Southern California Chapter

American College of Surgeons


SCCACS Summer Newsletter 2013 -- Vol. 18

Editor's Note

Dr Hines

By O. Joe Hines, MD, FACS
President-Elect , SCCACS

In this SCCACS Summer Newsletter, we've tried to summarize some of the many activities of your Chapter officers, committee chairpersons and representatives. I am pleased to announce some exciting developments thus far, including a combined Annual Scientific Meeting with the California Chapter of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Continuing this year, we've changed the format to an online version, with links sent to members' emails. The Southern California Chapter has an aggressive socioeconomic and educational mission, and seeks to represent the needs of its members in all of its activities.  Please let us know how we are doing, give us your thoughts on the complex issues of the day, and tell us if there are ways in which we can better serve you.



President's Message


By Daniel R. Margulies, MD, FACS

President, SCCACS


The progress at the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons is exciting, and I am pleased to report to you some of our activities thus far this year. As you will see throughout this newsletter, Dr Marguliesnumerous colleagues have been volunteering their time to lead chapter committees that work throughout the year to provide the programs and services we enjoy. Feel free to show them your appreciation for their efforts when you have the opportunity. Likewise, if you have an interest in taking part, I am sure we could use your assistance. Drop me a note anytime regarding this topic or any other regarding the Chapter.


Preparations are well underway for this year’s Annual Scientific Meeting. We are returning once again to the lovely Four Seasons Biltmore Resort in Santa Barbra from Jan. 17-19, 2014. We have arranged for a block of rooms at a deeply discounted rate of $350/night. Rooms at this rate are available until the block of rooms is sold out or until December 16, 2013 -- whichever occurs first. Reservations can be made directly with the hotel at (805) 565-8299. Mention the Southern California Chapter of the American Colleges of Surgeons to receive the discounted rate.


This year, I am looking forward to a robust and diverse scientific session that will include some important modifications to benefit our members. Not only will over 19 hours of CME be available, but we plan on providing Maintenance of Certification (MOC) self-assessment credits this year specific to the particular sessions you choose to attend. The credits should be available online following the sessions. More details will follow on this from the Program Committee.Dr Rhee


2014 Guest Speakers

I am pleased to announce one of this year’s guest speakers is Peter M. Rhee, MD, MPH Chief, Division of Trauma, Critical Care and Emergency Surgery at the University of Arizona. Dr Carlos PellegriniWe are also looking forward to hearing about national college issues from Carlos A. Pellegrini, MD, FACS, FRCSI (Hon), President-Elect of the American College of Surgeons (ACS).


Program Chair Brian Smith, MD, Associate Program Chair Farin Amersi, MD. and Assistant Program Chair Kenji Inaba, MD, have been working tirelessly to assemble a combination of scientific papers, guest lectureships and other material of interest not only to general surgeons, but also those in surgical subspecialties.


“What’s New” Sessions

The ever-popular “What’s New” sessions will highlight important topics. In addition, I am pleased to announce that “Surgical Jeopardy” will return, bigger and better than ever, as residents from our many teaching hospitals square off for a fight for the prestigious Fifth Annual Dowden Cup. Be sure to be present to cheer on your favorite team!


New CollaborationASMBS

I am also looking forward to the having the California Chapter of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery join us for the first time at our annual meeting. Their society will be having a joint session, and we welcome all their Chapter’s members from across the state. This collaboration will be a welcome addition and should prove a useful exchange for all.


The popular Friday evening cocktail reception will return with its traditional abundance of food, drink and fun. Whether you are a repeat participant or have never been to the meeting, all are welcome. Bring the family, enjoy seeing colleagues you might have not seen for a while or just come to relax and learn.


Call for Abstracts

Abstracts for Annual Scientific Meeting program participation are now being accepted through close of business on Tuesday, Sept. 17. Most presented papers selected for oral presentation will be included in a special issue of the American Surgeon. This is, as always, a great forum for young surgeons and for surgical trainees to get experience in presenting and publishing. Details are posted here. This year the Commission on Cancer will be selecting Resident Research Paper completion with a cash prize for the winner and a chance to continue on in national competition. Similarly, the Committee on Trauma will also be having its annual Resident Research contest.


Please Help Recruit Vendors

In this era of cost containment, we could use your help this year more than ever -- in recruiting industry participation for the meeting. Industry support allows us to keep membership dues and registration fees at a more modest level. Our industry vendors also give us an opportunity to view the latest technology and conduct one to one discussions regarding technology, pharmaceuticals and other tools that we utilize in our practices.


If you have any special relationship with industry representatives who have supported us in the past, or who have expressed an interest in doing so in the future, please forward your contact information directly to Jim Dowden, our executive director, at He will provide the necessary follow-up and offer vendors a selection of opportunities for participation.


