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Stop Physician Payment Cuts - Send a Letter to Your Representative Now

Congress must act before the end of the year, or patients will be harmed by significant cuts to surgical care. These cuts stem from both the sequestration and budget neutrality requirements in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS).

The Medicare PFS for calendar year 2022 proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will cut the Medicare conversion factor by 3.75%. Combined with the cuts stemming from the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2010 and the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) Act of 2010, the total cuts amount to nearly 9 percent.

Urge your legislative representative to stop physician payment cuts proposed for 2022 by sending them a letter now. The Surgical Care Coalition has made this easy with an online form and drafted language. Only by making your feelings known regarding the harm these cuts will do to patient care can we prevent these cuts. Thank you for protecting your patients and your practice.

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ASCRS Fellow Receives $100,000 Sherman Prize for Excellence in the Field of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Fleshner_Headshot.jpegThe Bruce and Cynthia Sherman Charitable Foundation recently announced the recipients of the 2021 Sherman Prizes and Sherman Emerging Leader Prize, recognizing excellence in the field of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, also known as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).  Among the honorees is Dr. Phillip R. Fleshner, an ASCRS Fellow and IBD Committee Member.

Dr. Fleshner received a $100,000 Sherman Prize for his bold approach to research, challenging accepted conventions and establishing evidenced-based surgical best practices.  He was recognized as an outstanding surgeon who has created an entirely new field of study, Translational IBD Surgery Research.

Thanks to his research, patients are no longer treated with high-dose steroids before surgery, and they can skip nasogastric tube feeding and go straight to a regular diet after surgery – both tremendous advances in patient safety and comfort. Dr. Fleshner has also led the vast majority of research on the relationship between biologics and surgery, establishing best practices for their use in the surgical setting. His work has set the stage for using biomarkers to predict surgical outcomes, and by engaging nearly 2,000 patients to participate in research, Dr. Fleshner has developed significant biobanks of data that are helping researchers around the world in their quest for personalized treatments. A committed teacher and mentor, Dr. Fleshner has trained hundreds of surgeons, challenging the next generation of surgeon researchers to drive greater advances in patient care. 

Dr. Fleshner serves as the Shierley, Jesslyne, and Emmeline Widjaja Chair in Colorectal Surgery and Program Director, Colorectal Surgery Residency, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA

Other Sherman Prize Honorees include: 

Judy H. Cho, MD, Dean and Ward-Coleman Professor of Translational Genetics, Director, Charles Bronfman Institute for Personalized Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY.  Dr. Cho received a $100,000 Sherman Prize for her pioneering IBD genetics research that has advanced understanding of the underlying causes of IBD and paved the way for personalized treatment approaches.

Edward L. Barnes, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Associate Program Director, Gastroenterology and Hepatology Fellowship Program, UNC Department of Medicine’s Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC.  Dr. Barnes was awarded the $25,000 Sherman Emerging Leader Prize for applying his expertise in epidemiology and the study of “big data” to tackle one of the most difficult complications for ulcerative colitis patients – the development of pouchitis after J-pouch surgery.

“Today, thanks to the passion and perseverance of researchers and clinicians like Drs. Cho, Fleshner and Barnes, outcomes for people with IBD are so much better than they were when my father was first diagnosed with Crohn’s disease,” said Bruce Sherman, Founder of the Sherman Prize. “Cynthia and I have been inspired by these honorees as they represent the tremendous work being done along the bench-to-bedside continuum to create a healthier future for people with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. By championing excellence, we hope many others in the field see their achievements and are motivated to reach higher and work harder to improve IBD care and work toward cures.”

The 2021 Sherman Prize recipients are innovators and challengers of the status quo, representing diverse IBD sub-specialties and applying their unique talents to help patients coping with some of the most intractable challenges of these diseases. The Sherman Prize winners will be honored at the Advances in IBD conference in Orlando, Florida on Dec. 9, 2021.

