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

OHNS News Winter 2014-2015

Craig S. Derkay, MD, FACS, Editor and Chair, Advisory Council for Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery

Introduction from the Council Chair

As Chair of the Advisory Council, I would like to take this opportunity to update our otolaryngologist American College of Surgeons (ACS) members on the activities of your Council and the projects that it is working on with our colleagues at the College.

First off, I would like to acknowledge and congratulate our otolaryngology associate, Mark Weissler, MD, FACS, who is finishing up his third three-year term as a member of the ACS Board of Regents and who has been selected to be Chair of the Board of Regents in the coming year. This appointment is a tremendous honor that Mark has earned through his tireless dedication to the College, his work on the Ethics and Executive Committees, and his intelligent, common sense approach during his tenure on the Board. His determined advocacy on behalf of his fellow otolaryngologists has made a lasting difference in the College, and we owe him a huge debt of gratitude!

Our outgoing and incoming Program Committee liaisons, Rob Lorenz, MD, FACS, and Sanjay Parikh, MD, FACS, respectively, also deserve special recognition for their work on our behalf. Rob’s tenure as the otolaryngology liaison was marked by innovation and steadfast advocacy, especially in the area of thyroid and parathyroid educational opportunities. Rob almost single-handedly designed and promoted a Maintenance of Certification (MOC) review course for all surgical specialists, now approved for a third cycle. Rob’s expertise in topics of cost, safety, and quality in surgery has resulted in his being invited to educate his colleagues this past year as a panel moderator/presenter and Meet the Expert Luncheon host. His mentoring of our new liaison, Sanjay, was evident in the acceptance by the Executive Program Committee of an unprecedented number of otolaryngology proposals for 2015 following the excellent program that Rob ushered through for 2014 (see listing below). Sanjay’s experience in recruiting excellent content for the otolaryngology Video-Based Education Sessions and his networking through years as a leader in the Young Fellows Association (YFA) position him well to serve our specialty for the next several years by creating interesting and educational material at Clinical Congress.

I was invited to attend the ACS Policy Forum, a joint meeting of the Board of Regents, Board of Governors, and Advisory Council Chairs prior to Clinical Congress. I can report that the College is actively engaged in maintaining funding for Surgical Graduate Medical Education (GME) programs, modifying the Institute of Medicine’s modernization of Medicare GME payment methodology, and working with states to maintain or increase Medicaid GME funding. To this end, the College is organizing a summit conference on GME funding in the spring of 2015.

The College has drafted a position statement regarding physician tiering and bundled payment models. It has also crafted strategies for surgeons who want to avoid being penalized by Medicare in the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), Value-Based Payment Modifier (VM), and Electronic Health Record (EHR) incentive programs. As of this date, they are also working with the lame duck Congress to revive the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) “fix” that was agreed on last March and then torpedoed at the last minute by the House.

Other College developments include an update to the website with improvements to the Find a Surgeon search tool, which includes a link to match the person looking for a surgeon with the surgeon found. A “Quit Smoking before Surgery”campaign has been launched along with a visually appealing, well-designed handout that will help otolaryngologists meet the PQRS requirement regarding providing counseling on smoking cessation.

Thank you to Drs. Ellen Friedman and Christine Gourin for their service on the Council as representatives from the American Board of Otolaryngology and the Triological Society, respectively. Membership changes to the Advisory Council include the addition of Joseph Scharpf, MD, to serve as the ACS YFA representative to the Council. The Advisory Council elected Dr. Derkay for a second term as Chair and elected Dennis H. Kraus, MD, FACS, to an initial one-year term as Vice-Chair.  Alan Micco, MD, FACS, was reappointed as the representative from the American Otological Society, and Michael Benninger, MD, FACS, was appointed as the representative from the Triological Society to the ACS Board of Governors.

This year’s ACS Initiates class of 1,640 is the largest ever and includes 109 otolaryngologists!

Recent Activities

Optimal Resources for Pediatric Surgical Care

Efforts are underway by a multidisciplinary, multi-society task force through the College and the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) to try and improve safety in pediatric surgery by holding hospitals that perform surgery on children to a uniform set of standards. This effort is modeled after the College’s trauma designation program and will entail voluntary verification site visits to ensure that hospital are properly resourced and staffed to care for the children who are operated on there. The pilot site visits will likely take place in the spring of 2015.

Button Battery Task Force

Organized in conjunction with the American Broncho-Esophagological Association (ABEA), the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology (ASPO), the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the goal of this multi-pronged effort is to raise awareness regarding the dangers of ingesting lithium 3V 20mm (“button”) batteries. The campaign aims to educate the public, emergency room physicians, radiologists, gastroenterologists, pediatric surgeons, and otolaryngologists regarding the urgent need to remove these devices when they are encountered. Importantly, the task force is working with the industry to improve the packaging, design, and availability of these potentially lethal objects.

