Six prominent surgeons receive ACS' Honorary Fellowship

Honorary Fellowship in the American College of Surgeons (ACS) was awarded to six prominent surgeons from South Africa, England, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, and the People's Republic of China last night during Convocation ceremonies that preceded the official opening of the College's 97th Annual Clinical Congress. The granting of Honorary Fellowship is one of the highlights of the Clinical Congress—one of the largest international meetings of surgeons in the world. The recipients were as follows:

- Prof. Kenneth D. Boffard

Professor Boffard, Johannesburg, South Africa, is a renowned surgeon and leader in trauma and critical care. Over the course of his career, he has demonstrated expertise in all aspects of trauma care, becoming a global leader in the care of injured patients. While serving as chairman of the International Association for Trauma Surgery and Intensive Care, he created the National Trauma Management Program to facilitate the provision of trauma training in resource-poor countries. The program has trained more than 8,000 physicians in India, Sri Lanka, and Africa. He was also an instrumental part of the development of the Definitive Surgical Trauma Care (DSTC) course, considered to be the world's most advanced open trauma course and which served as the model for the American College of Surgeons Advanced Trauma Operative Management® (ATOM®) course. Through the DSTC course, more than 5,000 surgeons in 25 countries have been trained. He has held numerous leadership positions in organized surgery, including a recently completed term as president of the International Society of Surgery and current appointments on the Councils of the College of Surgeons of South Africa, the Medical Board of the Health Professions Council of South Africa, and the Association of Surgeons of South Africa. He has also served as Chair of the American College of Surgeons Advanced Trauma Life Support® (ATLS®) program in South Africa, as an ACS Governor-at-Large representing South Africa, and president of the Trauma Society of South Africa. He is currently a professor and head of the department of surgery at Johannesburg Hospital and the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. For his great contributions to the care of injured and ill patients in his native South Africa and his work in research, teaching, leadership, and patient care, Professor Bofford is being awarded Honorary Fellowship in the American College of Surgeons.

- Prof. the Lord Darzi of Denham

Professor Ara Darzi, Denham, Buckinghamshire, England, is a surgical oncologist; the Paul Hamlyn Chair of Surgery and chairman of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at the Imperial College, London; and chair of surgery at the Institute of Cancer Research, London. Professor Darzi has been a world leader in the development of minimally invasive technologies for surgery; the use of surgical robots, virtual reality imaging, image-guided surgery; and the application of these technologies and techniques to teaching and measuring core competencies. He was responsible for introducing laparoscopic surgery to the United Kingdom and wrote a ground-breaking paper, in 1992, about his first laparoscopic colorectal resection. The first NOTES (natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery) cholecystectomy in the U.K. was performed by Professor Darzi in 2010 and he is leading the U.K. clinical trial on NOTES. He holds six patents for his own inventions, including a gaze-contingent robotic control, a novel technique that manipulates an articulated robotic device through the eyes of a surgeon performing minimally invasive surgery (as part of the perceptual docking framework) and the Smart Bougie, a sensor-enabled surgical dilator, which won the 2006 Idea to Product European and Global competitions. Professor Darzi pioneered the use of virtual reality simulators for advanced surgical training in the U.K. and was responsible for the development of the majority of the tools used for virtual reality simulation-based surgical education that are in use now all over the world. He has published more than 600 peer-reviewed articles and is the author or editor of 10 books. In 2002, he was knighted for his services in medicine and surgery and, five years later, was presented to the U.K.'s House of Lords as Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham and appointed Parliamentary Undersecretary of State at the Department of Health—a role that enabled him to perform a major review of the U.K.'s national health system, leading to the seminal report "High Quality Care for All." For his unique and innovative work as a surgeon, educator, champion of safety in surgery, and health care leader in the U.K., Prof. the Lord Darzi of Denham is being awarded Honorary Fellowship in the American College of Surgeons.

- Prof. Eilis McGovern

Professor McGovern, Dublin, Ireland, is the current president of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), the first woman to hold that position in the organization's 227-year history and the first woman to become president of any of the Royal Colleges (Ireland, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and England). Following surgical training in Ireland, France, and the U.S., Prof. McGovern was appointed as a consultant cardiac surgeon at Saint James' Hospital, Dublin, Ireland's third largest public hospital, and set about working to establish what is now known as the Keith Shaw Unit for cardiac surgery. She also helmed a project to expand cardiac services in Ireland during a time when waiting lists for such services were so long that only emergency in-house patients underwent cardiac operations. Within two years, Professor McGovern's work led to the elective cardiac surgery waiting time being reduced from several years to more acceptable time frames. As a result of her efforts, she was awarded a personal Chair by Trinity College Dublin. Furthermore, Professor McGovern has worked to emphasize the need for expansion of the role of nurses in patient care and, under her guidance, her department was the first in Ireland to have advanced nurse practitioners on the clinical team. In 2006, she was appointed as project director, by Ireland's Health Service Executive, to reorganize acute hospital services and improve patient safety in the North Eastern Health Board. The model she created has been put into place in two other health board areas in Ireland. Professor McGovern also served as chair of the Medical Faculty Board of the Royal College of Surgeons Medical School, is actively involved in medical student teaching, is a past member of the Intercollegiate Board for Cardiothoracic Surgery, sits on the National Medical Education Training and Research Committee, and is past chair of the Irish Postgraduate Medical and Dental Board. It was under her leadership that the medical and dental board published two seminal reports: Recommendations for Flexible Training in Ireland and Recommendations and Principles for the Funding of Postgraduate Medical and Dental Training in Ireland. Furthermore, Professor McGovern has authored national recommendations for improving both maternity and neurological services and guidelines for the use of blood products. Prior to being elected president of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Professor McGovern spent nearly 20 years serving on the council of the RCSI, chairing the faculty governing body of the schools of medicine, pharmacy, physiotherapy, and nursing. For serving as a compassionate clinical surgeon, a master educator, and an inspirational role model for all surgeons for almost three decades and demonstrating the ability to combine a successful career in a male-dominated profession while maintaining life balance as a mother and spouse—in an era when the ability to do so was unheard of for women physicians in general, and particularly women surgeons—Professor McGovern is being awarded Honorary Fellowship in the American College of Surgeons.

