Board of Governors continues to make your voice heard

The members of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Board of Governors (B/G) serve as an official, direct communications link between the Board of Regents (B/R) and the Fellows. The ACS has 290 Governors: 154 Governors at-Large, representing each U.S. state and Canadian province and territory; 87 specialty society Governors; and 49 international Governors.

Governors’ responsibilities

Governors’ responsibilities include the following:

  • Attend meetings and events
    • Domestic Governors are expected to attend the Leadership & Advocacy Summit (International Governors also are welcome)
    • Participate in B/G meetings, the Convocation, and the Annual Meeting of Members at Clinical Congress
    • Attend chapter or specialty society meetings
  • Communicate across all strata of the College
    • Provide bidirectional communication between the B/G and constituents
    • Provide reports to their chapter or specialty society
    • Welcome new Initiates/Fellows from the governor’s area/society into the ACS
    • Promote ACS Fellowship in state and specialty societies
  • Participate in B/G activities
    • Actively participate in at least one B/G Workgroup
    • Complete the Annual Survey
    • Participate in local Committee on Applicants meetings and interviews
    • Be an active participant in the B/G online Community

Executive Committee activities

The B/G Executive Committee’s top priorities this year included the following:

  • Helping chapters grow membership
    • Providing easy access to recruitment tools and resources
    • Establishing a competition to increase membership
  • Increasing collaboration with ACS Divisions, Advisory Councils, B/R, and other committees
    • Holding Joint Pillar meetings with Advisory Council members at the 2019 Leadership Summit and Clinical Congress 2019
    • Expanding joint programming with B/R for 2019 B/G Annual Business Meeting
    • Strengthening communication efforts
    • Exploring additional efforts via ACS communication vehicles

In June, the B/G Executive Committee held its annual Strategic Planning Retreat to discuss progress on the priorities, evaluate the work of the Pillars and Workgroups, and finalize preparations for the Annual Business Meeting at Clinical Congress. This year’s Annual Business Meeting will review the progress that B/G Workgroups and Pillars have made in 2018−2019. The Joint Session with the B/R will include an interactive session on the Health Care Landscape in the Future, featuring brief talks on how the College, private practice surgeons, and quality programs fit into the picture. Another session will feature several brief talks on Surgeon Engagement in the Future. Both sessions will be followed by time for interactive and lively discussions.

The Executive Committee hosted two New Governor Orientation sessions in January and a Governors Overview and Networking Lunch at the 2019 Leadership & Advocacy Summit in Washington, DC. A new Governors Alumni Program to further maximize the knowledge and enthusiasm former Governors have for the College also was approved for launch in 2020.

Pillar updates

The B/G is structured around five Pillars and 13 Workgroups. The Governors’ contributions to these Workgroups result in the development of resources for Fellows. Following is an update on the activities of the B/G Pillars and their respective Workgroups.

Advocacy and Health Policy Pillar

Mika N. Sinanan, MD, PhD, FACS, Pillar Lead

The Advocacy Pillar focuses on health care legislation and regulation at the local, state, and national levels, working closely with the ACS Division of Advocacy and Health Policy.

Health Policy and Advocacy Workgroup

H. David Reines, MD, FACS, Chair
Peter T. Masiakos, MD, FACS, Vice-Chair

The workgroup seeks to advance issues that ACS members have at the state or specialty society level by maximizing the relationship with College leadership in response to these regulatory and legislative initiatives. Another important role of the workgroup is to collaborate with ACS leadership, including the Regents, to ensure that Fellows’ perspectives are used to formulate College policies and positions.

The workgroup restructured in 2018−2019 to focus on the health policy issues of administrative burden, opioids, and firearm violence, resulting in several collaborative session proposals on these topics for Clinical Congress 2020.

Grassroots Advocacy Engagement Workgroup

Martin A. Schreiber, MD, FACS, Chair
Patricia M. Byers, MD, FACS, Vice-Chair

The purpose of the Grassroots Advocacy Engagement Workgroup is to enhance bidirectional communication between the ACS leadership and Fellows regarding important legislative and regulatory issues that affect surgical patients, surgeons and their practices, and society.

The workgroup developed session proposals for Clinical Congress 2020 and collaborated with the B/G Best Practices Workgroup for a session on opioids at Clinical Congress 2019. Along with the B/G Health Policy and Advocacy Workgroup, the workgroup continues to analyze data work to learn how to more effectively communicate advocacy concerns to constituents, especially at chapter and specialty society meetings.

Governors serve on the following health policy and advocacy-related ACS committees:

ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC (ACS Professional Association Political Action Committee)—Mika N. Sinanan, MD, PhD, FACS

  • General Surgery Coding and Reimbursement Committee—Chris K. Senkowski, MD, FACS
  • Health Policy and Advocacy Group—Mika N. Sinanan, MD, PhD, FACS
  • Health Policy Advisory Council—Scot B. Glasberg, MD, FACS
  • Legislative Committee—Anthony James Vine, MD, FACS

Visit the ACS Advocacy web page for more information about these ACS initiatives and to learn how to get involved.

