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

Message from the Chair of the Board of Governors

Dear Governors,

This is the first edition of our newsletter since the outstanding Clinical Congress 2016 held recently in Washington, DC.

It has indeed been a tumultuous time in Washington!

I have fielded many questions about the role of the ACS in issues of importance to its members. In my role as Chair of the B/G, I want to say that I am happy to hear any concerns and am willing and ready to represent you in taking these issues forward. It is important to remember, particularly after a contentious Presidential election, that the College is a nonpartisan organization. Regardless of who is in the White House, we remain true to our mission, which is to improve surgical care for all of our patients. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any concerns or if you have thoughts on navigating your role as a Governor or navigating our role in health care delivery systems.

The Board of Governors is the voice of our membership. We need YOU more than ever to listen, to communicate, and to participate!

As we begin a new cycle, following our recent Clinical Congress, I want to begin by thanking Dr. Fabrizio Michelassi for his outstanding leadership of the Board of Governors for the past two years and to congratulate him on his election to the Board of Regents. We look forward to his continued service and know that he will represent the interests of the membership superbly.

James Fleshman, MD, FACS, also has retired from the Board of Governors. We are indebted to him for his contributions and active engagement. The vacated posts on the Executive Committee have been filled by Nicole Gibran, MD, FACS, and S. Rob Todd, MD, FACS. They join Susan Mosier, MD, FACS; Steven Stain, MD, FACS; Francis Ferdinand, MD, FACS; Daniel Dent, MD, FACS; and me. Dr. Steven Stain was elected to the Vice-Chair position and will become the new Quality Pillar Lead. Dr. Susan Mosier is the new Secretary of the Board of Governors and is Chair of the Committee to Study the Fiscal Affairs of the College. Dr. Dent continues as the Education Pillar Lead, and Dr. Ferdinand continues as the Member Services Pillar Lead. Dr. Todd assumes leadership of the Communications Pillar, and Dr. Gibran assumes leadership of the Advocacy and Health Policy Pillar.

Also, please join me in congratulating the 45 new Governors (37 domestic and eight international) elected at the Clinical Congress business meeting of the Fellows. They represent 26 chapters and 16 surgical societies.

The process of orienting our new Governors has already begun. New Governors are being introduced to the activities and priorities of the various workgroups. Assignments will be complete by the first of January after new Governors have had an opportunity to express their preferences. We have scheduled two webinars for new Governors to go over the details of our organizational structure, composition, yearly schedule, and responsibilities.

While I am on the topic of new Governors, most of you know that an audit was undertaken last year to evaluate the allocation of Governors and address any imbalances that have occurred since the last audit. New organizations are formed, membership patterns change, and it has been several years since this process was undertaken. As a result, some new guidelines were suggested and approved to help clarify the conditions for an organization or chapter to gain (or lose) governor representation.

First of all, NO current governor will lose his or her position mid-term. Our goal is to help grow chapters and increase specialty society market share to achieve the appropriate representation.

The new guidelines are as follows:

  • For specialty societies: Societies must have 300 members who are also active ACS Fellows.
  • For chapters: The first 500 active Fellows generate one Governor and one additional Governor for every 500 after that (for example, 501 Fellows = two governors; 1,001 Fellows = three Governors).

Your chapter and organizational leadership will be getting specific information about your representation in January 2017.

Communication is one of the key roles of the Board of Governors, and one of the most powerful tools at our disposal to elicit the concerns of our Fellows is the yearly Governors Survey. The survey has been conducted on an annual basis for more than 20 years. The main goal of the survey is to serve as a communication tool between Chapter and Specialty Society Governors and the ACS leadership. Participation in the survey is a responsibility of each Governor, and this year we had a record participation rate, which should be 100 percent. The survey has continued to identify Graduate Medical Education (GME) and Continuing Medical Education (CME) as the two top concerns, higher than reimbursement and medical malpractice. The results of the survey were reported at our business meeting in October, and the entire survey has been uploaded to the library of the Board of Governors Community. I strongly encourage you to look at the survey, as it contains a wealth of information.

The Executive Committee is planning to assist Governors with their responsibility to report back to their chapter or specialty society through summary documents and PowerPoint materials highlighting the most relevant achievements of the preceding 12 months. We also recommend frequent posting in the Board of Governors Community to inform the Governors of ACS activities. Your input on the ways to facilitate communication back to your chapters and specialty societies would be greatly appreciated. The pillars are also planning new projects.

Finally, start making arrangements to attend the Leadership and Advocacy Summit in Washington, DC, May 6–9, 2017. Attendance and participation in the Leadership component of the Summit is a requirement for domestic (but not Canadian and international) Governors. As in the past, the registration fee is waived for Governors, a token of appreciation for the commitment of time and resources that each one of us makes to attend. The Leadership component will take place over the first two days of the Summit, and the Advocacy portion will be held during the last two days. Our presence at both components is extremely important. The Summit is an opportunity to inform the leadership of the College about the pressing issues faced by all of us, helping craft a strategy and bringing our voices to Capitol Hill in support of the surgical care of our patients.

Happy holidays, and have a happy, healthy, and fulfilling New Year.