Once again, I hope that you and your family find time to come to Santa Barbara to enjoy the program and to partake in the many opportunities for education, recreation, and relaxation that are an integral part of our Annual Scientific Meeting. I wish you a safe and enjoyable remainder of your summer.



Chapter seeks feedback

SCCACS is your organization. The Chapter leaders below want to hear from you with any comments and suggestions:

President Daniel R. Margulies, MD, FACS,

President-Elect O. Joe Hines, MD, FACS,

Vice President Shirin Towfigh, MD, FACS,

Secretary-Treasurer Christian de Virgilio, MD, FACS,

Recorder Ninh T. Nguyen, MD, FACS,

Anton Bilchik, MD, FACS,

Charles F. Brunicardi, MD, FACS,
J. Craig Collins, MD, FACS,
Joshua D I Ellenhorn, MD, FACS,
Roy Fujitani, MD, FACS,
Howard Kaufman, MD, FACS,
Vincent L. Rowe, MD, FACS,
Anthony Senagore, MD, FACS,
Edward "Bill" Taylor, MD, FACS,

Program Chair Brian Smith, MD, FACS,

Associate Chair Farin Amersi, MD, FACS,

Assistant Chair Kenji Inaba, MD, FACS,

Commission on Cancer State Chair
Sharon Lum, MD, FACS,

Committee on Trauma Chair
Kenji Inaba, MD, FACS,

Representative, Association of Women Surgeons
Angela Neville, MD, FACS,

Young Surgeon Representatives
Alice Chung, MD, FACS,

Kevork Kazanjian, MD, FACS,

Executive Director
C. James Dowden



Membership Report

By C. James Dowden
Executive Director, SCCACS

Jim Dowden

Summer 2013 membership in the Southern California Chapter of ACS is 1,811 members. This breaks down into 913 Active Fellows, 872 Senior Fellows and 26 Associate members. The Chapter membership represents just over 48% of all ACS Fellows in the Southern California region. We need your help in reaching your colleagues.

Chapter membership in the California Medical Association’s legislative bodies is directly proportional to the number of members that the Chapter has. We need a bigger voice in CMA to ensure that we have the opportunity to appropriately represent the interest of surgeons on legislative matters and other policy issues that come before the CMA. The more members we have, the more seats at the table we have to represent your interests.

Membership also provides the resources that the Chapter needs in order to continue to provide an outstanding annual Scientific Conference, financial support to surgical Residents to attend and participate in that meeting and to reward those who submit outstanding papers, and to carry out other activities of the Chapter.

SCCACS Member Services
The Southern California Chapter of ACS provides member surgeons with unique services not offered in most other areas of the country. We are the only Chapter that provides a free subscription to The American Surgeon. This journal is provided to active members throughout the year. The Chaper also funds the cost of participation on the various CMA legislative bodies and meetings by surgeons representing this region. We are one of the few Chapters that conducts a major Scientific Conference, bringing outstanding nationally known surgeons to present to our members.

As articles elsewhere in the newsletter indicate, your Chapter leaders are representing you in a variety of ways at a time when medical practice is in great turmoil and under significant stress. To ensure your voice continues to be heard, your continued support of the Chapter is vital. But equally important is your assistance in reaching out to your colleagues who are not currently part of the Chapter to encourage their membership and their involvement.

We have invited area ACS Fellows to join the Chapter to represent the surgical profession at all levels affecting our practice. We have a full-color recruitment brochure available listing membership benefits. You can view this on the Chapter’s Web site (click on View or Download next to Membership Brochure).

If you know a colleague who’s not part of the Chapter, please encourage him/her to accept this invitiation to join SCCACS. Or invite them to download the Chapter membership application online.

The Chapter is doing much and providing many services for a relatively modest annual investment on your part. Much more can be done. Please contact us (310/364-0193) if you need membership applications and brochures to give to your colleagues, or if you have suggestions on how we can encourage them to join.


Young Surgeons Representatives' Report


By Alice Chung, MD, FACS, and Kevork Kazanjian, MD, FACS

SCCACS 2013 Young Surgeons Representatives


Introduction and Young Surgeons’ Breakfast

The 2014 SCCACS Annual Scientific Meeting is going to be of great interest for local young surgeons. Last year’s Young Surgeons’ Breakfast with Drs. David Hoyt and Robin Blackstone was a huge succeDr Chungss, and plans are underway to make this year’s event even better.


We have planned a breakfast session on Saturday morning for surgeons under the age of 45. ThiDr Kazanjians will be an opportunity for young surgeons to discuss their careers and the balance of life and work with leaders in our field.  Please make plans to join us for this highly rated annual event.