Communications Pillar

David J. Welsh, MD, MBA, FACS, Pillar Lead

The Communications Pillar is a conduit for bidirectional communication between the Regents and the Fellows. The Pillar participated in several joint meetings with members of the Advisory Councils, Resident and Associate Society, and Young Fellows Association (YFA) continuing conversation and collaboration on shared communication interests and efforts. Several joint session proposals were developed for Clinical Congress 2020.

Newsletter Workgroup

Dhiresh Rohan Jeyarajah, MD, FACS, Chair
Hiba Abel Aziz, MBBCh, FACS, Vice-Chair

The Newsletter Workgroup produces The Cutting Edge: News and Notes from the Board of Governors, the B/G’s biannual, fully electronic, mobile-friendly newsletter. Newsletter stories range from College business to human interest stories. The workgroup also explored new ways to more effectively communicate with Governors, Regents, and Fellows to promote the B/G’s activities. Increased posts in several ACS Communities have resulted in improved transparency and further awareness of College activities. Past issues of the Cutting Edge are available at

Survey Workgroup

Peter A. Andreone, MD, FACS, Chair
David W. Butsch, MD, FACS, Vice-Chair

The Survey Workgroup published the results of the 2018 B/G Annual Survey in several formats over the last year, including three articles in the Bulletin. The 2019 survey results on regulatory burden, surgical workforce, work-life balance, and ACS communication and representation efforts are being analyzed.

  • ACS Bulletin and NewsScope Representative—Bryan K. Richmond, MD, FACS
  • ACS Communities Representative—John P. Kirby, MD, FACS
  • ACS Website Representative—Juan C. Paramo, MD, FACS

Education Pillar

Andre R. Campbell, MD, FACS, Pillar Lead

As the result of the work of the Governors on the Education Pillar Workgroups, the ACS has advanced a number of initiatives this past year.

Continuing Education Workgroup

Randy J. Woods, MD, FACS, Chair
Amy L. Halverson, MD, FACS, Vice-Chair

The members of the Continuing Education Workgroup collaborated with the ACS Division of Education to provide guidance on opportunities to enhance the quality of learning objectives included as part of Clinical Congress to benefit learners and faculty; provide members with a personalized menu of educational offerings tailored to their particular interests and needs; to better inform members on Continuing Medical Education (CME) and other regulatory requirements; to align the College’s educational offerings to the American Board of Surgery’s Continuous Certification Program to support members in lifelong learning; and to identify quality improvement-related activities for CME and evaluate the impact of education on individual (and institutional) performance and patient care outcomes.

Patient Education Workgroup

Ronald A. Squires, MD, FACS, Chair
Anne G. Rizzo, MD, FACS, Vice-Chair

The Patient Education Workgroup collaborated with the Patient Education Committee, Committee on Diversity Issues, and Committee on Medical Student Education to develop a Clinical Congress 2019 session on Health Literacy: Optimizing Care for the Underserved Populations. Several joint session proposals were developed for Clinical Congress 2020 on central line management, end-of-life care, optimizing healing at home, surgical quality indicators in public ratings, and using technology to improve communication, education, and outcomes.

Surgical Training Workgroup

Barbara J. Pettitt, MD, FACS, Chair
Timothy M. Farrell, MD, FACS, Vice-Chair

The workgroup submitted several joint session proposals for Clinical Congress 2020. The workgroup collaborated with the YFA and the B/G Physician Competency and Health Workgroup to develop a session on organizational strategies for physician well-being. The workgroup also proposed a joint session with the Committee on Diversity Issues and the Women in Surgery Committee that will address generational diversity in the surgical workforce.

Governors serve on the following related ACS committees:

  • Clinical Congress Program Committee—Daniel L. Dent, MD, FACS, and Cynthia D. Downard, MD, FACS
  • Committee on Continuous Professional Development—William S. Richardson, MD, FACS
  • Committee on Emerging Surgical Technology and Education—Hisakazu Hoshi, MD, FACS
  • Committee on Ethics—Mary L. Brandt, MD, FACS
  • Committee on Interprofessional Education and Practice—Bruce D. Schirmer, MD, FACS
  • Committee on Medical Student Education—Sarkis Hratch Meterissian, MD, FACS
  • Committee on Patient Education—Terry Sarantou, MD, FACS
  • Committee on Resident Education—Norma Michelle Smalls, MD, FACS

Member Services Pillar

Terry L. Buchmiller, MD, FACS, Pillar Lead

The Member Services Pillar continues to strengthen both domestic and international chapters by updating and developing resources, using a chapter performance metric, surveying all the chapters about their activities and needs, as well as providing best practices and strategies for chapter operations and activities. A competition was launched to help chapters grow their membership. Additional outreach was undertaken to increase applications for this year’s Surgical Volunteerism and Humanitarian Awards.

