News Items

ASCRS Joins More Than 75 Health Care Organizations in Joint Statement in Opposition to Legislative Interference

On behalf of the Executive Council, The American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons supports the joint statement by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Medical Association (AMA) in response to the recent Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. The statement can be found below.
In arriving at the decision to endorse the statement, the ASCRS Executive Council discussed and carefully considered the broad implications of the Supreme Court decision on our fellow society members and patients. As Council members, we reflected on the diversity of our membership, practices, and the regions of the country where our members live and work. We are unified by the overriding principles that the integrity of the physician-patient relationship must be protected, that the freedom to safely practice and access evidence-based medicine is a fundamental right, and that each of us must have the right to make autonomous reproductive health decisions.
We welcome open dialogue and value tolerance and inclusivity as our society and the nation navigates these challenging times.
Respectfully,  The ASCRS Executive Council

The following is a statement from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Medical Association, joined by the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine; American Academy of Family Physicians; American Academy of Nursing; American Academy of Pediatrics; American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; American Association of Public Health Physicians; American Board of Anesthesiology; American Board of Internal Medicine; American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation; American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics; American Board of Medical Specialties; American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology; American Board of Plastic Surgery; American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology; American Board of Surgery; American College of Correctional Physicians; American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics; American College of Nurse-Midwives; American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists; American College of Physicians; American College of Preventive Medicine; American Epilepsy Society; American Geriatrics Society; American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society; American Medical Student Association; American Medical Women's Association; American Muslim Health Professionals; American Psychiatric Association; American Public Health Association; American Society for Clinical Pathology; American Society for Reproductive Medicine; American Society of Addiction Medicine; American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons; American Society of Hematology; American Thoracic Society; American Urogynecologic Society; Association for Clinical Oncology; Association of American Indian Physicians; Association of American Medical Colleges; Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics; Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses; Black Mamas Matter Alliance, Inc.; Council of Medical Specialty Societies; Council of University Chairs of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Endocrine Society; GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality; Infectious Diseases Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology; International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health; March for Moms; Massachusetts Medical Society; Medical Students for Choice; National Abortion Federation; National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health; National Birth Equity Collaborative; National Hispanic Medical Association; National Medical Association; New York Academy of Medicine; North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology; North American Society for Psychosocial Obstetrics & Gynecology; Physicians for Reproductive Health; Ryan Residency Training Program in Abortion and Family Planning; Society for Academic Specialists in General Obstetrics and Gynecology; Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine; Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine; Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology; Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility; Society for Reproductive Investigation; Society of Family Planning; Society of General Internal Medicine; Society of Gynecologic Oncology; Society of Gynecologic Surgeons; Society of Hospital Medicine; Society of OB/GYN Hospitalists; Student Osteopathic Medical Association; and Womxn's Health Collaborative:

“As the U.S. health care system enters a post-Roe era, we, representing dozens of major organizations of health care professionals, oppose all legislative interference in the patient–clinician relationship. Our patients need to be able to access—and our clinicians need to be able to provide—the evidence-based care that is right for them, including abortion, without arbitrary limitations, without threats, and without harm.

“The wave of abortion bans going into effect in states across the country will harm patients, impair the
integrity of the medical profession, and have a devastating and unquantifiable impact on the patients and clinicians it affects. People in at least half the states will now face a cruel choice between traveling hundreds of miles to receive abortion care (which is simply impossible for those who lack the resources, means, and opportunity) or being forced to continue with a pregnancy that may threaten their health, well-being, and future.

“Clinicians who practice in good faith in these states will be subject to a similarly untenable decision: risk criminal prosecution or other civil sanctions by providing appropriate, evidence-based care in accordance with their patients’ needs and wishes or withhold safe and effective reproductive health care from patients in need.

“Banning abortion care is a decision not founded in science or based on evidence. In all facets of medicine, clinicians train for years—some for decades—to learn how to provide the best evidence-based care possible to their patients. Patients form trusting relationships with their health care professionals, but when health care professionals are prevented from providing the full spectrum of care by threat of legal action, the quality and scope of care they can provide is limited, endangering both patient care and the patient–clinician relationship. Just as patients should not be forced to leave their communities to access abortion care, clinicians should not be forced to uproot their lives and leave their homes in order to practice in safe, supportive environments. Restricting access to care and eroding the trust between patients and health care professionals will worsen existing gaps in health disparities and outcomes, compounding the harm that underresourced communities already experience.

