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Georgia Society of the
American College of Surgeons


October 29, 2020

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Welcome New GSACS Officers & Members of the Board

After an open call for nominations, the following officers and board members were elected during the annual business meeting held on August 8, 2020.

Congratulations to all the New Georgia Fellows!

Over 2,100 surgeons worldwide became a Fellow of the College during the virtual 2020 ACS Clinical Congress. Congratulations to the Georgia Surgeons on their acceptance as an Initiate into the American College of Surgeons (ACS)! Only a fellow surgeon will understand the commitment you have made to becoming a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. This is a momentous occasion. 


Giovanni Piovesana


Peter Jay Abramson
Olamide Alabi
Colin Martin
Brady Albert Diehl III
April Ann Grant
Melissa Sims
Logan Raymond
J. Lynch Jonathan Nguyen
Mara L. Schenker
Federico Serrot
Alexis Deana Smith
Peter W. Thompson
Lindsey Wong Webb
Cici Zhang


Pamela Lynn Burgess
Elizabeth Fox
Jonathan Jay Sexton
Mrinal Shukla


Austin J. Lewis


Dominic J. Papandria


Bounthavy Homsombath


Kimberly Evonne Miller- Hammond


Nathan M. Polite


William David Stembridge

Sandy Springs

Jose L. Fernandez


Sarah Gill
Christa Jillard


Anushka V. Arumugasaamy


Joey Allen Jarrard


Carl I. Gonzales II


James R. Davis


Brian Michael Freeman

Women Surgeons' Virtual Book Club

 Dr. Shaneeta Johnson, GSACS’s
 Women Surgeons' Representative,
 invites you to join in a time of fellowship
 and conversation. Feed your well-being
 by connecting with other Georgia
 women surgeons for a virtual book club. 
 The first meeting will be
 Thursday, November 17, 2020 at 7pm
 via Zoom.

 The first selected reading will be
 Being A Woman Surgeon: Sixty Women
 Share Their Stories 

 by Preeti R John 

This book is a compilation of essays allowing for new spontaneous discussions each month with minimal obligation and preparation.
Register in advance for this meeting by clicking here.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
The book is available on Amazon.

2020 M. Gage Ochsner, Jr. Resident Trauma Paper Competition Winners

The Georgia Committee on Trauma held the 2020 M. Gage Ochsner, Jr.
Resident Trauma Paper Competition on September 25 via Zoom. 
Congratulations to the winners-

First Place

Correlation Between D-Dimer and Outcomes in COVID Positive Patients
Allison Lord, MD
Medical Center Navicent Health

Second Place

Food for Thought: A Pilot Study to Validate Food Insecurity Screening in an Urban Trauma Population
Emma Crichton, MD, MPH
Emory University
Best wishes to these future surgical super stars as they compete in the Region 4 COT competition on November 12, 2020. 

ACS COVID-19 Resources

Download the Toolkit

ACS COVID-19 Registry Remains Open to Capture Meaningful COVID-19 Patient Data During Latest Surge

 The ACS COVID-19 Registry, which was
 developed and made available early in the
 pandemic’s course to assist hospitals seeking
 to capture meaningful data about the COVID-
 19 patients they treat, remains open for data input amid the latest surge in case numbers. This registry collects data on COVID-19 patients who did not undergo surgery as well as COVID-19 patients who did.

Included data variables cover demographics, severity predictors, admission information, hospitalization information, therapies used, and discharge information. Participating hospitals will be able to capture all patients ages 18 and older and track them from hospital admission through discharge. More than 70 hospitals are participating, and the ACS welcomes new interested institutions. Readmission variables will be made available soon. 

All hospitals can contribute. We ask that you help to advance our collective knowledge and understanding by participating in this important initiative. There is no fee to participate—we only ask for your commitment to collecting and submitting data.

Contact or Amy Sachs, Senior Manager, ACS Program and Registry Operations, at to request more information and a copy of the participation form.

Virtual ACS Clinical Congress 2020 a Phenomenal Success—
Entire Content & CME Credits Available through December 31st

The recent virtual ACS Clinical Congress 2020 was a remarkable success! More than 30,000 people—nearly 16,000 of whom were international—registered to participate in this free surgical education event, which offered attendees cutting-edge content that focused on the latest scientific advances in surgery, contemporary surgical practice, systems of surgical care, quality and outcomes, leadership, patient safety, surgical education, and more. And the entire content of the virtual Clinical Congress and the opportunity to earn more than 200 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ will be available through December 31, 2020!
The program included Named Lectures, the Symposium of the Academy of Master Surgeon Educators, Special Sessions on timely topics, Panel Sessions, Scientific Forum Sessions, Video-based Education Sessions, Posters, and sessions aimed at surgical trainees and medical students. The different formats were aimed at facilitating learning and supporting the transfer of new knowledge and skills to surgical practice. The on-demand system allows selection and saving of sessions of interest for future access based on learning needs.

For additional information about the virtual Clinical Congress program, contact Ajit K. Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCSC, FSACME, at; Richard V. King, PhD, at; or M. Jane Burns, MJHL, at

Federal Legislative & Regulatory Updates

New - More than Half the U.S. House of Representatives Urge Leaders to Act to Protect Patient Access to Surgical Care

Representatives Ami Bera, MD (D-CA); Larry Bucshon, MD, FACS (R-IN); Brendan Boyle (D-PA); George Holding (R-NC); Raul Ruiz, MD (D-CA); Roger Marshall, MD (K-RS); Abby Finkenauer (D-IA); Brad Wenstrup, DPM (R-OH) and 221 colleagues, sent a letter on October 19, 2020 to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy urging them to protect patients by stopping planned Medicare cuts that will impact physicians across the country.