Chapter Activities Domestic Workgroup

Scott D. Coates, MD, FACS, Chair
Philip R. Corvo, MD, MA, FACS, Vice-Chair

The members of the Chapter Activities Domestic Workgroup continue to establish a process to capture the health of ACS chapters and implement important initiatives, such as regularly updating the online Chapter Guidebook. The workgroup also hosted the third annual Chapter Officer Leadership Program in conjunction with the 2019 Leadership & Advocacy Summit. The workgroup will host the popular Chapter Speed Networking Event at Clinical Congress 2019, which allows attendees to hear about best practices and new strategies to enhance chapter operations in a fun, fast-paced educational and social environment.

Chapter Activities International Workgroup

(Jorge) Esteban Foianini, MD, FACS, Chair
Richard Kwongyin Lo, MD, FACS, Vice-Chair

The Chapter Activities International Workgroup continues to advocate for all ACS international chapters by assisting chapters in implementing and promoting ACS programs. The workgroup developed tools to assist chapters enhance communications, analyzed data from the Annual Report, and provided feedback on the B/G Annual Survey. In collaboration with the International Relations Committee a list of interested International Governors and Chapter Officers also was provided to the ACS Program Committee to increase international representation at Clinical Congress.

Surgical Volunteerism and Humanitarian Awards Workgroup

Helen A. Pass, MD, FACS, Chair
Mark A. Dobbertien, DO, FACS, Vice-Chair

The members of the Surgical Volunteerism and Humanitarian Awards Workgroup conducted outreach through the ACS Communities, the Bulletin, military Governors, and Advisory Councils to further increase awareness of the awards. The workgroup has selected a slate of five recipients, which was presented to the B/G Executive Committee at the June retreat. The awardees will be honored at the B/G Dinner at Clinical Congress 2019. The workgroup continues to improve the awards nomination process.

Governors have seats on the following related ACS committees:

  • ACS Committee on Diversity Issues—Kenneth B. Simon, MD, FACS
  • ACS Women in Surgery Committee— Hiba Abdel Aziz, MBBCh, FACS
  • International Relations Committee—Katsuhiko Yanaga, MD, PhD, FACS
  • YFA—Michael Seth Truitt, MD, FACS

Quality, Research, and Optimal Patient Care Pillar

Taylor Sohn Riall, MD, PhD, FACS, Pillar Lead

The Quality Pillar focuses on efforts to ensure that Fellows are able to provide the best care to surgical patients.

Best Practices Workgroup

Christine Laronga, MD, FACS, Chair
Reza Askari, MD, FACS, Vice-Chair

The workgroup continues to create guidelines developed from peer-reviewed best practices on topics relevant to the surgical community and to patient care. Primary efforts have focused on reviewing Evidence-Based Decisions in Surgery modules, such as bladder injury and lower gastrointestinal bleeding. The workgroup collaborated with ACS Clinical Scholar Lina Hu, MD, on a systematic review of perioperative pain management in the ambulatory setting and are finalizing a paper for submission to the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. Along with the B/G Surgical Care Delivery Workgroup and the Advisory Council for Rural Surgery, the workgroup has submitted a Clinical Congress 2020 session proposal on best practices in the optimization of patients in the perioperative period.

Physician Competency and Health Workgroup

Reid B. Adams, MD, FACS, Chair
Oscar Dean Guillamondegui, MD, FACS, Vice-Chair

The workgroup actively promotes the maintenance of physical and mental wellness in Fellows and addresses issues related to surgical competency. Several joint Clinical Congress 2020 session proposals were developed to address physician well-being and new opportunities and challenges for the aging surgeon. A thorough review of the 2016 ACS Statement on the Aging Surgeon has been initiated by the workgroup.

Surgical Care Delivery Workgroup

Kimberly A. Davis, MD, FACS, Chair
Nancy L. Gantt, MD, FACS, Vice-Chair

The workgroup’s primary objectives are as follow:

  • Analyze and address surgeon workforce issues
  • Assess patient access to quality surgical care
  • Use the electronic health record to improve delivery and physician efficiency
  • Evaluate the status of surgical care delivery in the ambulatory setting

The workgroup revised the ACS Statement on Patient Safety Principles for Office-Based Surgery Utilizing Moderate Sedation/Analgesia, which the B/R approved in June. Additional efforts have focused on electronic health records, the surgeon workforce, and patient access to care, which have resulted in several session proposals for Clinical Congress 2020.

The Committee to Study the Fiscal Affairs of the College, chaired by Ronald J. Weigel, MD, PhD, FACS, B/G Secretary, continues to review and monitor the fiscal health of the College.

Governors have seats on the following related ACS committees:

  • Committee on Perioperative Care—Richard J. Shemin, MD, FACS
  • Commission on Cancer—Helen A. Pass, MD, FACS
  • Committee on Trauma—Christine S. Cocanour, MD, FACS

For more information about the B/G, visit the ACS Board of Governors web page and/or to comment on these and other activities visit the BoR/BoG online community or contact

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