L. Michael Brunt, MD
As winter turns into spring, I have great hope and optimism for what lies ahead. Never could any of us have imagined that we would be under the effects of a global pandemic for over one year now. However, thanks to the incredible and heroic efforts of the biomedical research community, we have multiple vaccines available to fight COVID and that are being rolled out at an ever quickening pace. While it is not quite time yet to let our guard down, there is reason to anticipate a return to more normal activities, including resumption of in-person society scientific meetings, in the coming months.
The Central Surgical Association is hopeful that we will have our meeting in conjunction with the Midwest Surgical Association in-person from July 25-27, 2021 in Chicago, IL. However, we are mindful that it is possible we may have to alter course depending on the COVID situation and potential travel and in-person meeting limitations. The Program Committee, under the leadership of Brian Harbrecht, along with Local Arrangements Chair, Leena Khaitan, have put together an outstanding program with that features 40 oral and 6 quick-shot scientific presentations, guest speakers, panel sessions, and four Presidential addresses, two each by the Central Surgical and Midwest Surgical current and past presidents. I hope that every member of the Central Surgical Association will plan to end their long confinement and join us in Chicago to celebrate this occasion which promises to be a family friendly meeting.
On a more somber note, we continue to be reminded of the divisions in our country and, in particular, acts of racial violence which have most recently targeted the Asian-American community. Last summer, the Central Surgical formed the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force, with Anthony Stallion and Leena Khaitan serving as co-chairs of that group. This task force has been hard at work to better understand and serve the needs of all members of the Association. One of the goals of the Task Force is to understand the demographics of our membership and is asking for your help in two ways;
Both updates will provide more granularity on these issues. While many members have responded, I urge those who haven’t to please update your member profile and also respond to the anonymous survey. This will help guide the Central Surgical leadership going forward and will facilitate engagement of more diverse groups to enhance the viability of our society.
The membership committee under Linwah Yip has worked hard to put forth new members for the Central this year. We have 37 individuals who have submitted membership applications and will be voting on those at the business meeting in July. I would urge you to consider colleagues whom you can enlist for joining the Central in the coming year and convince them of the many benefits of being a member of the Central – from career development opportunities as young surgeons to a forum to interact with members across the spectrum of general surgery in the Central and Midwest region to a welcoming, collegial environment for all.
In January, the Young Surgeons Committee hosted a webinar on “Controversies in Surgery” that was attended by more than 45 members and engaged numerous past presidents of the Central. Congratulations to Dr. Eiferman and the Young Members Committee for the provocative questions they posed which was followed by a highly engaging and robust interchange around various surgical issues of the day. This group is planning a follow up webinar on May 6, 2021. Stay tuned for additional details.
Lastly, this is my final newsletter message as your president. It has been an incredible privilege to have served as your president this year, and I am so appreciative of the dedication and commitment of the Council members, committee chairs, and committee members who have helped keep our organization strong during this challenging time. I look forward to seeing you all in-person soon, hopefully in Chicago in late July, and wish you and your families the best of times this spring and summer.
L. Michael Brunt, MD
CSA President, 2020-2021