American College of Surgeons (ACS) Board of Governors Update
Jon C. Gould, MD
ACS BoG Rep
In February of 2021, the American College of Surgeons Board of Regents meetings took place. The following is a summary of some of the highlights from the recent meeting.
- ACS Finances remain strong and stable, with more than million in total assets. The ACS weathered the pandemic, keeping its workforce intact, with significant support from ACS Human Resources. Revenue: Quality verification programs, including cancer and trauma, contribute approximately 65%, with dues revenue contributing approximately 25% of the operating revenue. There were no dues increase in 2020 (or planned for 2021). Investment Performance Report: For the calendar year 2020, the total return was 10.7%. Diversification, including private equity and hedge funds, allowed for a successful year. Going forward, the Investment Committee is planning a full integration social impact investing approach that will consider the social and investment objectives of the College in all portfolio decisions.
- Board of Governors – There are 293 Governors represent national ACS Chapters (including 49 representing international Chapters) and 88 representing Specialty Societies (including the CSA). There are currently 62 Female Governors, an increase of 7%. There are 23 Governors less than 45 years of age.
- Resident and Associate Society (RAS) and Young Fellows Association (YFA) – The YFA is proud of the increasing diversity on its leadership team. Projects include providing early leadership opportunities, engaging international young surgeons, expanding the YFA Mentorship Program and developing a Future Quality Leaders Program. The RAS also has been extremely productive. The RAS Advocacy Pillar has developed a firearm podcast and is supporting enhanced GME funding. The Communication Pillar has created virtual mock interviews for medical students, JACS journal club, and ACS Bulletin articles on Diversity. To assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the resident experience a survey of 1,160 RAS and YFA members was conducted. A significant negative impact on educational experience was reported by 96%. A significant stress was due to PPE shortages. Of the respondents, 73% were asked to reuse and 22% to purchase their own PPE. This information elicited significant discussion among the Board of Regents as to how to assure that, going forward, residents have adequate supplies of PPE.
- ACS Division of Research and Optimal Patient Care – This includes the verification/accreditation programs, data registries and standalone quality programs (NSQIP, SSR, S4S, ISCR) that continue to thrive and expand. The virtual 2020 Quality & Safety conference had 10,000 registrants from 111 countries. The 2021 Q&S Conference is tentatively scheduled for July 10-13 in Denver, CO.
- Commission on Cancer (CoC) - About to celebrate its 100-year anniversary in 2022. The CoC participates in all aspects of cancer care: prevention/screening, evaluation/decision making, treatment, surveillance in addition to Foundation standards.
- Commission on Trauma (CoT) - Also celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2022. As a response to the pandemic, virtual verification visits have been piloted and educational programming has been converted to online formats. The CoT Equity, Diversity & Inclusion workgroup has surveyed the membership and is looking for ways to engage under-represented groups, including rural surgeons, in the activities of the CoT. The CoT has been awarded a 2-year, ,218 grant by the National Collaborative for Gun Violence Research for a multi-center, prospective study to improve understanding of the individual and community level risk factors for non-lethal firearm injuries, with over 190 TQIP centers registered to participate in the study.
- Board of Regents Committee on Racial issues - Anti-racism efforts are ongoing, following through on the release of recommendations in 2020. The BoG Diversity Pillar is surveying the ACS leadership, and partner organizations, regarding diversity with an ACS summit “Promoting DEI/Antiracism for Professional Societies” to be held in June 2021. The Governor members of the Diversity Pillar also are developing a diversity Toolkit for ACS Chapters and partner organizations and working on pipeline projects to increase the number of under-represented physicians in medicine, surgery, and surgical leadership.
- ACS Division of Health Policy and Advocacy - Has been successful advocating for maintenance of surgeon reimbursement, a compromise on surprise billing, and a freeze on the thresholds for participation in alternative payment models through 2024. Going forward, the Division is exploring how to best move Quality programs into payment models, ensure cost/price transparency, and find opportunities to associate value with compensation.
- 2021 ACS Clinical Congress – Planned for October 24-28 in Washington DC. Hope to see you there!
Jon C. Gould, MD
CSA Representative, ACS Board of Governors