December 1, 2022
World-renowned pediatric surgeon and prolific physician-scientist Henri R. Ford, MD, MHA, FACS, FRCS, FAAP, is the 2022–2023 President-Elect of the ACS. His election was announced at Clinical Congress 2022 during the Annual Business Meeting of Members, where the First Vice-President-Elect and Second Vice-President-Elect also were announced.
Dr. Ford—an international authority on necrotizing enterocolitis, a lethal disease that causes inflammation of intestinal tissue in premature infants—is dean and chief academic officer at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, FL. He previously served as senior vice-president and chief of surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), CA, and vice-dean of medical education at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles. Dr. Ford was a professor and surgeon-in-chief at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, PA, before joining CHLA.
An ACS Fellow since 1996 and the 2022 recipient of the Owen H. Wangensteen Scientific Forum Award, Dr. Ford has a long and distinguished history of service to the ACS. He was on the ACS Board of Regents (BoR) from 2012 to 2021. In addition to being an ACS Regent, he served 4 years (2017–2021) as Chair of the ACS Program Committee, which is responsible for planning and implementing ACS continuing educational offerings presented during the annual ACS Clinical Congress.
Dr. Ford also served as a liaison for the ACS Advisory Council for Pediatric Surgery, was Chair of the ACS Ethics Committee, as well as the Past-Chair of the Nominating Committee and Past-Vice-Chair of the ACS Board of Governors (BoG). During his tenure with the Ethics Committee, Dr. Ford co-drafted the “American College of Surgeons Call to Action on Racism as a Public Health Crisis: An Ethical Imperative” in response to the civil unrest that gripped the nation in the wake of the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd in 2020. This call to action led to the establishment of the Anti‐Racism Committee by the BoR.
“My extensive record of service to the ACS has given me a unique perspective on its critical importance as the unified and powerful voice representing more than 84,000 ACS members in the US and around the world,” Dr. Ford said. “It is a distinct privilege to serve our members and this wonderful organization as President-Elect.”
Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Dr. Ford moved with his parents to Brooklyn, NY, as a teenager. He excelled at school and received a full scholarship to Princeton University, NJ.
At Princeton, his interest in medicine burgeoned, and he graduated cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree in 1980. Dr. Ford then entered Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, where he received his medical degree in 1984. He completed his surgical internship and residency at NewYork/Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.
Inspired to pursue a career in academic surgery, Dr. Ford also completed a research fellowship in immunology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and a clinical fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. In addition, he received a master of health administration from USC.
With a strong reputation for mentorship and sponsorship, Dr. Ford is passionate about training the next generation of physicians and physician-scientists. As a scientist, Dr. Ford has conducted groundbreaking research on the pathogenesis of necrotizing enterocolitis, which has led to new insights into the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of the disease. He is the author of more than 300 publications, book chapters, invited manuscripts, abstracts, and presentations.
Dr. Ford also works to promote health equity and to ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion are woven into the educational and clinical fabric of medicine. He led the College’s efforts to provide trauma care for children injured during the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and in 2015, he performed the first successful separation of conjoined twins in Haiti, alongside surgeons he helped train.
As President, Dr. Ford will work collaboratively with ACS leadership, the BoR, and the BoG to set strategic priorities for the College, maintaining a cohesive and influential voice nationally and internationally.
“We must affirm our relevance and exert our influence by taking the lead on issues that affect the national healthcare agenda, fighting for health equity, and promoting a more diverse surgical workforce,” he said. “My job is to empower and inspire others to achieve their best.”
Tyler G. Hughes, MD, FACS, a clinical professor of surgery and director of medical education at the Kansas University School of Medicine, Salina, is First Vice-President-Elect. A Fellow of the College since 1986, Dr. Hughes has served in several ACS leadership positions and at present is Editor of the ACS Communities. He was instrumental in establishing the Advisory Council for Rural Surgery and chaired the council (2012−2016). He also has served on the BoG (2009−2015) and was a member of the BoG Committee on Socioeconomic Issues, Communications Pillar, Continuing Education Workgroup, Newsletter Workgroup, and Surgical Volunteerism and Humanitarian Awards Workgroup. At the local level, Dr. Hughes is Past-President of the Kansas Chapter of the ACS (2006−2007) and Past-Chair of the Kansas Credentials Committee.
Deborah A. Kuhls, MD, FACS, FCCM, assistant dean for research and professor of surgery, Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, is the Second Vice-President-Elect. Dr. Kuhls is a trauma surgeon who is board-certified in general surgery and critical care. An ACS Fellow since 2003, she served as president of the Nevada Chapter and chair of the ACS Committee on Trauma Injury Prevention and Control Committee. She recently co-authored “Mass Shootings in America: Consensus Recommendations for Healthcare Response,” published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons in July 2022, on recommendations to assist healthcare facilities and communities responding to a mass shooting event. Dr. Kuhls is a dedicated researcher and expert on injury prevention whose research interests include injury prevention of all types, such as vehicular crash, firearm, and other violence-related injuries, as well as disaster management, medical education, and the clinical care and outcomes of injured patients.