“Abortion care is safe and essential reproductive health care. Keeping the patient–clinician relationship safe and private is essential not only to quality individualized care but also to the fabric of our communities and the integrity of our health care infrastructure. As leading medical and health care organizations dedicated to patient care and public health, we condemn this and all interference in the patient–clinician relationship.”

Study published June 5, 2022, in the New England Journal of Medicine: PD-1 Blockade in Mismatch Repair-Deficient, Locally Advanced Rectal Cancer

The ASCRS Rectal Cancer Committee (RCC) wants to ensure that ASCRS members are aware of the small but exciting study published June 5, 2022, in the New England Journal of Medicine: PD-1 Blockade in Mismatch Repair-Deficient, Locally Advanced Rectal Cancer.(ref)  Cerek and colleagues from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center report on 12 patients with mismatch-repair-deficient clinical stage II or III rectal cancer treated with the PD-1 inhibitor dostarlimab.  Treatment was every 3 weeks for 6 months, and 100% of patients had a clinical complete response.  These patients are in a “watch and wait” protocol, and none have required chemoradiation or surgery at a median follow-up of 12 months.  It is important to note that only 5-10% of rectal cancers are mismatch-repair deficient.  Furthermore, careful “watch and wait” monitoring (in centers with established protocols for, and experience with, nonoperative management) is essential, given the uncertainty about the durability of these responses. 
Cercek A, Lumish M, Sinopoli J, Weiss J, Shia J, Lamendola-Essel M, El Dika IH, Segal N, Shcherba M, Sugarman R, Stadler Z, Yaeger R, Smith JJ, Rousseau B, Argiles G, Patel M, Desai A, Saltz LB, Widmar M, Iyer K, Zhang J, Gianino N, Crane C, Romesser PB, Pappou EP, Paty P, Garcia-Aguilar J, Gonen M, Gollub M, Weiser MR, Schalper KA, Diaz LA Jr. PD-1 Blockade in Mismatch Repair-Deficient, Locally Advanced Rectal Cancer. N Engl J Med. 2022 Jun 5. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2201445. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35660797.

Statement from ASCRS Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and Executive Committee of ASCRS strongly condemn violence. The racist deadly attack targeting Black Americans on Saturday, May 14 in Buffalo, NY, in addition to the other mass shootings and events in California and elsewhere over the course of the weekend, continue to spark significant concern. We extend our sincerest condolences to the families, friends and loved ones of the victims whose lives were mercilessly taken, as we do to those taken in previous similar attacks. We seek to uplift the Buffalo community and explore how we may take part in the healing of members of the colorectal society. We recognize that other groups have also been attacked and would like to remind members that this is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month. We understand that anxiety and fear are at an all-time high for many marginalized groups in this country, and we stand in solidarity with all who have ever been made to feel as other. Any member of the society can contribute by reaching out to anyone they know who may be affected by this senseless tragedy, or by reaching out to Dr King-Mullins ([email protected]) with any further comments or concerns. 
A link to the various gofundme options to directly support Buffalo victims can be found here:

With hope for a better future,

Erin King-Mullins, MD – Chair, DEI committee
Jonathan Laryea, MD - Vice Chair, DEI Committee
Conor P Delaney , MD PhD, President

ASCRS Hosts First Pathway Program for Students During the 2022 Annual Scientific Meeting

The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS) hosted on May 1, 2022 an immersive one-day pathway program for 25 Tampa-area high school, college and medical students interested in the specialty of colon and rectal surgery during the society's 2022 Annual Scientific Meeting in Tampa, Florida.

The ASCRS Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI) Committee led this pathway program for students. Industry partners Ethicon, Intuitive and Medtronic also participated in the program by providing materials such as hands-on surgical robotics and suturing stations and presentations covering technology within the specialty. Other program support includes the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, BEST Academy, University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, Moffitt Cancer Center, and Tour 4 Diversity.

The program kicked off with a welcome breakfast for students and their parents, while also giving them the chance to participate in a Healthy Eating and Colon Cancer presentation. Students and parents were encouraged to take a walk through an inflatable colon donated by the Colorectal Cancer Alliance that displayed descriptive banners next to disease replicas, intended to spark conversation and increase awareness of colon health. Additionally, parents were able to meet with Moffitt to explore colon cancer screening options and community programs and services available to them if financial assistance is needed.

