New England Surgical Society
New England Surgical Society

Late Summer 2018 Newsletter

President's Message
Robert J. Touloukian, MD, President NESS
Robert J. Touloukian, MD

Dear Colleagues,

My hope is that everyone is now actively engaged in summer activities and enjoying the pleasures of the out-of-doors that only New England offers this time of year. This alert is to bring you up to date on the New England Surgical Society's 2018 Annual Meeting, September 21-23, 2018, at the Westin Portland Harborview, in Portland, Maine, and the many highlights you will enjoy.

The Executive Committee met with the Program Committee in early June to finalize the selection of Abstracts for presentation and were impressed with the number and quality of the submissions. The Panel on Saturday, September 22, 2018, at 10:50 am, will focus on the "New Frontiers in Surgical Oncology," and the Mixter Lecture, "Pancreatic Cancer Current Outcomes: Is There Hope on the Horizon," will be given by Dr. Keith Lillemoe on Sunday, September 23rd, at 9:20 am. The full preliminary scientific program is now available online. The importance of the New England Surgical Society providing an outstanding academic meeting increases on a yearly basis!

Special meeting events are another highlight and an added opportunity for collegiality and friendship. Two exciting complimentary breakfast sessions will be offered on Saturday morning, September 22nd, both from 7:00-7:45 am. First is "Navigating the Medicolegal Climate for Residents and Young Surgeons" geared towards Resident and Fellow attendees, led by Walter Longo. Second is the Posters of Distinction round robin presentation for the Best Poster Award, which should be a fun way to support this yearís Poster of Distinction nominees.

Also, this year we are offering two ticketed activities on Saturday, September 22, 2018: A tour of the "Winslow Homer Studio" starting at 12:00 pm, including a docent-guided visit to the Portland Art Museum; and the "Lucky Catch Lobster Charter," which was so popular that it's sold out, but if interested in being on the waitlist, contact the administrative offices. Both sound exciting. For landlubbers, our after-dinner speaker, Andrew Pershing, at Saturday's Presidents Reception and Dinner will focus on the challenges in the ecology of the Gulf of Maine.

When registering for the meeting, please sign-up for the First "Women in Surgery Leadership" luncheon on Saturday, September 22, 2018, from 12:15 - 1:45 pm, which will provide the opportunity for a lively round table discussion led by Dr. Anne Larkin, who is also heading up our Task Force on Women/Diversity/Equity in Surgical Leadership. I predict a large turnout for this event.

A final reminder: Registration is still open and can be accessed online at our website. Please notify your residents and non-member colleagues that Guest Registration can also be accessed there a quick reminder that all children (even grandchildren) can register for FREE, and that registered children ages 5-12 will be able to take part in Saturday evening's Mad Science Kids Banquet.

I look forward to greeting you all at our meeting.

Robert J Touloukian, MD, FACS

Editor's Corner: Stumbling into Wellness?
Thomas J. Miner, MD, Editor NESS
Thomas J. Miner, MD

Like so many of my friends and colleagues, I have become more interested in and receptive to improving surgeon wellness. Although I still tend to find many of the formal presentations a bit tired, as they often seem to restate sensationalized problems rather than offer meaningful solutions, I particularly appreciate some of the pearls that have been offered along the way. It has forced me to look at the man in the mirror. Wellness lessons have come from various and disparate places, some offered deliberately and some picked up by dumb luck. After more than twenty years of practice, it is with equal shares of pride and embarrassment that I must admit I have only recently stumbled on to several important personal and professional wellness tips. They include, but are certainly not limited to: not scheduling a full clinic schedule on days following call; effectively using macros and dot phrases in the electronic medical record; finishing the manuscript before presenting the abstract at the national meeting (delay compounds delay); stretching at the scrub sink to effectively decrease lower back pain; enjoying time off with friends and family (the rejuvenation associated with re-conquering a high peak in the Adirondacks cannot be understated); and, Iím working on becoming a better DIY-er (my projects take twice as long to finish than projected and usually cost me money by doing it myself, but Iíve gotten to work with some really fun power tools so I canít complain too much).

Do these things make me a better surgeon? They probably donít make my knots any better or my resections any more effective. I don't think my decisions are significantly different. But I have noticed I have more time for patients, residents, and family. I might feel (dare I say) a little less stressed. Patients and staff seem to be smiling a little bit more. OR days seem to run smoother. Maybe thereís something to this.

Upon reflection I realize that most of these wellness lessons Iíve picked up come from friends and colleagues. They probably have been offered all along. Maybe the best part about the wellness dialogue is that it got me to listen and be more receptive to identifying those things I need. Thatís a good thing. As the dialogue becomes even more active and engaged, I know I will learn and grow more. I believe others will as well. Perhaps change can and will come slowly from within. We need to keep taking about wellness. There is no secret formula, simple design, or checkbox we can mark off to succeed in this endeavor. We struggle as a profession to find an appropriate structure for wellness probably because no ideal program exists. Rather than stumble towards wellness, we should promote open and deliberate conversations that might help us improve our departments, our society, our profession, and ourselves. When we meet in Maine this fall, letís listen and learn from each other.

Thomas J. Miner MD

2018 Annual Meeting & Preliminary Program

2018 Annual Meeting

Join us for the 2018 Annual Meeting, September 21-23, at the Westin Portland Harborview in Portland, Maine. An exciting program has been assembled including stimulating scientific sessions, 54 poster presentations, a panel discussion, networking social events, and award presentations. Attendees will experience a memorable, rewarding, and educational Annual Meeting experience while earning CME with self-assessment.

