Spring 2016  

President’s Message
Join Me in Los Angeles for the 2016 ASCRS Annual Meeting

Dr. Charles LittlejohnBy Charles Littlejohn, MD

I encourage you to join me next month in vibrant Los Angeles, where our Annual Meeting will offer you exciting opportunities to refresh your knowledge and improve the quality of care you provide your patients, as well as network with fellow colleagues.

Thanks to the hard work of the Program Committee, led by Drs. Kirsten Wilkins, Joshua Bleier and Scott Steele, this year’s meeting features past favorites and many new workshops and sessions. Highlights include the Transanal Total Mesorectal Excision (taTME) Hands-On Workshop and Didactic Symposium, Ventral Rectopexy Hands-On Workshop, Robotic Colon and Rectal Surgery Workshop and a round table discussion on health care policy and reform.

This year is the first time the ASCRS has held its Annual Meeting in Los Angeles since 1958, and the first time we’ve been back in California since the 2001 Annual Meeting in San Diego. While you’re in sunny Los Angeles, you can also enjoy the city’s world-class museums, inventive cuisine, designer shopping and Universal Studios. Just a short drive away from the meeting are legendary sites such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Hollywood Sign and Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Or if you’d prefer to simply take in the scenery, you can visit the nearby Santa Monica and Malibu beaches.

You won’t want to miss this year’s Dinner Dance, which features comedian Dave Coulier, who shot to fame in the late 1980s as Joey Gladstone on the ABC sitcom Full House, and Mark Cendrowski, a highly regarded TV director best known as the driving force behind CBS’ Big Bang Theory. The two sitcom veterans have been friends since they met as third-graders in St. Clair, MI. The pair surely will entertain us during the Annual Reception and Dinner Dance, held at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, May 3.

Membership, Diversity Growth
Society membership continues to grow, from 2,930 members in 2013 to more than 3,400 today. As president I have focused on diversity in membership and in participation in this year’s program. Similarly, the Membership Committee, Council and the Program Committee have supported my diversity theme. This year’s Annual Meeting will include the symposium “International Colorectal Surgery: Perspectives from Latin America,” which will feature Latin American colorectal surgeons who will share their insights concerning the development of the specialty in their regions of the world. In an effort to continue fostering international relationships, I also recently had an opportunity to represent the ASCRS at the 2015 Japan Society of Coloproctology meeting in Nagoya, Japan.

Colon Cancer Social Media Campaign
I would also like to take a moment to applaud the Public Relations Committee for driving a social media campaign to promote the importance of colonoscopies and raise awareness about the preventable nature of colon cancer. Headed by the committee’s chair, Dr. Roberta Muldoon, and co-vice chairs Drs. Kyle Cologne and Michael McGee, the social media campaign kicked off earlier this month to coincide with Colon Cancer Awareness Month.

The society is promoting a number of infographics illustrating the importance of awareness on its Facebook and Twitter pages. The social media posts encourage others to share these infographics with their own social networks to bolster outreach.

The first series of infographics use the hashtag #preventcoloncancer and remind people that colonoscopies save lives. The second hashtag, #worsethanacolonoscopy, is featured in a series of infographics that playfully attempt to destigmatize public discomfort with the idea of colonoscopies.

More CREST Modules Offered
The ASCRS is continually offering more ColoRectal Educational Systems Template (CREST) modules as a complimentary benefit for members to enhance their medical education. CREST offers surgeons an interactive means to review aspects of colorectal disease and ensure their delivery of the highest quality patient care. These Weekly Curriculum modules are eligible for one AMA PRA Category 1 Credit upon completion. I highly encourage you to take advantage of these exciting educational opportunities.

 
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