News From the College

Five outstanding surgeons conferred Honorary Fellowship in the ACS


Honorary Fellowship in the American College of Surgeons (ACS) was awarded to five prominent surgeons from Colombia, France, Pakistan, Japan, and Australia at the October 16 Convocation that preceded the official opening of Clinical Congress 2016 in Washington, DC. The granting of Honorary Fellowships is one of the highlights of the Clinical Congress. This year’s recipients were as follows.

Hernando Abaúnza Orjuela, MD, FACS, MACC(Hon), Bogotá, Colombia, is the founder, past-president, and current executive director of the Colombian Association of Surgery. He also is past-president of the Latin American Federation of Surgery (FELAC), which promotes research, teaching, and the practice of surgery among surgeons in Latin America. He became a Fellow of the ACS in 1970 and served on the ACS Board of Governors (1993–1999) and as President of the ACS Colombia Chapter (1990–1991). Dr. Abaúnza has written several articles on breast cancer and complex abdominal surgery problems, as well as more than 120 scientific papers and book chapters on gastric cancer, pancreaticoduodenectomy, laparoscopy, and other clinical topics. Dr. Abaúnza became professor of general surgery and chief, department of surgery, San Pedro Claver Hospital, and professor, National University of Colombia, Bogota. Dr. Abaúnza is a member of the International Society of Surgery and past-president of the Colombian Association of Gastroenterology.

Jacques Belghiti, MD, PhD, Paris, France, has made significant contributions to the fields of hepatocellular carcinoma and liver transplantation and has conducted vital studies in liver resection and hepatobiliary surgical oncology. His technical innovations include preservation of portal and caval flows during liver transplantation, the hanging maneuver to facilitate liver resection, and the use of peritoneal patch to provide an immediate and safe vascular graft. Dr. Belghiti was chief, department of hepato-bilio-pancreatic surgery and liver transplantation, Beaujon Hospital, University of Paris, for 20 years. In 2014, the department was classified as the first French surgical digestive center. French President François Hollande invited Dr. Belghiti to serve on the board of the National Health Authority in 2014; he now chairs the board’s medical devices and health technology committee for reimbursement. Dr. Belghiti is associate editor, liver surgery and biliary section, World Journal of Surgery.

S. Adibul Hasan Rizvi, MB, BS, FRCSEng, FRCSEd, Karachi, Pakistan, is the founder of the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) and a leader of transplantation in Pakistan. He started SIUT, which has become one of the fastest-growing urological and transplant centers in the region, in 1972. SIUT offers procedures such as dialysis, lithotripsy, surgery, and transplantation. Pakistan’s first successful liver transplant was performed there in 2003, eight years after Dr. Rizvi and his team performed the first deceased renal transplant in the country. SIUT’s Dewan Farooque Medical Complex trains nurses, technical staff, and postgraduate physicians. All patient care is provided free of charge. The SIUT’s Hanifa Sulaiman Dawood Oncology Center now treats patients with post-transplant cancers and other malignancies. SIUT opened its first satellite unit in 2000, and three other dialysis centers that are part of the institute offer free dialysis to medically indigent patients in Karachi. Dr. Rizvi is a member of the World Health Organization advisory panel on organ transplantation and the Global Alliance for Transplantation.

Sachiyo Suita, MD, PhD, Fukuoka, Japan, was the first woman professor to head a surgery department at a Japanese national university. Dr. Suita realized she wanted to become a surgeon during the Vietnam War, when she interned at the American Air Force Hospital, Tachikawa, Japan. A mentor at Kyushu University, Fukuoka, encouraged her interest in pediatric surgery. Dr. Suita became surgeon-in-chief at Fukuoka Children’s Hospital in 1983 and professor of pediatric surgery at Kyushu University in 1989. Her promotion to professor marked the first time a woman had been on the faculty of medicine at the university. Dr. Suita’s areas of interest include fetal surgery, neonatal surgery, pediatric oncology, clinical nutrition, liver and small bowel transplantation, and grief care. In 2004, Dr. Suita became the first woman director of Kyushu University Hospital.

John Francis Thompson, AO, MD, FACS, FRACS, FAHMS, Sydney, Australia, has provided distinguished service in the field of oncology research, particularly melanoma, in international and national professional organizations, and in medical education. Dr. Thompson has written more than 700 peer-reviewed scientific articles, which led to his appointment as an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2014. His research interests are in lymphatic mapping and regional node management of patients with melanoma and other malignancies, and local and regional therapies for recurrent and advanced limb tumors. He is executive director and research director, Melanoma Institute Australia, and professor, melanoma and surgical oncology, University of Sydney. Dr. Thompson is a member of the Melanoma Staging Committee of the American Joint Committee on Cancer and chairs the workgroup to update Australia’s clinical practice guidelines for management of cutaneous melanoma in Australia.

Presenting on behalf of the College, respectively, were Marco Patti, MD, FACS, Chicago, IL; Leslie H. Blumgart, MD, FACS, FRCS, New York, NY; Prof. Mehmet A. Haberal, MD, FACS(Hon), FICS (Hon), FASA(Hon), Ankara, Turkey; Arnold G. Coran, MD, FACS, Ann Arbor, MI; and Jeffrey E. Gershenwald, MD, FACS, Houston, TX.

Sir Rickman Godlee, president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, was awarded the first Honorary Fellowship in the ACS during the College’s first Convocation in 1913. Since then, 458 internationally prominent surgeons, including the five chosen this year, have been named Honorary Fellows of the ACS. The citations presented at the Convocation follow.

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