Restructuring of the Advisory Councils

Dr. Derkay is part of a Task Force of Advisory Council Chairs formed to mimic the Board of Governors’ (BOG) establishment of representative committees based on the five pillars of College activities. Each of the 13 Advisory Councils will nominate one person to the five pillar working groups. These groups will meet during the Leadership and Advocacy Summit in the spring and during the Clinical Congress in the fall in conjunction with their colleagues on the BOG and will report back to their respective Advisory Councils. The Advisory Council representatives will be:

  • Dr. Joseph Scharpf (Communication)
  • Dr. Sanjay Parikh (Education)
  • Dr. Megan Durr (Member Services)
  • Dr. James Burns (Quality)
  • Dr. Greg Randolph (Advocacy)

ACS Program Committee Initiatives

I can report to you, in my role as Vice-Chair of the Executive Program Committee, that we have embarked on several initiatives to improve the Clinical Congress. These initiatives include:

  • Stream-lining the submission process for abstracts to the scientific program and the Surgical Forum
  • Uniform grading of abstracts
  • Access to PowerPoint presentations by attendees after Clinical Congress
  • An improved process for claiming continuing medical education (CME) credit
  • Webinar development aimed at the moderators and co-moderators of panel presentations to ensure fair representation by speakers of all relevant specialties
  • Improved communication back to the Advisory Councils regarding requested content

This process involved an extensive development of clinical and nonclinical taxonomy categories and a prioritizing by the Advisory Councils regarding frequency of presentation of these topics. The Program Committee will also endeavor to provide feedback to the Councils regarding why proposals were not accepted.

Medical Student and Resident Involvement in the College

The past few years, our Advisory Council has been participating in a social event that is organized like speed dating for medical students who attend the Clinical Congress. Prospective otolaryngology residents attending Clinical Congress get an opportunity to ask questions of Advisory Council members about our specialties. The Council briefly discussed hosting a reception geared toward students and residents who may be interested in going into otolaryngology. It was suggested that a social event be organized, most likely after the otolaryngology video-based education session.

Highlights of the Clinical Congress 2014 Program

Thyroid and Parathyroid Ultrasound Skills Course

Free-Flap Surgery: The Revolution of Reconstruction

HPV Disease: From Oral Cavity to the Anus

Advanced Thyroid and Parathyroid Ultrasound

Contemporary Management of Aerodigestive Tract Foreign Bodies

Current Management of Thyroid Nodules

Zoning in on Neck Injury: The Multimodality Treatment of Penetrating and Blunt Trauma to the Neck

Parathyroidectomy for Primary Parathyroidism

Melanoma in 2014: What Does the Surgeon Need to Know?

Airway Emergencies for the General Surgeon

Controversies over the Extent of Surgery and Treatment for Well-Differentiated Thyroid Cancer

Management of Complications in Mandible Fracture Treatment

How to Use and Interpret Molecular Genetic Studies Done on Thyroid FNA

Minimally Invasive Parathyroidectomy: How I Do It

Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery Video Session

Optimal Resources for Delivering Pediatric Surgical Care

Ebola: What Surgeons Need to Know to Protect Themselves

The Hospital Says You Are an “Expensive” Surgeon: What’s Next?

What’s New in Advocacy and Health Policy

MOC Review: Essentials for Surgical Specialties

Bundling Payments in Surgical Service

Preliminary Otolaryngology Track for the Clinical Congress 2015 Program

Adult Neck Mass: Contemporary Evaluation and Strategies

Head and Neck Cutaneous Malignancies

Button Batteries and Magnets: Ingestion of Foreign Bodies

Review of the New American Thyroid Association (ATA) Guidelines on the Management of Well-Differentiated Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid Nodules: What Am I Supposed to Do?

Hyperthyroidism: Primary vs. Secondary vs. Tertiary.

New Horizons in Skull Base Surgery

MOC Review: Essentials for Surgical Specialties

Striving for Patient Satisfaction in the Era of the Affordable Care Act

Women’s Health Day: The Surgeon’s Role in Treating Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders

Novel Treatments for GERD

Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infections: Time Matters

Thyroid and Parathyroid Ultrasound Skills Course

Dr. Parikh has also communicated with the Advisory Council for Pediatric Surgery about co-sponsoring a pediatric bronchoscopy and airway simulation-based Skills Course for 2015. The Pediatric Surgery Council was supportive of this project, and it will be considered by the Program Committee at its December conference call.

