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

2015 News and Updates

September 2015

ACS Foundation to Present Distinguished Awards

The ACS Foundation Board of Directors will present the longstanding Distinguished Philanthropist Award and a new Distinguished Organization Award at Clinical Congress 2015. This year's recipient of the Distinguished Philanthropist Award will be Danny R. Robinette, MD, FACS, and his wife, Paula. The Foundation Board will present the newly established Distinguished Organization Award to the Norman M. Rich Department of Surgery at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), Bethesda, MD. Both awards will be presented at the Foundation's annual Donor Recognition Luncheon, Monday, October 5, at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place.

Read more about the recipients in the Bulletin article ACS Foundation presents two distinguished awards at 2015 Clinical Congress.

April 2015

Inaugural Thomas R. Russell, MD, FACS, Faculty Research Fellowship Recipient Announced

Kathleen ToKathleen B. To, MD, FACS, was recently selected by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Scholarships Committee as the inaugural Thomas R. Russell, MD, FACS, Faculty Research Fellowship (Russell Fellowship) recipient. Through this prestigious fellowship award, she will receive a $40,000 annual stipend for two years to support research in quality patient care.

Dr. To, a member of the ACS Young Fellows Association (YFA), is an assistant professor of surgery in the division of acute care surgery (trauma, burns, critical care, and emergency surgery) at the University of Michigan Hospital and Health System (UMHHS), Ann Arbor. Her clinical practice and research interests are in emergency general surgery, trauma, critical care, wound care, patient outcomes, and quality improvement, and she has served as principal investigator and co-investigator on a number of research studies in these areas of investigation.

Dr. To received her medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC; completed her residency at Loma Linda University Medical Center in California; and completed two fellowships at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO, in surgical critical care and trauma and acute care surgery.

In addition to membership in the ACS YFA, Dr. To is a member of several medical associations including the Society of Critical Care Medicine, Association of Academic Surgery, and the Surgical Infection Society.

The ACS Foundation Board of Directors applauds Dr. To for her commitment to improving patient care through research, and looks forward to the outcomes made possible through the Russell Fellowship award.

In 2010, the ACS Foundation Board of Directors established the Russell Fellowship to honor its namesake’s advocacy for increased scholarly opportunities at the College. More than $250,000 was given by Fellows and friends as a tribute to Dr. Russell’s service to the ACS and the surgical profession.

February 2015

Gerald B. HealyThe Gerald B. Healy Traveling Mentorship Award

The ACS Foundation has announced a fundraising initiative to endow The Gerald B. Healy Traveling Mentorship Award in honor of its namesake, Gerald B. Healy, MD, FACS, FRCS(h), FRCSI(h). Dr. Healy has been a passionate advocate for engaging young medical trainees to better inform attitudes about safety, quality and professionalism.

A group of Dr. Healy’s trainees who recognized the value of mentoring relationships resolved to honor their mentor and colleague by establishing this fund. Through consultation with the ACS Foundation, a fundraising plan has been developed with the goal set at $200,000. Annual proceeds will be used for awardees to visit successful mentors, learning ideas and innovative approaches. The American College of Surgeons and its award committee will select a recipient surgeon deemed worthy of carrying on the legacy of Dr. Healy. 

Dr. Healy, Emeritus Gerald B. Healy Chair in Otolaryngology, Children's Hospital, Boston, is former Surgeon-in-Chief at Children's and currently Professor of Otology and Laryngology at Harvard Medical School. He has served as president of several associations and societies, including the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology, among others. An active scholar and lecturer, Dr. Healy publishes extensively in professional journals and books, and he lectures internationally on health care reform, patient safety, the need to restructure medical education, and international medical collaboration.

The ACS Foundation offers several giving options that allow you to give in honor of Dr. Healy:

  • Complete a gift commitment form, which permits payment of your gift over a period of time
  • Donate appreciated stock or mutual funds
  • Make an outright cash donation through check, money order, or online.

