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North Carolina Chapter of the
American College of Surgeons

NC-ACS eNews

April 9, 2021

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Save the Date – NC/SC ACS Chapters 2021 Joint Annual Meeting

Mark your calendars and set aside the dates – July 23 – 25, 2021.

We have the cure for your ZOOM fatigue – a weekend at the beautiful Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC. The NC/SC ACS Program Committee is hard at work on an amazing agenda and the venue has something for everyone in the family!

Stay tuned for registration but for now, block the time and make your room reservations

We can’t wait to actually SEE you!

Call for Abstracts Is OPEN!

The Call for Abstracts for the NC/SC Joint 2021 ACS Chapters Meeting is now open.


  • All residents and research trainees enrolled in general surgery or surgical specialty residency training or fellows-in-training programs in North and South Carolina.
  • Medical students enrolled in a medical school in North or South Carolina – with an interest in surgery.
  • The entry should represent original work done by the authors.
  • Submission of an abstract constitutes a commitment by the submitting author to be present on July 23 – 25, 2021 in Asheville, NC if his/her abstract is accepted OR via Zoom if the meeting is transitioned to a virtual event.


Submit abstract using the online submission form by May 15, 2021 at 11:59pm ET for General Surgery and Cancer and June 1, 2021 at 11:59 PM ET for Trauma.

Online submissions only.



Only submissions directly related to trauma surgery will be considered. Submissions related to acute care surgery and/or emergency general surgery should be submitted in the General/Specialty Surgery Competition. Only resident and fellows-in-training submissions are eligible to advance to the COT Region IV competition.
Deadline June 1, 2021.


The topic must be specific to oncology. Submissions not selected for podium presentation may receive an invitation to display a poster presentation at the NC/SC Joint ACS Chapter Annual Meeting, July 23 – 25, 2021 in Asheville, NC.
Deadline May 15, 2021.

General/Specialty Surgery

The topics have been expanded to include general and specialty surgery. Submissions not selected for podium presentation may receive an invitation to display a poster presentation at the NC/SC Joint ACS Chapter Annual Meeting, July 23 – 25, 2021 in Asheville, NC.
Deadline May 15, 2021.

Advocacy Really Works!

NC-ACS Governors Make the Case and Bring the Change

The general surgery residency program at East Carolina University and Vidant Medical Center has a long tradition of sending residents to a rural community hospital in Edenton, NC for a firsthand account of life as a rural general surgeon.  This extraordinarily popular rotation in the third or fourth clinical year proved pivotal to many of our impressionable trainees and led many to embrace careers in similar smaller hospitals.  In fact, many program graduates settled into practice in the smaller hospitals scattered through eastern North Carolina and continue to transfer patients requiring a higher level of care to the residency-based medical center.

As can happen in smaller centers, a series of unfortunate events left our rural rotation site without a surgeon, forcing a pause in our ability to send residents there.  Recognizing the value of the rural surgery experience, Program Director Dr. Danielle Walsh and Department Chair Dr. Betsy Tuttle, both ACS Governors representing North Carolina, quickly sought out a new rural site through the regionally based surgeon graduates of the program.  All the rural surgeons contacted were enthusiastic to mentor others as they had been mentored!  But a little-known issue in an outdated Medicare law prevented the rural hospitals from accepting our residents without triggering issue of cost reporting with impact on future training at that hospital.  

With determination to challenge this at a national level, the issue was brought to Dr. David Welsh, a member of the American College of Surgeons Advisory Council for Rural Surgery in November 2018.  Dr. Welsh acknowledged the importance of addressing this concern and agreed to advocate on behalf of this issue with the ACS as well as the AAMC.  In February 2019 due to their own constituents describing similar problems, a bipartisan pair of representatives from Wisconsin, Ronald Kind and Michael Gallagher, introduced Advancing Medical Resident Training in Community Hospitals Act to amend the law.  With support from the AAMC and others, the bill moved through committee over the course of the year.  Notably, Representative Kind was a recipient of support from the ACS-PAC.

Rural hospitals and residency programs celebrated earning that the changes desired were incorporated in the Consolidated Appropriations Act passed December 27, 2020.  Residents can now participate in short rotations to rural surgery hospitals without negatively impacting their Medicare report nor eligibility for future residency positions.  

The residency at East Carolina University has already re-opened a rural rotation and has their sights set on a second rural site staffed by two graduates of our program.  Additionally, we encourage other surgical training programs to consider the benefit of rural rotations in career planning, understanding systems of care, and training for the much-needed rural surgeon workforce.  

This scenario exemplifies the ability of ACS Fellows to impact the greater surgical education community through advocacy.  We hope our fellows continue to identify opportunities for the ACS to support them in their professional efforts. 

Leadership & Advocacy Summit 2021

The ACS 2021 Leadership & Advocacy Summit will be held virtually, May 15–17, as follows:
  • Leadership Summit—
    Saturday, May 15
  • Advocacy Summit—
    Sunday, May 16 & Monday, May 17
The Summit is a dual meeting offering comprehensive and specialized sessions to provide ACS members, leaders, and advocates with topics focused on effective surgeon leadership, as well as interactive advocacy training with coordinated virtual visits to Congressional offices.

