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

News from the Ophthalmic Surgery Advisory Council: Spring 2017

Greetings from the ACS Advisory Council for Ophthalmic Surgery

Paul A. EdwardsOn behalf of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Advisory Council for Ophthalmic Surgery, I would like to welcome you to the first issue of our newsletter. Our council meets at least twice annually and if there is a need, we convene at other times throughout the year. It is our privilege to address issues that concern ophthalmologists at the College both at council meetings and via this newsletter in order to provide you educational information about our specialty and to support the unique needs of the ophthalmic surgeon.

In addition to council-led initiatives, ophthalmologists can stay informed on topical issues via the College’s online community platform—the ACS Communities, which promotes member engagement and networking opportunities. 

The council meetings also provide an opportunity for ophthalmologists to meet with colleagues and stay informed on matters of interest to the specialty. This spring, the council will meet on May 6 in Washington, DC, prior to the Leadership & Advocacy Summit 2017. If you are unfamiliar with the summit, each year the College organizes this spring meeting in Washington, DC, which focuses on leadership enhancement and advocacy training. The leadership portion of the summit includes sessions devoted to building communication and strategic-thinking skills for effective leadership in and out of the operating room and is a wonderful opportunity particularly for aspiring leaders. The advocacy portion of the summit provides an opportunity for participants to visit Capitol Hill to meet with key members of Congress.

In this inaugural newsletter you will meet our ACS Regent, James W. Gigantelli, MD, FACS, chair of ophthalmology at the University of Nebraska, Omaha, and you will learn about our presentations at the Clinical Congress 2016.

Paul A. Edwards, MD, FACS
Advisory Council Chair

James W. Gigantelli Appointed to Second Term as ACS Regent

James W. GigantelliJames W. Gigantelli, MD, FACS, was reappointed to the ACS Board of Regents at the conclusion of Clinical Congress 2016.

Originally from New Jersey, Dr. Gigantelli received his undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California and a medical degree from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. He completed residency training in ophthalmology at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, and fellowship training in ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery at the Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC.

Since January 2000, Dr. Gigantelli has directed the ophthalmic plastic surgery service at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in Omaha, NE. His clinical interests focus on improved diagnostic accuracy of orbital tumors and innovative therapies for orbital inflammatory diseases, particularly thyroid eye disease. He has written more than 50 publications and research abstracts, and he has lectured on topics ranging from ocular adnexal disease to medical leadership. He has also received local and national awards for excellence in clinical care and teaching.

Dr. Gigantelli also serves the assistant dean of governmental affairs at the UNMC, and in this capacity, he analyzes health-related state and federal legislation, serves as a liaison to elected officials and health leaders on health policy issues, and promotes an awareness of health policy matters to the institution’s students and faculty.

He has served the ACS through membership on the Board of Governors, the Governors Committee on Socioeconomic Issues, and the Health Policy and Advocacy Council. Dr. Gigantelli has also chaired the Advisory Council for Ophthalmic Surgery. He currently serves on the Regents’ Committee on Research and Optimal Patient Care, the Bylaws Committee, and the Nominating Committee.

Dr. Gigantelli believes surgeons must initiate operational change that leads to enhanced patient safety and quality, and fosters alignment with team-based care, patient-centered outcomes, and population health management. While serving his institutional and organizational roles, Dr. Gigantelli has worked with other physicians and surgeons to produce guidelines for interaction between surgeons and industry, and to promote the necessity to develop surgical independence during resident training.

He has helped the ACS guide strategic and operational oversight of the broad array of its surgical quality programs, including the 2014 John M. Eisenberg Award-winning ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP®). This experience has been useful in demonstrating to key stakeholders that programs need to evolve in order to maintain relevance, enhance efficiency, and maximize effectiveness. Additionally, he has observed firsthand the College’s untiring commitment to developing a grassroots advocacy network and facilitate bidirectional communication on regulatory and health care policy issues with its Fellowship.

Beyond the ACS, Dr. Gigantelli has served on the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Council, Liaison Committee, and Health Policy Committee. He also holds current or past executive positions for the Nebraska Medical Association, Nebraska Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons, and the Metropolitan Omaha Medical Society.

Dr. Gigantelli believes his most valuable leadership asset is his diverse background and experience. Practicing ophthalmology in academic and nonacademic practices across multiple geographic locations in both urban and rural settings has fostered a deep appreciation in him of the needs and challenges affecting both his peers and our patients. Dr. Gigantelli understands the broad challenges facing surgeons and their commitment to provide high-quality care.

Ophthalmic Surgery Highlights from Clinical Congress 2016

  • The Advisory Council for Ophthalmic Surgery and the Advisory Council for Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery co-sponsored a session titled Eyelid and Orbital Masses and Deformities: Diagnosis and Management at Clinical Congress 2016. Edward L. Raab, MD, FACS, the Advisory Council’s Program Liaison, served as co-moderator with Carl H. Snyderman, MD, FACS, an otolaryngologist. Session topics included ocular and visual complications of eyelid and orbital disorders, resection of orbital tumors, surgery of orbital fractures, and exenteration for sinonasal malignancies.
  • Dr. Gigantelli served as the facilitator for the Meet-the-Expert Luncheon titled Assessing Ocular and Orbital Trauma: What to Do Until the Ophthalmologist Arrives.