Honors and Awards

As previously announced, recent nominations from our Advisory Council for the two most prestigious ACS awards resulted in the presentation of the 2014 Jacobson Award for Surgical Innovation to Robin Cotton, MD, FACS, and the 2013 Sheen Award to Jonas Johnson, MD, FACS.

If members have suggestions for otolaryngologists to be nominated for honorary membership in the College, please forward these names to Dr. Derkay.

Top Reasons Your Otolaryngology Colleagues Should Join ACS

The Advisory Council offers the following top reasons why an otolaryngologist would join the ACS and why current ACS members who are otolaryngology specialists should maintain their membership and attend Clinical Congress:

  • Representation in governmental affairs that affect surgeons
  • Surgical volunteer opportunities internationally, nationally, and locally with surgical colleagues (cancer screening, humanitarian missions)
  • Maintenance of Certification (MOC) opportunities
  • Access to the ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program® (ACS NSQIP®) for head and neck surgery and pediatrics
  • ACS support for specialty-specific issues (for example, audiology and PA scope of practice)
  • Access to the Find a Surgeon search engine for patient referrals
  • Health policy scholarship opportunities and support for young otolaryngology investigators
  • Collaboration and recognition of contributions with colleagues in fields such as thyroid, parathyroid, head and neck, reconstruction, and pediatric airway
  • Unique multidisciplinary programming and the opportunity to earn CME credit at Clinical Congress that cannot be obtained elsewhere
  • Association with an organization that promotes the highest ethical standards for professionalism and ethics, quality, and safety in surgery
  • Access to the Resident and Associate Society (RAS-ACS), which complements the AAO-HNS resident and fellow activities
  • Contract negotiation support for members
  • The prestige associated with belonging to the American College of Surgeons

Scholarship Opportunities for Otolaryngologists

Among the $1.895 million in scholarships, fellowships, and awards offered by the ACS, there are specific opportunities for otolaryngologist awardees:

The 2014 ACS/AAO-HNS Health Policy Scholarship was awarded to James C. Denneny III, MD, FACS, of Columbia, MO. Dr. Denneny attended the Leadership Program for Health Policy and Management at Brandeis University. The intensive one-week program equips health leaders with the knowledge and skills essential for creating innovative and sustainable solutions to improve the quality, cost effectiveness, and efficiency of health care service delivery, and participating in health care policy and reform.

The ACS/Triological Society Clinical Scientist Development Award is a competitive grant program to provide supplemental funding to otolaryngologists–head and neck surgeons who have received a new National Institutes of Health Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award (K08/K23) or have an existing award with a minimum of three years remaining in their funding period.

More information on ACS scholarship and research opportunities is available on the ACS website.

Dates for Future ACS and AAO-HNS Meetings


ACS Leadership and Advocacy Summit
April 18–21
Washington, DC

ACS Clinical Congress
October 4–8
Chicago, IL

September 27–30
Dallas, TX


ACS Clinical Congress
October 16–20
Washington, DC

September 18–21
San Diego, CA

Roster of Advisory Council for Otolaryngology–Head Neck Surgery for ACS

Craig S. Derkay, MD, FACS, Norfolk, VA

Dennis H. Kraus, MD, FACS, New York, NY
Governor/American Laryngological Association

Michael Benninger, MD, FACS, Cleveland, OH
Governor/Triological Society

Jeffrey M. Bumpous, MD, FACS, Louisville, KY
Governor/Society of University Otolaryngologists

James A. Burns, MD, FACS, Dover, MA
American Bronchoesophagological Association

James C. Denneny III, MD, FACS, Columbia, MO
Governor/American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery

Megan Durr, MD, San Francisco, CA
Resident and Associate Society of the American College of Surgeons

Fred G. Fedok, MD, FACS, Hershey, PA
Governor/American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Alan G. Micco, MD, FACS, Chicago, IL
Governor/American Otological Society

Sanjay R. Parikh, MD, FACS, Seattle, WA
Program Representative
Young Surgeon Representative/American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Gregory W. Randolph, MD, FACS, Boston, MA
American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery

Joseph Scharpf, MD, Chagrin Falls, OH
ACS Young Fellows Association

Brent A. Senior, MD, FACS, Chapel Hill, NC
American Rhinological Society

Theodoros N. Teknos, MD, FACS, Columbus, OH
American Head and Neck Society

Mark C. Weissler, MD, FACS, Chapel Hill, NC
ACS Board of Regents

ACS Staff Liaisons

Patricia L. Turner, MD, FACS, Director, Member Services

Mark Peterson, Advisory Council Administrator