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

Washington, DC, Surgeon Frank G. Opelka, MD, FACS, Received 2016 Distinguished Service Award of the American College of Surgeons

Dr. Opelka recognized for his service to the College and his efforts in the political arena and quality movement


WASHINGTON, DC (October 17, 2016): Frank G. Opelka, MD, FACS, a colon and rectal surgeon and Medical Director, Quality and Health Policy, American College of Surgeons (ACS) Division of Advocacy and Health Policy, Washington, DC, received the 2016 ACS Distinguished Service Award (DSA) last night during the Convocation ceremony that preceded the opening of the College’s 2016 Clinical Congress, one of the largest international meetings of surgeons in the world. The DSA is the highest honor bestowed by the ACS.

Dr. Opelka was honored for his contributions to the American College of Surgeons and to the areas of health care quality and health policy. The ACS Board of Regents presented the DSA to Dr. Opelka “in appreciation for his continuous and devoted service as a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons…and as the physician leader of the College’s Quality and Health Policy efforts in the Washington, DC office over the last 15 years.”

The Board of Regents further recognized him for his work in the political arena regarding coding and reimbursement legislative matters. Through his work with the Ambulatory Care Quality Alliance, the National Quality Forum, the Quality Alliance Steering Committee, and the National Council for Quality Assurance Physician Performance Committee, Dr. Opelka has helped bring public awareness to the quality movement.

A Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS) since 1992, Dr. Opelka has served extensively on a number of ACS committees including service as Co-Chair of the College’s Performances Measures Committee (2014-2017), Chair of the Committee on Patient Safety and Quality Improvement (2006-2010), Chair of the Surgery Quality Alliance (2005-present), and as a committee member of many others.

Dr. Opelka was a key member of the National Priorities Partnership and the Measures Application Partnership defined by the national Affordable Care Act. He has also served as Chair of the Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement and the National Consensus Standards Advisory Committee, and participated in the Quality Alliance Steering Committee. Dr. Opelka was a lead architect of the College’s Health Information Technology efforts to transform healthcare to a value-based digital environment.

Dr. Opelka has been a member of multiple professional societies including the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, the American Medical Association, the Massachusetts Medical Association, and the Healthcare Finance Management Association. He has served as president of the Piedmont Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons and the New Orleans Surgical Society.

Among the other notable awards Dr. Opelka has received throughout his career are the Distinguished Service Award of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (1992), the Desert Storm Combat Service Award (1991), the U.S. Army – Meritorious Service Award (1988), and the Dean’s Award – Chicago Medical School (1981).

About Frank G. Opelka, MD, FACS

Dr. Opelka was born in Chicago, Ill., and completed his bachelor of science at St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas. He received his medical degree from the University of Health Sciences, Chicago Medical School, Chicago, Ill. Subsequently, he completed an internship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC, followed by a surgical residency at Eisenhower Army Medical Center, Augusta, Ga., and a fellowship in colon and rectal surgery at Ochsner Foundation Hospital, New Orleans, La. Dr. Opelka served in the U.S. Army as chief of ambulatory surgery, Darnall Army Community Hospital, Fort Hood, Texas (1986-1990), as chief of surgery, Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital, Fort Polk, La. (1990-1992), and as surgeon, Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina (1986-1992). Today, he is the ACS Medical Director, Quality and Health Policy.

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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 all 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 80,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. For more information, visit


Dan Hamilton
Devin Rose