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

Message from the Communications Committee

Amalia StefanouThe American College of Surgeons (ACS) Leadership & Advocacy Summit will be held March 28–31 in Washington, DC. If you are interested in either leadership or advocacy this is a great meeting to attend. My first experience at the Summit opened my eyes to how surgeons are really leaders everywhere we go. It is important to learn the qualities of good leadership, because we are called on to lead in many situations—while caring for patients, during complex situations in the operating room or in a clinic, as well as by serving on committees and in other more formal leadership situations.

The advocacy portion of the meeting is a way to learn about important legislative issues. You'll also have the chance to meet with other surgeons and travel around the Capitol to advocate for our patients and each other. Again, whether we want it or not, we must be advocates for our patients in health care in our country.

Dr. Eileen Bulger will be joining us for our annual Young Fellows Association (YFA) breakfast, and Dr. Barbara Bass will be speaking during the leadership part of the meeting at an invitation from the YFA.

This meeting is inspiring and educational. We all can make a difference. Please join us!

Amalia Stefanou, MD, FACS
Chair, YFA Communications Committee

Introducing Our New YFA Governing Council Members

Dr. Claudia Emami

Dr. Claudia EmamiI am an Iranian American woman who immigrated to the United States at the age of 18 without my family. I am the first physician in my family, and therefore had no mentorship when I decided to attend medical school. My decision to become a doctor and then follow a career in pediatric surgery was solely shaped by my personal experiences and choices. I funded my training through work and financial aid, as did many others like myself. I spent more than 11 years in training after medical school, three years of which was spent doing basic science research at a large children's hospital. I also obtained a degree in health care management (MPH) while on sabbatical for research and taught a master's course through my medical school.

During this journey of becoming a pediatric surgeon, I have lived in two different countries (Canada and the United States) and two separate states (California and Nevada). I started in an academic environment and ended up in a small private practice with one senior partner. My decision to move to private practice after having spent years in academics was a life-altering decision, which was informed by my desire to spend more time with family. I am a mother to a super-active three-year-old girl, and being in private practice gave me the freedom to be available to both my patients and my family on my terms. As a part of my practice, I cover large community hospitals and train surgery residents at two of them. As such, I have been able to continue my involvement in resident and student education.

I am an active participant in my primary hospitals' QI and credentialing committees. I also work with the malpractice insurance career for our practice, which is a physician-run company and has a committee leadership structure made up of physician members. I have remained active in the national surgical organizations such as the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and American Pediatric Surgery Association (APSA). I focus my work on representing diversity in practice as well as advocacy and women surgeons' issues. My involvement is informed by my strong hope and belief that our national organizations should represent the voices of community surgeons. As a part of community practice, we have a different perspective when it comes to issues related to practice management, reimbursement, and malpractice, as well as hospital administration. I also believe passionately about surgeon advocacy, and my continued engagement with these organizations provides the opportunity for collective and effective advocacy.

Dr. Becky Hoffman

Dr. Becky HoffmanRebecca (Becky) Hoffman is currently a colon and rectal surgeon at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA. She was actually born in that medical center and grew up not far from there. She went away to the big city of Philadelphia for college (Haverford College) and spent the next 13 years in Philadelphia. She attended medical school at the University of Pennsylvania (now the Perelman School of Medicine) and did her residency in general surgery there as well. During her three (yes, three) years of research, she earned a master of clinical epidemiology, a certificate in medical education, and a certificate in healthcare leadership in quality. She has published more than 20 peer-reviewed articles and authored several book chapters. Her clinical interests are varied. Mostly, she just really likes taking care of patients of all types. Some of her research interests in colorectal surgery are in care coordination for cancer patients, cancer genetics, and diverticulitis. Her real love, however, is surgical education. She loves working with and teaching residents and medical students and helping them to succeed. Her educational research interests revolve around understanding trainees' intrinsic motivation for learning and utilizing this to its maximal benefit.

Becky became involved with the American College of Surgeons as a second-year resident in order to satiate her desire to become more involved in education. She joined the Resident and Associate Society of the American College of Surgeons (RAS-ACS) Education Committee and helped to create a version of Surgical Jeopardy that is used in many ACS Chapters. She ultimately became Chair of the committee, and then joined the RAS-ACS Executive Committee. She was the 2018–2019 RAS-ACS Chair. During that time, she helped to establish the RAS-ACS Mentorship Award, develop the Associates Committee, and started a program of support for RAS representatives on local ACS Chapter Councils, among other things. Now that she is the ex-officio RAS-ACS Chair, she serves as the RAS Liaison to the YFA Executive Council. 

Last, but certainly not least, she is a wife to Jeremy and a mommy to Noah (almost five years old) and Lily (two). She loves to be silly with them and enjoys doing almost anything outside (except when it's too cold) and exercising. She and her family are, obviously, all Philadelphia sports fans (Phillies and E-A-G-L-E-S, Eagles!).

Dr. Jason Wilson

Dr. Jason Wilson and familyJason Wilson is a surgical oncologist specializing in breast and melanoma with BayCare Medical Group in Clearwater, FL. He attended medical school and a general surgery residency at the University of Florida in Gainesville before completing his surgical oncology fellowship at Roswell Park in Buffalo, NY. At BayCare, he serves as the cancer committee's Cancer Liaison Physician and is a member of the Physician Advisory Council, which provides input to the board of directors. 

After completing his fellowship, Dr. Wilson went on to get an MBA at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Since then, he has served the last three years as the YFA's liaison to the General Surgery Coding and Reimbursement Committee. He is the current communications chair for the ACS Florida Chapter. He has learned about both state and national advocacy over the last year.

Dr. Wilson has been married to his wife, Mary Beth, for almost nine years, and they have two boys, Bradley (5) and Hugh, who was born this year after Clinical Congress.

He is looking forward to working on the YFA Governing Council for the next three years.

Dr. Shaneeta Johnson

Dr. Shaneeta JohnsonDr. Shaneeta Johnson, a native of Nassau, Bahamas, is an associate professor of surgery; director of minimally invasive, robotic, and bariatric surgery; and associate program director, general surgery residency program, at Morehouse School of Medicine and Grady Hospital in Atlanta, GA. She is an experienced surgeon, clinician, educator, and researcher. She is also a philanthropist and a civic and community leader.

Dr. Johnson received her bachelor of arts in neuroscience from Johns Hopkins University and her medical degree from the Loma Linda University School of Medicine. She completed her surgical training at Howard University Hospital and a bariatric surgery fellowship at Cleveland Clinic. She is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons, and the International College of Surgeons. She is board certified in both general surgery and obesity medicine. She has been appointed to leadership positions within several state and national organizations and committees.

Dr. Johnson is an expert in robotic minimally invasive surgery and bariatric surgery. She is a sought-after speaker whose expertise has afforded her invitations to speak both nationally and internationally, including the Congressional Black Caucus, the Georgia House of Representatives, and many international venues. She is a recipient of the Atlanta Business Chronicle 40 under 40 award and the 2019 Outstanding Atlanta award. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family, traveling, running, and scuba diving.