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?
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.
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.
Stop the Bleed is a national awareness campaign and call to action. It is intended to cultivate efforts that encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help before professional help arrives. The ACS Committee on Trauma (ACS COT) is leading the effort to save lives by teaching the public to become immediate responders and provide life-saving skills in the event of a bleeding emergency. The Stop the Bleed campaign has been successful in its initial effort, with the ultimate goal of informing, educating, and empowering the 300+ million citizens of the United States. This initiative will fund personal and training kits for communities in need, schools, and other educational events and campaigns.
The primary goal of the Mentoring for Excellence in Trauma Surgery (METS) program is to engage young surgeons and acute care surgery fellows who are early in their careers in the activities of the ACS Committee on Trauma (COT) and provide training to prepare them for future leadership roles. Central to this initiative is the Future Trauma Leaders Program, a two-year mentoring program that provides $10,000 to young Fellows to cover flights, hotel, meals, and subsistence to attend ACS COT meetings, events, and more.
The Advanced Trauma Life Support® (ATLS®) program has been successful in many countries; however, there are certain limitations it presents to promulgating in austere and low-income/underserved nations. The curriculum design is complex and has faculty, facility, and equipment requirements that are not easily met in more remote parts of the world. In order to address the gap, we are proposing an initiative to more widely disseminate the Trauma Evaluation and Management® (TEAM®) program, which encompasses some of the core principles of the ATLS program. TEAM provides a standardized introductory course in the evaluation and management of trauma for health care providers and multidisciplinary team members. This initiative funds three countries (low resource) that need additional support for their programs.
The ACS Committee on Trauma annually conducts a trauma paper competition for surgical residents to encourage scientific exploration, foster collegial exchange, and promote careers in trauma surgery. Participation in the competition is open to all general surgery residents, surgical specialty residents, and trauma fellows. The purpose of the fund is to support original research—either basic or clinical—in the field of trauma via an annual paper competition for surgical residents. This initiative funds the residents travel, lodging, and prizes.
Firearm injury is a significant health problem for our patients and the communities we serve. While the topic is clearly a polarizing issue, the ACS COT has steadily worked to move beyond the political debate to find common ground by addressing firearm injury as a medical and public health problem. Approaching this epidemic as a disease and public health problem requires engagement and stakeholder partnerships across disciplines, geographic regions, and philosophic differences. This initiative funds the Medical Summit on Firearm Injury Prevention, workgroup meetings, and ACS COT representatives who attend partner organizations and conferences.
The College is offering a two-year onsite fellowship in firearm injury prevention research. The primary goal of the program is to provide a mentored research experience to support the career development of surgical investigators interested in injury prevention and health policy. The ACS COT Clinical Scholars in Residence program is a unique opportunity that allows the surgical resident or fellow to gain firsthand experience in firearm injury prevention research, education, or outcomes research relating to firearm injuries. In parallel, the scholar will complete a masters of science degree in clinical investigation, health services and outcomes research, or health care quality and patient safety through Northwestern University. This initiative funds the Scholar at $100,000 per year for two years to cover salary, benefits, tuition, meeting travel, and administrative costs.
With the implementation of new Commission on Cancer (CoC) accreditation standards scheduled for 2020, education about the new requirements is integral to their success. It is particularly critical to educate surgeons and registrars about the new operative standards, including the evidence behind the standards and the CoC requirements for compliance. The goal of this initiative is to develop educational videos for the operative standards. This project will leverage the multidisciplinary tumor board setting in CoC-accredited institutions to facilitate review of these videos and implementation of the new operative standards.
The ACS Cancer Research Program and CoC have been working together to reduce the application time from clinical trials reporting to practice implementation. One initiative has demonstrated the benefits of disseminating information through multidisciplinary tumor boards at CoC-accredited sites, showing increased knowledge and implementation of breast cancer clinical trial results into practice. The goal of this project is to develop a video focused on rectal cancer laparoscopic trial data, which will be shared with CoC and National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer accredited sites.
