American College of Surgeons
Southwestern Pennsylvania Chapter 

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  • September 10, 2020 9:25 AM | Jim Ireland (Administrator)

    TQIP Annual Meeting Call for Abstracts

    Deadline Extended!

    It is our pleasure to invite you to participate in the ACS COT Trauma Quality Improvement Program’s (TQIP) Call for Abstracts. All abstracts received will be reviewed and considered for virtual poster presentation at the TQIP Annual Scientific Meeting and Training, December 7–10, 2020. We may select some abstracts for development as case studies or oral presentation during the scientific meeting.

    This is your chance to share with other TQIP centers all the interesting initiatives you have put in place at your hospital. We want to know what internal performance improvement efforts you have embarked on and how you have been using TQIP in your center. Registry staff, we strongly encourage you to present any data quality initiatives you have put in place that have made a difference in your centers. You may submit abstracts on any QI topic, but we are specifically calling for abstracts on the following topics:

    • COVID-19
    • Data Validation
    • Error Management
    • Geriatrics
    • Hemorrhage Control
    • Injury Prevention
    • Orthopaedic Trauma Care
    • Pediatrics
    • Performance Improvement
    • Registry
    • TBI
    • Trauma Systems/Collaboratives
    • Triage, Transfer, and Rural Trauma Centers
    • Trauma Verification

    More Information

  • September 02, 2020 11:21 AM | Jim Ireland (Administrator)

    The virtual ACS Clinical Congress 2020, October 3–7, promises to be an extraordinary surgical education event, and you’ll soon be able to lock in your participation. Registration for this free conference is set to open this week!

    The five-day program will include Named Lectures, Panel Sessions, Symposium of the ACS Academy of Master Surgeon Educators, Special Sessions, Forum Sessions, Video-Based Education Sessions, and Meet-the-Expert Sessions. Experts from a variety of fields will address important and timely topics through effective presentations. ACS Division of Education staff are actively assisting session moderators and speakers with recording and uploading of their presentations, working beyond business hours and through the weekends. Staff continue to receive recorded presentations, to review them to ensure the quality, and to convene special meetings daily to coordinate efforts with other divisions across the ACS.

    View the Program-At-A-Glance to plan out your sessions of interest!

    And don’t forget to take advantage of the more than 200 free AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ available for claiming after the conference and that will remain available for a period of time afterward. The Continuing Medical Education Credits also will satisfy regulatory mandates, including state requirements for re-licensure.

    Watch your inbox for notification of when registration is open or check back on the Clinical Congress website.

    For additional information about the program or CME Credits, contact Ajit K. Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCSC, FSACME, at; Patrice Gabler Blair, MPH, at; Richard V. King, PhD, at; M. Jane Burns, MJHL, at; Olivier Petinaux, MS, at; or Alisa Nagler, JD, MA, EdD, at

  • August 05, 2020 3:13 PM | Jim Ireland (Administrator)

    Take Action

    Background: In January of 2021, finalized policies from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will result in significant cuts to physician payment for most surgical services delivered to Medicare patients, destabilize health system financing, and drastically diminish the opportunity for hospital and physician practices to recover financially from COVID-19. To learn more, visit The ACS continues to urge Congress to intervene and prevent these cuts from moving forward.


    Status: On August 3, 2020, CMS released the calendar year 2021 (CY2021) Medicare Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule. The ACS strongly opposes changes in the proposed rule which affirms, and in some instances increases, the payment cuts CMS announced last year. As proposed, general surgery would experience a 7% cut to Medicare payments, while nearly all surgical specialties will face additional reductions (cardiac surgery 9%, thoracic surgery 8%, vascular surgery and neurosurgery 7%, and ophthalmology 6%).


    The ACS will continue to call on Congress to enact legislation to waive Medicare’s budget neutrality requirements for the E/M adjustments and to require CMS to apply the increased E/M adjustment to all 10- and 90-day global code values, but surgeon advocacy and outreach is critical to this effort. 


    Contact Congress today and urge lawmakers to prevent cuts to Medicare payment for surgical services!

  • July 24, 2020 8:53 AM | Jim Ireland (Administrator)

    With deep regret, we must postpone the 2020 ACS Quality and Safety Conference VIRTUAL (originally scheduled July 24-27).

    We have received nearly three times the number of registrations than we anticipated, including more than one thousand over the past two days. While we are thrilled by this interest, we are concerned that the virtual platform on which we were to host the event won’t be able to support such a large number of attendees. We are unable to shift to a new platform quickly enough to host all attendees in the high-quality, state-of-the-art environment they deserve. Rather than proceed with an event that we fear won’t meet these high standards, we have chosen to postpone the conference to a later date.  

