“I can think of few other organizations which deserve our strong support as members of the profession of surgery. Giving to this organization will be a heritage you can be proud of; a gift to the ACS Foundation is a gift to future surgical patients and their surgeons—what could be better?”
—Danny R. Robinette, MD, FACS
The Foundation has a single beneficiary: The American College of Surgeons (ACS) and, by extension, all those who benefit from its programs in optimal patient care. Donors can choose to give to a variety of areas. Whether your interest is making a difference in surgical research, education, rural surgery, trauma, scholarships, or area of greatest need in non-revenue programs through the Greatest Needs Fund, we promise to use your investment wisely. One hundred percent of your contribution will be dedicated to the program you designate.
The Greatest Needs Fund
Gifts made to the ACS Foundation’s Greatest Needs Fund directly support the future of the surgical profession by funding education and research. The purpose of unrestricted funds is to ensure stability and advancement of the College’s mission and provide a source of internal capital for College priorities. The Greatest Needs Fund supports program activities that are not directly aided by public or grant funding and do not have the ability to produce revenue. Examples of mission-critical activities supported through the Greatest Needs Fund and other donor-designated funding include:
Operation Giving Back
Operation Giving Back (OGB) was developed in response to the interest of the American College of Surgeons Board of Governors Committee on Socioeconomic Issues in volunteerism. This committee encouraged the College to more closely examine the extent of volunteer involvement and interest among ACS members. Their findings demonstrated great breadth and depth of engagement and that, in fact, many surgeons considered volunteering an integral component of their professional identity. The program supports ACS members through informational resources, promotion, and networking.
- More than $39,000 in humanitarian donations of Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) materials has been facilitated through OGB to surgeons in 20 countries (Afghanistan, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Gabon, Haiti, Liberia, Kenya, Malawi, Mexico, Nepal, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Thailand, Uganda, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe).
- More than 200 volunteer opportunities are currently published on OGB, and 62 opportunities were newly created or updated in the past year.
Research Scholarship and Fellowship Awards
Beginning in 1957, the College has awarded research scholarships and fellowships to promising young surgeons to encourage them to pursue careers in academia. Since then, hundreds of these award recipients have benefitted from the College’s scholarship program, which currently disperses $1 to $2 million annually.
The majority of this funding comes from philanthropic contributions from past and current College donors.
Today, many former award recipients serve as chairs of distinguished surgical departments, while others are developing innovative methods to provide better quality care to surgical patients.
“It is this freedom to explore new ideas that will allow surgeons to expand our horizons and advance our field with new technologies and discoveries rather than repackaging older ideas in new surgical wrappings.”
—Yolonda L. Colson, MD, PhD, FACS
Since receiving the George H.A. Clowes, Jr., MD, FACS, Memorial and Research Career Development Award, Dr. Colson has been awarded or filed three patents on polymermediated drug delivery and has received a total of 12 grants, including two current R01 grants from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality grant, and several foundation grants.
Beyond the patents and the grants, more than a dozen students (undergraduate to residency) have trained in Dr. Colson’s lab, and many of those students have changed career paths and chosen to pursue a surgical profession, a fact of which she is particularly proud. “There isn’t a better recruitment tool for surgery than a surgeon loving their work, and this was much easier with support from the Clowes Award,” said Dr. Colson.
In addition to the research scholarships and fellowships, College philanthropic dollars annually fund dozens of other awards: international guest scholarships, traveling fellowships, and stipends for health policy and leadership courses.
Advanced Trauma Life Support in the Philippines
In 2002, the Philippine College of Surgeons (PCS) submitted an official request to the American College of Surgeons to introduce the Advanced Trauma Life Support Program to their country. Due to organizational changes within the PCS, the ATLS site visit and initial training were postponed until 2012 when Maximo Simbulan, Jr., MD, was elected as president of the PCS. Within one year, the ATLS–Philippines group completed a successful site visit, an initial training in Singapore, and their inaugural course in Quezon City at the PCS headquarters.
In 2013, from March 14 to 18, international faculty from Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the U.S. attended the successful two-day Student course and one-and-a-half day Instructor course. John Fildes, MD, FACS (Medical Director for the ACS-COT, U.S.), and Michael Hollands, MD, FACS (Region 16 Chief for Asia and Australasia), co-directed the courses, which were met with enthusiasm.
“Finally, the ATLS Program is on Philippine soil! After 10 years of doubts and hesitations, we can now proudly say that we are a member of the ATLS family. The inaugural course was surely a milestone in Philippine trauma surgery. Not to be outdone, of course, was the fellowship and camaraderie that transpired throughout the course. Our special thanks to Drs. Mike Hollands, John Fildes, and VJ Appasamy, and to all who contributed from the U.S., Australia, and Hong Kong. More power to all of you, and thank you so much!”
—Dr. Max Simbulan, Jr., Past President of the Philippine College of Surgeons