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

Committee Updates and Liaison Reports

Update from the Communications Committee

The Communications Committee is busy planning for the annual RAS-ACS Essay Contest, and the chosen topic will be released in March. We are also starting to plan the August edition of the Bulletin. If you are a member of RAS and are interested in participating in a quick video interview about your involvement in RAS at an upcoming surgical society meeting, or if you plan to attend the ACS Leadership and Advocacy Summit, please let us know via social media or email. Follow @RASACS on Twitter and Facebook for updates! If you're interested in learning more about how to get involved in RAS, please e-mail for more information. We hope to hear from you soon!

Crystal Johnson-Mann, MD

Update from the Surgical Volunteerism and Humanitarian Award Workgroup

The ACS/Pfizer Surgical Humanitarian and Volunteerism Awards recognize and celebrate ACS Fellows and members whose altruism, vision, leadership, and dedication provide models to emulate and whose contributions have made a lasting difference.  There are five award categories for which an individual can be nominated: humanitarian, domestic volunteerism, international volunteerism, military, and resident. The ACS Board of Governors Surgical Volunteerism Workgroup will evaluate nominations and decisions will be finalized in June.  Nominations are currently open and will close on February 15. To submit a nomination, log in to your ACS account and visit this section of the website. Please contact OGB with any questions at

Stephen Doane, MD

Update from the Health Policy and Advocacy Council

The Division of Advocacy and Health Policy (DAHP) reported many legislative successes during the 115th Congress. As members of the 116th Congress arrive in Washington, DC, the DAHP will convene to determine the ACS policy priorities for 2019. Continued support of the College's advocacy and political activities, as well as participation from residents, is essential for the future. Utilizing online tools and resources available at SurgeonsVoice as well as increasing our grassroots network engagement numbers via legislative calls to action will be critical to ensuring that surgical health policy priorities are heard on Capitol Hill. For more information on legislative items and much more, visit the SurgeonsVoice website. We look forward to seeing you at the Leadership and Advocacy Summit 2019!

Brett Tracy, MD

Update from the Legislative Committee

The committee has worked on multiple pieces of legislation, including the Ensuring Access to General Surgery Act, the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act Reauthorization, and the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Screening Act. In some cases, we have succeeded in including favorable language for surgeons, while in others we have managed to successfully oppose policies that would be harmful.

In working with our advocacy staff, the committee has helped to reduce burdensome regulations on surgeons, including on such hot-button issues as Meaningful Use requirements, Prior Authorization, and opioid prescribing mandates. The committee has found ways to be effective in promoting issues important to surgeons. We are prepared to work with the changing power structure and work toward priorities with the new Congress.

Mark Kashtan, MD

Update from the International Relations Committee

It has been a busy and exciting year for the ACS International Relations Committee. In addition to hosting a wide range of brilliant international scholars at Clinical Congress in Boston, the International Fellows Subcommittee of the IRC welcomed more than 600 new international members representing 74 countries into the College. Altogether, 96 countries are now represented in the membership of the ACS. The IRC is committed to increasing efforts to assist a greater number of women, as well as applicants from low and middle-income countries, to become members of the College. Additionally, plans are already underway to facilitate new opportunities for international residents to become involved in the ACS in order to promote international collaboration, mutual understanding, and capacity building for surgical care and education.

Jeremy D. Kauffman, MD

Update from the Women in Surgery Committee

The Women in Surgery Committee (WiSC) has helped to develop ACS statements on several pertinent topics including the importance of parental leave, gender salary equity, and intimate partner violence. Yeu-Tsu Margaret Lee, MD, FACS, was awarded the 2018 Dr. Mary Edwards Walker Inspiring Women in Surgery Award at the Clinical Congress in October. In the wake of the #ilooklikeasurgeon campaign and the #metoo movement, last year's Clinical Congress included a variety of events highlighting diversity and gender equity, like the Olga M. Jonasson Lecture, "A Path Toward Diversity, Inclusion, and Excellence," presented by Joan Reede, MD, MS, MPH, MBA.

Tiffany J. Sinclair, MD

Update from Other RAS Workgroups

The General Surgery Advisory Council continues to focus on several projects, including attracting new ACS members, advocacy, and educating both surgeons and patients.

Ambria Moten, MD

The Chapter Activities Domestic Workgroup held a successful chapter officer networking event at Clinical Congress 2018 and is continuing to update the online ACS Chapter Guidebook.

Christopher McNicoll, MD

Join the Association of Women Surgeons (AWS) monthly Twitter chats every third Monday of the month at 8 pm (ET). Follow #AWSchat and @womensurgeons on Twitter to learn more!

Madeline B. Torres, MD

The General Surgery Coding and Reimbursement Committee falls under the Division of Advocacy and Health Policy. The committee provides guidance on the definition of relevant CPT codes and recommends values for these CPT codes. Additionally, the GSCRC assesses payment-related policies proposed by federal agencies and reviews payor coverage and reimbursement policies.

Brett Tracy, MD