Chapter news – October 2013

Slide 1

Connecticut Chapter. Dr. LaVorgna, far right, standing, speaking with residents.

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Chile Chapter. Seated, from left: Drs. Chomali, Vidal, Csendes, Alcoholado, and Maluenda. Standing: Drs. Korn, San Martin, Nuñez, Catan, Burdiles, Bianchi, and Rivera.

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Italy Chapter. From left: Dr. Gasparri; Dr. Kaafarani; Alberto Montori, MD, FACS(Hon); and Dr. Nigri.

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Michigan Chapter. Chapter President Donn M. Schroder, MD, FACS, center left, and Immediate Past-President Vijay K. Mittal, MD, FACS, center right, pose with the winners of the Resident Surgeons Competition.

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Missouri Chapter. From left: Residents Christopher Cooper, MD; Jeremy Jensen, MD; Ashley Bartels, MD; and Jared Konie, MD, all from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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Tennessee Chapter. From left: Joseph Cofer, MD, FACS, incoming Tennessee Chapter President; guest speaker Dr. Campbell; Oscar Guillamondegui, MD, FACS, outgoing Tennessee Chapter President; and guest speaker Dr. Schwab.

Slide 7

Tennessee Chapter. Kenneth Sharp, MD, FACS (left), representing the ACS Foundation at the Tennessee Chapter meeting with Dr. Burns.

Italy Chapter hosts two ACS Presidents

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Italy Chapter convened in Genoa, Italy, June 24–27, during the Congress Giornate Genovesi della Chirurgia Italiana, organized by Corradino Campisi, MD, FACS. Several other surgical societies participated in this conference, including the Joint National Congress of the Italian Society of University Surgeons, Emergency Surgery and Trauma, and Research in Surgery (see photo). U.S. and European surgeons also attended the event, which took place at the historic Villa Quartara in Genoa, built in the 14th century.

Guests of honor at the meeting included ACS President A. Brent Eastman, MD, FACS; his wife Sarita Eastman, MD; and ACS Past-President Patricia Numann, MD, FACS. For the chapter plenary session, Dr. A. Brent Eastman presented a lecture on the “Disaster in Haiti.” Dr. Numann presented several lectures during the meeting, including a talk on “Women in Surgery.” Lucio Achille Gasparri, MD, FACS, the ACS Governor for Italy, organized the chapter meeting and was an active participant.

During the meeting, it was announced that Alessio Vinci, MD, department of surgery, University of Pavia, is the recipient of the 2013 Resident and Associate Society (RAS-ACS) International Exchange Program grant. Dr. Vinci will receive $2,500 from the RAS-ACS to participate in the ACS Clinical Congress, October 6–10, in Washington, DC. This RAS-ACS program allows for an exchange of residents and young surgeons between Italy and the U.S. The program was established by the RAS-ACS in 2012 with the support of the ACS International Relations Committee (IRC) through the collaboration of Daniela Molena, MD, assistant professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD—who, at that time, was Chief of the RAS-ACS Membership Committee—and Giuseppe Nigri, MD, PhD, FACS, assistant professor of surgery at Sapienza University in Rome, Italy. Dr. Nigri is the Chapter Treasurer and a member of the IRC.

In addition, for the first time, thanks to the funding support of the ACS Italy Chapter, a young U.S. surgeon, Haytham M.A. Kaafarani, MD, a general surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, and recipient of the International Exchange Program Award, has been invited to participate in the 2013 Clinical Congress. Dr. Kaafarani is also an instructor at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Kaafarani was present at the recent chapter meeting in Genoa, where he received an award from the Italy Chapter Executive Council and presented a lecture titled Patient Safety in Surgery.

For the first time, the Italy Chapter meeting included a Student/Resident Competition. The winners of this competition were first-year resident Paolo Magistri, MD, from Sapienza University of Rome, and third-year resident Teresa Ciamporcero, MD, University of Turin. With funding from the ACS Italy Chapter, the two winners will participate in the 2013 Clinical Congress.