The DEI Committee's mission is to help our colorectal society provide diverse and equitable care to patients and create a diverse colorectal workforce. "Underserved populations tend to fare better when they have healthcare providers they can relate to," states Erin King-Mullins, MD, FACS, FASCRS, Chair of the ASCRS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. "We want to help close the gap in healthcare disparities and inequalities by exposing young minds to how awesome and relatable the field of colorectal surgery can be," states King-Mullins.

ASCRS will host its next DEI pathway program in Seattle, Washington, at the ASCRS 2023 Annual Scientific Meeting.

ASCRS Announces 2022-2023 Executive Council Officers, Members at Large and Fellows

During the Society’s Annual Business Meeting on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, ASCRS Fellows cast their votes and approved the proposed Executive Council Officers and Members-at-Large. 2022 Fellows and International Fellows were approved in a separate vote. Please join us in welcoming the new 2022-2023 Executive Council Officers and Members at Large. A big congratulations to our 2022 Fellows and International Fellow members.

President: 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.

Mutch-(1).pngPresident-Elect: 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 PrRead-(2).jpgesident: 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.

Vice PresiRamamoorthy-(1).jpgdent: 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.  

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: Wilkins-(1).jpgKirsten B. Wilkins, MD
Dr. Wilkins completed her colon and rectal residency at Robert Wood Johnson in New Jersey in 2003. Since that time, she has been honored to train the colorectal residents of that same program. She currently serves as the Assistant Program director and is head of resident research. Besides running a very busy clinical practice and training the fellows, she has been very active in the New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania Societies of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. She is Past- President for both the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Societies.  She has served on many committees of the American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons. She was the Program Chair for the ASCRS Annual Meeting in Los Angeles in 2016. She is currently the Chair of the Self-Assessment Committee, Vice-Chair of the Leadership Task Force and former Chair of the Committee on Committees.
President, Research Foundation of the ASCRS: Elizabeth C.Wick, MD
Dr. Wick is a professor of surgery, Vice Chair of Quality and Safety in the Department of Surgery, and Co-chair of the   
Department's Research Committee. Dr. Wick is an experienced laparoscopic surgeon and treats the entire spectrum of    colorectal conditions including diverticular disease, inflammatory bowel disease, colon and rectal cancer, anal cancer, and perianal disease with a patient-­centered approach. Dr. Wick is a recognized national leader in research to reduce surgical site infections and formulating strategies for improving perioperative care. She has published more than 75 articles in this area and is frequently invited to speak and share her expertise with other hospitals. Most recently, she led an AHRQ-funded national collaborative to improve surgical safety and reduce surgical site infections in 250 hospitals across the US and abroad. 


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.

Wick-(2).jpgElizabeth 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. 

Glenn Thomas Ault, MD, MSEd serves as the Physician Director of Graduate Medical Education and the Designated Institutional Official at Keck Medicine of the University of Southern California. He is a Professor of Surgery, the Past-President of the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery and currently serves as Chair of the CRS Review Committee at the ACGME. He previously was a program director for the CRS residency at USC for over 10 years.  He currently serves on the Continuing Education Committee of the ASCRS and has previously been a member of the following ASCRS committees: Operative Competency Evaluation, Regional Society, and Residents.

Jennifer S. Davids, MD is an Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Massachusetts, where she serves as the Program Director of the Colon and Rectal Surgery Fellowship.  Dr. Davids is on the editorial board of Diseases of the Colon and Rectum and is an Associate Examiner for the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. In the ASCRS, she has served as Chair of the Young Surgeons Committee, Vice-Chair of the Social Media Committee, and as a member of the Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee, Industry Relations Committee, and numerous task forces.

Dr. Alessandro Fichera is the Division Chief of Colorectal Surgery and the Surgery Safety and Quality Officer at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. He serves as Section Editor for Diseases of the Colon & Rectum. He is the current chair of the ASCRS Video Based Education Committee, member of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Committee and he has previously been a member of the following ASCRS Committees: Awards, Program, Young Researchers, Regional Society, Residents, Membership, International, Research Foundation, and Fundamental of Rectal Cancer Surgery.
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