New Jersey Chapter engages in state advocacy efforts
The New Jersey Chapter of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) has organized a collaborative effort to oppose S. 1285, the Out-of-Network Consumer Protection, Transparency, Cost Containment and Accountability Act, which was under consideration at press time in the New Jersey Legislature. More specifically, the New Jersey Chapter helped to organize and lead the Access to Care Coalition—a diverse group of physicians and health care facilities that opposes efforts to limit out-of-network benefits and thus undermine consumer choice and access to care.
The New Jersey Chapter has sought to raise awareness of this issue, retained the services of a state lobbying group to help protect the interests of patients and surgeons in the state, and works closely with the ACS Division of Advocacy and Health Policy on this matter. The chapter has been appreciative of ACS State Affairs staff efforts, as well as those of David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, ACS Executive Director, who sent a letter to members of the New Jersey State Senate opposing the out-of-network legislation.
For more information, go to the New Jersey Chapter website.
Indiana Chapter leaders attend licensing board workgroup meeting on opioids
Officers of the Indiana Chapter of the ACS spoke on behalf of chapter members on July 12 at an informational and comment session of the Indiana Medical Licensing Board 2017 Indiana Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 226 Workgroup. SEA 226 requires all Indiana health care providers, with limited exceptions, to restrict the prescribing of opioids to new patients to seven days for both children and adults.
At the session, Stephen Bodney, MD, FACS, Immediate Past-President of the Indiana Chapter, provided feedback received from chapter members regarding the impact of SEA 226 and the ability to deliver quality care to surgical and trauma patients. Bradford Barrett, MD, FACS, Chapter Secretary/Treasurer, spoke about the implications of SEA 226 for surgeons in eastern Indiana. Don J. Selzer, MD, FACS, Chapter President, provided a prepared statement referring to the recently released ACS Statement on the Opioid Abuse Epidemic, available at facs.org/about-acs/statements/100-opioid-abuse. In an effort to reduce regulatory requirements burdening chapter members, Dr. Selzer lobbied the workgroup to consider adding major surgical procedures and trauma to the list of exemptions.
Other organizations that have provided statements on SEA 226 include the Indiana Academy of Family Practice, Indiana Hospital Association, Indiana Pharmacy Alliance, Indiana Academy of Physician Assistants, and the retail pharmacy chain CVS. Individual practitioners who specialize in pain treatment also have commented.
Nevada Chapter hosts meetings on key issues
The Nevada Chapter of the College (NV ACS) met June 21 in Las Vegas. Deborah Kuhls, MD, FACS, NV ACS Chapter President, convened the meeting, which more than 50 individuals attended. Vinita Ollapally, JD, Regulatory Affairs Manager, ACS Division of Advocacy & Health Policy, spoke on the Merit-based Incentive Payment System and global codes data reporting for Nevada. In addition, Wydell L. Williams, Jr., MD, MA, FACS, Desert West Surgery, Las Vegas, gave a presentation titled Fundamentals of Surgical Bioethics: Are We Influenced by Incentives, Nudging, Autonomy, or Paternalism?
The NV ACS held an additional meeting in northern Nevada on June 22 in Reno. Dr. Kuhls also convened this meeting and discussed plans for the first statewide meeting of the NV ACS October 7 in Las Vegas.
Tennessee Chapter meeting a success
More than 160 surgeons, residents, and other health care professionals attended the Tennessee Chapter of the ACS (TNACS) 2017 Annual Meeting August 4−6 in Nashville. Educational programming included a Continuing Medical Education session on pain management from a surgical perspective, as well as a session on best practices from the Tennessee Surgical Quality Collaborative; the latest developments in trauma, cancer, basic, and clinical science; an update on new Maintenance of Certification guidelines; and Stop the Bleed®. State Rep. Sabi Kumar, MD, FACS, spoke at the meeting, and ACS President Courtney M. Townsend, Jr., MD, FACS, gave an update on College activities. Surgical Jeopardy was a highlight of the meeting, with the winning team hailing from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine at Chattanooga, which included Brent Soder, MD, chief resident, and G. Alan Hyde, MD, fifth-year resident.
Louisiana Chapter holds annual meeting
The Louisiana Chapter of the ACS held its annual meeting June 3–4 in New Orleans. The meeting began with mock orals for third- and fourth-year residents, organized by the Louisiana Young Fellows Association Chair Lance Stuke, MD, FACS. More than 40 residents and faculty participated. A feedback session was provided to examinees as an opportunity to interact with examiners and to improve exam-taking skills.
The meeting included a paper competition, invited guest speakers, and Resident Surgical Jeopardy. Stop the Bleed training also was provided with the goal of training each meeting attendee so they could go back and teach bleeding control techniques to their staff, colleagues, and members of their community.