Due to the heterogeneity of CoC-accredited sites, implementation of published research results and measurement of educational resources utilized across 1,500 sites remains a challenge. A formal mechanism for connecting with Cancer Liaison Physicians and ACS Fellows at CoC-accredited sites would encourage wider dissemination and buy-in. The goal of this project is to formalize a process for targeted outreach to increase awareness and utilization of new Cancer Programs products, including educational resources and research results.
Recent evidence demonstrates a favorable relationship between adherence to standards delineated in the Operative Standards for Cancer Surgery manuals and survival outcomes in patients with breast cancer (Zhao et al, Journal of Surgical Oncology, June 2019). While this relationship is true for the breast standards, additional research is necessary to determine whether there is a similar association in the other surgical standards. The goal of this project is to support research investigating the impact of the colon and lung surgical standards on patient care.
Cancer patients who live in rural America face worse mortality rates. This study seeks to identify specific barriers to quality of care that could be addressed by the Commission on Cancer. The first objective of this proposal is to understand the role of the general surgeon in the care of patients with cancer in rural America. The second objective is to identify and address specific challenges faced by general surgeons who provide cancer care in rural America.
The Division of Member Services offsets the registration and travel cost of ACS Resident Member leaders to attend the annual ACS Leadership Summit in Washington, DC. The Leadership Summit offers compelling speakers who address key topics in surgical leadership. Sessions focus on honing the communication and strategic thinking skills necessary for effective leadership in and out of the operating room. Attendees are also afforded the opportunity to connect with ACS leaders, network, and learn how to become more involved in the ACS and the field of surgery. Your tax-deductible gift will help to support the development of these future surgical leaders.
The Orr Collection, housed at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, has been generally underutilized because of distance and the logistics of safe-guarding rare books. The ACS Archives team proposes to create a traveling exhibit that would travel to the Washington, DC, and Chicago offices. The exhibit would showcase rare medical books in the College’s collection.
The ACS Archives collection holds vast amounts of paper records that have research and general interest value for Fellows, surgical history scholars, and the general public. Digitization would make these archival materials accessible online. Many collections are good candidates for digitizing, including Clinical Congress program books and photographs, Clinical Congress News, ACS member directories, portions of the Franklin H. Martin papers, and more. Domestic and international ACS Fellows doing historical research now have to visit the Chicago headquarters to see paper records; digitizing more of the collection will provide ready access to ACS history from anywhere in the world.
ACS Chapters provide members with an opportunity to improve the quality of surgical care through engagement at the local level. Chapters work in conjunction with the ACS to provide several options for involvement, including educational programming, state and federal advocacy, networking and social events, and professional development and leadership opportunities. To stimulate chapter growth and increase member involvement, the ACS is launching a domestic chapter grants program. Developed as a complement to the Dr. Pon Fund utilized by international chapters, this new domestic fund will provide opportunities for domestic chapters to apply for matching funds for specific projects to increase the value proposition for member engagement. Your tax-deductible gift will support these opportunities for Fellows and surgical trainees to grow in their local environment.
The regional surgical college—College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA)–has developed an innovative plan to scale up training and provide service to the underserved population. This college covers a large region with 10 countries and more than 300 million people. The partnership between the ACS and COSECSA has developed a centralized ACS surgical training hub in Hawassa, Ethiopia that provides a comprehensive support to scale up surgical and anesthesia work force education. OGB aims to open a second hub in an additional underserved COSECSA region in 2021.
There is a severe shortage of surgeons in the Sub-Saharan Africa and although women are more than 50 percent of the population, they represent only 7 percent of the surgical workforce. The primary goal of this scholarship program is to support women in surgical residency to complete their training and encourage other women in medicine to consider surgery as a profession. The scholarship award will be used for educational expenses that include accreditation, fellowship examination, and 5 years' worth of membership dues to COSECSA and the ACS. The program will be open to senior graduating female surgical residents enrolled in the COSECSA region.
