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ACS Professional Association Update: Clinical Congress 2019American College of Surgeons Professional Association

Members of the American College of Surgeons Professional Association (ACSPA) have access to several advocacy and political resources. SurgeonsVoice offers members opportunities to become educated about federal legislative priorities, to contact members of Congress about these important issues, and more. The ACSPA Political Action Committee, SurgeonsPAC, continues to help build and maintain relationships with congressional advocates for surgery.

During Clinical Congress 2019, attendees visited the new ACSPA information booth to learn about ongoing improvements to SurgeonsVoice online recent fundraising and disbursement activities. SurgeonsPAC raised more than $50,000 from ACSPA members and meeting attendees. In addition to raising funds to support important congressional advocates, Clinical Congress provided an opportunity to recognize 2019 contributors at various events. A special thank you to the following ACS committees and councils for raising the PAC’s profile at the meeting: Officers and Board of Regents, Board of Governors, Committee on Trauma, Advisory Councils, Resident and Associate Society, Young Fellows Association, ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC Board of Directors, and the Health Policy Advisory Council.

To learn more about ongoing SurgeonsVoice and SurgeonsPAC activities available to all surgeon advocates, contact Katie Oehmen, Manager, ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC and Grassroots, or Austin O’Boyle, Grassroots and PAC Coordinator, at or

Contributions to ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. Contributions are voluntary, and all members of ACSPA have the right to refuse to contribute without reprisal. Federal law prohibits ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC from accepting contributions from foreign nations. By law, if your contributions are made using a personal check or credit card, ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC may only use your contribution to support candidates in federal elections. All corporate contributions to ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC will be used for educational and administrative fees of ACSPA and other activities permissible under federal law. Federal law requires ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC to use its best efforts to collect and report the name, mailing address, occupation, and the name of the employer of individuals whose contributions exceed $200 in a calendar year. ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC is a program of the ACSPA, which is exempt from federal income tax under section 501c (6) of the Internal Revenue Code. 

2019 SurgeonsVoice Advocate of the Year

The SurgeonsVoice Advocate of the Year recognition program, developed in 2018, recognizes top surgeon advocates who work to advance important health policy priorities, establish and maintain relationships with legislators, and participate in other advocacy-related activities.

The 2019 SurgeonsVoice Advocate of the Year, Sherry Cavanagh, MD, FACS, a vascular surgeon in Grand Blanc, MI, contacted ACS Division of Advocacy and Health Policy (DAHP) staff in October 2018 to learn more about joining the Health Policy Advisory Council (HPAC) and expressed interest in becoming more involved. Dr. Cavanagh indicated that she was “actively working to establish relationships with elected officials, educate local legislators about various ACS advocacy priorities that affect the physician-patient relationship, and take action on federal legislative issues via SurgeonsVoice online.” Dr. Cavanagh attended her first ACS Leadership and Advocacy Summit in 2019 and was recognized for her commitment to advocacy at the Annual Business Meeting of the Members at Clinical Congress 2019.

For more information about this program, including eligibility criteria, visit the Advocate of the Year web page or contact DAHP staff at

Read the November Bulletin: Providing Palliative Care to Patients

The November issue of the Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons is available online. This month’s cover story issues a call to action for surgeons to engage in shared decision making with critically ill patients about all of their treatment options, including palliative care.

Other highlights in this issue include the following features, columns, and news stories.




The Bulletin is available in a variety of digital formats to satisfy every reader’s preference, including an interactive version and a smartphone app. Go to the Bulletin website to connect to any of these versions or to read the articles directly online.

Online Bulletin readers are encouraged to share their thoughts about the articles that they read. To leave a comment, scroll to the end of the article, and look for the “Leave a Reply” box. Commenters must enter their name and a valid e-mail address.

Visit to Read All of the Biggest News from Clinical Congress 2019

If you were unable to attend Clinical Congress 2019 in San Francisco, CA, or want to catch up on any big events you might have missed while attending, head to to read all of articles that were featured in Clinical Congress News during the conference. You’ll find articles on dozens of topics, including the Presidential Address from newly installed ACS President Valerie W. Rusch, MD, FACS; a Panel Session on reducing gender inequality in surgery; a Special Session on the Academy of Master Surgeon Educators, and much more. 

Visit the Clinical Congress News website to read these and all other articles from Clinical Congress 2019.