The chapter’s Humanitarian Award was presented to M. Hosein Shokouh-Amiri, MD, FACS, an internationally renowned transplant surgeon from Willis Knighton Health Systems, Shreveport. The award recognizes a chapter member who has dedicated significant time to humanitarian medical outreach both locally and abroad. Dr. Amiri has been involved in charitable work since 2000. He has founded transplant programs in developing nations, including a liver transplant program at Mashhad University, Iran. In 2009, he aided in the development of a living-related liver program at the International Medical Center of Cairo, Egypt. He also is involved with community capacity building in Central American countries, such as Honduras. Dr. Amiri’s charitable endeavors have saved countless lives.
Chile Chapter holds General Surgery Review Course
The Chile Chapter of the ACS held its first Spanish-language version of the ACS Comprehensive General Surgery Review Course in Latin America, with the support of the ACS Division of Education, during its July 28–29 chapter meeting in Santiago, Chile.
The Chilean course committee, led by Guillermo Rencoret, MD, FACS; Victor Bianchi, MD, FACS; Karen Schönffeldt, MD; and Federico Oppliger, MD, translated 150 cases, created a Spanish-language workbook, and standardized the PowerPoint presentations of the cases and discussions. A group of Chilean surgical specialists, most of whom were ACS Fellows, were the course faculty.
After a two-month promotion, the 100 available seats were filled up one month before the start of the course. For each case presented, keyboards were provided to answer the questions, which enabled instant collective feedback and a permanent form of interaction with the students.
Attendees included 10 foreign surgeons who participated as students, plus five ACS Governors: Esteban Foianini, MD, FACS, Bolivia Chapter Governor, Vice-Chair, Governors Chapter Activities International Workgroup, and course director; Alberto Ferreres, MD, FACS(Hon), Argentina Chapter, Chair of ACS International Region 14; Savino Gasparini, MD, FACS, Brazil Chapter; David Ortega, MD, FACS, Former Governor Peru Chapter; and Juan Hepp, MD, FACS, Chile Chapter Governor and course director.
The Chile Chapter director suggests other chapters in Latin America offer the Comprehensive General Surgery Review Course, and that the courses be led by trained faculty and ACS surgeons who have already attended the course.
Kuwait Chapter conducts inaugural event
The recently established Kuwait Chapter of the ACS, chartered in June, hosted the Kuwait Association of Surgeons’ (KAS) four-day Kuwait Medical and Surgical Innovation Conference. Surgeons from all surgical specialties in Kuwait, as well as international, regional, and national clinicians, scientists, manufacturers, and regulators, were in attendance. The conference focused on hot topics in surgical/interventional care in various clinical areas and celebrated the continuing work and collaborative efforts of the KAS and the Kuwait Chapter. Some of the notable guests included ACS President Dr. Townsend; Past-President Carlos Pellegrini, MD, FACS, FRCSI(Hon), FRCSEd(Hon), FRCS; and other experts in the field of surgery.
The conference promoted innovation in surgery, which is one of the main challenges in health care, and provided an evidence-based approach to determining the value of new technology, procedures, and devices. The event included plenary lectures intermixed with parallel educational sessions and opportunities for surgeons and scientists to discuss hot topics in surgery and present their own innovative work.
Nigeria Chapter hosts clinical conference
The Nigeria Chapter of the ACS held its second Clinical Congress at the Trauma Center, National Hospital, Abuja, in conjunction with the Association of Surgeons of Nigeria and the Trauma Society of Nigeria, July 6–8. The theme of the Congress was Developing a National, Surgical, Obstetric and Anesthesia plan for Nigeria, with a sub-theme of Disaster Management. The Congress President was Oluwole Olaomi, MB, ChB, FACS.
On the last day of the Congress, a symposium of all the surgical associations in Nigeria with representatives from government, the National Postgraduate Medical College, and the West African College of Surgeons with the Harvard School on Global Surgery was held. A total of 38 Fellows of the ACS attended the Congress. The subcommittees set up on the National Surgical Obstetric and Anesthesia plan are already at work and the reports will be collated in mid-October.
A pre-Congress Comprehensive General Surgery Review Course for residents in surgery took place July 3–5. The thematic areas were oncology, education, quality assurance, preoperative care, and surgical critical care. A total of 30 senior residents drawn from several hospitals participated in the course. Faculty included local and international experts.
New members of the Nigeria Chapter Executive Council were elected for the 2017–2019 term, as follows:
- Bello Bala Shehu, MB, BS, FACS, President
- Wole Ayoola Atoyebi, MB, BS, FACS, Vice-President
- Samuel Ademola, MB, BS, FACS, Secretary
- Hyginus Ekwunife, MB, BS, FACS, Treasurer
- Jerry Makama, MB, BS, FACS, Council member