Preliminary Program

Program Highlights

  • Specialty Breakfast Sessions:
    • Navigating the Medicolegal Climate for Residents and Young Surgeons
    • Posters of Distinction Presentation for the Best Poster Award
  • Panel Discussion: New Frontiers in Surgical Oncology
  • 34th Annual Samuel Jason Mixter Lecture: "Pancreatic Cancer: Current Outcomes: Is There Hope on the Horizon?" delivered by Keith D. Lillemoe (Sponsored by the NESS Scholars Foundation)
  • Women in Surgery Luncheon: Includes boxed lunch; separate fee required.
  • Portland Art Museum/Winslow Homer Studio Tour: Includes Docent-led tour of the Portland Art Museum, transportation to/from the Winslow Homer Studio, separate fee required.

Register online now, or, if you prefer, you may download a registration form and fax the completed document to 978-524-0461.

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

Dear NESS Membership,

A total of 41 papers were submitted to the Journal American College of Surgeons (JACS) from the 2017 Annual Meeting in Bretton Woods. There were 26 Podium, 7 Brief Reports and 8 Posters manuscripts submitted. 17 have been accepted of which 11 were podium, 4 Brief Reports, and 2 were posters. Our acceptance rate this year is in the order of 42%, which is improved since the 2016 meeting.

I would personally like to thank Timothy J. Eberlein, M.D., Editor in Chief of JACS for his thoughtful insights as to improving our publication rate. We will continue to make efforts to communicate with JACS to continue this trend.

I would like to thank the members of the Publication Committee who reviewed podium and poster papers and offered their opinions and criticisms of their content. The Publication Committee members will continue to have three year appointments, and new members of the committee will be appointed as past members rotate off.

The Paper of the Year Award continues to be a staple of our Annual Meeting, and the Program Committee will continue its process of selecting the recipient.

Please continue to be aware of the passing of NESS members within your individual State and report any known deaths to your state representative so his/her necrology can appear in the annual meeting booklet.

I look forward to seeing everyone in Portland, Maine, for the 2018 meeting, which, from the preliminary program, promises to be exciting.


Walter E. Longo, MD
NESS Recorder

A Message from the Program Committee
Kari Rosenkranz, MD
Kari Rosenkranz, MD

Much to my genuine surprise, Labor Day has quickly passed us. How quickly the summer has passed. While hopefully many of us vacationed, relaxed, and enjoyed life without shoveling snow, some members of NESS and our great team at PRRI were busy dotting the "I's" and crossing the "T's" in order to prepare for our annual meeting.

In just over two weeks, we will gather in Portland, Maine, for the 102nd meeting of our society. I look forward to seeing many of you at this diverse meeting highlights of which will include:

  • A breakfast panel on resident training and the medicolegal climate
  • Keynote speech from Dr. Keith Lillemoe
  • Presidential Address from Dr. Robert Touloukain
  • An exciting panel on "New Frontiers in Surgical Oncology"
  • Many, many novel research talks
  • The annual gala
  • And of course, fun activities in scenic Portland.

See you in Portland!

Kari M. Rosenkranz, MD
Chair, Program Committee

New Members Elected in 2018

Twenty-two new Active members were elected into the Society in 2018. Please welcome the following:

Reza Askari, MD, Boston, MA
Sarah E. Billmeier, MD, Lebanon, NH
Tobias Carling, MD, New Haven, CT
Timothy Fitzgerald, MD, Portland, ME
John J. Froio, MD, East Weymouth, MA
Jason Hall, MD, Boston, MA
Lee D. Hallagan, MD, Portland, ME
Daithi S. Heffernan, MD, Providence, RI
Amila Husic, MD, Derry, NH
Mario Katigbak, MD, Hartford, CT
Ziad Kutayli, MD, Springfield, MA
Steven D. Leach, MD, Lebanon, NH
Steven Milman, MD, Providence, RI
Jesse Moore, MD, Burlington, VT
James J. Murphy III, MD, Burlington, VT
Kevin Y. Pei, MD, New Haven, CT
Joseph F. Rappold, MD, Portland, ME
Jaswin Sawhney, MD, Portland, ME
Catherine A. Schneider, MD, Windsor, VT
Charles J. Smithers, MD, Boston, MA
Gino Trevisani, MD, Burlington, VT
Sharon Weintraub, MD, New Britain, CT

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.

Foundation News, including Scholars Research Grant Awardee

The New England Surgical Scholars Foundation continues to actively support the NESS by providing funds for educational and research endeavors. During the past year, Dr. Arlet G. Kurkchubasche has served as President and Dr. Charles Salem as Secretary-Treasurer.

At the end of fiscal year 2017, total assets of the Foundation were $241,595. Contributions during the year were to $20,850. Expenses for the year decreased from the prior year to $30,357. Major expenses included:

In 2018, the ACS/NESS Health Policy and Management Scholarship was awarded to Dr. John R. Romanelli of Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA and a first-year Scholars Research Grant was awarded to Dr. Khashayar Vakili of Boston Children's Hospital in Boston, MA, for his project entitled, "Personalized cell therapy using gene-edited liver progenitor cells for the treatment of inborn errors of metabolism."

Cumulative contributions to the Foundation 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, on-site signage, and walk-in slides.

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 education opportunities of the membership of NESS in their efforts to strengthen the discipline of surgery in New England.

New England Surgical Society Office
500 Cummings Center, Suite 4400
Beverly, MA 01915
Tel. (978) 927-8330 | Fax: (978) 524-0498