President's Message: Look for action-packed Annual Meeting, with Latin flavor in Hollywood, Florida
By Michael J. Stamos, MD
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Sunshine Act are upon us now. It appears there is no turning back; although very likely there will be changes as the law evolves. We are very fortunate to have a solid partnership with the American College of Surgeons and leadership from Healthcare Economics Chair Dr. Steve Sentovich and longtime expert and volunteer Dr. Guy Orangio to help guide all of us through “the fog.” Indeed, unprecedented and sometimes frightening changes are occurring almost weekly, and the membership should rest assured that the society is doing everything possible to help us all survive and thrive.
A great deal of my summer – and especially that of my Program Chair Dr. Brad Champagne and Vice Chair Dr. Joe Carmichael – has been occupied with planning for our 2014 meeting. One thing for sure, it will be action packed! We have a new Social Media Committee, led by Director Dr. Scott Steele and Dr. Kyle Cologne. We already have a presence on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr, with more to come. They have also been working on an enhanced relationship with the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society™ (WOCN) to co-promote our activities and partner on education. A new, more user friendly mobile app will be available at the meeting to guide us through the busy schedule. We will also be unveiling a new E Poster format that features touchscreen technology for maximal viewing access, as well as access on members’ own computers, I Pads and other “Smart” devices.
We are also far along with the process of a website redesign, under the leadership of Dr. Dave Margolin. The meeting will be notable for an enhanced audience participation scheme, with audience polling throughout the meeting and nightly Happy Hour debates. We aim to focus the meeting on the topics important to the members, with pragmatic advice that can be taken home, including “Take Me to Your OR” sessions, with videos to enhance learning from experts. Another highlight will be a Mock Trial Courtroom session entitled, “How to Survive a Lawsuit.” Plan to wear your white hat and cheer on President Elect Dr. Terry Hicks, as he takes on one of the toughest plaintiff lawyers in the country!
Other highlights of new sessions include a Global Perspective program, with surgeons from Canada, Asia, South America and Europe sharing experience and advice on their socioeconomic climate, and a session on Advanced Endoscopic Techniques, including Advanced Transanal Surgery. The meeting will end with a Dinner Dance never before seen. Fitting with the south Florida location, salsa dancing will be the theme, so bring your salsa outfits (or wear the always optional formal attire, if preferred) and be ready to dance to a Latin beat. Stay tuned for more exciting information as we move into the New Year.
We have a Strategic Planning meeting scheduled for early 2014, building upon and evolving our Strategic Plan which was last updated in 2010.
Many of our colleagues leading the Society’s numerous committees have also been hard at work on our behalf, including Dr. Janice Rafferty, Chair of the Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee, which has just completed the new Diverticulitis parameters and is working on an update on Fecal Incontinence. Some other important committee activities are highlighted in this newsletter.
Stella Zedalis has retired after 26 years as our Associate Executive Director. We had a nice but small celebration in her honor in September in Chicago, with most of the living Past Presidents in attendance. It was truly a night to remember and she was truly touched. We have also decided to honor her many years of hard work and dedication with an annual award in her name for service to the Society. Gayle Irvin, MPH, CAE has been hired as the new Associate Executive Director, with a load of experience including holding a similar position with the American Hospital Association and also serving the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
We have had an unfortunate rash of sad news recently, including the untimely passing of EAI founder and former Executive Director (1988-2007) Jim Slawny and Dr. Malcolm (Mike) Veidenheimer. Dr. Veidenheimer will be honored with a Memorial Lecture given by Dr. David Schoetz at the May meeting.