December 1, 2022
E. Christopher Ellison, MD, FACS, an esteemed general surgeon from Columbus, OH, was installed as the 103rd President of the ACS during Clinical Congress 2022 Convocation in San Diego, CA.
Dr. Ellison is the Robert M. Zollinger Professor of Surgery Emeritus at The Ohio State University College of Medicine (OSU COM), Columbus. He previously served as chair of the Department of Surgery, interim dean of the OSU COM, and president and CEO of The Ohio State University Physicians Practice Plan. He recently served as the George W. Paulson, MD, Scholar-in-Residence (Medical Heritage Center), for a 2-year term.
With a theme of "Surgeons United" for his year of service as ACS President, Dr. Ellison said, he will work to unify all surgical specialties. “The ACS is a perfect place to bring our specialties together for a common purpose. The ACS appeals to surgeons of all specialties and strives for gender and racial equality throughout the College,” he said.
Dr. Ellison is a 1976 graduate of the Medical College of Wisconsin and has spent nearly his entire career at The Ohio State University (OSU), beginning with a general surgery residency, which he completed in 1983. He entered community practice in Columbus between 1987 and 1993 before returning to OSU. He led the Division of General Surgery and served for 6 years as director of the General Surgery Residency Program. He was named chair of the Department of Surgery in 2000. For 13 years, he led the expansion of the department and the creation of multidisciplinary basic science and clinical research programs.
While serving as program director in general surgery, Dr. Ellison fostered a culture committed to diversity and inclusion in the program, which remains a hallmark of diversity at OSU. With the help of key faculty, he co-led the re-establishment of the master of medical science program, which was originally conceived by Robert M. Zollinger Sr., MD, FACS, in the 1950s. This program has provided a foundation for Ohio State to successfully prepare the next generation of surgeon scientists.
As Practice Plan CEO and interim dean of the College of Medicine (COM) at Ohio State, Dr. Ellison worked with the admissions team to help make The OSU COM a leading institution for opportunities for underrepresented minority students in medical education. He also helped build the research portfolio and provide a sound economic foundation for the COM.
Dr. Ellison became an ACS Fellow in 1986, and his service to the College has been exemplary throughout his multifaceted career. He was a member of the ACS Board of Governors (1997–2003); President of the ACS Ohio Chapter (2003–2004); Chair of the Advisory Council for General Surgery (2013–2015); Chair, Advisory Council Chairs (2013–2015); and most recently, Chair of the ACS Foundation Board of Directors (2019–2021). He also has been a member of many other ACS committees and workgroups. Dr. Ellison is a member of the ACS Academy of Master Surgeon Educators®, and his current professional focus is on the education and operative coaching of surgical residents.
While serving as ACS Ohio Chapter President (2003–2004), Dr. Ellison contributed to advocacy efforts in the state to achieve tort reform and, in collaboration with the leadership of Robert E. Falcone, MD, FACS, helped establish a state trauma system. Dr. Ellison has said one of the most rewarding experiences of his career was when he was elected as an ACS representative to the American Board of Surgery in 2003.
Dr. Ellison has served as president of the American Surgical Association (2018–2019) in addition to other leadership positions within other organizations and professional societies. Among his many awards and recognitions are the OSU Distinguished Service Award (2020), the OSU COM Professor of the Year (1999), and The Ohio State University College of Medicine Landacre Society Honorary Award (1998). In addition, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award (2021) from the Medical College of Wisconsin.
In addition to Dr. Ellison, Mary E. Fallat, MD, FACS, was installed during the Convocation as ACS First Vice-President; and Anne G. Rizzo, MD, FACS, as ACS Second Vice-President.
Dr. Fallat, who has a long history of service and leadership in pediatric surgery and trauma, is professor of surgery at the University of Louisville and director of surgical quality at Norton Children’s Hospital, Louisville, KY, where she has been in practice for more than 35 years.
Dr. Rizzo, whose military service spans 27 years in the US Air Force and US Air Force Reserve, is a trauma, critical care, and general surgeon, in Sayre, PA, at the Guthrie Clinic.