News Items

Congratulations to the Winners of the 2021 Annual Scientific Meeting Scavenger Hunt

During the virtual 2021 ASCRS Annual Scientific Meeting, attendees could participate in a virtual scavenger hunt. Attending sessions, chatting with exhibitors and other attendees and finding hidden objects earned them points on the leaderboard, where they could track their progress against fellow competitors during the event April 24-28, 2021.

Ten attendees earned the Grand Prize, which is complimentary registration to the ASCRS 2022 Annual Scientific Meeting, valued at $700 each. Fifteen attendees received the second place prize, complimentary registration in Colon and Rectal Surgery Educational Program- “CARSEP,” valued at $325 each. Ten attendees received the third place prize, a $100 Amazon Gift Card. Twenty attendees received the fourth place prize of an ASCRS-branded 20oz Yeti Tumbler. 

Congratulations to our winners!
2021 Annual Scientific Meeting Scavenger Hunt Winners
Attendee Points
Amine Alam 104,050
Ron Landmann 84,750
Britney Barrow 78,450
Simane Guerrouf 71,450
Fadel Shabeeb 57,000
Ilana Setton 55,050
Zhaomin Xu 54,950
Cecilia Lopez Flores 54,550
Leonardo Cristian Carcamo Gruebler 54,250
Megan Nicolas 52,050
Krittin Kajohnwongsatit 49,550
Kathryn Galie 48,350
Juacy Oliveira 47,750
Thais Reif De Paula 42,100
Peter Senatore 39,600
Raman Kumar 35,800
Karen Schiff 35,050
Julia Tolentino 34,650
Ipek Sapci 34,250
Charlotte Pradella 32,750
David Hiller 32,750
Tamar Lipof 31,450
Michael Hopkins 31,450
Arielle Kanters 30,550
Linda Farkas 29,750
Iris Nunag 29,750
Olivier Van Houtte 29,650
Felipe Imigo-Gueregat 29,550
Anne Fabrizio 29,350
Anuradha Bhama 29,300
Claudia Hriesik 29,200
Robert Brookover 28,950
Tobi Reidy 28,850
Angus Lee 28,650
Sandrasekeram Parameswaran 28,000
Ricardo Patton Po 27,550
Roxanne Kyriakakis 27,250
Andreas Kaiser 26,900
Virendra Parikh 26,650
Adrianne Fisher 25,750
Frederick Lane 25,450
Marc Singer 25,100
Mark Casillas 24,100
Joseph Lopez 24,000
Kaitlin Domek 23,850

ASCRS Announces 2021-2022 Executive Council Officers, Members at Large and Fellows

During the Society’s Annual Business Meeting on Tuesday, April 27, 2021, ASCRS Fellows cast their votes and approved the proposed Executive Council Officers and Members-at-Large. 2021 Fellows and International Fellows were approved unanimously in a separate vote. Please join us in welcoming the new 2021-2022 Executive Council Officers and Members at Large. A big congratulations to our 2021 Fellows and International Fellow members.

President: Thomas E. Read, MD
Thomas E. Read, MD serves as the Cracchiolo Family Professor and Chief, Division of Gastrointestinal Surgery at the University of Florida College of Medicine. Dr. Read has served as Chair of several ASCRS committees, including as Program Chair for the 2007 annual meeting, and represented our specialty at the American College of Surgeons, serving as Chair of the Advisory Council and as specialty Governor.  He has also served as President, and Chair of the Examination Committee, of the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery. Dr. Read has an interest in editorial work, having served as Co-Editor of Diseases of the Colon, and currently serves as the colorectal Associate Editor for Annals of Surgery and Editor-in-Chief of Seminars in Colon and Rectal Surgery. Dr. Read has been fortunate to participate in the training of many outstanding physicians and is grateful to have been the recipient of 20 awards for teaching, education and mentorship.

President-Elect: Conor P. Delaney, MD, PhD
Dr. Delaney is CEO and President for the Cleveland Clinic Florida Region having previously served as Chairman of the Digestive Disease and Surgery Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. He has served on many ASCRS committees, in addition to terms on Council, and as Treasurer. Dr. Delaney also serves on committees for many national and international societies and editorial boards, and was president of the Midwest Surgical Association and the International Society of Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery. He has lectured and published extensively in colorectal surgery, and currently holds the Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Distinguished Chair in Healthcare Innovation.

Vice President: Matthew G. Mutch, MD
Dr. Matthew Mutch is the current Chief of the Section of Colon and Rectal Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, MO.  He also serves as the Secretary for ASCRS, is a board member of the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgeons and is an associate editor for Diseases of Colon and Rectum.  He has also served as the Chair of the Committee on Committees and Self-Assessment committees, and was the Program Chair for the 2010 ASCRS Annual Meeting.