Embrace Your Surgical Heritage

Joseph Nezgodaby Joseph Nezgoda, MD
Resident and Associate Society of the ACS (RAS-ACS) Liaison to the Advisory Council for Ophthalmic Surgery

The ACS is one of a select few organizations dedicated to serving the needs of surgeons in virtually all surgical subspecialties. With over 80,000 members, ophthalmology is part of the greater College community, one that has a far-reaching impact in a number of key areas including advocacy, education and training, and patient-centered care. Involvement in the College can begin as a trainee or as an Associate Fellow in the ACS, which is a level of membership open to young surgeons who are within five years of graduation from formal surgical residency training.

As an ACS member, you have the opportunity to interact with other surgeons, including ophthalmologists, on a full range of topics including: surgical training, advocacy, practice building, reimbursement, and other issues.

My work with the RAS-ACS Governing Council has been a rewarding experience and my goal is to encourage other eye surgeons to get involved at a higher level in the College.

Hot Topics for ACS Members


Payment policies outlined in the Medicare Access and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) Reauthorization Act (MACRA) using the newly developed Quality Payment Program (QPP) are in the early stages of implementation. Videos are available on the ACS website to explain how to navigate the new Medicare physician payment system.

Concurrent Surgery

The issues related to distinguishing overlapping and concurrent surgery have received considerable attention in the lay and professional media prompting the College to explore and restate its position in its “Statement on Principles—the intraoperative responsibilities of the primary surgeon.”

OR Attire

The publication of operating room (OR) attire recommendations by the Association for periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), and their adoption as required standards by regulatory agencies such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), led the ACS to develop its own guidelines for appropriate OR attire. In response to the original AORN recommendations, the ACS Young Fellows Association surveyed its constituents and has published a thoughtful article examining the issues of policy implementation without strong supporting evidence, and its effect on morale and maintaining an optimal and ethical practice environment.

Access New Surgeon and Resident Well-Being Resources

Surgeon Well-Being

Personal and professional well-being are vital to the success of members of the ACS and your patients. Many health care professionals experience periods of distress, yet few physicians seek help. In an effort to provide relief to interested surgeons, the ACS has compiled several resources to support surgeons and residents as they confront the challenges associated with surgical care.

One of these new resources is the Physician Well-Being Index. All U.S. Fellows and Associate Fellows in active practice, as well as Residents Members and Fellows in training, are invited to use this validated screening tool that provides an opportunity for you to better understand your overall well-being and identify areas of risk in comparison with physicians and residents across the nation. (Access for International members is not yet available). Local and national resources also will be tailored to you based on your results. The tool is completely anonymous. Your information and score is private, and your individual score will not be shared with anyone, including the ACS. 

Visit the ACS Surgeon Well-Being page to learn more about the tool and how to access it, as well as review other helpful resources.

Welcome to New Ophthalmology FACS

The Initiate class of 2016 was the largest ever, with 1,823 new members! Congratulations to the 34 ophthalmologists who received their Fellow of the ACS (FACS) status at the Clinical Congress 2016 (all of the following are MD, FACS):

Gelareh Abedi, Los Angeles, CA

Shaukat Ali, Karachi, Pakistan

Christina Antonopoulos, Baltimore, MD

Todd J. Bragin, Lynbrook, NY

Anna L. Di Lorenzo, Troy, MI

Jaafar F. El Annan, Bellaire, TX

Jonathan R. Etter, Chevy Chase, MD

Kenneth H. Fung, Seattle, WA

Jordan M. Graff, Phoenix, AZ

Enrique O. Graue Hernandez, Mexico City, Mexico

Donald A. Hollsten, San Antonio, TX

David J. Hunt, Charleston, WV

Brian A. Hunter, Tucson, AZ

Nader Iskander, San Antonio, TX

Christopher T. Kardasis, Hazel Crest, IL

Anthony M. Kekula, Monrovia, Liberia

David K. Lee, Jackson, NJ

Daniel R. Lefebvre Westwood, MA

Caesar K. Luo, Pottsville, PA

Mikelson MomPremier, Desoto, TX

Alejandro Navas, Mexico City, DF, Mexico

Patricia C. Nelson, Columbus, GA

Joshua F. Owoeye, Ilorin, Kwara, Nigeria

Guillermo Rocha, Brandon, MB

Mirwat S. Sami, Houston, TX

Louis Savar, Beverly Hills, CA

Joseph Selem, Coral Gables, FL

Brad A. Snead, Estero, FL

Ivan J. Suner, Tampa, FL

David E. Vollman, St. Louis, MO

Jenny Y. Will, Pittsburgh, PA

Albert Y. Wu, New York, NY

Prashant Yadav, Paget, Bermuda

Gursel Yilmaz, Ankara, Turkey

AAO Leadership Development Program: Submit Application by April 21

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) has invited the ACS to nominate one ACS ophthalmologist member to participate in the AAO’s Leadership Development Program (LDP), Class of 2018. The program is based on the premise that future leaders are made, not born to the role. The LDP combines elements of mentoring, organizational education, skills training, and guided experiences while covering the philosophy, principles, and practice of leadership, as they each relate to ophthalmic societies and academy leaders.

The ACS Advisory Council for Ophthalmic Surgery will review applications submitted, and may select one ACS ophthalmologist member to recommend to the academy. Copies of the LDP Overview and Nomination Form are available on the ACS Ophthalmic Surgery community. For electronic versions of the overview and application, please contact Mark Peterson at the ACS at or 312-202-5414.