    We know you are disappointed, and we are, too. We offer our deepest thanks to the hundreds of moderators, speakers and abstract presenters who were to participate in this event. Your insights are extremely valuable, as is your time. We know many of you changed your schedules to participate in these sessions and discussions, and we regret any disruptions caused by postponing the conference to a later date.

    We are diligently working to bring you the meaningful content that we’ve assembled. It is amazing and worthy of an equally amazing, high-quality platform on which to share it.

    If you already registered for the conference, your badge ID will carry over to the event when it is rescheduled. We will send you reminders with information on how to access the conference once a new date is chosen.

    To that end, we will announce new dates for this conference as soon as we can. We apologize for the inconvenience and look forward to gathering virtually soon.

    Clifford Y. Ko, MD, MS, MSHS, FACS, FASCRS
    Director, American College of Surgeons Division of Research and Optimal Patient Care

  • July 22, 2020 8:14 AM | Jim Ireland (Administrator)

    The recent COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected the education of medical students with the cancellation of many educational activities. In response, the American College of Surgeons Division of Education has initiated a series of online seminars based on a national core curriculum that was jointly developed by the ACS and the Association for Surgical Education. The series, directed by Ranjan Sudan, MD, FACS, features 19 talks by faculty who are experts in various surgical specialties and in surgical education. These seminars review the foundational principles of surgery for students in their core clerkship regardless of their eventual career destination.

    The program debuted July 6, and future sessions are scheduled for seven weeks, three evenings per week, through August 17. Recordings of these seminars are available on the National Tutorial Seminars for Medical Students webpage for on-demand viewing for those students unable to attend.

    The benefits of this project are as follows:

    • Provide educational uniformity to students across multiple clerkship sites
    • Reduce the burden on individual institutions of providing such education
    • Allow students to concentrate during the day on clinical activities that were curtailed in the recent pandemic

    To date, seven webinars have been offered. Evaluations from these sessions have been overwhelmingly positive, and an average of 132 individuals participated in the sessions.

    Students are invited to register for these seminars. For the next several months, this program will be provided at no cost to students or medical schools.

    We invite you to encourage your students to participate in this important national program.

    For details, contact Ajit K. Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCSC, FSACME, at or Kim Echert at

  • July 15, 2020 9:51 AM | Jim Ireland (Administrator)

    Register today for the 2020 American College of Surgeons Quality and Safety Conference VIRTUAL—a physically distanced version of the annual meeting for all members of the surgical care team. The 2020 ACS Quality and Safety Conference VIRTUAL will run Friday, July 24, through July 27. Registration is free of charge and available to all.

    The program will feature something for everyone, including a variety of compelling video presentations live and on-demand, along with an opportunity to engage in a live chat with session presenters. Program participants can look forward to a few ACS Quality Program-specific topics. Other timely topics that will be addressed include leadership during a crisis, perspectives from surgeons on COVID-19, and wellness and resiliency during the pandemic. Subject matter experts in surgery will participate in multiple hot-topic fireside chats. Attendees also will have access to a multitude of abstract presentations.

    Details about the conference are posted on the ACS website

  • July 02, 2020 11:34 AM | Jim Ireland (Administrator)

    George H. A. Clowes, Jr., MD, FACS, Memorial Research Career Development Award – Deadline: August 17

    This award is offered through the generosity of The Clowes Fund, Inc., of Indianapolis, IN. Its purpose is to provide support for the research of a promising young surgical investigator. The award consists of a stipend of $45,000 for each of five years and is not renewable thereafter.

    The award is restricted to a Fellow or Associate Fellow of the College who has completed an accredited residency in general surgery within the preceding seven years, not including time off for maternity leave, military deployment, or medical leave, and has received a full-time faculty appointment at a medical school accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education in the United States or by the Committee for Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools in Canada. The applicant’s academic appointment may not be above the level of assistant professor. Applicants should provide evidence (by publication or otherwise) of productive initial efforts in laboratory research.


    For addition information about the award, please visit the George H. A. Clowes, Jr., MD, FACS, Memorial Research Career Development Award webpage.


  • June 30, 2020 1:02 PM | Jim Ireland (Administrator)

    As we’ve monitored the trajectory of COVID-19 cases and local restrictions in the conference’s host city of Chicago, across the U.S., and throughout the world, we’ve decided to hold the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Clinical Congress 2020 as an exclusively virtual event. Clinical Congress 2020 will be held October 4–7, and will be a little shorter than the traditional in-person event.

    This was not an easy decision to make, but your health, safety, and welfare are of the utmost importance to us. A virtual Clinical Congress will ensure broad participation for all those who want to attend, especially individuals whose institutions have travel bans in place throughout the fall. The virtual Clinical Congress will include a live component and on-demand components beyond the dates of the Clinical Congress.

