New England Surgical Society
New England Surgical Society

Summer 2020 Newsletter

President's Message

Walter E. Longo, MD
Walter E. Longo, MD

Dear Colleagues,

I first want to thank all of the membership for their patience and their leadership during these challenging times. As many of you are now aware, after much deliberation and keeping in mind our membersí health and our organizationís fiscal responsibility, the NESS will be hosting its 101st Annual Meeting virtually rather than in Newport, RI. The virtual meeting will take place on Friday and Saturday, October 22-24, 2020. It is a robust program, with half-day programming each day. Additional details about the upcoming meeting are included in the Program Chairís Newsletter article and in the Recorderís Report. Although there are currently major health concerns, financial stress, unemployment, social injustice, and emotional unrest happening in our country, we as an organization remain strong, due mostly to the strong values and ethics of our membership. As I said in my previous Newsletter message, it is a critical time when our future leadership will have to continually evaluate both our mission as New England Surgeons and as members of our organization and to be ready to take on and react to what is ahead.

Diversity and Inclusion continues to be an important part of our existence and we need to continue to foster this within our organization for the ensuing years. Ethics and professionalism as it relates to our publications as well as our organizationís perception through social media are paramount, and needs to continually be evaluated. I personally want to extend my sincere thanks to our Executive Committee, our committee leadership and committee members, and especially PRRI for keeping it all together and being proactive and flexible to continue to make our 100+ year organization successful during these challenging times. It has been an unusual Presidential tenure for me, far and beyond what I had ever expected. Nevertheless, it has been an honor and pleasure serving, and please know that my commitment to NESS will always be there for as long as I am able to contribute.


Walter E. Longo, MD

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

So much has happened since we last gathered. Everyone has been affected by current events that even would seem unbelievable if part of some dystopian novel or movie. But they are real, and, despite the words of the prognosticators we hear in the media, government, or even lurking in the OR, no one can truly predict how this will work out. Whether itís dealing with infectious disease, public health, personal safety, social justice and equity, citizenship, essential vs. non-essential jobs, baseball in empty stadiums, or whatever additional challenge we must face, we do not know where this journey through such unchartered territory will land us. Like many of you, I suspect, I struggle with the disturbing and unsettling realities.

Several times before in this column, Iíve shared the belief that surgeons possess a special ability to be comfortable in the uncomfortable, and this skill allows us to serve in diverse and meaningful ways. I find this thought uniquely comforting, especially in particularly hard times. I believe in and appreciate the surgeonís capacity to do this and I am proud that surgical training and practice have incorporated it into my soul. It is a point of departure much more productive and effective than fear, anger, guilt, or helplessness. Through this surgical lens I have been moved and humbled by the care, courage, and skill shown by residents and staff. Iíve witnessed leadership and cooperation from my friends and colleagues that have both humbled and inspired me. Although no more certain, my hope for the future is much more positive when I encounter fellow surgeons from around the community, region, and country. When we share our common surgical voice, we are better positioned to be more than just a popular hashtag. We are truly #strongertogether.

I look forward to our next meeting. It will be different. By now, though, we all understand and practice the etiquette of the virtual meeting (mute when listening, un-mute and speak up!). But the value and rewards of sharing time, knowledge, and fellowship will continue to bring familiar rewards. Until then, stay safe and letís stay strong together.


Thomas J. Miner, MD

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Secretary's Message
James Whiting, MD
James Whiting, MD

COVID-19 and the (Maybe) Silver Lining

Itís kind of difficult to write, think, or talk about anything these days without focusing on how COVID-19 has changed us. Certainly that is true with the New England Surgical Society. As you all know, our Annual Meeting will be held virtually this year. Some things you may or may not know; financially, the Society has managed to stay healthy due to the decisions and leadership of our President, Walter Longo and the foresight and involvement of PRRI. Meeting-wise, the Executive and Program Committees have probably spent at least twice as much time in meetings trying to find the right balance of virtual, in-person and postponed/cancelled activities. Academically, we had to cancel our Annual Resident Research Day last May, but with the added lead time afforded by a scheduled late fall meeting, weíre expecting a vigorous and interesting Virtual Annual Meeting. A number of societies have already done meetings in this format, weíve tried to learn from them, and although we will all miss the social interactions and exploring Newport, RI, itís in times like these that it becomes even more important to support the academic aspects of the society. The butterflies in the stomach of the residents presenting will be just as real virtually, and we hope the interchange with the presenters will also be just as robust as in the past. Weíve learned a lot about virtual education over the last six months, and although I as an educator canít wait to get back to more face-to-face conferences, there are certainly things that will stay with us, post COVID-19.

