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

NewsScope: November 2, 2018

Ronald V. Maier, MD, FACS, FRCSEd(Hon), FCSHK(Hon), Installed as 2018–2019 ACS President

Dr. MaierRonald. V. Maier, MD, FACS, FRCSEd(Hon), FCSHK(Hon), the Jane and Donald D. Trunkey Endowed Chair in Trauma Surgery; vice-chairman, department of surgery; and professor of surgery, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, was installed as the 99th President of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) during Convocation, October 21, at Clinical Congress 2018 in Boston, MA. Dr. Maier is highly esteemed for his contributions to trauma surgery, surgical research, and surgical education. In addition to his positions at the University of Washington, he is director, Northwest Regional Trauma Center; and surgeon-in-chief and co-director, surgical intensive care unit (SICU), Harborview Medical Center, Seattle. He also is associate medical staff, University of Washington Medical Center and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. A Fellow of the College since 1984, Dr. Maier served as First Vice-President of the ACS (2015−2016) and has played an active role on several key committees, most notably the Committee on Trauma.

The 2018–2019 Vice-Presidents of the ACS also were installed at Convocation. The First Vice-President is Mark C. Weissler, MD, FACS, an otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon and the Joseph P. Riddle Distinguished Professor, department of otolaryngology–head and neck surgery; chief, division of head and neck surgery, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill; and Past-Chair of the ACS Board of Regents.

The Second Vice-President is Phillip R. Caropreso, MD, FACS, a general surgeon from Keokuk, IA. A committed rural surgeon, Dr. Caropreso has practiced in Mason City, IA; Keokuk, IA; and Carthage, IL. Academic positions have included serving on the teaching faculty, family practice residency, North Iowa Medical Center, Mason City; adjunct clinical professor of surgery, University of Iowa, Iowa City; and director, general surgery rotation, North Iowa Medical Center.

Read more about Drs. Maier, Weissler, and Caropreso in the November issue of the Bulletin.

New Regents, B/G Executive Committee Members Elected

The Board of Governors (B/G) of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) elected two new members of the Board of Regents at the October 24 Annual Business Meeting of the Members.

Lena M. Napolitano, MD, FACS, FCCP, FCCM, is the Massey Foundation Professor of Surgery; founding division chief, acute care surgery; and director, surgical critical care, department of surgery, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor. A Fellow of the ACS since 1995, Dr. Napolitano has been a tireless volunteer for the College and has served in several important leadership roles within the organization, including as Chair of the B/G.

Kenneth W. Sharp, MD, FACS, is professor of surgery and vice-chair, department of surgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, and is a highly regarded surgical educator and mentor. He became an ACS Fellow in 1987 and has subsequently served in many roles for the ACS, starting as the Young Surgeon Representative for the Tennessee Chapter in 1989 and rising to serve on the ACS B/G.

The B/G has elected Steven C. Stain, MD, FACS, Henry and Sally Schaffer Chair, department of surgery, Albany Medical Center, NY, to serve as its Chair; he previously was Vice-Chair. The newly elected Vice-Chair is Daniel L. Dent, MD, FACS, Distinguished Teaching Professor, general surgery residency program director, and professor of surgery, University of Texas Health School of Medicine, San Antonio; he previously was Secretary. The new Secretary is Ronald J. Weigel, MD, PhD, FACS, professor and chair of surgery, associate vice-president for UI Health Alliance, professor of surgery-surgical oncology and endocrine surgery, professor of biochemistry, professor of anatomy and cell biology, and professor of molecular physiology and biophysics, University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Other newly elected members of the B/G Executive Committee include Andre R. Campbell, MD, FACS, FACP, FCCM, professor of surgery, division of general surgery, director, surgery clerkship, and director, surgical critical care fellowship, University of California-San Francisco; Taylor Sohn Riall, MD, PhD, FACS, professor and chief, division of general surgery and surgical oncology, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson; and Mika N. Sinanan, MD, PhD, FACS, a general surgeon, UW Medical Center and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and professor of general surgery and an adjunct professor of electrical engineering, University of Washington, Seattle.

Read more about the newly elected Regents, reelected Regents, and members of the B/G Executive Committee on the ACS Clinical Congress News website.