Surgical Jeopardy

Back by popular demand, Surgical Jeopardy will return to the Annual Scientific Meeting in 2014. This year, residents from Southern California residency programs will compete for the annual trophy, as well as bragging rights in what should be an educational and entertaining event. This year will mark the sixth year the competition takes place.


Winners will enjoy having their names and residency program listed on the Dowden Trophy. Four preliminary rounds will pit three programs against one another, with the winner of each round advancing to final jeopardy for the tournament of champions. 


Last year’s competition was one of the highest-attended events for the Annual Scientific Meeting, and 2014 will be a fantastic opportunity for residents from each of our local programs to prove their worth. We will be contacting program directors and residents of the various local programs to start encouraging them to attend the meeting and take part in this event.


Young Surgeon’s Travel Stipend

This year will mark the sixth year the Young Surgeon’s Travel Stipend will be awarded on a competitive basis. The purpose of the stipend is to encourage young surgeons to participate in local Chapter and national American College of Surgeons activities by providing a stipend (this year $1,000 each for three separate awardees for a total of $3,000) to be used at the discretion of the young surgeon. They will have 18 months to use the award.


The only restrictions are that the stipend be used for meeting attendance expenses, that it be applied towards a meeting of the local Chapter or a national ACS meeting, and that winners be present at the 2014 breakfast to receive the award. Three travel stipends will be awarded at the Young Surgeon’s Breakfast.


Stipend applications are posted on the chapter’s website. The deadline for submission is 5pm PST Jan. 13, 2014.


We look forward to an outstanding attendance this year and to seeing you all in Santa Barbara in January.



Commission on Cancer Liaison Report

By Sharon S. Lum, MD, FACS
State Chair, Southern California Chapter ACSDr Lum
Commission on Cancer, California Zone S
In January, I began a three-year term as the new State Chair for California Zone S, a large geographic area encompassing “Southern” California from Escondido to Fresno to Palm Desert. I hope to use this position to communicate with the Cancer Liaison Physicians of Southern California, support Commission on Cancer initiatives, collaborate with our local Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons and our American Cancer Society colleagues, and to provide resources to enhance cancer care at Southern California institutions.

During the Annual Scientific Meeting of the SCCACS in January, we had an informal meet and greet breakfast at the beautiful Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara. In May, I attended the annual Commission on Cancer Spring Meeting in Chicago. Priorities for the Commission on Cancer this year include, among others:

1. Improving resources for accredited programs, including a revamped website

2. Expanding research opportunities

3. Serving as a conduit for meaningful public reporting of outcomes

4. Increasing public awareness of Commission on Cancer values

Furthering These Goals

In conjunction with the American Cancer Society, I hosted a teleconference in July to explore the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the care of cancer patients and how Commission on Cancer accreditation provides value within the context of quality of care guidelines in the ACA.

The Commission on Cancer is hosting a nation-wide Physician-in-Training Cancer Research Paper Competition to foster the importance of oncologic research in support of its mission. The national award winners will be announced Aug. 15, 2014.The overall winner will receive a $1,000 honorarium, travel expenses to present his or her research to the Annual Meeting of the Commission on Cancer in San Francisco on Oct. 26, 2014, and consideration for publication in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. Authors of the second- and third-place abstracts in the national competition will receive $500 and an invitation for posterPaper competition presentation at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Commission on Cancer.

Submit Entries

To enter the national competition, abstracts should be the work of residents or fellows and be submitted to the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons Jan. 17-19, 2014 in Santa Barbara. The winner selected from our Chapter meeting will be entered in the national competition to compete for a $1,000 prize and a chance to present their research at the annual Commission on Cancer meeting.

If you are working with a talented resident or fellow, please be sure to submit your abstract to the SCCACS meeting for consideration of this prestigious opportunity to represent Southern California at the national meeting.

More details on this competition are posted here.

Additional information can be found at the revamped CoC website.

Feel free to contact me at if you have any questions about CoC activities.



Association of Women Surgeons Report

By Angela L. Neville, MD, FACS

Representative, Association of Women Surgeons 

We were delighted to have an outstanding showing for the 5th Annual Women in Surgery Luncheon Saturday, Jan. 19, at the 2013 SCCACS Annual Scientific Meeting. More than 40 students, residents, fellows and attending surgeons attended the event and had the opportunity to meet and network with other female surgeons from a variety of specialties.

Our keynote speaker was Robin Blackstone, MD, FACS, recent past president of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Dr. Blackstone gave a spirited and well-received talk entitled, “The Role of Women in Leading American Surgery.” Attendees were delighted by her charisma and worldly perspective.

Please make plans now to attend the 6th Annual Women in Surgery Luncheon on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 during this year’s SCCACS meeting at the Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara. 

Mark your calendars and make sure you RSVP for this event!