“Across the field of IBD research and care there are thousands of IBD professionals striving to make life better for patients, and Drs. Cho, Fleshner and Barnes stand out as pioneers in this field,” said Dr. Dermot P.B. McGovern, Sherman Prize Selection Committee Chair and the Joshua L. and Lisa Z. Greer Endowed Chair in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Genetics at Cedars-Sinai. “Their commitment to improving outcomes and mentoring the next generation of physician scientists has undoubtedly impacted the lives of countless people with IBD today, as well as those who may be diagnosed tomorrow. On behalf of the Selection Committee, I’m thrilled to recognize these innovators and out-of-the box thinkers for their accomplishments and proud to stand with them as the field pushes ever forward to greater advances and hopefully, someday, cures.”

About the Sherman Prize
The Sherman Prize was founded in 2016 by the Bruce and Cynthia Sherman Charitable Foundation to honor innovators from a variety of professional disciplines who have dedicated their careers to the fight to overcome IBD and represent “Excellence in Crohn’s and Colitis” in their chosen endeavors. Every year, two $100,000 Sherman Prizes are awarded to IBD visionaries to recognize their exceptional and pioneering contributions that have transformed the care of people with IBD. A $25,000 Sherman Emerging Leader Prize is awarded to an IBD professional who, while early in her or his career, has contributed to an advancement and shows great promise for significant future contributions. Visit ShermanPrize.org to view the Honor Roll of Sherman Prize recipients, watch their inspiring short tribute films and sign up to receive notification of the 2022 nomination cycle.

ASCRS Seeks Applicants for Alternate Delegate Position for the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates

The AMA House of Delegates (HOD) is the legislative and policy-making body of the AMA and includes State medical associations, national medical specialty societies, national societies, AMA sections, professional interest medical associations and federal services.
 
The American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS) holds 1 delegate and 1 alternate delegate seat in the House of Delegates (HOD) of the American Medical Association (AMA) and is currently seeking applicants for the alternate delegate position.
 
The ASCRS HOD seat(s) sits within the Section Council of Digestive Disease which includes delegates from ASCRS, SAGES, and other GI/Medical organizations who are “subject experts.”
 
The delegate and alternate delegate each serve a 3 year term, and the alternate delegate is expected to become the delegate after serving in the alternate role for 3 years (a total 6 year commitment).
 
Both the delegate and alternate delegate are expected to attend and participate in the Annual Meeting of the HOD which takes place in June of every year in Chicago and the Interim meeting of the AMA HOD which takes place in November of every year at varying locations throughout the U.S. Travel and lodging are sponsored by the ASCRS. At times, additional ad-hoc meetings may be called on an as-needed basis.
 
Additional responsibilities include a review of motions/proposals brought to the Section Council and the House of Delegates in preparation for the meetings. Participation in the Surgical Caucus held by the American College of Surgeons is also expected, although this is not a formal section of the AMA HOD. The delegate and alternate delegate will represent the interests of the ASCRS as a member to the AMA House of Delegates. They will also serve as members of the ASCRS Healthcare Economics Committee and will report periodically to that Committee with updates from the HOD that are pertinent to the ASCRS.
 
Delegate roles & responsibilities
 
The delegate role
Members of the AMA House of Delegates (HOD) serve as an important communications, policy and membership link between the AMA and grassroots physicians. The delegates and alternate delegates are a key source of information on activities, programs and policies of the AMA. The delegates and alternate delegates are also a direct contact for the individual member to communicate with and contribute to the formulation of AMA policy positions, the identification of situations that might be addressed through policy implementation efforts and the implementation of AMA policies.
 
Delegates and alternate delegates to the AMA are expected to foster a positive and useful two-way relationship between grassroots physicians and the AMA leadership.
 
To fulfill these roles, AMA delegates and alternate delegates are expected to make themselves readily accessible to individual members by providing the AMA with their addresses, telephone numbers and email so that the AMA can make the information accessible to individual members through the AMA website and through other communication mechanisms.
 
