June 2022 Board of Regents Top 10
By Oscar D. Guillamondegui, MD, MPH, FACS As Secretary of the Board of Governors (BoG), along with Chair Danielle Walsh and Vice Chair Ross Goldberg, I was privileged to attend the BoR meetings on June 10-11, 2022. Below is a summary of the Top 10 items discussed during the meeting. We encourage you to share this report with your Chapter or Society. JUNE 2022 BOARD OF REGENTS MEETING TOP 10 LIST 1) The 2022 Quality & Safety Conference was held July 15-18 in Chicago. Highlights included sessions on Improving Surgical Outcomes for Older Adults, Leadership Pearls, Quality Care is Equitable Care, and Why Is Standardization So Difficult? During the Conference the College announced the first 25 ACS Quality Verification Program (QVP) hospitals that have met the standards defined in the Optimal Resources for Surgical Quality and Safety 2021 ACS QVP Standards. 100-year anniversary celebrations also continued for the ACS Committee on Trauma and ACS Commission on Cancer. 2) 2023 Proposed Medicare Payment Cuts: Discussions at the BoR meeting focused on the anticipated release of the proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for calendar year 2023 (CY2023), which was subsequently released in July by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS is proposing to cut the Medicare conversion factor—the basic starting point for calculating Medicare payments—by 4.42% for CY2023. The ACS continues to advocate for real solutions that can better incorporate value measures into payment structures that will both lead to better care and improved payments for surgeons and will provide CMS with extensive comments. U.S. Governors and constituents are encouraged to use SurgeonsVoice and/or contact the ACS Advocacy team to help facilitate a meeting with respective legislators regarding the impending cuts. 3) The Board of Regents approved the formation of the Bahrain Chapter. ACS has more than 100 Chapters around the world to provides several engagement opportunities such as networking with surgical peers; participating in advocacy activities at the state and federal levels that impact the practicing surgeon and patients; convenient educational meetings and local CME; leadership opportunities within the chapter council that can translate to future leadership roles within the ACS; a forum to engage and mentor young surgeons, trainees, and medical students; and volunteerism opportunities to give back to the profession, both domestically and internationally. Learn more about chapter engagement opportunities.
4) Clinical Congress 2022, held October 16–20 in San Diego will offer both in-person and virtualattendance options. A cutting-edge scientific program will address critical education and training needs and equip surgeons with skills to achieve the best outcomes in the ever-changing healthcare environment. An exciting series of Named Lectures will be delivered by world-renowned experts in their respective fields, including a new American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Lecture. More than 120 Panel Sessions on timely clinical and non-clinical topics will be offered. Learn more about Registration and Housing. 5) The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) continues to develop its infrastructure and strategic framework. Major activities include working with the ten research teams who received the ACS Regental Innovative Grant for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism to ensure a ensure alignment of the research project with ACS strategic priorities, to provide resources for a midyear status report from each research team, and to include the grant recipients in other relevant ACS DEI initiatives. The ACS DEI Educational and Alignment (E&A) Collaborative was launched in May to offer educational workshops for members and staff who are vested in developing and distributing DEI efforts. The E&A Collaborative provides a continuum of learning opportunities on the fundamentals of DEI presented by subject matter experts. The E&A Collaborative will serve as a DEI think tank by engaging participants in interactive workshops, understanding the core tenets of DEI, and connecting the DEI work to ACS organizational values and objectives. 