Lake of the Ozarks provides backdrop for Missouri Chapter meeting

The Missouri Chapter hosted its annual meeting May 31–June 2 at the Lodge of Four Seasons on the shores of the Lake of the Ozarks, MO (see photo).  The three-day, well-attended event included many nursing colleagues.

The first day of the conference featured general surgery/trauma presentations, and on the second day, faculty, fellows, residents, and medical students gave presentations on oncology. During the meeting, R. Phillip Burns, MD, FACS, First Vice-President of the American College of Surgeons, provided an update on College activities, and Julie Margenthaler, MD, FACS, Barnes Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, was installed as Chapter President. Attendees and their families also enjoyed a pool party and an evening cruise on the Lake of the Ozarks.

Next year’s annual meeting will take place at the Lodge of Four Seasons, May 29–June 1, 2014.

Massachusetts Chapter plans second advocacy summit

The Massachusetts Chapter has announced that it will hold its second annual Surgical Advocacy Summit on November 19 at the Massachusetts State House in Boston. At last year’s advocacy event, chapter members developed a partnership with state legislators and their staff, with a focus on ensuring patient access to sustainable high-quality surgical care. The upcoming summit will continue this collaboration and will include a discussion of the response to the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing. All Massachusetts surgeons are invited to attend this important event and are encouraged to invite Fellows, other colleagues, and residents. For updated information on the second annual Surgical Advocacy Summit, go to

Residents present research papers at Tennessee Chapter annual meeting

The Tennessee Chapter convened July 26–28 in Nashville, TN, for its annual meeting (see photos). More than 100 registrants attended multiple sessions, with representatives from the College’s leadership, the Commission on Cancer, the Committee on Trauma, and the Tennessee Surgical Quality Coalition.

R. Phillip Burns, MD, FACS, First Vice-President of the ACS and longstanding chair of surgery at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, provided an update on College activities. C. William Schwab, MD, FACS, from the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, offered a provocative presentation on firearm violence.

Dr. Schwab focused on the research and impact of gun violence in the U.S. and advocated further investigation of gun violence as a public health issue.

In addition, Darrell “Skip” Campbell, MD, FACS, director of the Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative, provided an update on the Michigan group’s activities.

Patricia Numann, MD, FACS, Past-President of ACS, was also actively involved with the annual meeting, commenting on resident presentations and giving a presentation titled Communication Skills: An Important Component on the Road to Success. Donna Tieberg, ACS Chapter Services Manager and author of this article, also attended the annual meeting and provided the Executive Council with an update on Chapter Services.

The Tennessee Chapter has long recognized the need for resident and young surgeon participation in the annual meeting. As in previous years, surgical residents provided paper presentations highlighting research in trauma, cancer, and clinical surgical science, with a total of 25 presentations.

Finally, a longstanding tradition for the Tennessee Chapter is the Saturday night banquet. This year, a nine-piece band, Soul Incision, consisting of physicians, nurses, and administrators from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, entertained the crowd.

Michigan Chapter 60th annual meeting features difficult surgical situations

The Michigan Chapter presented its 60th Annual Meeting and 62nd Resident Surgeons Competition, May 15–17, at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Kalamazoo, MI (see photo). More than 100 surgeons and surgery residents from around the state participated in this year’s event. The meeting kicked off Wednesday evening with a Remarkable Cases Reception, which included a discussion of nine unusual cases submitted by practicing surgeons, residents, and medical students from throughout the state. David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, ACS Executive Director, and R. Phillip Burns, MD, FACS, ACS First Vice-President, provided updates on the College’s quality improvement initiatives and other activities. Dr. Hoyt also presented the 16th Annual “Mo” Henig Trauma Lecture titled Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc: The Story of the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium.

The Michigan Chapter meeting featured speakers from throughout North America to participate in this year’s conference, the theme of which was Difficult Situations in Surgery. Expert surgeons shared their troublesome experiences and offered their advice and feedback during roundtable discussions.

