The object of this Association shall be the cultivation and improvement of the science and art of surgery, the elevation of the standards of the medical profession and such other matters as may come legitimately within its sphere.
The 138th ASA Annual Meeting was held at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge with 585 physicians and 104 spouses and guests in attendance. Thirty-two (32) outstanding papers were presented during the Scientific Sessions of the 2018 meeting.
During the Opening Ceremony four new Honorary Fellows were introduced: Drs. Stephen W.K. Cheng of Hong Kong, China; Mario Morino of Turin, Italy; Juan A. Pekolj of Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Cornelis van de Velde of Leiden, Netherlands. All four were greeted with a warm welcome by the ASA meeting audience.
Dr. Charles Mock presented a report on the activities of the newly formed Task Force on Global Surgery.
The Medallion for Scientific Achievement was awarded to Dr. Richard L. Simmons of the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Medallion for Scientific Achievement is given periodically to a surgeon who has served his field with unusual distinction. The Medallion for the Advancement of Surgical Care was awarded to Dr. Steven M. Strasberg of Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri. The Medallion for the Advancement of Surgical Care recognizes seminal contributions in clinical surgery or surgical education that truly established new benchmarks or paradigms. These medallions represent the highest awards bestowed by the Association.
A highlight of Thursday's program was Dr. Ronald V. Maier's Presidential Address, "Our Calling." Programming on Friday featured the enlightening Forum discussion, "Is There Life After Surgery?", moderated by Dr. Maier and with presentations from Drs. Julie Ann Freischlag, David B. Hoyt, Carlos A. Pellegrini, David F. Torchiana, and Michael J. Zinner.
At the Executive Session on Friday the Flance-Karl Award was presented to Dr. John C. Alverdy of the University of Chicago, Illinois. The Flance-Karl Award is given to recognize outstanding basic science contributions by surgeons who have reached maturity to the degree that they have had an important impact on clinical practice.
In addition update reports were given by ASAF Fellowship recipients, Dr. Vatche G. Agopian of the University of California Los Angeles, and Dr. Genevieve M. Boland of Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. The Foundation also named three new Fellowship recipients in 2018: Drs. William H. Kitchens, Jr., PhD, of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, for his project entitled, "Rap1-Interacting Adaptor Molecule (RIAM) as a New Target for Transplant Immunosuppression"; Colin A. Martin of the University of Alabama Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama for his project entitled, "Early Microbial Influence of IgA Secretion and Immune Development"; and George Plitas of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York, for his project entitled, "CD177 Identifies a Novel Subset of Regulatory T Cells (Treg) Infiltrating Human Breast Cancer".
A bylaw amendment was passed striking the "active" and "inactive" Honorary Fellows designations and the limit on the number of Honorary Fellows; the Honorary Fellowships Committee will instead limit itself to recommending up to a set number of new Honorary Fellows each year, recognizing the need for diversity (including regional, specialty, and gender) and the time constraints for new Honorary Fellow introductions in the Opening Session.