Past President: Neil H. Hyman, MD
Dr. Hyman is Professor of Surgery, Chief of the Section of Colon and Rectal Surgery and Co-director of the Center for Digestive Diseases at the University of Chicago Medicine. He is President of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, and Director of the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery.

Secretary: Najjia N. Mahmoud, MD
Dr. Najjia Mahmoud is Chief of the Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania. She is immediate past President of the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery and is a current Member-at-Large of the Executive Council of ASCRS.  She has served as Chair of Continuing Certification at the ABCRS and has been involved in numerous committees at ASCRS. She has also served on the Board of Trustees of the Research Foundation and as Vice-Chair of the 2008 Annual Tripartite Meeting.   

Treasurer: Sonia Ramamoorthy, MD
Dr. Sonia Ramamoorthy is the Chief of the Division of Colorectal Surgery at UC San Diego Health System. She served as Member-at-Large on the ASCRS Executive Council from 2016-2019 and as ASCRS/Research Foundation Treasurer from 2020-2021. She is the founding director of the ASCRS Leadership and Professional Development Program and has served on several ASCRS committees including New Technology where she was Chair from 2013-2016 and as Assistant Program Chair of the Tripartite meeting in 2017. Dr. Ramamoorthy is currently completing her MBA at the Radys School of Management at UCSD.  

President, Research Foundation of the ASCRS: Ronald Bleday, MD
Dr. Ronald Bleday serves as the Chief of the Section of Colorectal Surgery and Associate Chair of Surgery for Quality and Safety at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA. He is also Co-Chair of the Colon and Rectal Cancer clinic at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA. He is the President of the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery Research Foundation. He previously headed the Scientific Committee of the ASCRS Research Foundation has been Principal Investigator or two cooperative group trials.

Charles M. Friel, MD is a Professor of Surgery at the University of Virginia where he also serves as the Program Director for general surgery and the chief of the section of colon and rectal surgery. Dr. Friel has been at UVA since 2001 after completing his general surgery training at the BI-Deaconess Medical Center and his Colorectal Fellowship at the University of Minnesota. His career has focused on surgical education, for which he has been recognized nationally with the ASE Philip J. Wolfson Outstanding Teacher Award and by admission into the ACS Academy of Master Surgeon Educators. In addition to serving on several ASCRS committees, he has chaired the self-assessment committee (CARSEP) and is also currently a co-chair for the ACS self-assessment committee (SESAP). 

Jan Rakinic, MD is Professor of Surgery, Chief of the Section of Colorectal Surgery and Vice Chair for Safety, Quality, and Clinical Operations of the Department of Surgery at Southern Illinois University, and the Program Director of the SIU-Springfield Clinic Colorectal Surgery Residency, having begun the program in 2007 with acceptance of the first trainee in 2009. Dr. Rakinic has served the field of Colorectal Surgery extensively: as Chair of the Residency Review Committee for Colon and Rectal Surgery for the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education, as President of the Association of Program Directors in Colon and Rectal Surgery, and on the ACGME Milestones Project/Colon and Rectal Surgery Group. She is a past President of the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery and a Senior Board Examiner for the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery. She has served on many ASCRS committees during her career.

Sharon L. Stein, MD, FACS, FASCRS, is a colorectal surgeon at University Cleveland Medical Center (UH) and Associate Professor, Surgery at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Medicine. She is the Director of University Hospitals Surgical Outcomes Center: UH RISES.  She is the co-founder of the Annual Colon and Rectal Surgery Career Course and faculty mentor for the Sunday night colon and rectal surgery educational program.  She has served on numerous ASCRS committees including chair of the Public Relations Committee and Young Surgeons Committee. She currently serves as National Program Chair of the 2022 Annual Scientific Meeting.  

Liliana Bordeianou MD, MPH is the Chief of the Colorectal Surgery and the Pelvic Floor Disorders Centers at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Co-Chair of the Mass General Brigham HealthCare Colorectal Surgery Collaborative. Dr. Bordeianou served on and led as vice chair or chair, several ASCRS committees. Most recently, Dr. Bordeianou serves as the founding chair of the ASCRS Steering Committee on Pelvic Floor Disorders and the Chair of the Pelvic Floor Disorders Consortium. She is also a member of the editorial board for the Diseases of Colon and Rectum and an examiner for the American Board of Colorectal Surgery.

Craig A. Reickert, MD, MBA serves as the Division Head of Colon and Rectal Surgery and Vice-Chair of Clinical Operations in the Department of Surgery at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, MI. He has previously served on multiple ASCRS and ACS committees and is currently the Vice-Chair of the Continuing Education Committee.

