New England Surgical Society
New England Surgical Society

Early Spring 2018 Newsletter

President's Message

Robert J. Touloukian, MD, President NESS
Robert J. Touloukian, MD

I have the extraordinary privilege to be your President this year and excited by having our 99th Annual meeting in Portland Maine, at a wonderful venue providing a combination of cultural opportunities, urban activities, and the Gulf of Maine, all in one package. Details for registration are forthcoming. I look forward to a large turnout. Much appreciation to Bruce Leavitt for his leadership last year and conducting the "Member needs Survey". The results are in and you will find several charts from the Survey in our newsletter. Comments are encouraged. Thank you for your participation.

Plans for our upcoming meeting are in high gear following our Executive meeting last month. New additions to the Committee are Rick Barth, our President elect, Richard Swanson, Vice-President and Parker Roberts, the new representative from Maine. Congratulations to all. Kari Rosenkranz, our Program Chair has invited a panel of experts to update us on the "Frontiers in Surgical Oncology," and Keith Lillemoe has accepted our invitation to be the Samuel J Mixter Lecturer. A distinguished member has been selected to receive the Nathan Smith Award but I will keep the suspense going before announcing the name.

Meanwhile the responsibility for the success of our Annual meeting falls on the membership to submit abstracts for the Podium, Brief Presentation, as well as the Poster sessions. Remember that each abstract must include the name of a Member as co-Author or Sponsor. Please encourage your residents to also prepare their abstracts for the Surgical and Fellow Research Presentation Day to be held at the Waltham Woods Conference Center on Tuesday, May 8th. The submission deadline for abstracts to each event is Monday, April 2nd. The long term success of our Society is driven by the interest and participation of young surgeons. Encourage your residents to apply and become a Candidate Member, a new category available to trainees in a residency or fellowship within New England and serves as a nice opportunity for transition to active membership upon completion of training.

In closing I offer my best wishes to the membership as we transition from winter activities to spring time renewal. I look forward to see many of you in May and at the Annual meeting in Portland.


Robert J Touloukian, MD, FACS

Editor's Corner:
Thomas J. Miner, MD, Editor NESS
Thomas J. Miner, MD

I have been captivated by the triumph of Norwegian skier Simen Hegstag Krueger. Krueger picked himself up from a fall and a broken pole at the chaotic mass start of men's Skiathlon at Pyeonchang 2018. Having recovered from his first-lap tumble, which had left him fully 36 seconds behind the leaders, Krueger made his break for glory with little more than a lap to go. At one point he built a lead of more than 20 seconds on a highly competitive field. "It's an indescribable feeling," said Krueger afterwards. "It is an amazing day but it started in the worst possible way. I was last, so I had to start the race again and switch focus just to catch up with everyone. When I did it I said to myself: Ok take one lap, two laps, three laps and just get into it again and try to do it on the final lap." As surgeons, it is easy to take a story such as this and apply it to what we do every single day. As such, I find Krueger's story both inspirational and familiar. We excel at combining the physical, technical, mental skills required to succeed during times of duress. We overcome bad days sometimes methodically, sometimes heroically, sometimes with the grace of good fortune. Much more often than not we persevere and prevail.

Some have suggested that surgeons can be thought of as well seasoned athletes who similarly require care to include coaching, training, and rehabilitation of the injured mind and body to position each to perform at the highest level. As part of the narrative on physician wellness, this analogy is initially appealing but fundamentally misses the point. Although we might empathize with the "thrill of victory and the agony of defeat," the goals of the athlete to perform at specific high stakes events (be it every 4 years in the Olympics or at more frequent intervals in professional sports) are unlike what a surgeon faces. We must perform at the highest level every day. Our low scores are not discarded. There is little time for rest, rehabilitation or even celebration for a job well done. As we move beyond the sensational statistics and anecdotes that usually initiate discussions on surgeon wellness, we must do more than state the problems. We must find solutions. I have no doubt they will be complex and difficult to implement. Yet, I am confident that we have the capacity to be successful in this endeavor.