There has been a plethora of virtual visiting professorships, and although you canít completely replace the experience of visiting a different center, there clearly will be a role in the future for more virtual interchanges between institutions. The chat function, while certainly possible to abuse, has opened up educational interchanges in ways that are difficult to duplicate in person. We see a wider variety of comments, we see comments from individuals who donít always speak up in person, and conversely, we see some of our more long winded colleagues limited and forced to condense their comments by the formatís limitations. Routine recording of presentations has allowed us to ďbankĒ particularly strong presentations. It has also allowed us to help learners hone their presentation skills. Obviously recording presentations for the future and for learning is nothing new, but the barriers are much lower now. There certainly will be things that donít deserve to live on after COVID-19 as well; Iíd probably put a Tiger King virtual background in that category. So although our Annual Meeting this year wonít be in person and it wonít be over cocktails, we look forward to seeing you all this fall, at least virtually!


James Whiting, MD
NESS Secretary

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Recorder's Message
Kari Rosenkranz, MD
Kari Rosenkranz, MD

Dear NESS Friends,

I am hopeful that you and yours are safe and healthy and you are finding a way toward normalcy in these challenging times. A thank you from all of us to those NESS members who have been on the frontlines of this terrible pandemic. Your patients and communities are so lucky to have you.

As we look forward, we will miss being together in-person this October for our Annual Meeting. I am excited, however, by the creative ďvirtualĒ transition Drs. Longo, Vezeridis and the rest of the Program Committee have put together for us. We had the second highest amount of abstracts submitted to this meeting than in any previous year and the quality is fantastic. The Program Committee has selected a diverse and interesting group of papers for presentation. The virtual meeting will also include some hot topic debates and interesting poster sessions. No doubt this wonít be the same from afar, but I look forward to seeing many of you, resting comfortably on your couches, supporting our colleagues and our trainees in October!


Kari Rosenkranz, MD
NESS Recorder

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Program Chair's Message

Michael P. Vezeridis, MD

We certainly live in very interesting and challenging times. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected both our professional and personal lives in an unprecedented way. We had anticipated having a very pleasant Annual Meeting in the beautiful resort town of Newport, Rhode Island in October. Unfortunately, COVID-19 forced us to change our plans. After careful and thoughtful deliberation, the Executive Committee decided that we are going to have a virtual meeting this year.

Although the format of the meeting has changed, we have an outstanding program. We have two exciting and stimulating debates and high quality podium presentations and posters. I would like to strongly encourage you to actively participate in our virtual Annual Meeting. I am looking forward to seeing you all virtually in October and hopefully personally next year.


Michael P. Vezeridis, MD
NESS Program Chair

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The NESS 101st Annual Meeting is Going Virtual!

The NESS 101st Annual Meeting is Going Virtual!

Due to the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the necessity of creating the safest learning experience, this year's NESS Annual Meeting program that was scheduled to take place in person from October 23-25, 2020, at Gurney's Newport in Rhode Island, will now be held virtually. Together, the NESS Program and Executive Committees have taken this opportunity to cultivate a high-quality virtual meeting.

Preliminary Program
The Preliminary Program for the 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting of the New England Surgical Society is now available online. The Virtual Annual Meeting will be two half-days of programming, taking place October 23rd and 24th.

Program Highlights

  • Presidential Message delivered by Dr. Walter Longo
  • Six condensed Scientific Sessions with Podium and Brief presentations
  • Two Controversy debates; one on Graduate Medical Education and one focused on breast cancer
  • A quick-fire Poster of Distinction session on Saturday, during which authors present their posters for a chance to win the Best Poster Award
  • The Paper of the Year will be presented by Dr. Carlos Fernandez-del Castillo from Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Ability to explore the Poster Hall at any time to view poster presentations and leave feedback for the authors.
  • New Member Introductions
  • Annual Business Meeting
  • Opportunity to Earn CME! The NESS will be offering CME for the 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting.
Registration is now available online for the NESS Virtual Meeting. Due to the abridged and virtual format this year, the NESS is offering reduced registration rates for all registration categories.

Please visit the Annual Meeting page for more information.

