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2016 Joint Annual Meeting

July 15-17, 2016
Marriott Resort (Grande Dunes) Myrtle Beach, SC 

Make plans to attend the upcoming Annual Meeting of the South Carolina and North Carolina Chapters of the American College of Surgeons, Bariatric Society of the Carolinas and the South Carolina Vascular Surgical Society scheduled for July 15-17, 2016 at the Marriott Resort and Spa in Myrtle Beach, SC.


Click Here for the brochure that includes the speakers, topics, hotel information and the registration form.

Executive Office Holiday Closing


The Executive Office will be closed on Monday, July 4, and will reopen on Monday, July 11.  We wish you a wonderful and safe holiday as you celebrate with friends and family.


Did you know that, as a member of the North Carolina Chapter, American College of Surgeons you have access to rental car discounts at Enterprise Rent-A-Car?  In order to access your discount follow the steps below:

To book with Enterprise Rent-A-Car:

What is your favorite brand/type of shoes to wear while working in the OR and why? Click Here to respond.


CDC Announces Funds for States and Territories to Prepare for Zika  US states and territories can now apply to CDC for funds to fight Zika locally. More than $85 million in redirected funds identified by the Department of Health and Human Services is being made available to support efforts to protect Americans from Zika infection and associated adverse health outcomes, including the serious birth defect microcephaly.


CME: AAST is now providing a variety of online option for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM with a self-assessment component as required for the fulfillment of Part 2 of the American Board of Surgery Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program to Physicians.  Nurses and Non-Physicians can now also claim Continuing Education credits by completing online courses. For all American College of Surgeon members, course CME credit will be reported to the ACS quarterly and will then appear in your individual My CME Portal for reporting purposes. In addition at the completion of each course you will receive a PDF certificate for your files.


2016 NC/SC Society of Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery Annual Meeting
July 29-31, 2016
The Belmond Charleston Place – Charleston, SC



National Rural Health Association 15th Rural Health Clinic and Critical Access Hospital Conferences
September 20-21, 2016
Kansas City, Mo





Free Colonoscopy Program for Uninsured At-Risk Patients Detects Cancer at an Earlier Stage and is Cost Neutral  CHICAGO (May 26, 2016): For uninsured patients who are at a high risk for colorectal cancer (CRC), performing free screening colonoscopies can identify cancer at an earlier stage and appears to be cost neutral from a hospital system perspective, according to study results published online in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons ahead of print publication.

Task Force Updates Postsurgical Surveillance Colonoscopy, Adding 10 Years of Data  A decade after publishing consensus recommendations for surveillance colonoscopy in patients who have undergone surgical resection for colorectal cancer (CRC), the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force has updated its guidelines to reflect the body of evidence published since 2006.

Studies Provide More Support for 3-D Breast Screening  Recent studies provide support for the role of three-dimensional (3-D) mammography, or digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), for breast cancer screening.


Patient Readmissions to Vulnerable Hospitals after Complex Cancer Operations Vary with the Type of Institution and Its Patient Cohort  CHICAGO (May 31, 2016): Readmission rates after complex cancer operations tend to be higher in hospitals that are considered to be vulnerable because they serve as safety nets in their communities or have a high number of Medicaid patients. Reasons for higher readmission rates are highly complex and involve socioeconomic and hospital institutional characteristics.

Transitions  A few years ago I accepted an offer to work in a small community hospital. It was the only medical facility in a small town and was located in a semirural area. The nearest referral center was about 75 miles away.

‘Cut suits’ give a slice of realism to training  ESCONDIDO — “I got a guy with a GSW to the chest and an open fracture GSW to the left leg,” the medic yelled as he knelt over a “gunshot victim” at Palomar College’s Escondido Education Center on Tuesday morning.

Study Confirms Poor Adherence to CRC Screening Guidelines  A study examining the 10-year trajectory of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in individuals at least 50 years of age has confirmed what other studies have found: CRC screening guidelines are not followed by enough people. The researchers analyzed claims data from more than 150,000 people aged 50 or older and found 64% of individuals were screened for CRC as per existing guidelines (Manag Care 2016;22:105-111).

Would You Trust a Robot Surgeon to Operate on You?  Inside the glistening red cave of the patient’s abdomen, surgeon Michael Stifelman carefully guides two robotic arms to tie knots in a piece of thread. He manipulates a third arm to drive a suturing needle through the fleshy mass of the patient’s kidney, stitching together the hole where a tumor used to be. The final arm holds the endoscope that streams visuals to Stifelman’s display screens. Each arm enters the body through a tiny incision about 5 millimeters wide.