I am very proud of the leadership our organization has taken on the multifaceted topic of surgeon wellness. At the fall meeting many important, relevant and timely issues were brought up in open and forthright manners. This needs to continue. Our patients, trainees, and colleagues deserve it. As individuals we probably need it, too. I encourage everyone to be part of the conversation and receptive to the new ideas that will be generated. Our continued attention to this matter is required to "bring home the gold."

Thomas J. Miner MD

Secretary's Message
David E. Clark, MD
David E. Clark, MD
Dear NESS Membership,

Greetings from your Portland colleagues, who are eagerly anticipating your visit here in the fall! The only other time when the Annual Meeting took place in Portland was 1931, with clinical sessions at the Maine General Hospital (now the Maine Medical Center) and scientific papers at the Black Point Inn on Prout's Neck. Five states contributed to the program, including a remarkably modern presentation about head trauma from Edward H. Risley of Waterville. Howard M. Clute described the Lahey Clinic experience with 25 repairs of common and hepatic duct injuries (mostly iatrogenic). President Alfred M. Rowley of Hartford spoke at the Friday dinner about "Colonial Physicians of Connecticut". Social festivities on Saturday included a "shore dinner" at Pine Point, an ideal location since the entire country was suffering from a late summer heat wave.

The 2018 Call for Abstracts is now open, and we hope Dr. Risley would be proud to see what Maine can contribute to the program this year. We look forward to hearing from all six New England states (and others), and welcoming the Society again to our energetic city and its beautiful surroundings. Prout's Neck still has the rugged oceanfront depicted by Winslow Homer, and we will be sending you information about this and other Maine attractions to explore. The Black Point Inn is still going strong, and we will be sending you information about the many excellent restaurants for which Portland has become famous. Pine Point is still one of many accessible beaches, the Common Ground Country Fair will be underway, and the Children's Museum is right across the street from our headquarters at the Westin Hotel. Whatever the weather, this will be a good year to bring your family!


David E. Clark, MD
NESS Secretary

Recorder's Message
Walter E. Longo, MD, Recorder NESS
Walter E. Longo, MD

Dear NESS Membership:

This year forty manuscripts were submitted from the 2017 Annual Meeting in Bretton Woods. This included papers resulting from 25 Podium Presentations, 7 Brief Reports and 8 Posters. Although the final decision on some of the manuscripts has not been determined, it appears that the acceptance rate has improved since last year. This is due to a concerted effort by the Publications Committee and select members of our organization to critically review the manuscripts and provide quality feedback. Once again, the Program Committee will be accepting abstract submissions, with the deadline being Monday April 2. The competition continues to be keen for those that ultimately will be presented at our National Meeting this fall in Portland, Maine. Those authors who garner acceptance as either a presentation from the podium or as a poster, and who will be submitting manuscripts are encouraged to work with the Publications Committee member who has been specifically assigned to review their manuscript to best optimize its chance of acceptance by the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. Along the same lines, the Publications Committee is willing to review your presentation or poster well prior to the Annual Meeting in September.

I would like once again to thank all members of the Publication Committee for their unending work in reviewing submitted manuscripts. Those Committee members who have completed their three-year appointments will rotate off and those new members to serve as their replacements to the committee will be solicited by their State Representative. This year, The Paper of the Year Award, will again be presented at the annual meeting. Please continue to be aware of the passing of NESS members within your individual state and to report any known deaths to your state representative so his/her necrology may appear in the annual meeting book. Looking forward to Portland, Maine, a gem of a city on the Atlantic Ocean.


Walter E. Longo, MD
NESS Recorder

Program Chair's Message
Kari Rosenkranz, MD
Kari Rosenkranz, MD

Dear NESS Membership,

I spent last Friday night stranded at Logan Airport during a Nor'easter and returned to Logan 5 days later in the midst of yet another Nor'easter. As I write, the TV meteorologist drones in the background forecasting yet a third Nor'easter in just over 1 weeks;' time. The snow, wind and cold bear down just as spring (according to the calendar) peeks around the corner. Such is life in New England; I suspect most of us would not want it any other way. If it were predictable, it would be dull.

