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

Did You Know . . .

As a young surgeon and a member of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), you are automatically a member of the Young Fellows Association (YFA). Our goal is to collectively represent the views and interests of the Young Fellows to ACS leadership and to provide an avenue for involvement in ACS activities that promote leadership development.

What Is the YFA?

The YFA is a subset of Fellows of the American College of Surgeons (FACS), whose members are aged 45 or younger, and who form a collective voice on issues of importance to surgeons early in practice.

Opportunities for Involvement

Standing ACS Committees
The YFA provides nominations for young Fellows to serve as liaisons and participate in standing committee activities of the ACS. These positions provide young surgeons the opportunity to engage and network throughout the College in areas that match their specific interests.

Leadership Positions in Chapters
Each chapter of the College should have a young Fellow participating at the chapter leadership level. This may not be the case in your chapter and they might be looking for someone to fill that role. Alternatively, the person in that role may be looking for other like-minded individuals to help energize others in the chapter. A complete list of chapter representatives can be found on the ACS website. Or contact Cindy Talley, YFA Domestic Chapter Liaison to the Board of Governors Workgroup, or Shaneeta Johnson, YFA International Chapter Liaison to the Board of Governors Workgroup.

Through the YFA workgroups, there are numerous opportunities to be involved with special projects. Some of these are annual projects, such as the mentoring program, while others are responses to a request for participants from another area within the ACS; for example, providing moderators for Clinical Congress, or helping to review essays for a competition or abstracts submitted for presentation at Clinical Congress.

Next Steps

Whether you are a new Fellow or an established Fellow under the age of 45, there is an opportunity to get involved with your ACS. The first step is to let us know how you would like to be involved.

It takes a little time and effort to get involved, and we encourage you to participate in a workgroup of the YFA as a start down that path. Involvement in a YFA workgroup includes participation in monthly conference calls, as well as a variable amount of work that occurs in between.

Opportunities Within YFA Workgroups

Education – Clinical Congress sessions, Speakers Bureau

Communications – Projects include YFA newsletter, social media, essay contest

Advocacy – Political, economic and practice management programs

Member Services – Helps to identify and engage Young Fellows and direct those with specific interests to the appropriate committees and workgroups

Quality – Comprises nine subgroups across the College with a focus on quality

Please indicate your interest in a YFA Workgroup by nominating yourself.

We, in turn, will do three things for you:

  • Provide interesting information about the work of and issues concerning young surgeons in the pages of this newsletter and on Twitter @YFAACS and Facebook
  • Alert you to opportunities for liaison positions within the College through an annual Call for Applications in June and whenever new opportunities become available
  • Provide you with information on workgroup conference calls for any workgroup you have indicated an interest in

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Alison Powers, MBA
YFA Administrator

Welcome to New YFA Governing Council Board Members

Ashlie Nadler, MD, MPH, FACS, FRCSCAshlie Nadler, MD, MPH, FACS, FRCSC, is an assistant professor at the University of Toronto, ON, and acute care surgeon at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto. Dr. Nadler completed her general surgery residency at the University of Toronto and then did a surgical oncology fellowship at Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA. She has a unique hybrid practice that incorporates her training and experience. Her clinical interests are in acute care surgery and emergency surgical oncology. Her research interests are in quality improvement, education, and acute care surgery.

Dr. Nadler has a lot of leadership experience on committees and is the founder and President of the new ACS Ontario Chapter. This is an amazing leadership role that she has spearheaded, but she would like to learn from other YFA members through their early leadership experiences and collaborate with them to serve the YFA community. By being a leader of a chapter at this early stage in her career, she has a lot to contribute as a YFA Governing Council member. She strongly believes in leading by example and through personal involvement. Dr. Nadler wants to make a commitment and contribution beyond her city and province to the greater ACS community.

Patricia (Patty) Nelson, MD, FACSPatricia (Patty) Nelson, MD, FACS, is an assistant professor and practicing ophthalmologist at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso. She is married to an orthopedic surgeon and the mother of three young boys. Following residency, Dr. Nelson served in the U.S. Army as an active duty ophthalmologist. During this time, she was promoted to the rank of major, served with the American Board of Ophthalmology to set exam standards, and helped initiate a partnership between the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs and Martin Army Community Hospital.

Dr. Nelson was inducted as a FACS in 2016. She has been serving the YFA on the Advisory Council for Ophthalmic Surgery since 2019. Under the Member Services Pillar, she is eager to encourage more subspecialist involvement in the ACS from an educational as well as advocacy standpoint. The ACS and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) have similar advocacy goals in scope of practice legislation—protecting our patients and ensuring that only appropriately trained surgeons perform surgery—and protecting reimbursement and fighting Medicare payment cuts. Dr. Nelson hopes to work with the YFA and local state societies to support the ACS motto of "highest standards, better outcomes" by advocating for "surgery by surgeons." She is eager to get to work and serve her fellow members.

Jessica Summers, MD, FACSJessica Summers, MD, FACS, is an assistant professor and medical director of the Clark Burn Center at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY. Her practice involves burn, trauma, surgical critical care, and emergency general surgery. She initially joined the faculty at UPMC Mercy Medical Center in Pittsburgh, PA, following fellowship. She then moved to Omaha, NE, to become the medical director of the burn unit at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Unfortunately, the burn unit was closed in 2017 and she moved to her current position in Syracuse.

Dr. Summers was inducted as a FACS in 2014 and has been involved in the YFA as the liaison to the Board of Governors Grassroots Advocacy Workgroup. She is also the YFA representative on the New York State ACS Chapter board. Jessica is excited to be a member of the YFA Governing Council. She is passionate about improving care for all surgical patients through advocacy, prevention, and health care quality and patient safety. She hopes to encourage more YFA members to become involved in advocacy efforts at the national, state, and regional levels.

William H. Ward, MD, MS, FACSWilliam H. Ward, MD, MS, FACS, is the chair, department of surgery, Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth, VA, and associate professor of surgery at the F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine, Uniformed Services University, Bethesda, MD. An active-duty naval officer, he was commissioned in 2005 and is a designated naval flight surgeon. Billy completed general surgery residency at the Naval Medical Center and a complex general surgical oncology fellowship at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, PA. He serves as a staff surgical oncologist at the Naval Medical Center Bethesda, where he is director, breast oncology service. Dr. Ward also serves as a community acute care surgeon with Sentara Surgery Specialists, Norfolk, VA, and team surgeon, Joint Medical Augmentation Unit, Fort Bragg, NC. His previous fleet assignments include service aboard USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH (CVN 77) and within Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 3.

Dr. Ward was previously an active member of the ACS Resident and Associate Society (RAS), where he served on the RAS Advocacy and Issues Committee for several years. In addition to his service as Vice-Chair and Chair of the Advocacy and Issues Committee, Dr. Ward's other RAS assignments included RAS-ACS Liaison to the Commission on Cancer, member of ACS Professional Association political action committee (ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC) Leadership Council, and RAS Representative to the ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC Board of Directors. He has similarly been an active member of the ACS Virginia Chapter, where he currently serves as a member of the chapter's governing council. Dr. Ward has been a member of the ACS YFA since 2018 and is hopeful that his previous RAS experience, as well as his current roles as both a faculty-based surgical subspecialist and community-based acute care surgeon will allow him to serve as an effective representative of YFA membership within the YFA Governing Council.

We thank our outgoing board members Drs. Shubhada Dhage, Paula Ferrada, Ashley Vergis, and Robert Winfield for their many contributions.