California rushes to allow HIV-infected organ transplants  SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers approved emergency legislation Friday to allow a man with HIV to receive part of his HIV-positive husband’s liver before the surgery becomes too dangerous, possibly within weeks.

Study shows patients require less painkilling medication after breast-cancer surgery if they have opiate-free anesthesia  New research presented at Euroanaesthesia 2016 (London 27-30 May) shows that patients undergoing breast cancer surgery need less painkilling medication post-surgery if they have anaesthesia that is free of opioid drugs. The study is by Dr Sarah Saxena, Jules Bordet Institute, Brussels, Belgium, and colleagues.

CDC Updates Interim Guidance on Zika Testing and Interpretation  Because it is difficult to differentiate, via antibody testing, between Zika virus infection and infection from other flaviviruses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revised its earlier recommendations regarding the timing of immunoglobulin M antibody testing and thresholds of plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT). The new guidance, which expands on recommendations released by the agency in mid-April, are designed to reduce the possibility of missed diagnoses for both Zika and dengue infections.

A Transplanted Uterus Offers Hope, But Procedure Stirs Debate  Lindsey McFarland was born without a uterus. So she and her husband, Blake, created their family by adopting three boys. But they always dreamed that she could somehow become pregnant and give birth to a baby.

When Stopping Cancer Treatment Isn’t Giving Up  Two months before Joe Clark died of colon cancer at age 31, a doctor gently told him it was time to stop treatment.

North Carolina Medical Board Investigating Prescription Drug Overdoses  The North Carolina Medical Board is investigating 60 doctors and physician assistants with patients who died of overdoses of prescription drugs. Medical board officials tell The Charlotte Observer that two or more patients being treated by each doctor took fatal overdoes of prescription painkillers within a 12-month span.

New Surgeon Comes to Muhlenberg Co.  Owensboro’s One Health medical group is welcoming a new provider, Dr. Eduardo Gonalez. Dr. Gonzales is a board-certified general surgeon bringing fulltime surgical care to Muhlenberg County.


Bad Data Causing a Host of Ills for Healthcare Consumers & Payers  Payers are struggling to maintain the accuracy of information contained in their directories and networks, and because of these problems, healthcare consumers are not able to gain sufficient values from their information.

Avoidable Hospital Admissions Drop With Medicare Advantage  May 17, 2016 02:02 pm Michael Laff Washington, D.C. – Medicare Advantage enrollees have a 10 percent lower rate of avoidable hospitalizations compared with traditional fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries, according to a study published by the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care that focused squarely on patients age 65 and older who reported traditional Medicare or Medicare Advantage as their primary insurer. 

Governor Signs Medicaid Waiver Application; Sent to CMS on June 1 Deadline  At a press conference at the Executive Mansion Wednesday morning, Governor Pat McCrory marked the next step in the state’s Medicaid reform process — signing the cover letter that accompanied the state’s waiver application to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

GOVERNOR MCCRORY ASKS FOR NORTH CAROLINA MEDICAID WAIVER  RALEIGH (WTVD) — Governor Pat McCrory signed an application Wednesday to get a Medicaid waiver from the federal government. McCrory said he wants to reform the state’s Medicaid system to focus on paying for improved health outcomes for patients instead of paying for the number of services they get.

How is North Carolina’s Medicaid Program Doing This Year?  As Gov. Pat McCrory introduced North Carolina’s Medicaid reform plan Wednesday, he praised this year’s “$300 million surplus in the Medicaid budget made possible by Republican-led reforms that have gotten the chronically troubled program back on track.”


Advanced cancer patients receive aggressive care at high rates at the end of life  In the last month of their lives, younger cancer patients continued to be hospitalized and receive other aggressive treatment at high rates, a University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center-led study found.

Cancer patients miss appointments, prescriptions due to inability to afford care  More than one-in-four cancer patients had to pay more for medical care than they could afford, according to a study led by UNC Lineberger member Stacie Dusetzina, PhD. A reported 18 percent were unable to afford their prescription medications.

Bacteria found in female upper reproductive tract, once thought sterile  In a preliminary finding (abstract 5568) presented at the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago, UNC Lineberger researchers Wendy Brewster, MD, PhD and Temitope Keku, PhD revealed they have found bacteria in the ovaries and fallopian tubes. Researchers also uncovered a trend toward a distinct bacterial profile in women with ovarian cancer.

UNC Researchers Share ‘Nine Truths’ for World Eating Disorders Action Day  UNC eating disorder experts Cynthia Bulik, PhD, FAED, and Stephanie Zerwas, PhD, bring awareness to conditions affecting more than 70 million people worldwide.

Duke/UNC Team Testing New Strategies to Prevent Clotting in Patients with Pancreatic Cancer  CTSA collaborative funding award supports mouse-model research. Nigel Mackman, PhD, of UNC, and Rebekah White, MD, of Duke are leading the effort.