Valerie W. Rusch, MD, FACS, Is 2018–2019 ACS President-Elect

Valerie W. Rusch, MD, FACSValerie W. Rusch, MD, FACS, an esteemed thoracic surgeon who practices in New York, NY, was elected to serve as the 2018−2019 President-Elect of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) at the October 24 Annual Business Meeting of Members. Dr. Rusch is vice-chair, clinical research, department of surgery; Miner Family Chair in Intrathoracic Cancers; attending surgeon, thoracic service, department of surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; and professor of surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College. An ACS Fellow since 1986 and this year’s recipient of the ACS Distinguished Service Award (DSA), Dr. Rusch has led several prominent ACS bodies, including serving as Chair of the Board of Governors (2006−2008), Board of Regents (2015−2016), and several other ACS committees.

The First and Second Vice-Presidents-Elect also were elected at the meeting. The First Vice-President-Elect is John A. Weigelt, MD, DVM, FACS, who recently retired as the Milt & Lidy Lunda/Charles Aprahamian Professor of Trauma Surgery; professor and chief, division of trauma and critical care; and associate dean for quality, Medical College of Wisconsin; and a general surgeon and medical director of quality at Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital, Milwaukee. Dr. Weigelt is a trauma, critical care, and acute care surgeon. Dr. Weigelt is now joining the faculty of Sanford Health System and the University of South Dakota, Sioux Falls, where he will be involved in the education programs for surgical residents and students. A Fellow since 1982 and the recipient of the 2015 DSA, Dr. Weigelt has been a leader of ACS Trauma Programs and is Medical Director, Surgical Education and Self-Assessment Program®.

The Second Vice-President-Elect is F. Dean Griffen, MD, FACS. Dr. Griffen is Albert Sklar Professor of Surgery at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) Shreveport. Having served LSUHSC-Shreveport in several different capacities over the last 11 years (including acting chair of the department of surgery), he now practices general surgery at Ochsner LSU Health as clinical professor. For 35 years, Dr. Griffen was in private practice at the Highland Clinic, Shreveport, where he and his partners developed and introduced the double-stapling technique for low rectal reconstruction. A Fellow of the College since 1975 and the 2009 recipient of the DSA, Dr. Griffen has served the organization in a number of capacities.

To read more about the President and Vice-Presidents-Elect, go to the ACS Clinical Congress News website.

Opioid Package Signed Into Law

The President signed the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act (H.R. 6) October 24. Prior to the President’s signature, this legislation passed with broad bipartisan support in the House by a vote of 393-8 and in the Senate by a vote of 98-1.

The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act includes provisions that focus on treatment and prevention for opioid abuse and misuse, safe disposal of opioids, electronic prescribing for controlled substances under Medicare Part D, and enhancement and development of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs. The law also calls for studying the effects of state and federal legislation that limits the prescription of opioids, creating standards for electronic prior authorization in Medicare Part D, and addressing the flow of illegal opioids into the U.S. Also significant is what the law does not contain—federal mandates on physicians.

This legislation incorporates language from more than 100 opioid-related legislative proposals and is the result of dozens of congressional hearings and markups. During the legislative process, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) actively advocated for a patient and provider education-focused approach to address the opioid epidemic and for averting one-size-fits-all legislative mandates on prescribers. The ACS’ advocacy efforts included responding to congressional requests for information, submitting letters to key congressional committees, and including opioid talking points in meetings with the offices of members of Congress during the 2018 Leadership & Advocacy Summit.

For more information about ACS opioid policy, contact Justin Rosen, ACS Congressional Lobbyist, at or 202-672-1528.

ACS SSR MIPS 2018 Participation Options AvailableSurgeon Specific Registry

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Surgeon Specific Registry (SSR) offers the option to participate in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for the 2018 performance year. Submitting MIPS 2018 data to CMS will allow you to potentially avoid a negative payment adjustment or earn a positive payment adjustment in calendar year 2020. The SSR is supporting the Quality and Improvement Activities (IAs) performance categories of MIPS 2018, and CMS considers MIPS data submitted through the SSR to be individual and registry-based reporting. Visit the ACS SSR website for more information about MIPS 2018 participation, including requirements, specifications, and instructional resources.