ACS Committee on Trauma

By Kenji Inaba, MD, FACS, FRCSC

Chair, SCCACS Committee on Trauma

The Southern California Chapter of ACS Committee on Trauma remains committed to improving the care of injured patieDr Inabants in this region and to providing education to surgeons caring for these patients. It sponsors ATLS, ASSET, DMEP and TOPIC courses, as well as the local Resident Trauma Paper Competition.

For 2013, we will continue to link submissions for this Paper Competition with abstract submissions for the SCCACS Annual Scientific Meeting. Last year, 16 outstanding abstracts were presented, representing many of the Surgery training programs in our region.

Three abstracts were selected for the Regional Trauma Paper Competition, held in San Francisco. The top abstracts at the Regional Competition were selected to participate at the National Trauma Paper Competition.

Present in Tucson

This year, we will be accepting submissions for the SCCACS Annual Scientific Meeting, along with the Residents Trauma Paper Competition.

We are looking forward to having another year where our outstanding Southern California Residents present their state-of-the-art research. The top abstracts will be selected for the Regional Competition, to be held in December 2013 in Tucson, AZ.



2014 Annual Scientific Meeting

By Brian Smith, MD, FACS

SCCACS, Program Chair


As Program Chair of the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, it is withDr Smith tremendous enthusiasm that President Dan Margulies, MD, FACS, and I announce the upcoming 2014 Annual Scientific Meeting in January. Together with the rest of the Program Committee -- Associate Chair Farin Amersi, MD, FACS, and Assistant Chair Kenji Inaba, MD, FACS -- we are proud to once again host the meeting at the luxurious Santa Barbara Four Seasons Biltmore Hotel and Resort on the beach in Montecito, California. This is the premier resident-oriented meeting in Southern California, and the Program Committee has been working diligently to make this the most progressive, innovative and inclusive meeting in the history of the Chapter. There are several new items that we hope will further the appeal of this popular meeting.

Highlights of the 2014 Meeting:

Dr Pellegrini

  • Self-assessment CME offering, a first in Chapter history
  • Combined meeting with the California Chapter of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, including several presentations about bariatric surgery as it pertains to the general surgeon
  • Special guest Carlos A. Pellegrini, MD, FACS, Chairman of the Board of Regents and President-Elect of the American College of Surgeons, to update the Chapter on the activities of the College
  • Perpetual favorite Resident Jeopardy competition, where Cedars Sinai residents will compete for their third consecutive Dowden Cup Dr Rhee
  • High-quality oral research paper presentations
  • Invited faculty Peter M. Rhee, MD, FACS, Chief, Division of Trauma, Critical Care and Emergency Surgery at the University of Arizona, will discuss the latest innovations in Trauma/ACS surgery
  • Annual Wine and Cheese Poster Session
  • Young Surgeons Breakfast, hosted by several special guests
  • What’s New in Surgery series
  • Welcome Cocktail Reception
  • Women in Surgery session
  • Online registration

 Specialty Sessions include:

  • Colorectal Surgery

  • Cardiovascular Surgery
  • Breast Surgery
  • Head & Neck Surgery
  • Pediatric Surgery
  • Trauma Surgery
  • General Surgery
  • Plastic Surgery

The meeting will run from Friday Jan. 17 through Sunday Jan. 19, 2014 over the MLK weSanta Barbara Biltmoreekend. Click here for meeting registration and hotel information. Early bird discounted conference registration deadline is Dec. 31. The block of hotel rooms always sells out, so we strongly encourage you to make your reservations early. The discounted room rate for the Chapter Meeting is good until Dec. 16 or when the block of rooms has been sold out, whichever comes first. 

With a growing attendance year-over-year, and flourishing chapter membership — the largest chapter in the country — this meeting is sure to have something for surgeons of all disciplines. So we look forward to welcoming all who are interested in a great meeting, with high-quality features, in a beautiful setting.   

We look forward to seeing you in Santa Barbara Jan. 17-19, 2014.




Abstract Submission
Deadline: 5pm PST Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013

Discounted Hotel Rate
Cut-off: Dec. 16, 2013

•2014 Meeting Early Bird Registration

Cut-off: Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013


•Young Surgeons Travel Stipend

Deadline: Monday, 5pm PST Jan. 13, 2014

•2014 Annual Scientific Meeting
Jan. 17-19, 2014
Four Seasons Biltmore Resort
1260 Channel Drive, Santa Barbara
Call 805/565-8299 by Dec.16, 2013
to get discounted $350 room rate.

•2015 Annual Scientific Meeting
Jan. 16-18, 2015
Four Seasons Biltmore Resort
Santa Barbara

•2016 Annual Scientific Meeting
Jan. 15-17, 2016
Four Seasons Biltmore Resort
Santa Barbara


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