With philanthropic funding, the collaboration between OGB and COSECSA to help provide permanent, capable, surgical infrastructure in Africa would include provision of complimentary ACS Selected Readings in General Surgery (SRGS) subscriptions to COSECSA surgical residents. Trial subscriptions have been given to COSECSA residency program directors and were enthusiastically received for use in their surgical training programs. At the request of these program directors, OGB wishes to supply COSECSA’s 37 residency programs with 240 annual subscriptions.
Social media is an essential component of our communication and engagement with ACS members. The importance of these platforms will only continue to grow. The ACS will employ comprehensive social media research to optimize our online presence. Extracting and analyzing data from our social media channels and web presence will inform future strategic messaging directions. Your tax-deductible gift will support compelling engagement opportunities with current and prospective members, as well as improved brand awareness and loyalty.
The Surgical History Group (SHG) would like to establish a fellowship to support a research scholar to travel to Chicago, or to the Orr Collection in Omaha, NE, to engage directly with the ACS archival collection. This fellowship would include financial support to defray the cost of travel and lodging for a scholar whose research requires on-site examination of the documents, videos, or other material in the collection.
Many U.S. medical schools have a surgery interest group (SIG) established. These groups are formed to offer students exposure to the broad field of surgery. Activities include hosting educational sessions, inviting surgeons to speak to students, and participating in local service projects. Outreach and engagement with SIGs is necessary to ensure that we connect with and support aspiring surgeons and future Fellows of the American College of Surgeons. Tax-deductible gifts to this fund will support initiatives to engage with these groups and increase ACS outreach and communication. Your support will also amplify efforts to establish SIGs at medical schools that do not currently have one.
Each year, about 400 medical students from all years of medical school attend Clinical Congress for a three-day program offered by the ACS Division of Education. The Medical Student Program is designed for those considering a career in surgery and includes presentations about exploring various types of surgical practices and lifestyle issues in surgery, decision making on the path to residency, and navigating the residency application process.
This extraordinary program is available at no cost to ACS medical student members who register in advance. The substantial costs to develop and offer this annual program are borne by the ACS Division of Education. Your tax-deductible gift of $250 is made to the ACS Foundation, and you may help support as many students as you wish.
Ensuring that residents are ready for independent practice is an increasingly formidable challenge facing residency program directors. Even decisions regarding the progression of residents to the next postgraduate year can be difficult because of a lack of objective measures of surgical skills. To help support program directors in their efforts to assess the progress of residents during training, the ACS Division of Education is developing an objective assessment of technical skills called Objective Assessment of Skills in Surgery (OASIS).
The goal is to use OASIS twice: once during the early mid-level period and a second time toward the latter part of training. In both instances, residents will be able to address any identified weaknesses while still in the residency environment. OASIS will assess a series of technical tasks essential for all graduating residents, using simulation-based, time-limited stations with trained faculty evaluators. Sixteen stations are being developed and the first full pilot of OASIS is slated for 2018 with 200 residents. The objective assessment of technical skills is an essential part of preparing residents for practice; yet, few options are readily available. The ACS Division of Education is developing OASIS with the purpose of making it accessible and affordable for all residency programs seeking to ensure that their residents are well prepared, safe surgeons.
This continuing project creates inspirational videos to highlight science, innovation, or moral values of ACS Fellows. These videos are meant to educate and illustrate the groundbreaking work of surgeons. Previous videos have been shown at surgical grand rounds so that residents and students can gain an appreciation of the monumental accomplishments by the Icons.
View past Icons in Surgery presentations.
There will be four 12-minute videos shown during two separate one-hour sessions at Clinical Congress. Each session will feature two inspirational videos to highlight the science, innovation, or moral values of surgeons who have been or currently are Fellows of the ACS. First and foremost the Icons in Surgery videos must be relevant and directed toward current ACS Fellows, and to potential ACS Fellows particularly medical students, as well as ancillary members. The videos will also serve as a tool to educate other members of the medical community and society at large.