The ACS Foundation’s staff will be pleased to work with you directly to make your best commitment to the Healy Fund an easy process.  Gifts through the ACS Foundation may receive favorable tax treatment. Please call 312-202-5338 or e-mail with questions.

Jameson L. Chassin, MD, FACS, Award for Professionalism in General Surgery

The ACS Foundation is pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2014 Jameson L. Chassin, MD, FACS, Award for Professionalism in General Surgery, is Dr. Katie White Russell. 

Dr. Russell is completing her chief resident year in general surgery at the University of Utah, and will be entering a fellowship in pediatric surgery at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  A recipient of numerous honors throughout medical school at the University of Southern California, she was recognized with the Tom R. DeMeester, MD, Excellence in Surgery Award, was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha, served as class president, volunteered in Tanzania and Haiti, and graduated with the Highest Distinction.  At the University of Utah, Dr. Russell has received the Dr. Dale G. Johnson Award for Excellence in Pediatric Surgery, has been recognized as Resident of the Year by both the Surgical Intensive Care Unit, and the Burn Center, and was elected the Top Resident Educator.  She has more than 12 peer-reviewed publications on topics that range from wilderness medicine to pediatric trauma and patient choice as influenced by costs.

Dr. Russell’s scholarship and leadership are complemented by her character, as described in the following representative comments from those who have worked with her:  “Dr. Russell is beloved by everyone whose path she crosses, bringing a grace and compassion to even those patients who many of us find challenging.“

Dr. Russell (fifth from the left), with (left to right): Mark T. Savarise, MD, FACS, professor of surgery, University of Utah School of Medicine (UUSOM); Courtney Scaife, MD, FACS, University of Utah and Affiliated Hospitals; Daniel J. Vargo, MD, FACS, Residency Program Director, UUSOM; Ajit K. Sachdeva, MD, FRCSC, FACS; Julie A. Freischlag, MD, FACS; David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS; Andrew L. Warshaw, MD, FACS; Clark J. Rasmussen, MD, FACS, Intermountain Medical Center; Amalia Cochran, MD, FACS, associate professor of surgery, UUSOM; Leigh A. Neumayer, MD, MS, FACS; and Raymond R. Price, MD, FACS, Intermountain Medical Center.

1913 Legacy Campaign Achieves $3 Million Milestone

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Foundation Chair, Amilu Stewart, MD, FACS, announced this week that two major gifts to the 1913 Legacy Campaign have increased the total contributed to more than $3 million. One gift was designated to the ACS scholarships program and the other will be directed for the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) Cancer Staging Manual.

Last year, the College awarded more than $1.5 million in scholarship funding to surgeons for professional development and research opportunities.  The AJCC, administered by ACS Cancer Programs, provides worldwide leadership in the development, promotion and maintenance of evidence-based systems for the classification and management of cancer in collaboration with multidisciplinary organizations dedicated to cancer surveillance and to improving care.

“We are grateful for these recent donations that will support efforts that are core to the College’s mission of optimal patient care and education. The nearly 300 donors who have each invested at least $1,913 in this special initiative are all important partners in the philanthropic work of the College. Every donation makes a meaningful impact for the surgical profession and patients,” said Dr. Stewart. Donors giving to the campaign with a legacy (bequest gift) also receive membership in the Mayne Heritage Society, the planned giving recognition program of the ACS Foundation.

The ACS Foundation Board of Directors and volunteers have led the 1913 Legacy Campaign to maintain the vital role of the College and strengthen high-impact services for its next 100 years. Philanthropic investments within three priority campaign initiatives are benefiting—the Surgeon, the Profession, and the Societal Good.

To see a complete list of 1913 Legacy Campaign donors or to make your own donation, visit the Foundation website.

Philanthropy at Work

Philanthropy at Work highlights how your philanthropy benefits the future of surgery, introduces programs and donors, and recognizes your contributions. Visit our online news page for the latest news from the Foundation.

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