American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

2014 News and Updates

October 2014

Patricia R. and W. Gerald Austen, MD, FACS, 2014 Distinguished Philanthropists

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Foundation Board of Directors presented the 2014 Distinguished Philanthropist Award to W. Gerald Austen, MD, FACS, and Patricia R. Austen, RN, at the 26th annual Fellows Leadership Society (FLS) luncheon, in recognition of their philanthropic endeavors and service to the international and surgical communities.

 An ACS Fellow since 1964, Dr. Austen is a native of Akron, OH. He received his bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), followed by a medical degree from Harvard Medical School, Boston. He completed his general surgery and cardiothoracic surgery residencies at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

In 1963, following two years of clinical and research work at the National Heart Institute in Bethesda, MD, Dr. Austen returned to MGH to concentrate on cardiac surgery and began creating what became a world-class cardiac surgical program. At the age of 36, he became professor of surgery at Harvard and, at age 39, was appointed chief of surgical services at the MGH—a position he held for almost 29 years. In 1974, Dr. Austen was named the Edward D. Churchill Distinguished Professor of Surgery.

Dr. Austen’s commitment to excellence made him a pioneer in the surgical treatment of many of the complications associated with coronary artery diseases and in the development of circulatory support systems for the failing heart. Recognized internationally for his contributions throughout his career as a cardiac surgeon, educator, and clinical investigator, Dr. Austen has received many prestigious awards. When he retired as chief of surgery at MGH, the hospital’s trustees and Harvard Medical School acknowledged his many accomplishments by creating the W. Gerald Austen Chair in Surgery position at MGH. In 2010, MGH dedicated the W. Gerald Austen, MD Inpatient Care Pavilion, a 150-bed inpatient facility in the new Lunder building.

Dr. Austen continues to be active in numerous roles at the MGH, Harvard Medical School, and throughout Partners HealthCare System. He is chairman of the MGH chiefs’ council, co-chair of the MGH philanthropy program, and is the Edward D. Churchill Distinguished Professor of Surgery. Dr. Austen is a life member emeritus of the MIT Corporation, and chairman emeritus of the Board of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Dr. Austen has also served in leadership positions for a host of national medical societies, including the ACS; he is an ACS Past-President and Past-Chair of the Board of Regents.

Mrs. Austen, a native of Worcester, MA, has shared her husband’s dedication to exemplary service. She received her bachelor of science degree in nursing at Simmons College, Boston, and completed her clinical training at MGH, McLean Psychiatric Hospital, Boston Lying-In Hospital (now Brigham and Women’s Hospital), and Children’s Hospital of Boston. Mrs. Austen has volunteered in numerous areas of the MGH, including as a member of the Ladies Visiting Committee for 40 years and chair of the Arts and Artifacts Committee for the last 14 years. She also serves on the MGH history committee and was involved in the creation of the MGH Paul S. Russell Museum of Medical History and Innovation, which opened in 2012.

Mrs. Austen’s first foray into the world of philanthropy came when the Austen children were enrolled in a private school. The board of trustees had voted to embark on a capital campaign, but had no development office. Mrs. Austen accepted this challenge as president of the board of trustees and raised $500,000, a substantial amount for an elementary school in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Dr. and Mrs. Austen are the parents of four children and grandparents of 10 grandchildren.

Through their joint philanthropic leadership, Dr. and Mrs. Austen have made a significant impact on not-for-profit organizations in Boston and Akron as well as national medical associations, including the ACS. Most notable are their recent gifts to the ACS Archives and the 1913 Legacy Campaign, which will promote quality patient care and awareness of the ACS mission into the College’s next 100 years.

Dr. and Mrs. Austen are the 24th recipients of the Foundation’s Distinguished Philanthropist Award, created to recognize individuals who have demonstrated exemplary commitment to philanthropy and to the mission of the College.

The 1913 Legacy Campaign Nearing $2.3 Million Mark

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Foundation Board of Directors has announced that with the addition of two generous donations of $50,000 each, the 1913 Legacy Campaign is nearing the $2.3 million mark in total contributions.

The 1913 Legacy Campaign, officially announced at the 25th Annual Fellows Leadership Society Luncheon during Clinical Congress last October, will secure gifts to advance programming that is critical to the mission of the College.  

Philanthropic investments within three priority campaign initiatives will benefit—the Surgeon, the Profession, and the Societal Good.

Campaign Initiatives

The Surgeon

Investing in the development of innovative programs to advance simulation-based surgical education and training and providing funding to better engage and embrace international surgeons.

The Profession

Promoting best practices and quality improvements through the newly established Codman Quality and Safety Fund and programs for rural surgery and surgical ethics. The Codman Fund is named in honor of  Ernest A. Codman, MD, FACS, a key figure in founding the College who advocated for the “End Result Idea”— the premise that hospital staffs should follow every patient long enough to determine whether the treatment was successful and then learn from failures.

The Societal Good

Funding opportunities for patient education programs and support for surgical volunteerism.

Donor Recognition

All donors will receive special recognition and a unique lapel pin of the Great Mace, designed especially for 1913 Legacy Campaign. The Great Mace was presented to the ACS by the Royal College of Surgeons in 1919 in appreciation of the North American surgeons’ assistance in the First World War.

Learn More

The campaign closes at the end of this year. If you would like more information on how to participate in this unprecedented campaign in honor of the College’s Centennial Anniversary, please contact the ACS Foundation at 312-202-5338 or visit www.facs.org/1913Campaign.

September 2014

The 1913 Legacy Campaign Reaches $2 Million Mark

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Foundation Board of Directors is pleased to announce that more than 200 generous Fellows and friends have contributed more than $2 million to the 1913 Legacy Campaign.

The 1913 Legacy Campaign, officially announced at the 25th Annual Fellows Leadership Society Luncheon during the 2013 Clinical Congress, will secure gifts to advance programming that is critical to the mission of the College. 

Philanthropic investments within three priority campaign initiatives will benefit the Surgeon, the Profession, and the Societal Good.

June 2014

Philanthropy at Work

January 2014

1913 Legacy Campaign Announces Leadership Gift from AMT

The Board of Directors of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Foundation recently announced that Applied Medical Technology, Inc. (AMT) has committed to contributing a 1913 Legacy Campaign Leadership Gift ($100,000 and up), bringing the total raised to date for the campaign to $1.8 million. The goal of the campaign is to raise a total of $5 million. AMT joins more than 170 Fellows and organizations that have contributed to the program to support College priorities, such as professional development, patient education, optimal patient care, rural surgery initiatives, and surgical volunteerism. 

AMT’s donation will support the ACS Surgical Patient Education Program, specifically for the development and distribution of 2,500 skills kits on enteral feeding tubes to educate patients and their families about self-care following hospital discharge.

If you would like more information on how to participate in this unprecedented campaign in honor of the College’s Centennial Anniversary, please contact the ACS Foundation at 312-202-5338 or read more about the 1913 Legacy Campaign.