The American College of Surgeons (ACS) hosted the fourth annual Leadership & Advocacy Summit, April 18–21, at the JW Marriott in Washington, DC. The Summit is a dual meeting that offers volunteer leaders and advocates comprehensive and specialized sessions focused on the tools needed to be an effective leader, followed by interactive advocacy training and coordinated visits to DC congressional leaders.
The 2015 Leadership Summit began on the evening of April 18 with a well-attended Welcome Reception that included both domestic and international participants. On Sunday, 417 attendees gathered to hear presentations on leading with influence. Specific topics included overcoming resistance to change, avoiding physician burnout, and negotiating employment contracts. The ACS Louisiana, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania Chapters offered their chapter success stories from the last year. Leadership Summit attendees also convened over lunch by state/region, allowing group participants to identify new areas for unified efforts. Participants discussed the possibility of joint annual meetings on the state and/or regional level, as well as other shared chapter initiatives.
Following the Leadership Summit, approximately 300 surgeons and surgical residents participated in the 2015 Advocacy Summit, April 20–21. The event provided an opportunity for participants to learn about legislative priorities on Capitol Hill, and offered members of Congress surgeons’ perspectives on these issues. Participants used the meetings as an opportunity to thank lawmakers for passing H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act. This legislation permanently repealed the broken sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula used to calculate Medicare physician pay and reauthorized funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The ACS led a multi-year campaign to permanently repeal the SGR formula, which created instability in the Medicare program.
In addition, participants urged lawmakers to cosponsor H.R. 169/S. 258, the Critical Access Hospital Relief Act. This legislation would remove the condition of Medicare payment for critical access hospitals that requires physicians to certify that patients being admitted to the institutions are expected to be discharged or transferred within 96 hours. Other issues discussed included support for cancer initiatives, accreditation of cancer programs, improved access to trauma care and increased research funding for the National Institutes of Health.
Details regarding the 2015 ACS Leadership & Advocacy Summit will be published in the July 2015 issue of the Bulletin.
For questions surrounding the Leadership Summit, please contact Donna Tieberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-202-5361. For questions regarding the Advocacy Summit, please contact D’arcey Johnson at email@example.com or 202-672-1501.
The 2016 Leadership & Advocacy Summit will take place April 9–12, 2016, at the JW Marriott in Washington, DC. Please continue to check back for registration information and preliminary agendas.