Elizabeth C. Wick, MD is a professor of surgery at the University of California, San Francisco where she also serves as Vice Chair for Quality and Safety in the Department of Surgery. She combines clinical work with research in perioperative quality and safety and has been continuously funded by the NIH and AHRQ since 2010. Liza is currently leading a national collaborative aimed at accelerating adoption of enhanced recovery principles, AHRQ Safety Program for Improving Surgical Care and Recovery.

Debra H. Ford, MD is Associate Professor of Surgery, Head of the Section of Colon and Rectal Surgery and the Sr. Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, DC.  In addition, she is the founding medical director of the Howard University Health Sciences Simulation and Clinical Skills Center (ACS AEI). She currently serves on the ASCRS Membership Committee and has previously been a member of the following ASCRS Committees: Awards, Program, Young Surgeons, Resident, and Self-Assessment.

Jonathan A. Laryea, MD serves as Chief of the Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery and Professor of Surgery at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.  He is also the Medical Director of the Cancer Service Line at the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. He is the Vice Chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee of ASCRS. He previously served on the Young Surgeons Committee, Fundamentals of Rectal Cancer Committee, CARSEP Committee, Program Committee and the Diversity Taskforce.

Scott R. Steele, MD, MBA serves as the Chair of Department of Colorectal Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, OH. He is the President-elect of the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery and serves as a Co-Editor for Diseases of the Colon & Rectum. He has previously served on multiple ASCRS committees and been the Vice-Chair or Chair of four, as well as serving as the Vice-Chair of the 2017 Annual Meeting. 


Honorary Fellows

Nasser Al-Sanea, MD
Nam Kyu Kim, MD
Charles Knowles
April Roslani, MD
Thandinkosi Madiba ,MD

Fellow and International Fellow

International Fellows
Francisco Abarca Rendon, MD
Giovanni Dapri, MD
Maria Michailidou, MD
Rohin Mittal, MD
Diego Naiderman, MD
Sarhan Sydney Saad, MD, PhD
Marie Dione Parreno Sacdalan, MD
Anthonia Adewole, MD
Piyush Aggarwal, MD
Jennifer Agnew, MD
Bader Alshaban, MD
Anushka Arumugasaamy, MD
Theodor Asgeirsson, MD
Greta Bernier, MD
Avinash Bhakta, MD
Kristina Booth, MD
Matthew Brady, MD
Stephen Brandstetter, MD
Ahmed Chadi, MD
Ayana Chase, MD
Matthew Chauviere, MD
Jill Clark, MD
Ohmar Coughlin, MD
Thomas Curran, MD, MPH
Michelle DeLeon, MD, FACS
Jeffrey Douaiher, MD
Joanne Favuzza, DO
Justin Fischer, MD
Wissam Halabi, MD
David J. Hiller, MD
Christine Hsieh, MD
Michael Huck, MD
Nimalan Jeganathan, MD
Gifty Kwakye, MD, MPH
Erica Laipply, MD
Lawrence Lee, MD
Kathleen Lee, MD
Jason Lei, MD
Nicole Lopez, MD
Sridevi Maddineni, MD
Tafadzwa Makarawo, MD
Nathalie Mantilla, MD
Benjamin Martin, MD
Kiranmayi Palla Muddasani, MD
Jennifer Paruch, MD
Nikhil Patel, MD
Uma Phatak, MD
David Rosen, MD
Dan Enger Ruiz, MD
Maryam Naseem Saidy, MD
Daniel Sarmiento, MD
Jeffrey Scow, MD
Beth-Ann Shanker, MD
Holly Sheldon, MD
Benjamin Shogan, MD
John Tillou, MD
Poornima Vanguri, MD
Maria Sophia Villanueva, MD
Nicole Wieghard, MD
Lauren Wilson, MD
Matthew R. Wilson, MD
Joshua Wolf, MD
Christian Zalai, MD


The Local Hero Award was created to honor an individual from the host city of the ASCRS Annual Meeting who have made an extraordinary impact on colon and rectal disease.

.           .           .           .           .           .           .           .

Rolf Benirschke grew up in a medical family in San Diego as the son of a world-renowned Pathologist who was always challenging him to make his life count for something more.

However, instead of following in his family’s medical footsteps, Rolf’s career began in the NFL serving as placekicker for the San Diego Chargers.

As an NFL placekicker, his star was rising fast when in his second season he was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. Rolf underwent a colectomy with anastomosis that leaked and caused severe sepsis. He had several operations performed by colorectal surgeons who saved his life. Yet his experience inspired some early ideas on how he might follow his father’s early advice to make his life count for something more.

Meanwhile, he returned to the NFL where he played with an ileostomy and a mucous fistula for a total of 10 years and earned his spot as the third most accurate placekicker in NFL history plus numerous honors, including the Pro Bowl and NFL “Man of the Year” award.  