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New Members Elected in 2020

Thirty-four new Active members were elected into the Society in 2020. Please welcome the following:
Souheil Adra, MD, Bristol, CT
Jeremy T. Aidlen, MD, Worcester, MA
Gary C. An, MD, Winooski, VT
Alia Aunchman, MD, Burlington, VT
Ramesh K. Batra, MBBS, New Haven, CT
Genevieve M. Boland, MD, PhD, Boston, MA
James E. Carroll, Jr., MD, Worcester, MA
Damien W. Carter, MD, Portland, ME
Andrew P. Dhanasopon, MD, New Haven, CT
Mark Fairweather, MD, Boston, MA
Nora Fullington, MD, Worcester, MA
Saber Ghiassi, MD, MPH, Fairfield, CT
Danielle J. Haakinson, MD, New Haven, CT
Brigid K. Killelea, MD, MPH, New Haven, CT
John W. Kunstman, MD, MHS, New Haven, CT
Holly S. Mason, MD, Springfield, MA
Sara W. Mayo, MD, Portland, ME
James M. McClane, MD, Norwalk, CT
Patrick M. McEnaney, MD, Mendon, MA
Chaitan K. Narsule, MD, Burlington, MA
Kelly Olino, MD, New Haven, CT
Motaz Qadan, MD, PhD, Boston, MA
Bedabrata Sarkar, MD, PhD, Burlington, MA
Forest R. Sheppard, MD, Portland, ME
Margo Shoup, MD, Danbury, CT
Hermann P. Sigbjarnarson, MD, Lebanon, NH
Daniel Solomon, MD, New Haven, CT
David Stitelman, MD, New Haven, CT
Paige Teller, MD, Scarborough, ME
Roberto Vidri Alonso-Rochi, MD, MPH, Lewiston, ME
Jiping Wang, MD, PhD, Boston, MA
Anna Weiss, MD, Brookline, MA
Matthew Z. Wilson, MD, MSc, Lebanon, NH
James Yoo, MD, Boston, MA

Two new members were elected as Candidate members since the last Annual Meeting. Please welcome the following:
Serena M. Murphy, MD, Burlington, VT
Timothy D. Murtha, MD, MHS, New York, NY

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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 duesóespecially those still in active practice.

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Photo Highlights from 2019 Annual Meeting add space

Call for Captions

View photo highlights from the 2019 Annual Meeting. If you have a caption for any of the photos or know the names of any of the members in any of the photos in the album, please email the NESS administrative office with your caption and photo number.

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Committee and Representative Listing

View 2019-2020 Committees and Representatives.

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Foundation News, including Scholars Research Grant

New England Surgical Scholars Foundation continues to actively support the NESS by providing funds for educational and research endeavors. During the past year, Dr. Daithi S. Heffernan was appointed as the Rhode Island representative on the Board of Directors, while Dr. David McAneny was appointed as President and Dr. Rocco Orlando, III was elected as Secretary-Treasurer.

During fiscal year 2019, members contributed $20,908 to the Foundation, which includes $1,350 to the unrestricted Centennial Fund that was established to honor the NESSí 100th Anniversary as well as $483 in NESS neckwear purchases. 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 yearís meeting are further recognized by an assembly ribbon and by on-site signage.

The Foundation is now funding two concurrent Scholars Research grantsóone a first-year grant ($10,000), and the other a second-year grant ($10,000)ówhich are meant to advance innovative surgical research via multiyear support.

  1. Scholar Research Grant
    Advances innovative surgical research via multiyear support

  2. ACS/NESS Health Policy and Management Scholarship
    Allows development of socioeconomic expertise within the society, via an annual scholarship to subsidize attendance and participation in the Executive Leadership Program in Health Policy and Management at Brandeis University

  3. Spring Resident and Fellow Research Presentation Day
    Promotes the professional development of young surgeons

  4. Annual Samuel Mixter Lecture
    Expands the understanding of the national surgical environment

  5. Nathan Smith Award
    Acknowledges the distinguished service of an NESS member

  6. New Member, Resident Essay, and Best Poster prizes at the Annual Meeting
    Acknowledges scholarship in the discipline of surgery

  7. ACS/NESS Health Policy and Management Scholarship
    Allows development of socioeconomic expertise within the society

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. Members may also purchase NESS neckwear (ties, bowties, and scarves) by downloading the Neckwear Order 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.

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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.

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