The bipartisan letter outlines the impact these cuts will have on the health care system and calls for Congress to act and stop them from taking effect on January 1, 2021.

"Payment cuts of this magnitude will surely strain a health care system that is already stressed by the COVID-19 pandemic and could jeopardize patient access to medically necessary services," write Reps. Bera and Bucshon. "In order to safeguard beneficiaries' access to care during this pandemic, we as Congress should examine possible bipartisan solutions to address excessively steep cuts. We encourage you to incorporate the resulting policy changes in any upcoming legislation moving through the House."

Earlier this year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed a new Medicare Physician Fee Schedule set to take effect on January 1, 2021, which will cut Medicare payments for surgical care by up to 9 percent for some specialties. This rule would be harmful without COVID-19 but is especially reckless given the pandemic. It will force surgeons around the country to make tough decisions, such as deciding between keeping their practice open and cutting costs like new staff, Medicare patient intake, and new surgical technologies.

"Now is not the time to cut Medicare payments for any health care providers, which could jeopardize the care of older Americans," said ACS Executive Director David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS. "We are grateful to Reps. Bera and Bucshon, who are also physicians, for their leadership and support in ensuring patients continue to have access to surgical care they need."

The ACS continues its efforts to advocate on behalf of surgeons and stop the Medicare cuts. This letter is an example of that advocacy, but we continue to need your help! In just five minutes, you can write to Congress and urge them to act now to stop the cuts — click here!

Georgia Legislative Update

The 2020 Georgia Senate created a study committee to investigate the issue of surgical smoke. So far there have been 2 hearings with a third scheduled for November 17, 2020 at 2 PM.  Dr. Jyotirmay Sharma has been invited to testify at the November 17th meeting. At issue is whether the Senate will support legislation in 2021 to mandate the use of smoke evacuation units by surgeons. This legislation is supported by the Georgia Nurses Association and the Association of Peri Operative Registered Nurses (AORN).
You may review the first two hearings using the links below.
  If you have comments or information to share about this issue, please send them to

Deadline Extended:
Application Fee for ACS Membership Waived until December 1st!

Did you attend the virtual Clinical Congress 2020 as a non-member and have an interest in joining the College? Good news—the College is waiving application fees for Fellow and Associate Fellow membership through December 1, 2020! The College has extended the special application period this year in recognition of and gratitude for the surgical community.

View all of the benefits of joining the ACS and make sure to apply by
December 1st.

ACS Practice Protection Committee Updates Financial Resources with Information on Phase 3 Distribution of CARES Act Funds

The ACS Practice Protection Committee's Financial Resources have been updated to include two important new developments from recent days regarding a Phase 3 General Distribution from the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund and significant changes to the repayment provisions of the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payments Program.

On October 1, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced a Phase 3 disbursement of $20 billion from the Provider Relief Funds. Applications are currently being accepted through November 6, 2020. The purpose of this distribution is to ensure that all who apply will have the opportunity to receive 2 percent of annual revenue from patient care plus an add-on payment to account for revenue losses and expenses attributable to COVID-19. This funding opportunity is available both to providers who received or rejected funding from prior opportunities, as well as those who entered practice in 2020. Surgeons who have already received funds from previous disbursements may be eligible for an add-on payment.
On October 2, legislation was signed into law that extends the grace period for repayment of funds received via the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payments Program and reduces the percentage of Medicare payments withheld during the repayment period. Physicians can now request up to one full year grace period for deferment before new Medicare charges are used as an offset to recoup the advance payments previously received. Once recoupment begins, physicians have up to 15 months to repay the full amount without interest and the amount withheld is reduced to 25 percent for the first 11 months and 50 percent of charges for the next 6 months. Any balance remaining 29 months after the loan was made will accrue interest at a new lower rate of 4 percent.

More information and the link required to apply for the Phase 3 distribution can be found in the PPC Financial Resources.

Faculty Research Scholarship

The American College of Surgeons is offering two-year faculty research
 fellowships, through the generosity
 of Fellows, Chapters, and friends of
 the College, to surgeons entering
 academic careers in surgery or a
 surgical specialty. The fellowship is
 to assist a surgeon in the
 establishment of their research program under mentorship with the goal of transitioning to becoming an independent investigator. Applicants should have demonstrated their potential to work as independent investigators.
The fellowship award is $40,000 per year for each of two years, to support the research. The deadline is November 30, 2020
Full details are available here.

Registration Open for FREE Virtual TQIP Annual Meeting!

Registration is now open for the virtual 2020 ACS Trauma Quality Improvement Program (TQIP®) Annual Scientific Meeting and Training, December 7–10—and like the ACS Quality and Safety Conference and the Clinical Congress, this virtual event is completely FREE to attend!
This meeting brings together trauma medical directors, program managers, coordinators, and registrars from participating and prospective TQIP hospitals and provides an online venue in which to interact with key leaders from trauma centers around the country, in addition to networking with fellow trauma professionals and sharing best practices. Your registration will include access to the virtual meeting, including general sessions, panel sessions, abstract presentations, virtual Poster Gallery and virtual Exhibit Hall. These sessions will include programming from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm Central time each day. Registration will also include on-demand access to this content for a period of 60 days following the meeting.

What are you waiting for? Register today!

Don’t Forget to VOTE!

The American College of Surgeons has produced some awesome Zoom backgrounds to help remind everyone to vote this year. Feel free to use and share!

Zoom Etiquette Done Right

Keys to the Perfect Zoom Call

It's 2020. There are a lot of Zoom meetings. 
Zoom Etiquette Guide

Got News? 

Send your news items to Kathy Browning (


 Do you participate in #SurgTweeting? Don’t forget to follow
 GSACS on Twitter at @GaSACS. Follow and mention us in your
 tweets! We will retweet! We are also on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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