technologically advanced procedures. In August 2014,
the FDA issued an action plan that has three priority
areas: ( 1) improve data collection and coding of data,
( 2) advance clinical trials, and ( 3) improve transparency.
Rounding out the program, the participants broke into
small groups to discuss areas for future research and
collaboration based on the questions and comments
raised in the previous day’s overview of the meeting’s
five core themes.
Ali Salim, MD, FACS, chief, division of trauma,
burns, and surgical critical care, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and professor of surgery, Harvard
Medical School, stated that improving health literacy
was the major concern of the group that discussed
patient factors. The group called for better engagement with primary care professionals and improved
ACS Regent Henri Ford, MD, MHA, FACS, vice-president and chief of surgery, Children’s Hospital
Los Angeles; and professor and vice-chair for clinical
affairs, department of surgery, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, said the group
that looked at provider factors called for improving
cultural dexterity, improving patient-provider communication, and addressing implicit biases through
mindfulness and empathy.
Steven Stain, MD, FACS, a member of the ACS
Board of Governors Executive Committee, and the
Henry and Sally Schaffer Chair, department of surgery,
Albany Medical Center, NY, said the group focused
on systemic factors identified the following areas for
research: ( 1) the effect of payment strategies in the context of policy reform; ( 2) care coordination, integration,
and tailored guidelines; and ( 3) regionalization of care.
Shadid Shafi, MD, MPH, FACS, clinical scholar,
Baylor Scott & White Health System, and director,
Research Institute at John Peter Smith Hospital and
Health System, Baylor University, Houston, TX, led
the panel on clinical care and quality, which empha-
sized leveraging the electronic health record to improve
adoption of evidence-based care.
ACS Regent Beth H. Sutton, MD, FACS, a general surgeon in private practice, Wichita Falls, TX, and clinical
professor of surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, led the postoperative care
and rehabilitation group, which identified the need to
leverage existing databases, long-term strategies for
communication with patients, and how postoperative
care affects patient perceptions of satisfaction and quality of life.
Each of the five group leaders also presented the
top research questions and topics for their theme.
These are now being written up for peer-reviewed
publication and approval by the various federal and
Overall, the symposium set the stage for the ACS,
NIH, and other partners to work together to ensure
that surgical patients have better access to care, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, geographic location, and
“I’ve heard nothing but positive feedback from the
speakers, attendees, and colleagues at the ACS and the
NIH,” Dr. Haider said at the conclusion of the sympo-
sium. “We have accomplished our goal of creating a
national research agenda, and I anticipate that it will
be widely adopted by researchers and funders alike as
we continue to produce research that moves us closer
to eliminating disparities.”
Dr. Britt added, “I can’t say it enough—I think this
is historic. I think we can advance the science and
move the needle a little bit more.” Dr. Dankwa-Mullan
agreed, noting, “There is enormous, tremendous work
to be done. We look forward to working together and
collaborating on this effort.” ♦
To view a video featuring key participants at the symposium,
go to www.facs.org.
“I believe the military health system is in a particularly
good position to be a collaborator because of whom
we take care of and what we have at our disposal.”