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

COT General

Advocacy Update

Mission Zero Act Update

The U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce unanimously passed the Mission Zero Act (H.R. 880/S. 1022) on July 27. The American College of Surgeons (ACS)-supported legislation now goes to the full House of Representatives for consideration. The Senate companion bill is awaiting action before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. The Mission Zero Act would provide grant funding for military-civilian trauma partnerships, a legislative priority of the ACS.

During markup of the bill, the committee added two amendments—one reduces total U.S. Department of Health and Human Services grant funding from $40 million to $15 million, and the other requires that a study be conducted to determine the impact of military-civilian partnerships on rural and urban areas. Although the ACS has advocated for the full $40 million in funding, the reduction in the grant amount could help increase the likelihood of the legislation passing in the House.

College members are encouraged to contact their representative through the SurgeonsVoice website (ACS member login required) to urge their support of the Mission Zero Act. For more information about the College’s policy positions on trauma, contact Justin Rosen, ACS Congressional Lobbyist, at or 202-672-1528.

Stop the Bleed (STB) In-District Trainings

The ACS Division of Advocacy and Health Policy (DAHP) is continuing to work with targeted congressional offices to facilitate a bipartisan STB training for members of Congress on Capitol Hill. In addition, DAHP is pilot testing a new grassroots initiative to partner Fellows who are STB trainers with their local member of Congress to offer in-district trainings to members of Congress and their staffs. Currently, we have identified 13 congressional offices/Fellows interested in trainings, three of which successfully took place last week. This training is similar to the event ACS held on Capitol Hill in February 2017.

John Armstrong, MD, FACS, instructed Rep. Ted Yoho

Rep. Jan Sachowsky (IL-09); and Richard J. Fantus, MD, FACS

State Affairs Update

State Affairs has created two new toolkits for state chapters and COT committees to use as guides for advocating for state trauma system funding and bleeding control activities. The toolkits include examples and resources used for Stop the Bleed trainings in state capitols as part of a chapter lobby day, as well as advocating for funding of Bleeding Control toolkits in public places. The toolkits can be found on the State Advocacy Resources page of the ACS website.

In Nevada, the ACS State Affairs supported efforts by the Nevada Chapter of the ACS to advocate on legislation to require mandatory installation of ignition interlock devices for all DUI offenders. Dr. Deborah Kuhls, MD, FACS, FCCM, offered testimony on the bill and worked with the ACS State Affairs Division to draft letters and drum up grassroots support for the bill. On June 12, 2017, Nevada Senate Bill 259 was signed into law, making Nevada the 29th state to require lifesaving ignition interlock devices for all first-time offenders.


SurgeonsPAC helps to serve as surgery’s voice at the federal level working to educate policymakers about surgeons, surgical patient care, and why/how the COT is working to improve trauma care and funding within communities across the country. Engaging the entire COT to demonstrate strength in numbers is critical to the role that SurgeonsPAC plays in helping to advance the College’s trauma-related policy priorities. COT leadership is hard at work encouraging lapse 2016 contributors, State Chairs and Vice Chairs to renew their support for the ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC by Friday, September 8. However, to reach 70 percent participation by Clinical Congress, all eligible COT members are encouraged to contribute. To learn more about SurgeonsPAC fundraising and disbursement activities, or to contribute, please visit (login: ACS username and password/ log in credentials) or contact Katie Oehmen at 202-672-1503 or

Note: Contributions to ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. Contributions are voluntary, and all members of ACSPA have the right to refuse to contribute without reprisal. Federal law prohibits ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC from accepting contributions from foreign nations. By law, if your contributions are made using a personal check or credit card, ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC may only use your contribution to support candidates in federal elections. All corporate contributions to ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC will be used for educational and administrative fees of ACSPA and other activities permissible under federal law. Federal law requires ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC to use its best efforts to collect and report the name, mailing address, occupation, and the name of the employer of individuals whose contributions exceed $200 in a calendar year. ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC is a program of the ACSPA, which is exempt from federal income tax under section 501c (6) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Future Trauma Leaders Program Feedback

Megan L. Brenner, MD, FACS

Megan L. Brenner, MD, FACS

Baltimore, MD
Program Feedback
Participated March 2015–October 2016

I can’t say enough great things about FTL program.

It is really an individualized experience, I think each of us comes in with different projects/goals in mind, and the key is that there is not a set format for each participant. The mentorship is also very individualized, some may need more or less interaction but the mentors are always a call or email away regardless.

Peter E. Fischer, MD, FACS

Peter Fischer, MD, FACSCharlotte, NC
Program Feedback
Participated March 2015–October 2016

The FTL was probably the best experience I’ve had since becoming an attending. 

The program is a huge success and should continue to be promoted.

Unbelievably valuable experience to any young faculty. The mentoring was fantastic and quite helpful when you are trying to find your way at these meetings. My advice to any new FTLs would be to always have a bunch of your business cards with you, introduce yourself to your committee chairs, and volunteer, volunteer, volunteer. Establish a project early and run with it, meet as many people as possible, and ask a lot of questions. Finally, get to know the ACS staff. They know all and have the connections to get you what you need.

Joseph Sakran, MD, MPH, MPA, FACS, and Samuel Mandell, MD, FACS

Joseph V. Sakran, MD, MPH, MPA, FACSAdditional Feedback
Participating March 2016–October 2017

General Feedback

Overall, we are grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in such a unique program. The organization has grown stronger over the first year, with better coordination, support, and direction. The ability to collaborate nationwide and build relationships has been invaluable. These connections, that will frankly last the duration of our career, have provided us the ability to gain access to committees and allowed us to understand the inner workings of the COT early on in our career. This translated to us being more effective within our own state trauma program.

Samuel Mandell, MD, FACSIt has been a real pleasure and honor to have been selected for such a competitive program that even in our short time continues to grow exponentially. We have really found the opportunity to participate to be useful and educational. We have no doubt it will continue to be even more so for those who follow us.