    We are confident we can offer a best-in-class educational event for all attendees, presenters, and exhibitors. Clinical Congress is the largest educational meeting of surgeons in the world. Our program will focus on the latest advances in surgical science, practice, and education, united under this year’s theme of The Joys of Learning, Collaborating, and Giving Back.

    Please watch for future communications from the College about the virtual Clinical Congress 2020, particularly if you are one of the many surgeons who will be presenting at this year’s meeting. Visit the ACS website to stay up to date and read our Clinical Congress 2020 FAQs. We will share registration details and additional important program information shortly. 

    You have our thoughts and best wishes as many of you resume a more active surgical practice during this unprecedented time. The ACS will continue to support you and be your advocate in the weeks and months ahead as you navigate challenging issues that have profoundly affected our profession and our patients. 

    Valerie W. Rusch MD, FACS
    President, American College of Surgeons
    Beth H. Sutton, MD, FACS
    Chair, Board of Regents, American College of Surgeons
    L. Scott Levin, MD, FACS
    Vice-Chair, Board of Regents, American College of Surgeons
    David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS
    Executive Director, American College of Surgeons

  • June 04, 2020 10:06 AM | Jim Ireland (Administrator)

    As hospitals resume operations paused due to COVID-19, a new survey shows a majority of people are reluctant to undergo procedures and may not reschedule necessary surgical care while COVID-19 continues to circulate in communities.* To help surgeons and hospitals address patient concerns, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) has released a new resource, Preparing to Have Surgery during the Time of COVID-19.  

    A new toolkit from the ACS accompanies the release of a patient discussion guide to help you communicate with your patients about the steps your hospitals are taking to reduce the risk of COVID-19, and stresses that, when it comes to talking about COVID-19, surgeon-patient communication is a shared responsibility. 

    The survey also found surgeons are the most influential voices for patients wondering whether their care will be safe. Personalized outreach, including phone calls, can ease fears and allow patients to ask you questions about what they can expect when they arrive at the hospital, ambulatory center, or your office. They want to hear directly from you, and no level of detail is too much in our current environment. 

    Included in this toolkit are templates and resources to help you reach out to patients directly who may also have wanted to reach out to you but are not comfortable making that first phone call. Also included are resources for traditional and social media, and your hospital or practice website, including:

    • The aforementioned discussion guide, with sample questions that your patients may ask. This guide will help you gather the information you will need to have detailed conversations and answer potential patient questions.
    • A companion document to help you prepare answers to anticipated patient questions and enlist members of the care team and administration as part of the preparation process. 
    • A template press release that you can distribute to your local media.
    • Sample social media posts, images, and tips for posting.
    • A sample video script that can be used for recording on your phone or tablet, which you can post on social media or on your hospital or practice website. You can also work with your hospital’s media relations officer to record a video if your facility has its own studio or videographer. 
    • A draft newsletter article that you can post on your hospital or practice website. 

    View and Download the Toolkit

    Should you need assistance as you use these tools to facilitate patient communications, don’t hesitate to reach out to the ACS Integrated Communications team for assistance at

    ACS wants to help you resume your practice, ensure your patients feel comfortable and receive timely care, and most important, ensure they avoid costly or even life-threatening delays in care. If we can provide more assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out. Additional COVID-19 tools and resources can also be found online at

    * Revive Health. "Consumer Survey Update COVID-19." Accessed May 26, 2020. Available at:

  • June 02, 2020 1:30 PM | Jim Ireland (Administrator)

    On Monday, June 1st, the SWPA Chapter of the American College of Surgeons met virtually to consider interesting case presentations by surgical residents from area training programs.  Twelve cases were submitted and the top six were selected for discussion at the event.  Dr. Kristin Krupa began the evening with a presentation of “A Case of a Large Bowel Obstruction Caused by a Gallstone.”  Other presentations included “Delivering good news: a case of successful combined cesarean section and bowel resection for small bowel obstruction in the third trimester” presented by Katherine Hrebinko, MD, “Pneumopericardium in an otherwise healthy 24 year old male” presented by Kevin Train, MD, “Improvement of Liver Function Tests After Splenectomy in Patient with Schistosomiasis: A Case Review” presented by Peter Zak, MD, and “Complete Mesh Migration into the Small Bowel Following Parastomal Hernia Repair” presented by Waseem Lufti, MD.

    Hillary Simon, DO was voted Most Interesting Case for her presentation on “A Bullet within the Pericardial Sac: To Remove or Not To Remove?”  Congratulations to Dr. Simon and to all our presenters and special thanks to Chapter President Dr. Alan Murdock for moderating the evening’s event.

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