Register Today

Leadership Summit

The Leadership Summit will offer compelling speakers addressing key topics in surgical leadership. Most importantly, the NC-ACS will be featured as a Chapter Success Story! Other featured topics will include:
  • Implementing impactful ideas in care delivery
  • Empowering early-career surgeons to reach their full potential
  • Improving patient outcomes and fostering innovation through team diversity
  • Helping your team manage moral injury through COVID-19 and beyond
  • Stumbling into authentic leadership
  • Cultivating high-performing teams
  • ACS Chapter success stories
The virtual Leadership Summit is open to all ACS members and non-members, both in the United States and internationally.

* Times indicated are Central Daylight Time (CDT) in the United States.

Saturday, May 15

7:00 - 7:45 AM
Virtual Yoga
9:00 - 10:00 AM

ACS Division Showcase – Visit virtual exhibit booths to learn more about various ACS Divisions. Exhibit booths will also be staffed during the Leadership Summit Program.
10:00 AM - 2:30 PM
Leadership Summit Program
A full Leadership Summit agenda with session titles and speakers will be posted shortly.

The Leadership Summit is designated for 4 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.

Advocacy Summit

The Advocacy Summit will highlight legislative priorities the College is pursuing on your behalf, and will assist ACS members to develop their advocacy skills, learn about legislative and health policy priorities, and participate in virtual advocacy meetings with members of Congress and their staffs.

The virtual Advocacy Summit Program on Sunday, May 16, is open to all ACS members and non-members in the United States. The content is not applicable to international registrants. Only active ACS members and Chapter Administrators in the United States are eligible to attend the virtual congressional visits on Monday, May 17. 

* Times indicated are Central Daylight Time (CDT) in the United States.

Friday, May 14

5:00 PM
Advocacy Summit Program content accessible to all registrants  

Sunday, May 16

9:00 - 10:00 AM 

ACS Division Showcase – Visit virtual exhibit booths to learn more about various ACS Divisions. Exhibit booths will also be staffed during the Advocacy Summit.
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM 
Advocacy Summit Program

Monday, May 17

8:00 AM - 3:30 PM 
Virtual Congressional Visits
A full Advocacy Summit agenda will be posted shortly.

No CME credits will be offered for the Advocacy Summit.


For information on the Leadership Summit, please contact Brian Frankel at or 312-202-5361.

For information on the Advocacy Summit, please contact Maggie Draughn at or 202-534-0192.

ACS Quality Meeting Call for Abstracts Now Open

Submit Abstracts by April 30

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) has issued a call for abstracts to be presented at the 2021 ACS Quality and Safety Conference, July 12–16. The submission deadline is April 30.

Individuals at participating sites are encouraged to submit a 250-word abstract for poster presentation. The abstract should relate to surgical quality improvement initiatives including the development, implementation, or validation of best practices. We are also interested in operational best practices relating to workflows around collecting data and reporting. Abstracts should utilize data from one or more of the following ACS Quality Programs.

Please note: Abstracts that have been submitted or recently presented at other meetings are eligible for presentation at the ACS Quality and Safety Conference. In the view of the ACS, previous presentation of a paper does not prohibit the presentation or publication of the material at the Quality and Safety Conference.

We welcome submissions from the following categories:
  • Bariatric
  • Cancer
  • Collaboratives
  • Education
  • Efficiency and Value
  • Geriatrics
  • Pediatrics
  • PROs/Patient Centeredness
  • Trauma/Acute Care
  • Surgical Potpourri
  • Healthcare Informatics for Quality
  • Health Equity/Access
If you have an idea, start reaching out to your colleagues today. Get your team together to plan your projects now.

Submit an Abstract

For questions, contact us at or 312-202-5319.

MACs Temporarily Hold Medicare Payments Pending Extension of Sequestration Moratorium

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced on March 30 that certain Medicare claims will be subject to a temporary hold in anticipation of Congressional action, expected by mid-April, to extend the suspension of the 2 percent sequester on Medicare payments. The agency instructed its Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) to hold all claims with dates of service on or after April 1, stating that such efforts will minimize the volume of claims MACs must reprocess if Congress extends the suspension through the end of 2021.

Medicare sequestration has been used as a mechanism to reduce program spending growth by making across-the-board cuts to all Medicare physician payments since 2013. Congress first paused the Medicare sequester at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 to support physicians struggling with reductions in patient volume and revenue as a result of measures aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19. This moratorium was originally slated to expire on April 1.

FCC Establishes New Criteria for COVID-19 Telehealth Program

The Federal Communications Commission is preparing to begin accepting applications for funds under a program designed to provide health care organizations with financial assistance to purchase the technologies needed to furnish telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under last year's Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Congress authorized $200 million for the FCC to develop the COVID-19 Telehealth Program, and later added an additional $249.95 million to support the program as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

As directed by Congress in January, the FCC updated its processes for awarding COVID-19 Telehealth Program funding. Under these new processes, the FCC will consider whether the applicant is in an area with a physician shortage, a low-income area, and/or an area hard-hit by the pandemic. In addition, the FCC intends that at least one organization in each state will receive funding from the program and will also award funding in two phases to give applicants an opportunity to provide the FCC with supplemental information if they are denied funding during the first phase.

The ACS will alert Fellows when the COVID-19 Telehealth Program is open to physician and facility applicants. Contact Lauren Foe, Senior Associate for Regulatory Affairs, at with telehealth-related questions.  

Did You Forget? 2021 NC-ACS Dues

The COVID-19 pandemic upset many routines, and perhaps paying your 2021 NC-ACS Chapter dues slipped your mind. Not to worry! You can do it now online. Click on the button below and use your ACS ID number to pay your dues for 2021. 

Thank you!

Pay Your Dues & Renew Your Membership

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