6) The Board of Governors report summarized the extensive work of the six Pillars.o Advocacy and Health Policy – Key activities include leveraging state medical societies through increased local membership involvement, improving collaboration between specialty societies, and developing a DEI platform for advocacy day.o Communications Pillar – Analysis of the 2021 Governors survey, Surgical Training Paradigms From Medical School in Practice, was published in the May Bulletin. Additional workgroup activities include developing questions for the 2022 Governors Annual Survey on communication needs, DEI and wellness efforts at institutions, surgical volunteerism, and advanced practice practitioners, as well as providing feedback on the design and functionality of facs.org and the revised ACS Communities website.o Diversity Pillar – The Pillar continues to collaborate with the Office of DEI to align activities and members are participating in the ACS DEI E&A Collaborative. Activities focus on developing a DEI Toolkit for departments/organizations; surveying pipeline programs on best practices and needs; drafting a statement on pay parity/equity; Clinical Congress 2023 session proposals; and efforts to better understand and decrease URM resident attrition. Several recent Bulletin articles include Overcoming Disparities in Surgical Care among Native Americans and The Role of Social Determinants of Health on Cancer Screening.o Education Pillar – The Pillar hosted a collaborative meeting on May 18 for BoG Workgroups, Advisory Councils, Resident & Associate Society, Young Fellows Association, and other ACS committees to share Clinical Congress 2023 proposal ideas and improve quality of submissions. Other activities providing feedback on ACS patient education materials and promoting the ACS Patient Education Toolkit, as well as focusing on faculty curriculum development, mitigatinglower operative volume post-pandemic, mentoring new graduates, and coding/billing curriculum for trainees. o Member Services Pillar –Workgroup efforts are focused on building ACS chapters with 12 international countries, selecting the 2022 Surgical Volunteerism and Humanitarian Awardees, and analyzing the Annual Report data from domestic and international chapters.o Quality Pillar –In conjunction with the Diversity Pillar the Pillar developed the General Session: Quality Care Is Equitable Care: A Call to Action to Link Quality to Achieving Health Equity for the 2022 Quality & Safety Conference. Other activities include collaborating with the Advisory Councils on identifying the annual Top 3 practice changing manuscripts, partnering with the Surgeon Well-Being Workgroup on a professional satisfaction and well-being survey, and developing a session for the 2022 Quality & Safety Conference on Improving Quality, Access, and Equity with Telehealth. 7) A strategic analysis of the Division of Education Programs was conducted to review the current status of activities, including an overview of the structure and staff, programs, attendance, and measurements of success, and to identify strategies to increase users of ACS education programs and document the value proposition of the education programs. Programs in the following categories were reviewed:o Educational programs aimed primarily at practicing surgeons and surgery facultyo Educational programs aimed primarily at medical students, surgery residents, surgical teams, and patients and caregiverso Accreditation, verification, validation, and recognition programso Research, scholarship, innovation, and mentoring programsThe following workgroup recommendations were presented and discussed:o Explore the expansion of the iconic programs – nationally and internationallyo Leverage technology in the development and delivery of educational programso Segment and survey potential users of educational programso Establish new databases, mine existing databases, and establish new collaborationso Increase focus on multi-specialty education, interdisciplinary education, and teamworko Document the value proposition of current and new educational programso Appoint a Regental Advisory Committee for the Division of Education 8) Recent activities from The Young Fellows Association (YFA) include a mid-career transition webinar series, AIS channel presentation on Overcoming Obstacles to Practice, mentor programs, an advocacy breakfast at the 2022 Leadership & Advocacy Summit, and membership retention efforts. 9) The 2022 TQIP Annual Conference, held December 11-13 in Phoenix, AZ, will bring together trauma medical directors, program managers, coordinators, PI clinicians, and registrars from participating and prospective TQIP hospitals and provide attendees the opportunity to network with key leaders from trauma centers around the country. Registration will open in September.
10) The College held a press conference on June 2 to address the U.S. firearm violence epidemic. A Firearm Injuries Summit will be convened later this year to gather consensus within the house of medicine and explore strategies for addressing community violence. Subsequently, on June 25 the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (S. 2938) and was signed into law by President Biden. The law offers several actionable and common-sense measures for reducing death and disability caused by firearm violence. ACS supported all provisions of the bill; the legislation will make firearm ownership safer in the U.S., thereby making our communities safer too.