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


On behalf of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), it is my pleasure to invite you to the 2019 ACS Quality and Safety Conference (QSC) taking place this year in our nation’s capital, Washington, DC! The ACS QSC is the premier forum to learn about cutting-edge initiatives and topics in quality and safety in surgery specifically designed for everyone who cares for the surgical patient. There are also many opportunities to network with other health care professionals who are working on improvement at their local institutions, regionally, nationally, and even internationally!

The ACS was founded in 1913 with a mission to improve the care of surgical patients and to safeguard standards of care in an optimal and ethical practice environment. This mission ties in perfectly with the theme of this year’s conference: “Putting Our Patients First.” This conference is specifically designed for anyone who strives to improve surgical quality and safety, with the overarching goal of inspiring everyone to continually aim for optimal care and outcomes—for each and every patient.

Clifford Y. KoSessions at this year’s conference will include content from the many established ACS Quality Programs—Cancer Programs, Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSQIP), ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) and Children’s Surgery Verification—as well as additional tracks and sessions for those interested in quality improvement (QI) principles and tools. The Geriatrics Surgery Verification program will be unveiled for the first time at the 2019 conference. A host of wide-ranging list of important and emerging topics will include:

  • Value improvement
  • Bundled care
  • Global health
  • Change management
  • Leadership principles
  • Team dynamics
  • Strong for Surgery
  • Enhanced recovery
  • Emergency general surgery
  • Transplantation

This year’s keynote speaker is Rana L. Awdish, MD, an intensive care physician at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI. Dr. Awdish will share her amazing journey from death to recovery as well as the passion she has for improving the patient experience, including her lessons learned from being both a physician and a patient. She will share how her experience as a patient shaped her approach as a provider.

We will have three evening receptions this year. On Friday night, there will be a series of Quality Program Socials where attendees will have the opportunity to socialize, network, and learn from colleagues in the many established ACS Quality Programs. On Saturday evening, we will host the ACS QSC Welcome Reception at the Washington Nationals Ballpark. Please come dressed casually in sporting gear from your favorite sports team as we enjoy the ballpark atmosphere and network over hors d'oeuvres and libations. The Abstract Poster Reception and Networking Event on Sunday evening will feature hundreds of scientific posters and the abstract presenters on their valuable research and QI projects.

Sharing your experiences and expertise, and most importantly, your efforts in putting your patients first is what makes the ACS QSC the most exciting part of the year.  We come together annually to strive for our shared goal of continuously improving quality, safety, and value in surgery. We hope you will continue to find the conference rewarding, enjoyable, educational, and inspiring! 

We look forward to seeing you in Washington, DC.

Clifford Y. Ko, MD, MS, MSHS, FACS
Director, ACS Division of Research and Optimal Patient Care