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


Clinical Trials/Late-Breaking Abstracts Forum Session Will Present Cutting-Edge Science During the Virtual Clinical Congress 2020

Clinical Congress 2020 Dates Extended - October 3-7As we approach the third year of the Scientific Forum's Clinical Trials/Late-Breaking Abstract Session scheduled for Monday, October 5, 9:00–9:55 am Central Time, we are excited about highlighting the six exceptional studies that will be presented. This unique session will cover several important domains of surgical care and will feature a live discussion with the moderators and authors. These studies will focus on:

  • Tranexamic Acid During Prehospital Transport in Patients at Risk of Hemorrhage Following Injury: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo Controlled, Clinical Trial
  • Synthetic Versus Biologic Mesh for Complex Open Ventral Hernia Repair: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Stimulant and Osmotic Laxatives to Improve Recovery of Gastrointestinal Function After Colorectal Surgery: A Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation in Management of Neurogenic Bladder Secondary to Spina Bifida—A Randomized Controlled Trial
  • A Multi-Institutional Approach for Decreasing Narcotic Prescriptions After Adult Appendectomy
  • Point of Care UltraSound by Surgeons (POCUSS) Trial: Results of a Multicentric Study

These studies have the potential to change how we deliver surgical care and improve outcomes.

The Owen H. Wangensteen Scientific Forum Committee, under the leadership of Edith Tzeng, MD, FACS, has created an outstanding Scientific Forum Program for the 2020 Clinical Congress. We invite you to participate in these Scientific Sessions as well as other Sessions of this unique virtual Clinical Congress.

The ACS is offering the virtual 2020 Clinical Congress free to attendees. Register today!

For additional information about the virtual Clinical Congress Program, please contact Ajit K. Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCSC, FSACME, at, Richard V. King, PhD, at, or M. Jane Burns, MJHL, at

Third Annual Induction Ceremony of the ACS Academy of Master Surgeon Educators—A  Special Event

Welcome to the 2020 Academy of Master Surgeon EducatorsThe Third Annual Induction Ceremony of the ACS Academy of Master Surgeon Educators was held virtually Friday, September 25, 2020. Six years ago, the ACS Board of Regents enthusiastically approved a proposal of the Division of Education to establish this unique Academy. A steering committee composed of preeminent master surgeon educators was appointed to create the model of the Academy, including the standards and criteria for admission. The first cohort of Founding Members and Associate Members was selected and inducted in 2018. In 2019, a new category of Affiliate Membership was introduced, and the second cohort of Members, Associate Members, and Affiliated Members were selected and inducted.

The Mission of the Academy is to play a key leadership role in advancing the science and practice of education across all surgical specialties, promoting the highest achievements in the lifetimes of surgeons. The Academy has had a great impact and has pursued a range of innovative programs.

This year, 52 applications for Membership and Associate Membership were received and after stringent peer review, the Steering Committee selected 16 Members and 24 Associate Members. During the 2020 Induction Ceremony, these new Members and Associate Members were inducted along with a few Inductees from the 2018 and 2019 cohorts who could not previously participate in the Induction Ceremonies. The Academy's membership is now 224.

Academy of Master Surgeon Educators 2020 Selection

The Induction Ceremony was again a special and joyous occasion and the Inductees shared heartwarming comments.  L.D. Britt, MD, MPH, DSc(Hon), FACS, FCCM, FRCSEng(Hon), FRCSEd(Hon), FWACS(Hon), FRCSI(Hon), FCS(SA)(Hon), FRCS(Glasg)(Hon), served as the Master of Ceremonies. Ajit K. Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCSC, FSACME, provided a brief history of the Academy and highlighted its accomplishments. ACS Executive Director David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, proposed the virtual "champagne" toasts. ACS President Valerie W. Rusch, MD, FACS; and Regents Beth H. Sutton, MD, FACS, and L. Scott Levin, MD, FACS, shared inspirational remarks as they welcomed the new Inductees into the Academy.

The Academy is co-chaired by Dr. Britt and Dr. Sachdeva. Members of the Steering Committee include Sir Murray Brennan, MD, FACS; Haile T. Debas, MD, FACS; Dr.  Hoyt, Dr. Levin, Leigh Neumayer, MD, FACS; Carlos Pellegrini, MD, FACS, FRCSI(Hon), FRCS(Hon), FRCSEd(Hon); and Anton Sidawy, MD, FACS. Following are mages from the Induction Ceremony, including the photographs of the Inductees.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Sachdeva at; Alisa Nagler, JD, MA, EdD, at; or Susan Newman, MPH, at The next application process will begin in February 2021. 

Board of Governors' Member Services Workgroups Focused During COVID-19

Mark A. Dobbertien, DO, FACS; Luke Moreau; Brian Frankel; and Natalie Bell

Your Member Services Pillar of the ACS Board of Governors has continued to serve the Fellows and members of the American College of Surgeons and our 115 Domestic and International Chapters during the COVID-19 pandemic with an incredible work product. The ACS Division of Member Services, staff and 80 Governors are proud to present this update to the Fellowship and members.

Domestic and International Chapter Activities Workgroups

ACS chapters provide several opportunities for member involvement, including educational programming with CME, state and national advocacy, networking events, mentoring, and leadership opportunities for all ACS members.

The Board of Governors Domestic and International Chapter Activities Workgroups are mindful that chapters have been significantly affected as a result of COVID-19, with many forced to cancel, postpone, or move meetings to the virtual space. Chapters have been encouraged to share their COVID-19 experiences with the College. In May, the Governor and President of the India Chapter submitted a video providing his perspective on the worldwide COVID-19 crisis and the situation in India. Also in May, the Executive Director of the Florida Chapter participated in a webinar that highlighted the chapter's experience of moving an in-person meeting to a virtual one. The presentation can be viewed here.