Outside the NFL, Rolf made his ulcerative colitis journey count by creating a nationwide patient advocacy and support program for those facing ostomy surgery and IBD. For 36 years, Rolf has been providing inspiration and encouragement to patients around the world who live with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, colorectal and bladder cancer or other circumstances that can lead to ostomy surgery.  

Rolf has written three books — Alive & Kicking, which details his battle with ulcerative colitis and other health issues, Great Comebacks from Ostomy Surgery, and Embracing Life, two books featuring inspirational stories of people who have survived and thrived following ostomy surgery.

In 2009, his visionary work as a patient advocate led him to co-found Legacy Health Strategies, an industry-leading strategic marketing firm that develops patient support, disease awareness, and treatment compliance initiatives for medical device and pharmaceutical companies.

Rolf is married to Mary Michaletz Benirschke, a speech pathologist, and they reside in San Diego. The couple has four children, Erik, Kari, Tim, and Ryan. Three of his children have special needs including cerebral palsy, brain injury and developmental delays, which further sparks the couple’s advocacy for those in need and gives them more compassion and understanding of life’s gifts and challenges.

“It’s not what you become, it’s what you overcome.” (Rolf)


The Jagelman Award honors the memory of Dr. David Jagelman, whose advocacy for his patients at the Cleveland Clinic is legendary. 

Dr. Jagelman founded and directed the Cleveland Clinic’s Familial Polyposis Registry and had become chair of the Department of Colorectal Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Florida shortly before he died from kidney cancer in 1993, at age 53.   

.           .           .           .           .           .           .           .           .

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.

Reflections on a Very Productive Year from ASCRS President Dr. Neil Hyman

As my year as president comes to a close, I thought it might be helpful to summarize a few of the changes and initiatives we have implemented. It is just over one year since we transitioned to self-management, and a lot has been accomplished to set us on a course of efficient, effective and sustainable self-governance:
  • We have implemented a systematic approach to task completion and leadership roles, so the wheel will not be reinvented with each new president.
  • Instead of frequent emails with bits and pieces of information coming at unpredictable times, our staff provides us with a weekly ASCRS digest with curated and selected updates for the membership.
  • I was especially pleased with the creation of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force under the leadership of Drs. Erin King-Mullins and Wayne Tuckson that has now become a standing committee of ASCRS. With their help and guidance, we have made a number of meaningful changes in how all of our members can participate, lead and have their voices heard. For the first time this year, we will be reaching out to underserved communities as a routine to try and improve access to screening and high quality care for colorectal cancer. Every time ASCRS visits a city for our Annual Meeting, we will routinely partner with local communities to make this a standard initiative.
  • Our Mentoring Task Force has successfully completed a pilot aimed at our early career members under the guidance of Dr. Ann Lowry's steady hand, and these opportunities will be greatly expanded in the year ahead.
  • Drs. Alessandro Fichera, Mike McGee and Lisa Cannon have successfully launched a video-based mentorship series, aimed at creating a community of mutually respectful learners who share and discuss tricks of the trade through review of operative videos. Over 300 ASCRS members registered for the last session focused on high IMA/IMV ligation.
  • Dr. Najjia Mahmoud is leading efforts to revamp our educational platform, which we anticipate will be a “one-stop-shop” for all ASCRS educational assets.
  • Dr. Larissa Temple has been designing and planning a society-wide quality collaborative, so we can all work together to define best practices and allow us all to benchmark our outcomes in a supportive and constructive manner.
There are so many other "irons in the fire" and I sincerely apologize that space constraints only allow me to highlight a few of them. We have so many incredibly talented members with great ideas, and a major focus of my year has been to make ASCRS a bit more “bottoms up” (pun sort of intended) and provide an opportunity for more folks to participate and lead. I don’t like to brag, but this has really allowed me to do what I do best…..take credit for other people’s work!
On a more serious note, I think it is critically important that we all register for and participate in this year's virtual Annual Scientific Meeting. Of course, we ALL look forward to seeing each other, but a virtual component to our meeting is here to stay and we will be especially interested in your opinion on what worked and what did not. I think you all will be amazed by what can be accomplished virtually and blown away by the incredible program that Program Chair Konstantin Umanskiy and Co-chairs Emily Huang, Radhika Smith and Emily Steinhagen have put together for us. There’s never been a more important time for all of us individually and for our specialty to make the extra effort to connect with each other.
Lastly, I wanted to thank David Westman and our incredible staff for their hard work and help throughout the year. I am grateful to the Executive Council, our Committee Chairs, hard working committee members and the entire membership for their support, advice and partnership throughout this crazy year. I cannot emphasize enough how lucky we are to have Dr. Tom Read in the on-deck circle as the next president. He has been a strong and steadfast "consigliere" for me this past year and is clearly a leader of the highest intellect, integrity and vision.
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