- Prof. Alberto Montori

Professor Montori, Rome, Italy, Emeritus Professor of Surgery and former chair of the department of surgery at the Università di Roma, has focused his clinical work on the ideology of reducing the trauma of traditional operations, decreasing pain, and hastening the recovery of surgical patients. Those efforts led Professor Montori to adopt endoscopic techniques from the beginning of his career, at a time when only rigid endoscopes were used, then move to flexible endoscopes when they became available, and later to minimally invasive surgery techniques—a progression that went against tradition and that brought him a great deal of criticism. However, it was Professor Montori's ability to adapt, along with the benefits provided by use of the advances that made him famous and resulted both in his name becoming synonymous with innovation and in his department becoming known for its ability to change and adapt to new technologies and techniques. One of the many innovations attributed to Professor Montori is creation of a Postgraduate Course on Digestive Surgery and Therapeutic Endoscopic Surgery, which was the first surgical endoscopy course of its kind to be included in a surgical program in Italy. The successful experience of creating a department known for innovation and change created a program that attracted the best and brightest students from Italy and abroad and ultimately led to a successful exchange program for young surgeons between the Università di Roma and Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, that lasted for a number of years. His work in creating the program was recognized when Professor Montori was given the Dean's Medal at both Thomas Jefferson University and Università di Roma in honor of his exceptional achievements in conceiving, promoting, and implementing worldwide academic relationships. He went on to develop and direct humanitarian minimally invasive surgery programs in Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, and both northern and southern Africa. As a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Professor Montori has actively led the Italian Chapter of the College, served as a Governor-at-Large representing Italy, and introduced Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) to Italy. A prolific author, editorial board member, and leader of numerous endoscopic and minimally invasive surgery organizations, Professor Montori has been the recipient of many honors and awards. For his work, which led to improvements in the care of patients and in the education of surgeons in Italy and beyond, Professor Montori is being awarded Honorary Fellowship in the American College of Surgeons.

- Prof. Cornelis J.H. van de Velde

Internationally acclaimed as the initiator of clinical trials in malignant disease, Professor van de Velde, of Leiden, the Netherlands, is well known for furthering knowledge in the surgical therapy of cancer of the stomach, breast, colon, and rectum. Presently head of the department of surgical oncology, gastrointestinal surgery, and head and neck/ endocrine surgery at Leiden University Medical Center, he is also president of the European Cancer Organization. Widely published, Professor van de Velde has authored or co-authored more than 600 peer-reviewed papers and serves on multiple editorial boards of Asian and European oncology journals. Furthermore, the high esteem in which he is held throughout the world for his work in surgical oncology has led to leadership positions in many European oncologic organizations. His organizational skills are legendary and were famously demonstrated in the seminal Dutch Total Mesorectal Excision (TME) Rectal Cancer Trial, during which each participating surgeon and pathologist throughout Holland was individually proctored and certified prior to participating in the trial. A consummate academic surgeon, Professor van de Velde has also found the time to supervise more than 50 PhD theses in Leiden University's department of surgery, in addition to carrying out all of his other teaching and administrative duties and his clinical responsibilities. In acknowledgment of Professor van de Velde's immense career of service to international surgical oncology, he is being awarded Honorary Fellowship in the American College of Surgeons.

- Prof. Yupei Zhao

In addition to being an active, productive, and skilled general surgeon in one of the largest and most populous countries in the world, Professor Zhao, Beijing, China, is a distinctive leader. He is the current vice-president of the Chinese Medical Association, the largest and oldest medical association and China, with 84 national specialty societies, 430,000 members, and 113 specialty medical journals. He is also serving his second consecutive four-year term as president of the Chinese Society of Surgery, the largest and oldest surgical society in China. He is the first surgeon to serve two consecutive terms in that capacity for the society. Additionally, Professor Zhao is president of the renowned Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Beijing, viewed by many as mainland China's best hospital, and is dean of the Peking Union Medical College's School of Clinical Medicine. Furthermore, he is vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Medicine and a board member of the Chinese Hospital Association. Outside of China, Professor Zhao is immediate past president of the Asian Surgical Association and is an Honorary Fellow of several medical and surgical organizations, including the Royal College of Surgeons of England. A Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, he is a member of the College's Board of Governors, serving as a Governor-at-Large representing China. With a focus on pancreatic surgery, Professor Zhao is a renowned clinical surgeon and scientist who has performed 3,000 pancreatic procedures, including 1,200 Whipple procedures and 480 insulinoma resections. He has trained 40 postgraduate fellows and is director of the Peking Union Medical College Hospital General Surgery Specialist Training Center of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. A high-volume author, Professor Zhao has published 350 peer-reviewed papers and has served as chief editor for the Chinese editions of Annals of Surgery and the British Journal of Surgery, and for the Chinese Journal of Surgery. Devoted to the improvement of surgical education and the improvement of quality surgical care in China, he has been instrumental in the development, adoption, and implementation of surgical guidelines and will host the largest general surgery congress in China in 2011 with more than 10,000 surgeons in attendance. For his work as an influential clinician, researcher, educator, administrator, and thoughtful leader, Professor Zhao is being awarded Honorary Fellowship in the American College of Surgeons.


American College of Surgeons


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