The clock keeps ticking and in no time we will gather for the Fellows and Resident Research Day in May. I look forward to the society highlighting novel research and spotlighting our next generation of New England surgeons. The summer will pass quickly and soon we will enjoy a late fall meeting together in beautiful Portland, Maine. Again, we will celebrate the research accomplishments of our colleagues. We will also learn from our New Frontiers in Oncology panelists, enjoy museum tours, the harbor and local breweries, celebrate President Touloukian and welcome our President-elect, Rick Barth. I am hopeful that many members, including some who have not submitted work in several years, will take this opportunity to showcase the great work which is occurring in private practices and academic medical systems throughout the region. As a program committee, we look forward to including as many abstracts as possible in order to promote a diverse and interesting meeting. The quality of the meeting will reflect the submitted content. So please, submit early and often! On behalf of the program committee, I look forward to seeing many of you in Portland.


Kari M. Rosenkranz, MD
NESS Program Chair

Notice of 2018 Annual Meeting and Call for Abstracts

The 2018 Annual Meeting of the NESS will take place September 21-23, 2018, at the Westin Portland Harborview, Portland Maine. To submit your abstract for consideration in this program, please visit the 2018 NESS submission site. The NESS welcomes abstract submissions from all surgical disciplines. Read the Author Instructions for additional information.

Notice of 2018 Resident and Fellow Research Presentation Day

The 25th Annual Surgical Resident and Fellow Research Presentation Day will take place Tuesday, May 8, 2018, at the Conference Center at Waltham Woods, within the Massachusetts Medical Society Headquarters in Waltham, Massachusetts. Please visit the NESS Research Day Webpage to learn about the program, review the abstract submission guidelines, and complete your submission. Abstract submissions are welcome from all surgical disciplines from any surgical training program, including fellowship, in the New England region, as well as from Albany Medical Center.

The abstract submission deadline is Monday, April 2, 2018.

And remember that, per NESS By-Laws, either attendance at Research Presentation Day or inclusion as an author of an abstract submitted for consideration for presentation at Research Presentation Day meets the Society's active participation requirement—so please consider attending the 2018 program and co-authoring an abstract!

Member Needs Assessment

The NESS conducted a survey of its members to identify and prioritize issues of importance to the Society and profession, and to determine how it can best meet the needs of its members. What follows are a just a few snapshots of the survey results. Should you have an interest in a fuller report, please email the NESS.

Foundation News, including Scholars Research Grant

The purpose of the New England Surgical Scholars Foundation is to provide educational and research support for the NESS. During the past year, Drs. Christina V. Angeles and Rocco Orlando, III, were appointed as the New Hampshire and Connecticut representatives, respectively, on the Board of Directors, while Drs. Artlet G. Kurkchubasche and Charles H. Salem were re-appointed as President and as Secretary-Treasurer, respectively.

During fiscal year 2017, members contributed $20,850 to the Foundation, which includes $500 to the unrestricted Centennial Fund that was established to honor the NESS' 100th Anniversary. That Centennial Fund is still open and accepting donations. The organization has a number of financial obligations that have increased over time, and ongoing donations from the NESS membership are needed. Cumulative contributions are listed in the annual meeting program booklet, and members who have contributed since last year's meeting are further recognized by an assembly ribbon and by on-site signage.

The Foundation is now funding 2 concurrent Scholars Research grants—one a first-year grant ($10,000), and the other a second-year grant ($10,000)—which are meant to advance innovative surgical research via multiyear support. Further financial support is provided for the:

Members may donate by credit card via the Members Only Area; to donate by check (or to donate with credit card by mail), please download the Contribution Form.

The NESS Scholars Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 corporation organized to provide financial support to enhance the clinical and educational opportunities of the membership of NESS in their efforts to strengthen the discipline of surgery in New England.

NESS Job Board

If you are seeking a job in surgery, visit the NESS Job Board to:

  • Search for and quickly apply to great, relevant jobs;
  • Set up Job Alerts so you are immediately notified any time a job is posted that matches your skills or interests;
  • Create an anonymous job seeker profile or upload your anonymous resume so employers can find you; and
  • Access job searching tools and tips.

Job seeking is always free.

