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

Message from the Chair of the Board of Governors

Dear Governors and Fellows,

A lot has happened since the last edition of our last newsletter.

The Board of Governors (B/G) Executive Committee (EC) met on June 2 in Chicago, IL, for a full-day retreat. Several topics were discussed, including the mission, function, and productivity of the different workgroups; Governors’ expectations and accountability; Chapter activity, issues, management, and viability; and Board of Governors’ criteria for representation and overall membership. The Executive Committee also started to plan the Board of Governors Annual Meeting agenda at the Clinical Congress and the combined Board of Governors and Board of Regents session. Finally, the B/G EC vetted and approved requests for Governor representation from the following three societies: The Society of Black American Surgeons (SBAS), the International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery (ISMICS), and the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons (ASMS). Congratulations to all of these societies!

The Board of Regents met June 3–4 in Chicago, IL. Drs. Diana Farmer and Steven Stain, Vice-Chair and Secretary of the B/G EC, respectively, and I were in attendance as officers of the College. Dr. Stain participated in the meeting of the Finance Committee and verified the College’s sound financial standing. I was pleased to give a report for all Governors and workgroups. There is no question that the Regents have realized by now how productive the B/G workgroups have been since the B/G was restructured a few years ago. Congratulations to all!

An example of such productivity is apparent in the B/G Pillar and Workgroup Update Summary that was published in the August edition of the Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons. If you have not had a chance to read it, I encourage you to do so. In the meantime, let me summarize a handful of projects that have come to fruition:

  • The Coalition Workgroup of the Advocacy and Health Policy Pillar contributed to the final ACS statement on concurrent surgery, which was added to the ACS Statements on Principles.
  • The Surgical Training Workgroup of the Education Pillar has created four education modules to assist educators with faculty and resident development. The specific modules are (1) Teaching Millennials, (2) Giving Constructive Feedback, (3) Intraoperative Teaching, and (4) Clinical Teaching: The Teachable Moment. The modules are available on the ACS website.
  • The Survey Workgroup of the Communication Pillar has finalized and distributed the 2016 B/G survey. A quick highlight of this year’s survey topics include chapter issues/concerns, acute care general surgery, gun violence, and ACS-related advocacy efforts. New this year is a separate survey for international Governors, which will help us identify the different issues facing surgeons outside the U.S. and Canada in an effort to gather additional valuable information. I hope all of you have returned the survey. The results will be shared by Dr. Mark Puls, Chair of the Survey Workgroup, at the Board of Governors Annual Meeting in October.
  • The Chapter Activities Domestic Workgroup of the Member Services Pillar started two initiatives: the Resident and Associate Society of the ACS (RAS-ACS) Representative Initiative and the Chapter Dashboard Initiative. The goal of the former is to have a RAS-ACS representative on every domestic chapter council to facilitate the development of ideas for programs, projects, and activities that are attractive to residents and surgeons who have recently entered practice. The goal of the latter is to design a visual representation of the health of the chapter. The dashboard will include such indicators of chapter viability as finances, membership, advocacy, and website.
  • The Surgeon Workforce Subcommittee of the Quality, Research, and Optimal Patient Care Pillar has developed a document with a checklist for new surgeons to guide them in the transition to practice. This document, “Onboarding for Surgeons,” was published in the July issue of the Bulletin and is posted as a resource on the B/G and Young Fellows Association (YFA) pages on the ACS website. The Best Practices Workgroup has completed guidelines on Post-op Ileus (which will be published in a pamphlet format) and is now in the process of updating the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) surgical site infection (SSI) prevention guideline and developing guidelines on management of postoperative fever.

The Executive Committee has recently created a performance feedback card with a list of events and activities in which every Governor should participate during the year. The card was distributed to Governors with the request for comments and feedback. The Executive Committee is planning to distribute this card each year to help Governors focus on their requirements and expectations.

You should have recently received a letter from Dr. LaSalle Leffall on behalf of the ACS Foundation, asking for your support of a matching gift challenge. All Foundation donations received through the end of Clinical Congress will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $50,000. I have made my own gift of $1,000 (now doubled!) and encourage you to join me in giving to this unique opportunity. I hope that we can show a strong and unified participation in this matching gift challenge, motivating Fellows attending Clinical Congress 2016 to join us in support of the ACS Foundation. If you haven’t yet made your challenge gift, please consider contributing today or call the ACS Foundation office at 312-202-5338. You may also give during Clinical Congress at the Donor Hospitality Center, which will be in the Grand Lobby of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Thanks for your consideration!

Speaking of Clinical Congress, I hope you have already made plans to attend in October. The workgroups will meet on Saturday, October 15. The yearly B/G Business Meeting and the Joint Session with the Board of Regents will take place on Sunday, October 16. Every effort will be made to carve out time for open discussion from the floor during the morning and at lunch after the Presidential remarks. The Tuesday night dinner promises to be a great occasion to share in the recognition of the 2016 Surgical Volunteerism and Humanitarian Awards, and it will offer the opportunity to renew our camaraderie and friendship. On Wednesday morning, we will conclude our official business with the Adjourned Meeting.

See you in Washington, DC!