas of member involvement—Advocacy, Leadership, Influence, and Engagement. These videos are displayed on the ACS website and were distributed through various College e-newsletters and social media outlets.
In addition to member recruitment and retention, the Division of Member Services has purview over the ACS Advisory Councils, Archives, Board of Governors, and Chapter Services.
The Advisory Councils have been restructured to include Advisory Council pillars aligned with the values of the College—Membership, Communications, Advocacy, Quality, and Education. The Advisory Council pillars now meet at the Leadership & Advocacy Summit and again at the Clinical Congress.
More than 32 new accessions were accepted into the Archives this past year, including the records of Past-Executive Director Thomas R. Russell, MD, FACS; minutes of the Annual Meetings of the Fellows at the Clinical Congress 1910–1951; minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Fellows 1912–1984; extensive Commission on Cancer (CoC) American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) records; and trauma publications. Improvements have been made to the new Archives online database, including the addition of a module to support College publications and a search by subject feature.
The College also hired a new full-time Archivist, Meghan Kennedy.
Board of Governors
The following three specialty societies have been approved for representation on the ACS Board of Governors:
- American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons
- The International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery
- The Society of Black Academic Surgeons
Chapter Services continues to provide guidance and assistance to the College’s 109 Chapters, 67 of which are Domestic and 42 of which are International. The Trinidad & Tobago Chapter received approval from the Board of Regents earlier this year, and a surgeon in Kuwait petitioned the College for a Governor with the intention of forming a new chapter soon. Other Chapter Services updates are as follows:
- The ACS President and other Officers have attended 22 domestic and international chapter meetings as keynote speakers, providing updates on College activities or presentations on leadership or clinical topics of interest.
- The first Chapter Officer Leadership Program will take place in March 2017. This program is designed exclusively for domestic chapter officers and will provide participants with the skills they need to help their chapters build sustainable success.
- A new Chapter Administrator Learning Event will take place in conjunction with the 2017 Leadership & Advocacy Summit.
- The Chapter Guidebook has been completely revamped and was distributed to all Chapters following the Clinical Congress. A new Chapter Meeting Toolkit has been developed and will be integrated into the Guidebook.
- A total of 15 webinars have been held this year to provide chapter leaders with strategies and tools to run a successful chapter.
2017 Leadership & Advocacy Summit
The 2017 Leadership & Advocacy Summit will take place May 6–9, 2017, at the Renaissance Hotel, Washington, DC.
Division of Research and Optimal Patient Care
The Division of Research and Optimal Patient Care (DROPC) encompasses the area of Continuous Quality Improvement and ACS research and accreditation programs.
A total of 754 hospitals participate in the ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP®), 662 of which participate in the adult option. Following is the breakdown of participating sites by ACS NSQIP category:
- Small and rural: 64
- Procedure targeted: 280
- Essentials: 318
- Pediatric: 92
The 2016 ACS NSQIP Annual Conference took place in San Diego, CA. Nearly 1,500 individuals attended, representing 690 medical institutions and 14 countries.
A total of 813 surgery centers participate in the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP)—725 of which are fully accredited, and 51 of which are initial applicants. The remaining 37 are data collection centers that were originally American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) provisional centers that chose to continue with data entry but did not complete the process to meet full accreditation status.
The Health Services Research Methods Course (HSRM), previously the Outcomes Research Course, took place December 8–10, 2016, at ACS headquarters in Chicago, IL. The three-day course, led by Arden M. Morris, MD, MPH, FACS, and Caprice C. Greenberg, MD, MPH, FACS, was redesigned in 2016 for clinical and health services researchers with varying degrees of experience. The program included didactic lectures and skills-based labs, and participants were able to select modules appropriate to their skill levels and interests. The methods focus was on quantitative, qualitative, and mixed method, and implementation science.
ACS Clinical Scholars in Residence
The ACS Clinical Scholars in Residence program is a two-year on-site fellowship in applied surgical outcomes research, health services research, and health policy. This program offers surgery residents a unique opportunity to work with College leaders and Quality Programs (see related story). Scholars and their major projects are as follows:
- Julia Berian, MD, is a general surgery resident at the University of Chicago Medical Center and is in her third year as a Clinical Scholar and her second year as the ACS-John A. Hartford Foundation (JAHF) James C. Thompson Geriatric Surgery Research Fellow. Dr. Berian has continued her work on the JAHF-funded Coalition for Quality in Geriatric Surgery.
- Kristen Ban, MD, is a resident in the department of surgery, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL, and a second-year ACS Clinical Scholar in Residence. Her interests include health services and quality improvement research.
- Jason Liu, MD, is a general surgery resident at the University of Chicago Medical Center. His research focuses on outcomes within general surgical oncology, particularly hepatopancreatobiliary operations.
- Melissa Hornor, MD, is a general surgery resident at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus. She is in her first year as a Clinical Scholar and as an ACS-JAHF James C. Thompson Geriatric Surgery Research Fellow. Her research focuses on outcomes in acute care surgery and trauma, specifically among geriatric patients.
- Ryan Ellis, MD, will be joining the ACS Clinical Scholars in Residence program in July 2017. Dr. Ellis is a general surgery resident at Northwestern University McGaw Medical Center. In the coming years, Dr. Ellis hopes to further his career as a practicing surgical oncologist and a health services and outcomes researcher, with his time evenly split between research and clinical practice.
At present, the Commission on Cancer (CoC) accredits 1,519 cancer programs.
The resource booklet, National Cancer Database Tools, Reports, and Resources, was recently revised and will be shared with the Cancer Liaison Physicians, staff at accredited programs, attendees at CoC education programs, and CoC surveyors. The booklet also will be distributed at the meetings where the CoC and National Cancer Database exhibit.
Committee on Trauma
As of September 20, 2016, a total of 530 hospitals participate in the Trauma Quality Improvement Program (TQIP); a total of 442 trauma centers have ACS Verification. Since its launch in January 2016, more than 650 participants have completed the online TQIP course.
The ACS Foundation had a strong year, obtaining financial support for the educational and outreach programs of the College. Examples of support in 2016 include:
- More than 50 international guest scholarships, research fellowships, and other traveling scholarships for young surgeons. The ACS Foundation is tracking the career progress of its past scholarship recipients to show the long-term impact that funding can have on surgical careers and patient care.
- Funding to provide Advanced Trauma Life Support training in Mongolia and Kenya.
- Support to Operation Giving Back in its strategic planning for greater outreach.