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MA State House Lobby Day

The Massachusetts Chapter of the ACS hosted an Advocacy Day in the Great Hall of Flags at the Massachusetts State House on Tuesday, September 20th from 9 am to 2 pm.

The event featured a panel on the surgical response to firearm violence. Guest speakers included Peter Koutoujian, Sheriff of Middlesex County; Dr. Eric Goralnick of Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Dr. David King of MGH; Dr. Michael Hirsh of UMass Memorial Medical Center; William Evans, Boston Police Commission; and Robert A. DeLeo, Speaker of the House.

MA State House Lobby Day, group photo
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If you would like to get involved in serving as a Surgeon Advocate in MA, please email your name and home address to the MC-ACS administrative offices.

The Chapter thanks the North American Rescue, www.NARescue.com, which provided CATs for the event.

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I Am an ACS Surgeon Advocate: Naveen F. Sangji, MD, MPH

The following is the May 2016 ACS SurgeonsVoice Monthly feature. Naveen F. Sangji, MD, MPH, is a fourth-year general surgery resident at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA and active member of the Massachusetts Chapter of the ACS.

Naveen F. Sangji, MD, MPH As a medical student on clinical clerkships, I developed an interest in the policies governing our hospitals and, more broadly, our health care system. At the same time, I was involved in advocacy efforts centered on enhancing labor safety. To that end, I had participated in an event in Washington, DC, meeting with congressional staff to directly champion our cause.

When I started my residency, I heard Peter Masiakos [MD, FACS], a pediatric surgeon at my institution, talk about how he was able to bring about a change in Massachusetts state law based on a patient’s story. Two of my interests, health care policy and advocating for issues that I care about deeply, seemed to come together in his story. Here was a way for me as a physician to help bring about meaningful change for my patients and my profession.

Aware of my interest in health policy, Dr. Masiakos suggested that I get involved with a committee organizing the first Massachusetts Chapter of the ACS state advocacy day. This experience enhanced my interest in physician advocacy. During lobbying events with legislators at the annual ACS Advocacy Summit, I saw how our patients’ stories can serve as powerful narratives for explaining why the changes we seek in our health care system are necessary.

Our relationships with our legislators are two-way streets. After meeting the health legislative aide for my representative three years in a row at the Advocacy Summit, we have started to develop a rapport. For the first time this year, our meeting was not about the surgeons sharing our requests with the representative, but rather, the aide felt comfortable asking a question about an issue of interest to him and the representative. These relationships take time to develop. Time may be our rarest commodity as surgical residents, but the impact for our patients and our profession can be tremendous and highly rewarding.

There are numerous ways to get involved—from sending a letter to members of Congress through SurgeonsVoice, to requesting an in-district meeting with legislators. For residents, the Issues and Advocacy Committee of the Resident and Associate Society of the ACS, which champions issues of interest to resident members through work groups and subcommittees, can be a great way to get involved and start making a difference.

Event to honor President Pro Tempore Richard T. Moore and Representative Viriato Manuel deMacedo

Event to honor President Pro Tempore Richard T. Moore and Representative Viriato Manuel deMacedo
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The Massachusetts Chapter of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) honored President Pro Tempore Richard T. Moore (D- Uxbridge) and Representative Viriato Manuel deMacedo (R-Plymouth) for their advocacy and leadership in helping to secure funding for 1.5 full-time positions for the Massachusetts State Trauma Registry. The event took place on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 in the Ether Dome at Massachusetts General Hospital. The Department of Public Health will use these positions to study trauma care in Massachusetts and research the outcomes of every trauma patient who visits an emergency department in the state. Funding for these positions was a part of the overall all state budget for 2014-2015 which was passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Deval L. Patrick (D) in August.

In the photo from left to right: Robert DeLeo, MA Speaker of the House; Peter Masiakos, MD, FACS-MCACS Council Member and its Chair of the Legislative Advocacy Committee; Senator Richard T. Moore (D-Uxbridge) President Pro Tempore; Representative Viriato Manuel deMacedo (R-Plymouth); Terry Buchmiller, MD, FACS-MCACS President; Dr Peter Slavin, President of MGH

Massachusetts Chapter Develops New Grassroots Advocacy Program

For many years, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) has sponsored an annual spring Leadership & Advocacy Summit in Washington, DC. I have had the good fortune of participating in several of these events, which provide a wonderful chance for Fellows, ACS chapter officers, Governors and Regents, as well as young surgeons to learn about the legislative process and to gather with colleagues who face similar challenges. The program is growing: nearly 450 surgeons attended in 2014, up from 350 in 2013. However, we must do more to encourage greater participation of Fellows in advocacy and to foster collaboration between surgeons and policymakers, especially considering the relative number of representatives (435), senators (100), and Fellows of the College (approximately 79,600).

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Surgical Advocacy Summit at the State House

Surgical Advocacy Summit at the State House
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We are pleased to report on the success of the second annual Surgical Advocacy Summit at the State House on Beacon Hill in Boston on November 19, 2013 that was sponsored by the Massachusetts Chapter of the American College of Surgeons (MCACS). There were over 100 participants including surgeons, medical personnel and legislators and their aides. A panel discussion about "The Surgical Experience and Impressions of the Marathon Bombing on April 15" was moderated by Mr. Steven Baddour and there were presentations by Dr. Frederick Millham of Newton-Wellesley Hospital and Chairman of the State Trauma Committee, Dr. George Velmahos of Mass General Hospital, Dr. Peter Burke of Boston Medical Center, and Dr. Russell Nauta of Mount Auburn Hospital. Mr. Robert DeLeo, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, received the second John Collins Warren Award. Senate President Therese Murray presented citations to representatives of the State’s trauma centers and registrants met personally with their legislators and aides. A “white paper” was presented to the legislators and an article about the event was posted in the Boston Globe on November 19th. Photos of the event can be viewed here.

2013 Advocacy Day Agenda

View Past Programs

Surgical Safety, Access, and Education Day At The State House
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Surgical Safety, Access, and Education Day at the State House
June 27th 2012
View 2012 Agenda

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