If you need to hire surgeons, visit the NESS Job Board to:

  • Place your job in front of NESS members;
  • Search our resume database of qualified candidates;
  • Manage jobs and applicant activity right on our site;
  • Limit applicants only to those who are qualified; and
  • Fill your jobs more quickly with great talent

Our hope is that this resource will make a significant difference for NESS members as they navigate their career paths.

2018 Dues Renewal

Make sure you remain a part of this vibrant Society; if you have not already done so, renew your dues online today by logging into the Members Only Area! There you also have the option to print a copy of your invoice and mail or fax it in with payment.

The NESS Executive Committee also strongly encourages Senior members to continue to pay their voluntary dues—especially those still in active practice.

2017 Annual Meeting Presentation Awards

The following awards are sponsored by the NESS Scholars Foundation.

Resident Prize Essay Awards

Basic Science Award Winner
Tissue Engineering Approaches for Treating Long Gap Esophageal Atresia
Ishna Sharma, UConn Health

Clinical Science Winners (in no particular order)
The Impact of Race on the Surgical Management of Adhesive Small Bowel Obstruction
Alexander S. Chiu, Yale School of Medicine

A Guideline for Discharge Opioid Prescriptions after Inpatient General Surgical Procedures
Maureen Hill, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

The Impact of an Acute Care Surgery Model on the General Surgery Service Revenue Stream
Adam N. Paine, University of Vermont Medical Center

New Member Award
Pregnancy and Motherhood during Surgical Training: Results of a Nationwide Survey
of General Surgery Residents

Erika Rangel, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

Best Poster Award
Local Excision Versus Radical Resection for 1 to 2cm Carcinoid Tumors of the Rectum:
A National Cancer Database Analysis

Adam C. Fields, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

Summary of the 2017 Annual Business Meeting

The 2017 Annual Business Meeting was held on Sunday, September 10th, in the Grand Ballroom of the Omni Mount Washington in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire.

Report of the Secretary

Dr. Leavitt referred the Membership to Dr. David Clark's formal report in the Annual Meeting Program Book.

Dr. Clark was called to the podium to present additional information for the Secretary's report. Dr. Clark reminded those present that all candidates being proposed for new membership consideration need to be submitted via the online membership module on the NESS Web site. He added that only candidates proposed during Caucus are to be submitted and encouraged submission of data in support of those candidates before December. In addition, he informed the Membership that, by mid-November, the list of all potential Active, Senior, and Affiliate candidates would be sent to the current membership for comment and feedback. These steps would ensure adequate paperwork review by the State Representatives prior to the winter interim meeting of the Executive Committee.

Dr. Clark also reminded those present of the criteria for Affiliate Membership. If a member wishes to sponsor an Affiliate Membership applicant, such person must:

  • Be a resident outside the New England States and within either the United States or Canada;
  • Have either Fellowship in the American College of Surgeons, fellowship in the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, or certification by an ABMS surgical specialty board or Canadian equivalent; and
  • Have an unrestricted license (or an inactive license due to retirement) to practice medicine and surgery in the state or province in which s/he practices or resides.

Dr. Clark further mentioned that applicants for Candidate membership may be sponsored at any time, as such applicants are vetted through the GME & Candidate Membership Committee on an as-needed basis throughout the year. This process permits for both more expeditious advancement of a trainee's membership and a potential for longer periods of membership at the Candidate level and its requisite benefits.

Dr. Clark reported that in 2017 the Executive Committee of the Society met on January 12th via conference call, May 16th in Waltham, Massachusetts, and again on Friday, September 8th, in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, with the following being action and informational items from those meetings:

  • Decided to conduct a survey of the membership to identify and prioritize issues of importance to the Society and profession, and to determine how the NESS can best meet the needs of its members.
  • Agreed that questions be added to the membership application that ask whether the applicant has attended, or co-authored an abstract submitted for presentation consideration at, an NESS Annual Meeting or Research Presentation Day.
  • Charged the Archives Committee with facilitating publication of the Newsletter, by incorporating content such as a synopsis of each Annual Meeting along with captioned photos into the Newsletter.
  • Agreed that, when asking Podium presenters for their manuscripts in advance of the Annual Meeting so that they may be reviewed by the Publications Committee, any NESS member co-authors and abstract sponsors should be included in the request to ensure the papers are submitted by the firm deadline.
  • Voted to invest $100,000 of the Society's assets in a conservative portfolio.
  • Voted to hold the 25th Annual Surgical Resident and Fellow Research Presentation Day again at Waltham Woods Conference Center, within the headquarters of the Massachusetts Medical Society in Waltham, Massachusetts.
  • Voted to hold the 2020 Annual Meeting from October 22-25, 2020, in Newport, Rhode Island, at Gurney's (formally the Hyatt Regency Goat Island).
  • Nominated Drs. Anne C. Larkin, Thomas J. Miner, and Kari Rosenkranz as the Society's three nominees for its next Representative to the American Board of Surgery, to succeed Dr. James Whiting when his term ends next year.

VOTED to approve the three nominees for NESS Representative to the American Board of Surgery.

Report of the Recorder

Dr. Walter E. Longo read the names of members who were known to have passed away and had not yet had their names read before the Membership at any previous Annual Business Meeting; thus, the following list includes members who may have died prior to September 18, 2016:

Mustafa I. Adham, MD, West Springfield, MA
Anthony Capobianco, MD, Framingham, MA
Richard W. Dow, MD, Lebanon, NH
Alphonse L. Gallitano, MD, Lincoln, MA
Benjamin T. Jackson, MD, Weston, MA
William P. Luke, MD, Gulf Stream, FL
Edward K. Morse, MD, Owls Head, ME
H. Brownell Wheeler, MD, South Portland, ME

The Membership stood for a moment of silence in memory of the departed members.

Report of the Treasurer

Through the use of slides, Dr. John E. Sutton, Jr., Treasurer, presented a financial report for the year-end as of December 31, 2016. Total year-end Receipts as of December 31, 2016, were $293,405. These consisted of: $133,860 in Dues & Assessments; $4,500 in contributions toward the 2016 Research Day; $153,700 in receipts for the 2016 Annual Meeting; and $121 in Interest Income.

Total year-end Disbursements of $317,100 which consisted of: $85,896 in total General and Administrative expenses; $2,265 in total Publications expenses; $2,265 in expenses toward the NESS Research Day; $150,082 in Meetings and Education disbursements for the 2016 Annual Meeting; and $53,873 in Officers and Committees expenses.

Dr. Sutton also noted the following details on last year's Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts:

  • Receipts from attendee registration were within 1% of budget; education support of $5000 was above the $2000 budgeted; however, exhibit fee were $21,000—or $8,900 below budget—resulting in total receipts being $7,125 below budget.
  • Expenses for that meeting came in $6,573 under budget. The President's Reception was $4,587 over budget, due to costs that were not originally budgeted related to the premiere of the documentary at the start of the reception (that is, amphitheater rental, additional audio/visual personnel and equipment, red carpet decoration, etc.)
  • The 2016 Annual Meeting surplus was $3,618; a surplus of $4,170 had been budgeted.

Report of the Audit Committee

Dr. Leavitt called upon Dr. Peter J. Mazzaglia, who, along with Dr. Richard S. Swanson, had served on the Audit Committee. He reported that the Audit Committee met Saturday morning with staff and affirmed that the Fiscal Year 2016 balance sheet and tax forms are accurate and complete.

VOTED to approve the Report of the Audit Committee.

Report of the New England Surgical Society Scholars Foundation

Through the use of slides, Dr. Arlet Kurkchubasche, NESS Scholars Foundation President, presented a financial report for the year-end as of December 31, 2016. Total Assets as of December 31st were $231,256 which included $21,335 in the Checking and Money Market Accounts, and $209,921 in the investment portfolio. In 2016, the remaining $2,564 stock of scarves was written off.

Total year-end receipts of $42,654 consisted of: $29,855 in contributions; including $10,600 in donations to the Centennial Fund; $2,200 in initiation fees; and $10,590 in investment revenue. Total year-end disbursements were $47,741 which consisted of: $7,250 in Annual Meeting Honoraria and Awards, including expenses for the Mixter Lecture, Nathan Smith Award, and Resident, New Member, and Poster Presentation Prizes; the $3,000 annual contribution toward the NESS Research Day; $20,000 for the Scholars Research Grants; $4,000 for the joint ACS/NESS Health Policy and Management Scholarship; $1,909 in General & Administrative costs; an $8,750 transfer from the Foundation's Centennial Fund to the NESS; the $2,564 write-off of the remaining stock of scarves; and $268 in Foundation Board expenses.