Qualifications to be a delegate
·       Be an AMA member
·       Elected or selected by the principal governing body or the membership of the sponsoring organization
·       At least 1 member of each delegation is encouraged to be involved in the governance of their sponsoring organization
 
Delegate responsibilities
·       Regularly communicate AMA policy, information, activities and programs to constituents so the delegate will be recognized as the representative of the AMA.
·       Relate constituent views and suggestions, particularly those related to the implementation of AMA policy positions, to the appropriate AMA leadership, governing body or executive staff.
·       Advocate constituent views within the HOD or other governance unit, including the executive staff.
·       Attend and report highlights of HOD meetings to constituents, for example, at hospital medical staff, county, state and specialty society meetings.
·       Serve as an advocate for patients to improve the health of the public and the health care system.
·       Cultivate promising leaders for all levels of organized medicine and help them gain leadership positions.
·       Actively recruit new AMA members and help retain current members.
·       Participate in the AMA Membership Outreach Program.
 
To Apply:
Send your cover letter and CV to the selection committee at [email protected] by July 16 and include “AMA Delegate” in the subject line.
 
To learn more about the AMA House of Delegates please visit the HOD website at:
https://www.ama-assn.org/house-delegates
https://www.ama-assn.org/house-delegates/hod-organization/delegate-roles-responsibilities
 

Minnesota-Based Colon Cancer Coalition Receives National Award from the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons

BANNOCKBURN, Ill. – As part of the 2021 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS), the Colon Cancer Coalition was named as the recipient of the 2021 ASCRS Jagelman Award which honors the memory of Dr. David Jagelman whose advocacy for his patients at the Cleveland Clincic was legendary.
 
In 2004, Kristin Lindquist started planning for the very first Get Your Rear in Gear® run after losing her best friend and sister, Susie Lindquist Mjelde, to colon cancer. What started as one women’s vision has since grown into the Minneapolis-based Colon Cancer Coalition, a national coalition of people determined to end colorectal cancer deaths by increasing screening and educating others about the signs and symptoms of colon cancer.  The Coalition wants all people to understand their risk factors and get the right screening at the right time.
 
Their signature Get Your Rear in Gear® and Tour de Tush® event series are volunteer-driven in communities throughout the United States. In 2017 alone they granted over $1 million to local community programs to raise screening rates, increase awareness, and educate the public about the signs and symptoms of this disease.
 
"We are honored and humbled to be recognized by the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons with The Jagelman Award," says Chris Evans, president of the Colon Cancer Coalition. "We are proud of the work we do focused on increasing screening for colorectal cancer through grassroots awareness efforts and targeted screening programs for the under and uninsured populations, minority and other at-risk and underserved communities, and feel privileged to have it highlighted in this way."
 
Dr. Jagelman founded and directed the Cleveland Clinic Familial Polyposis Registry and became chair of the Department of Colorectal Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Florida shortly before he died of Kidney Cancer at age 53 in 1993. 
 
“Dr. Jagelman was a strong supporter of screening and Colon Cancer prevention,” says Dr. Michael Arvanitis, Chair of the Jagelman Award. “He would be proud to see this award presented to the Colon Cancer Coalition, an organization that has grown from one woman's vision with grassroots volunteerism, into a national coalition of people determined to end colorectal cancer deaths by increasing screening and educating others about the signs and symptoms of this disease.”
 
As recipient of the Jagelman Award, the Colon Cancer Coalition will receive a $1,000 honorarium.
 
About ASCRS
The 4,000+ member American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons is the premier society for colon and rectal surgeons and other surgeons dedicated to advancing and promoting the science and practice of the treatment of patients with diseases and disorders affecting the colon, rectum, and anus. Its board-certified colon and rectal surgeons complete a residency in general surgery, plus an additional year in colon and rectal surgery, and pass an intensive examination conducted by the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery.  For more information, visit www.fascrs.org.
 
 
Media Contact (ASCRS)                  Media Contact (Colon Cancer Coalition)
Stuart Meyer                                       Erin Peterson | Director of Mission & Partnerships
[email protected]                              [email protected]
847-607-6427                                      952-378-1237
 

ASCRS Past President, Peter Volpe, Passes Away

It is with deep sorrow that we inform the ASCRS community that Past President Peter Volpe 1990-1991, has passed away. Many of us are indebted to Peter for his mentorship, his contributions to the specialty, and for making the lives of those he touched better.

Read Dr. Volpe’s Presidential Address.

