From the Washington Office: 2016 Leadership and Advocacy Summit



The American College of Surgeons (ACS) will host the fifth annual Leadership & Advocacy Summit, April 9-12, at the JW Marriott in Washington, D.C. This annual Summit event is a dual-purpose meeting that offers volunteer ACS leaders and surgeon advocates comprehensive and specialized sessions focused on the tools needed to be more effective leaders as well as comprehensive, focused, and interactive advocacy training. The meeting “capstones” on April 12 with Capitol Hill meetings in congressional offices scheduled with the senators and representatives of whom individual Fellows are constituents.

I first attended the program in 2010 and with each subsequent year become ever more convinced of how critically important it is that surgeons be informed about and engaged in the processes of both the legislative and the administrative branches of their individual state and federal governments. This year’s program promises to educate, challenge and prepare Fellows to assist the ACS in shaping the future of surgical practice while working collaboratively with ACS leaders, key elected officials, as well as their surgery colleagues.

As surgeons, we must be leaders and experts in the building and maintenance of effective teams, changing and ever-evolving cultures, time management, mentoring, coaching, and taking decisive action. The leadership program is designed to develop and hone exemplary leadership skills. Current topics and presenters include Leading Through Team Conflict, David A. Rogers, MD, FACS; Toward Better Communications and Teamwork: Skills for Handling Difficult Conversations, Kurt O’Brien, MHROD; Social Media for the Surgeon: Lifelong Learning, Engagement, and Reputation Management, Deanna J. Attai, MD, FACS; and Enhancing Our Cultural Dexterity: The Next Step in Reducing Disparities and Providing Patient Centered Care, Adil H. Hader, MPH, MD, FACS. In addition, chapter success stories will be presented by ACS Governors from West Virginia, North Texas, and Georgia.

The advocacy portion of the program kicks off on the evening of April 10 with a dinner during which those assembled will hear from Chris Matthews, the host of Hardball on MSNBC.

We will begin the morning of April 11 with a panel session entitled, Strategies for Successful State Advocacy, followed by breakout sessions for advocacy training tailored to individual experience levels. Attendees will then hear from Patrick Conway, MD, MSc, the Deputy Administrator for Innovation and Quality and Chief Medical Officer, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Dr. Conway leads the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality (CCSQ) and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) at CMS. As such he is leading the way within CMS to move into the new physician payment systems prescribed by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), which will replace the current physician payment system in 2019.

The Political Luncheon, sponsored by SurgeonsPAC will feature Dr. Larry J. Sabato, founder and director, the University of Virginia Center for Politics and the University Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville.

In recognition of the fact that “data” is THE buzzword today in health care policy, the afternoon session will feature a panel on how data is being utilized to change our current delivery and payment systems. Panelists include Vindell Washington, MD, the Principal Deputy National Coordinator in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), and Brian Kelly, MD, President, Payer and Provider Solutions for Quintiles. ACS has recently partnered with Quintiles on a major project to make the College’s multiple systems of data management more effective.

As mentioned above, the Leadership and Advocacy Summit closes on Tuesday, April 12, with a trip to Capitol Hill for Fellows to meet their individual members of the House of Representatives and Senate as well as their staff. This activity provides an important opportunity to put to good use the skills learned or refined on Sunday and Monday. We strongly encourage everyone who attends to stay through to the end of the Summit and participate in this important advocacy initiative.

Make a difference and join us in Washington. Register today to attend the 2016 Leadership and Advocacy Summit.

For questions about registration, please contact ACS Registration Services at or 312-202-5244.

For questions surrounding the Leadership Summit, please contact Donna Tieberg at or 312-202-5361.

For questions regarding the Advocacy Summit, please contact Michael Carmody at or 202-672-1511.

I look forward to seeing you in April in Washington!

Until next month …

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