MIPS 2018 Quality Measures reporting includes options for general surgeonstrauma surgeons (at present, only available to surgeons from participating Trauma Quality Improvement Program sites), and a variety of other surgical specialties. In addition, a new electronic Patient Reported Outcomes (ePRO) measure is based on the S-CAHPS (Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Surgical Care Survey) survey. Surgeons also have 86 surgically relevant IAs to choose from for attestation.

The SSR program will be hosting several webinars regarding MIPS 2018 participation via the SSR. Visit the ACS SSR website for details about upcoming webinars.

The deadline to submit your MIPS 2018 data through the SSR is January 31, 2019.

For any SSR programmatic questions, including MIPS participation, contact the ACS SSR Program at For SSR technical questions or issues (such as a password reset), contact Technical Support at or 877-600-7237 (toll-free).

Election Period Now Open for MIPS 2019 Performance Year Virtual Groups

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently opened the virtual group election period for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) 2019 performance year. Surgeons interested in forming or participating in a virtual group in the 2019 performance year must follow an election process and submit their elections to CMS via e-mail by December 31.

A virtual group is defined as a combination of two or more Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TINs), referring to one or more solo practitioners or one or more groups consisting of 10 or fewer clinicians. Virtual groups are not limited by location, specialty, or number of participants; however, clinicians who choose to participate in a virtual group are required to report their MIPS performance data within their selected group for the entirety of the MIPS performance year.

More information about 2019 virtual groups can be found in the 2019 Virtual Groups Toolkit. All additional questions should be directed to

ACS Publishes New Resource for Employed Surgeons

Resources for the Practicing Surgeon: The Employed Surgeon, Volume 1The American College of Surgeons (ACS) recently published ACS Resources for the Practicing Surgeon, Volume I: The Employed Surgeon in response to requests from Fellows for more help in navigating institutional employment, understanding compensation, negotiating contracts, and addressing other related issues. The booklet provides detailed information about various employment types and environments, an overview of the contractual parameters of a surgeon’s medical practice, a description of the mechanisms used to determine how surgeons are paid by their employers, and tips for evaluating and finalizing the terms of an employment agreement. This publication is the first in a series of resources the ACS is working to produce for practicing surgeons. For more information, contact Lauren Foe at

2018 SurgeonsVoice Advocate of the Year RecognizedDr. Goldberg, Chair, ACS Health Policy Advisory Council (left), with Dr. Thorson, 2018 SurgeonsVoice Advocate of the Year

At Clinical Congress 2018, the inaugural SurgeonsVoice Advocate of the Year award was presented to Alan G. Thorson, MD, FACS, a colon and rectal surgeon in Omaha, NE, for his commitment to the American College of Surgeons (ACS) advocacy and political efforts, particularly through his involvement with the Commission on Cancer. Dr. Thorson will also be featured in the Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons.

Established to recognize strong surgeon advocates performing “A Cut above the Rest,” the ACS Division of Advocacy and Health Policy’s Advocate of the Year recognition program tracks how engaged surgeon advocates use tools and take action via SurgeonsVoice, work to establish and maintain relationships with legislators, and help advance health policy priorities.

Based on eligibility criteria established by the Health Policy Advisory Council, the following runners up also were recognized for outstanding participation: Amanda Arrington, MD, FACS, general surgeon, Tucson, AZ; Annabel Barber, MD, FACS, general surgeon, Las Vegas, NV; Amalia Cochran, MD, FACS, general surgeon, Columbus, OH; Charles Coren, MD, FACS, pediatric surgeon, Westbury, NY; Mark Dobbertien, MD, FACS, general surgeon, Orange Park, FL; Ross F. Goldberg, MD, FACS, general surgeon, Scottsdale, AZ; Marion Henry, MD, FACS, pediatric surgeon, Tucson; Mark Kashtan, MD, general surgery resident, Boston, MA; Amy Liepert, MD, FACS, general surgeon, Madison, WI; Joshua Mammen, MD, PhD, FACS, general surgeon, Kansas City, KS; Katherine McHugh, MD, FACS, obstetrician-gynecologist, Indianapolis, IN; Subhasis Misra, MD, FACS, general surgeon, Brandon, FL; Alisha Reiss, MD, FACS, Greenville, OH; and Brett Tracy, MD, general surgery resident, Atlanta, GA.

For more information about eligibility and 2019 recognition opportunities, visit