What follows is a tribute to Peter from his partners and friends in San Francisco. Please keep Dr. Volpe’s family in your thoughts and prayers. ‚Äč

Sincerely, 

Members of the ASCRS Executive Council, Research Foundation Board of Directors and the ASCRS staff
 

# # #
 

It is with heavy hearts that our practice announces the sudden passing of our beloved retired partner, Dr. Peter A. Volpe.
 
Peter started his life journey on December 12, 1936, in Columbus, Ohio. He was interested becoming a doctor as a teenager and was such an outstanding student that he was one of only three students admitted to the combined BS/MD program at the Ohio State University. He excelled in medical school where he graduated #1 in his class. After serving in the Navy from 1962-64, he was recruited to the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) surgical residency program under the new Chairman of Surgery, Dr. J. Englebert Dunphy.  Peter’s recruitment to UCSF was due, in part, to the highest personal recommendation from Dr. Robert M. Zollinger, the famed Chairman of Surgery at Ohio State University. Peter thrived as a surgical resident at UCSF under Drs. Dunphy and F. W. Blaisdell. After a year working at St. James Hospital in London with the renowned Dr. R. J. (Bill) Heald, Peter finished his surgical residency at UCSF with distinction in 1969. A year of fellowship in colon and rectal surgery at San Francisco General Hospital under the mentoring eyes of Dr. Robert Scarborough (President, ASCRS 1952, 1964) and Dr. Donald Gallagher (President, ASCRS 1979) cemented his desire to remain in San Francisco, joining the San Francisco Surgical Associates as a junior partner. He solidified the practice’s reputation by always putting the patient’s well-being first, being inclusive, and being a good listener with compassion and humility. He quickly rose to the senior rank and took over running the practice. In 1972, Peter was the first physician to perform a colonoscopy in San Francisco Bay Area and subsequently trained scores of gastroenterologists and surgeons to perform this “new” procedure. He was pivotal in the subsequent recruitments of Dr. Thomas R. Russell (Executive Director, ACS 1999-2010), Dr. Yanek S. Y. Chiu, Dr. Michael E. Abel, Dr. Laurence F. Yee, Dr. Michelle L Li., Dr. T. Phillip Chung, and Dr. Vanessa A. Talbott. When Dr. Volpe was asked how he was able to be trained by so many world famous surgeons, he stated modestly, “It is not who you know in life, but who knows you!”
 
Nationally, Peter rose to the very top. He applied his leadership and administrative skills to the American College of Surgeons (Governor), the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (President, 1988) and the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (President, 1990).  He became a master at posing pointed oral board questions to terrified colon and rectal surgical fellowship candidates; many of these questions are still used today.  We are all proud of his rousing 1991 Presidential Speech, continuously referred to and often quoted even three decades later. “Shelters for the homeless should be improved, meals for the hungry purchased. I would very much like to see us help some of the newest group of refugees in this country, homeless children and homeless families. We cannot solve all social problems occurring in our society, but we can, and should, make a dent. You will be proud of that”.  Dr. Volpe’s inclusive and humanitarian spirit remains a backbone of our practice philosophy.
 
Closer to home, he was a mentor to countless surgical residents at UCSF and retired with the title of Emeritus Clinical Professor of Surgery. He maintained close ties with his friends through the UCSF Naffziger Surgical Society and the San Francisco Surgical Society. He was an attentive and affectionate father to his three sons, John, Mike, and Mark and was totally devoted to his loving wife, Theresa.
 
We will miss Peter’s honesty and fairness, his keen sense of humor, his leadership and caring words for all of us, his passion for his Lionel train collection, the Phantom of the Opera, the Ohio State football team and his uncanny ability to get out of difficult surgical dilemmas with his good judgment and technical savvy. He has been a wonderful role model for all of us and a beacon of hope and healing for all of our patients in the San Francisco Bay Area. We will miss him dearly.
 
Yanek S. Y. Chiu, MD (retired)
Michael E. Abel, MD
Laurence F. Yee, MD
Michelle L. Li, MD
T. Phillip Chung, MD
Vanessa A. Talbott, MD
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