American Surgical Association

ASA Council
Selwyn M. Vickers, MD
Diana L. Farmer, MD
Vice President
Michael G. Sarr, MD
Mary T. Hawn, MD
Kelly M. McMasters, MD, PhD
Jeffrey A. Drebin, MD, PhD
E. Christopher Ellison, MD
Ronald V. Maier, MD
Robin S. McLeod, MD
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Recent ASA Council Actions

Recent ASA Council Actions
Over the past year, the ASA Council assembled via video conference for three formal meetings, on July 30, 2020, January 16, 2021, and April 5, 2021, as well as three other interim videoconferences related to the virtual Annual Meeting. The following are action and informational items from these meetings:

  • Having been greatly distressed by violence against fellow Americans of color that has brought to the forefront racism and social injustice, issued a "Statement of Solidarity on Condemning and Eliminating Racism."
  • Voted in 2020 to induct four new Honorary Fellows into the Association, all of whom were introduced at the virtual 2021 Annual Meeting, along with the four elected in 2019.
  • Approved the development of a Diversity and Inclusion Task Force that will transition the current "Women in Surgery Breakfast" to a Diversity Forum. Starting at the 2022 Annual Meeting, this new session will be incorporated into the Annual Meeting programming and be open to all registrants to attend. The Task Force will also be charged with revising the Association's open-access document, "Ensuring Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Academic Surgery," at regular intervals.
  • Selected two recipients, one each from the Society of Black Academic Surgeons and the Society of University Surgeons, for the ASA's Surgical Leaders Fellowship.
  • Approved a proposed By-Laws Amendment, which updates the description and award criteria of the ASA Medallion for Advancement of Surgical Care. This proposed amendment was shared with the membership during the virtual Annual Meeting's Business Meeting and shall now lie over for one year, and be presented for a second time at the Executive Session of the 2022 Annual Meeting, at which time adoption of the proposed amendment shall require a supporting vote of at least three-fourths of the Fellows present.
  • Acknowledging a growing pattern in US politics to discredit science, issued a "Statement in Support of Science and on Keeping Politics Out of Science."
  • Voted unanimously to conduct this 141st Annual Meeting virtually rather than in person, and to negotiate and re-contract with the 2021 venue, the Hyatt Regency Seattle, for the 2026 Annual Meeting.
  • Voted that six sponsor letters be required for all membership applicants, and furthermore that no more than three of those letters be from the membership candidate's institution. The current policy requires only three letters, with three supplemental letters optional; starting with the 2023 cycle, all six letters will become mandatory.
  • Published the monograph, "Ensuring Ethical Leadership in Academic Medicine," as an open-access document on the ASA website.
  • With the ASA's 2021 Annual Meeting transition to a virtual event—and the ESA meeting’s to a hybrid event—the three members selected for the 2021 ASA/ESA Exchange Program Members were deferred to 2022.
  • Responded to the request for comments on the NIH/NCI K08 mentored scientist funding mechanism, by: 1) strongly supporting the position that 50% protected time for a junior academic surgeon scientist is sufficient to ensure successful transition to an independent investigator; and 2) asserting that the NIH salary cap has not kept up with inflation and is not concordant with current AAMC salaries for the majority of physician specialties. If the NIH plans to continue to foster the careers of physician scientists, the NIH cap should reflect the prevailing salary for academic physicians. And just this week, informed by the input of the ASA and others, the NCI announced that it will now allow surgeon-scientist applicants to reduce the percent effort required for conducting research career development on a K08 award below 75% (nine person-months), but no lower than 50% (six person-months).
  • Requested further information on shifting a percentage of the ASA's investments into a socially conscious portfolio, which uses mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that focus on Environmental, Social, and Governance issues.
  • Voted to hold the 2025 Annual Meeting in San Diego, California.
  • Reaffirmed its commitment to collecting demographic data, which members can provide by answering the newly added questions to their profile pages in the ASA website's Members Only Area. It is only with this information that the Association can define its diversity baseline, then chart how it improves each year.

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