Call for Abstracts
The WSS Abstract Submitter for the 2016 Annual Conference is now closed.
I am pleased to introduce the WSS Advocacy Blog, courtesy of Dr. Amy Liepert. As many of you may know, Amy currently serves as the RAS Liaison to the Health Policy Advocacy Council (HPAC) of the College. In other words, she is our "go to" expert on the wheelings and dealings in Washington, DC, Madison and parts in between. As you know, under Shanu Kothari's leadership, we have used this forum to ask for Member action, be it writing letters to Senators and Congressmen, or calling local representatives to advocate for certain issues that affect us and our practice of Surgery. We appreciate your responsiveness to these calls to action! Dr. Liepert is particularly well connected within the College and will put our Chapter at the forefront of future advocacy efforts. Thank you, Dr. Liepert!
Michael Garren, MD, FACS
President, Wisconsin Surgical Society
Leadership and Advocacy Summit
April has come and gone – hopefully with it so has the rainy cold weather to make way for May
flowers. April also brought a very important time of year for Surgical Health Policy Advocacy. The
American College of Surgeons held the annual Leadership and Advocacy Summit in Washington DC from
The Leadership portion of the Summit was an opportunity to delve into timely leadership areas.
This year's agenda included: communication and teamwork, strategic thinking, engagement and
sustainability, role of social media and emotional intelligence. Also highlighted were various state
chapter reports, presentations from Adil Haider MD, FACS on disparities in surgical care, David Rogers
MD, FACS discussing team conflict, and much more. Collage leadership present included Patricia Turner,
MD, FACS, Director of Division of Member Services and David Hoyt, MD, FACS, Executive Director.
The Advocacy portion of the Summit began Sunday evening with Keynote speaker Chris
Matthews of MSNBC's Hardball. Christian Shalgian, Director of Division of Advocacy and Health Policy,
Frank Opelka, MD, FACS Medical Director of Quality and Health Policy and Patrick Bailey MD, FACS,
Medical Director of Advocacy also attended this portion of the summit. Monday was filled with
Advocacy instruction and state breakout and networking sessions followed by lobby and issues briefings
to prepare for Lobby Day on Capitol Hill. The lunch speaker was Larry Sabato an election analyst and
author who gave a stimulating perspective on the lively presidential election race and contrasted with
Chris Matthews in a number of ways.
Topics discussed with legislators during Capitol Hill visits on Tuesday April, 12th included:
ensuring adequate surgical workforce in underserved areas, reinforcing the importance of support for
Graduate Medical Education, Removing Billing Barriers of Colorectal screening colonoscopies, support of
cancer initiatives, responsible use of CMS data by public reporting agencies, and trauma funding.
Additionally, surgeons discussed with their legislators and legislative staff MACRA and MIPS
Attendees from the WSS included: Michael Garren, MD, FACS (WSS President), Amy E. Liepert,
MD, FACS (WSS Policy Chair), Charles Chang MD, FACS (Thedacare), Girma Tefera, MD, FACS, (ACS
Operation Giving Back Medical Director), Rachel Morris, MD (MCW Resident), and Moritz Wyler von
Ballmoos, MD (MCW CT Fellow). Legislative offices visited by this group included: Speaker Paul Ryan,
Senator Tammy Baldwin, Senator Ron Johnson, Representative Mark Pocan, and Representative Gwen
The Leadership and Advocacy Summit is a yearly meeting held in Washington DC. In addition to
being informative of current and timely legislative agenda items impacting surgeons, it also provides
numerous venues for networking. The 2017 Summit will be held May 6-9th at the Renaissance Hotel in
Washington DC. Additional advocacy info will be available via this blog and at www.surgeonsvoice.org.