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

Press Release

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This is a template press release to circulate to local media with the goal of securing interest in covering this topic to help spread awareness and education, as well as to communicate updates to the local community about your hospital or practice resuming elective procedures and care. Feel free to add other pertinent information that will make the press release relevant to your local media in terms of where your community is positioned in the COVID recovery phase process. Your hospital’s media relations team can be a great resource for you in completing this press release, too.


  • There is a placeholder for a customized quote from you. The quote should help encourage the patients to contact you for a discussion on returning for surgery and alleviate anxiety and/or focus on the urgency behind patients returning, especially those needing essential surgical care.
  • The final press release can also be posted to your hospital or practice website; also consider sharing a link on your social media channels.

How to Distribute

  • If you have a communications or marketing partner, please send this template to them for further action and distribution to local media.
  • If you do not have a communication or marketing partner to assist, we still encourage you to leverage this press release. Once customized, send to local media contacts—including broadcast stations and print/online reporters—via email, to gauge their interest in covering the topic and offering yourself for an interview or comment, if comfortable. The ACS Office of Public Information can assist you in identifying whom to contact. Email:
  • The goal is to leverage local media as a platform to draw attention to this topic and help reach the target patient community to address their concerns.

Press Release Template


For Immediate Release


Email: [XXX]

[INSERT HOSPITAL/PRACTICE] Resumes Operations and Prepares for Discussions with Patients about Safely Returning for Surgery

  • [INSERT HOSPITAL/PRACTICE] is using new tools from the American College of Surgeons to prepare for return to operations in the time of COVID-19
  • Includes discussion guide to help patients navigate the questions to ask to ensure a safe experience

[INSERT LOCAL CITY] (MONTH DAY, 2020): As health care facilities resume operations paused due to COVID-19—including [INSERT HOSPTIAL/PRACTICE], a new survey shows a majority of consumers are fearful of undergoing procedures and may not reschedule necessary care while COVID-19 continues to circulate in communities. [INSERT HOSPTIAL/PRACTICE] wants patients to feel comfortable returning for needed care, and as part of that effort, it is using a new resource from the American College of Surgeons (ACS), “Preparing to have surgery during the time of COVID-19.”

The resource includes a patient-surgeon discussion guide with suggested questions patients can ask their surgeon to feel more prepared for returning to the health care facility. The guide also covers common concerns such as how the check-in process has changed, what to expect during appointments, safeguards to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and how the ongoing pandemic may change after-operation care.

New research found more than a third of patients would not feel comfortable returning to care until at least three months have passed after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted in their area, and one in five would not feel comfortable until over six months have passed.* Having frank and open discussions with their surgeons may help ease concerns about returning for care. Patients fearful of risks may wait too long to seek the necessary, and sometimes lifesaving, care they need.


The new tools complement the hospital guidance document ACS released on April 17. [OPTION: INSERT 1-2 SENTENCES ON LOCAL HOSPITAL/PRACTICE REOPENING DETAILS]. [INSERT HOSPITAL/PRACTICE] is taking several important issues into consideration, including our [CUSTOMIZE AS APPLICABLE: community’s COVID numbers, personal protective equipment availability, adequate workforce, patient communication protocols, and the ability to deliver safe, high-quality care across the Five Phases of Care, which include preoperative, perioperative, intraoperative, postoperative, and post-discharge].

Preparing to have surgery during the time of COVID-19 is available here [].



*Revive Health. "Consumer Survey Update COVID-19." Accessed May 26, 2020. Available at:


[Placeholder for official boilerplate—if you do not have, insert a short paragraph about your hospital/practice]

About the American College of Surgeons

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for surgical patients. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 82,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. For more information, visit

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