Dr. Kurkchubasche reminded those present that the mission of Scholars Foundation is to provide financial support to enhance the clinical and educational opportunities of the membership of NESS in their efforts to strengthen the discipline of surgery in New England. Activities currently supported by the foundation include; the Scholars Research Grant, which advances innovative surgical research via multiyear support. The recipient of this grant is awarded $10,000 in the initial year; the grant can then be renewed by review of the NESS Scholars Foundation Board of Directors for a succeeding year, for up to an additional $10,000. The 2015-2017 Scholars Research Grant Recipient was Dr. Robert A. Cowles; Dr. Cowles was called to present his final report.

Dr. Kurkchubasche notified the members that Dr. Eric G. Sheu, of Brigham and Women's received the 2017-2018 scholars grant for his project, “The role of Intestinal Immunity in the Anti-Diabetic Effects of Sleeve Gastrectomy”

The Foundation also supports the ACS/NESS Health Policy and Management Scholarship, which subsidizes attendance and participation in the Executive Leadership Program in Health Policy and Management at Brandeis University. The 2017 Scholarship was awarded to Dr. Alik Farber of Boston Medical Center. Dr. Farber was unable to present; his preliminary report is available on the NESS website—as is the final report of last year's recipient, Dr. Christopher S. Muratore. Dr. Kurchubasche further mentioned that the Foundation supports:

  • The Spring Resident and Fellow Research Presentation Day, two of the winners of which presented podium papers at the 2017 Annual Meeting;
  • The Annual Samuel Jason Mixter Lecture;
  • The Nathan Smith Award; and
  • The New Member, Resident Essay, and Best Poster Prizes at the Annual Meeting.

Dr. Kurchubasche reminded each member that his/her Contribution Level is cumulative, determined by the sum total of all donations over time. She thanked those NESS members who had contributed to the Foundation in the past year.

Report of the Program Committee

Dr. Dougald C. MacGillivray, Chair of the Program Committee, provided a report on abstract submission and selection, registration, invited speaker sessions, and other items related to the organization of the scientific programming at this year's Annual Meeting.

Report of the Representatives

Dr. Leavitt referred to the reports contained in the Program Book from the Society's Representatives to the American Board of Surgery, American College of Surgeons Board of Governors, and American College of Surgeons Advisory Council for Surgery.

Report of the Nominating Committee and Election of Officers

Dr. Leavitt called upon Dr. Frederick R. Radke, to present the Report of the Nominating Committee.

Dr. Radke noted that the Committee consisted of himself, together with Drs. David L. Berger and Michael J. Zinner. The Committee submitted the slate in the following order:

Recorder: Walter E. Longo., MD
Treasurer: John E. Sutton, Jr., MD
Secretary: David E. Clark, MD
Vice President: Richard S. Swanson, MD
President-Elect: Richard J. Barth, MD

Introduction of New President-Elect

Dr. Richard J. Barth was then escorted to the podium and the Membership congratulated him on his election. Dr. Barth thanked the Society and remarked how he was looking forward to leading the organization.

Introduction of Incoming President

Dr. Leavitt called Dr. Robert J. Touloukian to the podium to assume the Presidency of the Society. Dr. Leavitt presented Dr. Touloukian with the Society's ceremonial gavel.

On behalf of the Society, Dr. Touloukian expressed appreciation to Dr. Leavitt for his years of leadership work in the NESS and provided him with a Plaque of Appreciation in recognition of his invaluable service as President.

Dr. Leavitt expressed his gratitude for the privilege of serving the NESS and thanked the Executive Committee and the Membership.

Dr. Touloukian took a few moments to discuss the 2018 Annual Meeting in Portland, Maine, and encouraged all to attend.

New England Surgical Society Office
500 Cummings Center, Suite 4400
Beverly, MA 01915
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