American College of Surgeons
Southwestern Pennsylvania Chapter 

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  • 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.

  • May 27, 2020 2:37 PM | Jim Ireland (Administrator)

    As part of its ongoing efforts to assist surgeons managing the intense financial burden placed upon them by the pandemic, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Practice Protection Committee has built upon the Practical Suggestions and Options to Consider section of its resource document to provide a guide to economic survival strategies. The document can be found here and includes a set of key principles and a suggested process for Fellows to undertake based on an Excel spreadsheet exercise of personal and business finances. In addition, the committee has provided suggestions to consider based on which of three specific scenarios they believe most accurately describes their financial situation.

  • May 21, 2020 8:26 AM | Jim Ireland (Administrator)

    May 21 Is National STOP THE BLEED® Day

    May 2020 marks the second annual National STOP THE BLEED® Month, and May 21, 2020, marks the third annual National STOP THE BLEED® Day. This year, these observances will highlight the importance of STOP THE BLEED® knowledge, particularly because so many people are staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Although STOP THE BLEED® classes are not currently being held due to COVID-19, it is still important for you to understand how to respond when a bleeding injury occurs. Traumatic injuries are known to spike during warmer months, and injuries can still occur, even when we’re at home. There may also be longer response times from emergency personnel due to a high number of COVID-19 patients. A person will have a better chance for survival if someone near them knows how to control serious bleeding.

    Knowing how to use your hands, or something from home such as a t-shirt or towel, to apply pressure to a bleeding wound, how to pack a wound to control bleeding, and how to correctly apply a tourniquet can empower you to save a life. With a public that is empowered to STOP THE BLEED®, we can help each other by recognizing life-threatening bleeding and knowing how to intervene to reduce a preventable death from injury.

    More Information

  • May 18, 2020 8:26 AM | Jim Ireland (Administrator)

    As many states have approved the resumption of elective surgery, we understand patients may have questions and specific uncertainties about the safety of undergoing elective operations in hospitals, regardless of whether COVID-19 patients are being concurrently treated in the same facility. 
    The patient-surgeon relationship is one that is built on transparency and trust. More than ever, patients are turning to their surgeons for advice and information that will help them feel more knowledgeable not just about their surgery, but having that surgery in a time when COVID-19 exists.
    To address this, we developed the American College of Surgeons Post-COVID-19 Readiness Checklist for Resuming Surgery. The intent of this checklist is to help surgeons ultimately communicate the important items patients want to know.
    In the coming days, the College will provide a tool kit of materials to help you communicate with patients regarding how they can safely return for surgery they need. We will continue to support our surgical community and patients as we return to surgical care.

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