Chapters also have the opportunity to submit stories for publication in the weekly Bulletin Brief. The Georgia Society of the ACS and the Tennessee Chapter submitted a joint article about their virtual meetings for the September 1 issue, while the Keystone and Metro Philadelphia Chapters highlighted how they have joined forces during the pandemic in the September 8 issue.

Board of Governors Chapter Activities Domestic Workgroup

Members of the Board of Governors Chapter Activities Domestic Workgroup, many who rose through the ACS leadership ranks by joining their local chapters as young surgeons, serve to advocate for chapters within the U.S., its Territories, and Canada. The Workgroup is made up of 19 Governors, a Young Fellows Association Liaison, and a Resident and Associate Society Liaison, whose responsibility it is to develop initiatives and programs that benefit chapters, and in turn, ACS members.

The Workgroup's current focus is to highlight the many benefits of chapter membership to those who may be unaware of how chapters complement their ACS membership at the local level and to help with recruitment. To assist with recruitment efforts, the College will pilot a new grant program beginning in October. Under this program, chapters will be able to apply for grants to help with recruitment activities that focus specifically on young Fellows and Associate Fellows. The goal is to get these members involved in chapter activities early in their careers.

The Path to ACS Leadership often starts by joining a local chapter!

Board of Governors Chapter Activities International Workgroup

The Board of Governors Chapter Activities International Workgroup serves as an advocate for the 47 ACS international chapters. The 37-person Workgroup encourages activities that provide resources and support for international chapters and members. The Workgroup meets via conference calls throughout the year and during a face-to-face meeting at Clinical Congress.

Due to the size of the International Workgroup, members are assigned to various subgroups based on the Workgroup's objectives for the year. The current subgroups include the Chapter Annual Report Subgroup, which helps analyze data received from chapters to identify best practices and gaps in resources offered; the Communications Subgroup, which focuses on communication and best practices for chapters, including increasing the use of social media platforms and ACS Communities; and the International Observerships/Fellowships Opportunities Subgroup, which identifies educational observerships and fellowships outside the United States that are available for international surgeons.

The international chapters are divided into four regions based on geography—Latin America/Caribbean, Europe/Israel/Africa, Asia Pacific, and Middle East—with designated region chairs. The regional structure provides interaction and collaboration between Governors and chapter leaders and helps assure the unique needs of each region are being addressed.

Visit the Find a Chapter website and be sure to support your local chapter by joining today.

Board of Governors Surgical Volunteerism and Humanitarian Awards Workgroup

The Surgical Volunteerism and Humanitarian Awards Workgroup recognizes and celebrates ACS Fellows and members whose altruism, vision, leadership and dedication provide models to emulate and whose contributions have made a lasting difference. The responsibility of this workgroup is to review applications for the ACS Surgical Volunteerism and Humanitarian Awards and propose the final award winners. In 2020, 18 nominations were submitted; three nominations were proposed before and approved by the Board of Governors Executive Committee. The workgroup is proud to announce the 2020 award recipients: Robert Riviello, MD, MPH, FACS, International Surgical Volunteerism Award; Arthur Trask, MD, FACS, International Surgical Volunteerism Award; and Aaron Epstein, MD, MA, Resident Surgical Volunteerism Award.

Robert Riviello, MD, MPH, FACS, is a trauma, burn and acute care surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) in Boston, MA, and associate professor of surgery and of global health and social medicine, Harvard Medical School (HMS). Dr. Riviello has dedicated his career to improving surgical access and quality for vulnerable people. Over the past decade he has split his time between BWH and sub-Saharan Africa, strengthening surgical services, surgical training programs, nontechnical skills for surgery, and providing mentorship to the CSPH's and PGSSC's global surgery fellows.

Arthur Trask, MD, FACS, is retired general surgeon who has been providing essential surgical care to the population of Haiti for 30 years. Since 1990, Dr. Trask has continued to lead a surgical team to Pignon&mdashs;a rural town in the mountain area of central Haiti, eight hours by car from Port-au-Prince—yearly or biannually to serve and improve the quality of care.

Aaron Epstein, MD, MA, is a general surgery resident at the University at Buffalo, NY, and is the founder and president of the not-for-profit medical humanitarian organization Global Surgical and Medical Support Group (GSMSG). Since 2015, GSMSG teams led by Dr. Epstein in Iraq have completed hundreds of major surgeries as well as tended to thousands of patients who have come from as far west as Damascus to the Iranian border to the east.


The 80 members of the Board of Governors serving in the Members Services Pillar are an official, direct communications link between the Fellows of the College and the Board of Regents. Throughout their term(s), Governors are focused on attending, communicating, and participating in all the activities of the College and its Chapters. The Member Services Pillar of the Board of Governors has not veered from that responsibility even despite the disruptions caused by COVID-19 and are proud of the accomplishments made on behalf of our Fellowship.

ACS Recognizes the 10th Ostomy Awareness Day and Supports the Ostomy Community

October 3, 2020, marks the 10th anniversary of Ostomy Awareness Day, an annual day of recognition aimed at spreading knowledge about lifesaving ostomy surgery and stopping any associated stigmas once and for all.

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) is proud to spread recognition of this important cause and to continue to contribute to the ostomy community through its Ostomy Home Skills Program, which provides vital resources on at-home care for people who have ostomies. The ACS led the collaborative with the United Ostomy Associations of America, the Wound Ostomy Continence Nurses, American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons and the American Urological Association in the development of the first skills training program for ostomy patients. The College has distributed more than 270,000 skill training programs and continues to update and revise the program based on the thousands of patient and caregiver evaluations received.