Summer 2016  

President’s Message
The Value of ASCRS Membership in 2016 and Beyond

Dr. Patricia RobertsBy Patricia Roberts, MD

I am honored and humbled to be your president for the upcoming year and look forward to working with you.

The 115th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California from April 30 – May 4, and included 1,952 physicians and health care providers from 65 countries, our second highest attendance ever. From more than 900 abstract submissions, we had 150 oral presentations and 300 e-posters.

Our meeting included workshops on transanal TME, robotic surgery, laparoscopic colectomy, ventral rectopexy and emerging therapies in fecal incontinence, in addition to an international session on rectal cancer, 37 symposia, 11 abstract sessions, six named lectures and three meet-the-professor breakfasts.

Congratulations to Kirsten Bass Wilkins, MD, Program Chair and Scott Steele, MD, and Joshua Bleier, MD, Vice Chairs. They have set a high bar for our 2017 Tripartite Meeting, which will be held at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle on June 10 - 14, 2017. Rocco Ricciardi, MD, MPH, Program Chair, Anjali Kumar, MD, Vice Chair, Sonia Ramamoorthy, MD, Vice Chair and James Keck, MD, International Liaison are putting together an outstanding program for the meeting.

On behalf of the ASCRS, I wish to thank Dr. Charles Littlejohn for his leadership, for a productive and successful year as president of our society and for a stimulating presidential address on diversity.

As I start in this position, I am struck by the extraordinary growth of our Society and the incredible changes not only in our specialty of colon and rectal surgery, but in the practice of medicine and the delivery of health care. When I joined the ASCRS in the 1980s, we had 1,300 members, six active committees, and about 800 convention registrants. Working closely with our management group, EAI, the ASCRS has grown to include over 3,500 members with 30 active committees, an annual meeting with more than 2,500 total registrants and multiple hands-on workshops and symposia, almost $1 million annual industry support and a number of robust educational offerings.

ASCRS 2016-2017
As we look toward the upcoming year, we have a number of initiatives:

Enhanced International and National Collaboration
We will be looking at further national and international collaboration among other organizations in colon and rectal surgery and gastroenterology. Our Tripartite Meeting, which is held every three years and every nine years in the U.S., is a perfect platform for enhanced collaboration and partnership.

Optimal Structure and Governance
As we have grown, we need to ensure we have the optimal structure with respect to the Executive Council, committees and our administrative partners. Our educational offerings alone have increased tremendously and we need to ensure the optimal support and structure to continue to provide and enhance these offerings, which include:

  • CARSEP IX, which is now available online
  • CREST educational modules available to members on the website
  • ASCRS Textbook of Colon and Rectal Surgery, 3rd Edition (2016), which was recently published
  • Four CME webinars that will take place throughout 2016. The first one focused on the changes with respect to MACRA and MIPS, and was well received.

The Value of Membership in ASCRS
We need to continue to deliver value, and not only meet but exceed the needs of our members. A comprehensive membership survey will be sent to you in the early fall. We need your opinions about your practice, the specialty of colon and rectal surgery and how the ASCRS can best serve the needs of our members.

The results of the survey will help inform a Strategic Planning Session of the ASCRS in March 2017. Members of the Executive Council, committee chairs, and other leaders in our specialty will participate in the strategic plan.

 
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