Darrell “Skip” Campbell, MD, FACS, director of the Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative, provided an update on the group’s activities, and Martin McKneally, PhD, Joint Centre for Bioethics, University of Toronto, ON, gave the Krishna K. and Pamela E. Sawhney Ethics in Surgery Lecture, Ethics of Surgical Innovation: When Is It OK to Try Something New?

A major focus of the annual event is the resident competition. This year, 66 abstracts were submitted for consideration, and the top 54 were selected for presentation. This year’s resident surgeons competition winners are: Matthew Ralls, MD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, winner of the Frederick A. Coller Award, who took First Place Overall for Acute Nutrient Deprivation and Intestinal Environmental Variation: Potential Mechanisms that Drive Intestinal Mucocal Inflammation. The Alexander J. Walt Award, and Second Place Overall, went to Lindsey Korepta, MD, Grand Rapids Medical Education Partners, for Endovascular Repair of Ruptured Aneurysms after EVAR.

Connecticut Chapter hosts work/life balance program for residents

The Connecticut Chapter’s Resident Committee hosted an evening session in July on the topics of work/life balance and organized medicine at the Connecticut State Medical Society in New Haven, CT (see photo). The session was well-attended, with 15 residents present, representing half of the training programs in Connecticut.

Organized by Committee Chairs third-year resident Jillian Fortier, MD, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, and fourth-year resident Yuk Ming Liu, MD, Waterbury Hospital, the evening featured presentations by Chapter Past-President Kristen Zarfos, MD, FACS, attending surgeon, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Hartford, and assistant professor, University of Connecticut School of Medicine; Chapter President, Kathleen LaVorgna, MD, FACS, Norwalk Hospital; and Chapter Committee on Quality Co-Chair, Scott Ellner, DO, FACS, attending surgeon, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center.

Committee Mentor David Shapiro, MD, FACS, a general surgeon at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, reminded residents that as long as they love what they do, they will evolve in their careers. All were then asked to share an interesting personal fact. What emerged were 15 unique and diverse personal portraits, with residents who were a part of the same program learning new information about each other.

Dr. Zarfos suggested that the residents look at life as a pie chart and that the balance they achieve will evolve as their priorities change. She also stressed the need to devote a piece of your “pie” to maintaining personal health. Dr. LaVorgna emphasized the importance of having a strong peer network as well as a senior mentor. Dr. Ellner reminded the residents that postresidency/fellowship life improves markedly and stressed the importance of keeping in touch with old friends and taking advantage of individual interests. He concluded by telling the residents that he believes it is important to look for an area where they may have an impact and then map their career path to achieve that goal.

At dinner, Dr. LaVorgna provided an overview of organized medicine, explaining how county and state medical societies interact with the American Medical Association (AMA). She also explained the role that the ACS plays within the AMA. The evening ended with presenters encouraging residents to become actively engaged in their chapter, the College, and organized medicine. The next scheduled session for Connecticut residents will center on financial planning.

Chile Chapter announces 2013–2014 Board of Directors

The Chile Chapter of the American College of Surgeons held its 57th Congress May 12–15, in Santiago, led by Chapter President Nelson Vidal Carvajal, MD, FACS. Topic highlights at the meeting included the prevention of disease, trauma, and pediatric surgery.

At the meeting, the chapter announced the 2013–2014 Board of Directors (see photo). The new Board includes  Ivan Alcoholado, MD, FACS; Victor Bianchi, MD, FACS; Patricio Burdiles, MD, FACS; Treasurer Felipe Catan, MD, FACS; Teresa Chomali, MD, FACS; ACS Governor Attila Csendes, MD, FACS(Hon); Owen Korn, MD, FACS; President-Elect Fernando Maluenda, MD, FACS; S. San Martin, MD, FACS; Hugo Nuñez, MD, FACS; Carlos Rivera, MD, FACS; and Nelson Vidal, MD, FACS.

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