Duke Breast Cancer Expert Named One of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People for 2016  Shelley Hwang, M.D., chief of breast surgery at the Duke Cancer Institute, has been named one of TIME’s 100 most influential people for 2016 as a pioneer in her field.

Duke’s Poliovirus Therapy Wins FDA “Breakthrough” Status to Expedite Research  The recombinant poliovirus therapy developed at the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke Health has been granted “breakthrough therapy designation” from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Congratulations to the Class of 2016  Congratulations to the 373 students in the Duke University School of Medicine who graduated on May 15, 2016, marking the successful culmination of their hard work and dedication. Students received degrees in the following programs:

Third Year Priyanka Kailash and Dr. Greg Christiansen published in EM Resident  FAYETTEVILLE – EM Resident, the official magazine of the Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association (EMRA) in partnership with American College of Emergency Physicians(ACEP), published an article “Under Pressure: Abdominal Compartment Syndrome” on May 25, 2016.

Colin Good Accepted to Duke University Theology, Medicine and Culture Fellowship  BUIES CREEK – Third Year Campbell University medical student Colin Good has been accepted into the Theology, Medicine and Culture (TMC) Fellowship at Duke University.  While his classmates matriculate into their fourth year rotations later this summer at CU affiliate hospitals in five locations across North Carolina, Good will begin the fellowship at Duke and will complete his final year of medical school in 2018.

3rd Annual End of the Year Picnic  The third annual CUSOM End of the Year Picnic was hosted Wednesday with homemade BBQ, inflatables, friendly competitions and awards.

CONSISTENT CARING  A nurse specialist in pediatrics has been selected by her peers as this year’s top nurse at ECU Physicians, the group medical practice of the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.

MARVELOUS MULTIPLES  It was all hands on deck when six Pirate patients from across the East came together recently to celebrate their healthy babies.


Most hospitals fall short in following best practices for antibiotics use, study finds  An analysis of more than 4,100 U.S. hospitals shows less than 40 percent have the recommended stewardship programs in place to guide the use of antibiotics for patient care. The findings were part of a study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

That New Superbug Was Found in a UTI and That’s Key  THE WOMAN HARBORING E. coli resistant to colistin did not know it, and it’s only luck that we do. Her doctor would have never prescribed that last-resort antibiotic for a routine urinary tract infection—it can cause serious kidney damage. But her doctor did take a urine sample, which ended up at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where researchers had recently started testing for colistin resistance. The test came back positive. Then came scary headlines about a new superbug in the US.

EHRs now nearly ubiquitous in hospitals as ONC Annual Meeting gets under way  Half of hospitals routinely use patient information received electronically from other providers, which National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo, MD said is an indication of how far the healthcare industry has come for both patients and clinicians.

Searching for Superbugs: The Lab Looking for the Next Big Threat  SILVER SPRING, Md. — It was a Friday in mid-May, and Erik Snesrud was checking out the first batch of samples under a new directive.

Hospitals Partner with Community Programs to Improve Health Care  North Carolina hospitals say they are moving toward a new way of health care delivery: patient care beyond hospital walls.

Study Finds Encouraging Surgical Outcomes at Critical Access Hospitals  On the heels of a report warning that more than a third of the nation’s critical access hospitals are in danger of closure comes some encouraging news. A new study indicates certain procedures are being performed in these small hospitals more safely and at a lower cost than in larger institutions.

Useless Treatments Common in Young, Terminal Cancer Patients  MONDAY, June 6, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Three-quarters of young or middle-aged Americans with terminal cancer receive aggressive treatment during the last month of their lives, even though such care may provide nothing but misery, a new study estimates.

Pelham Medical Center Announces Opening of New Immediate Care Center  When an unexpected illness or minor injury strikes, the convenience of a walk-in, urgent care clinic is often the answer you are looking for. Pelham Medical Center (PMC), a division of Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System (SRHS), announces the opening of a new immediate care center on June 13, 2016.


Children in car crashes fare better at pediatric trauma centers, study says  PAUL, Minn., May 20 (UPI) — Because of their greater levels of training and experience treating pediatric conditions, children injured in car crashes fare far better at pediatric trauma centers than at general or adult trauma centers, according to a recent study.

Editorial: Memorial’s clouded finances: Open records will help clear the air  Greater transparency, including the release of key documents, would help clear the air and end the stalemate over how to best ensure the financial stability of the county-owned Memorial University Medical Center.

Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System Names Physician, Leader and Associate of the Year  As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. In healthcare, it takes a team to care for a patient. From food services to greeters at the front desk to nurses and physicians, every associate at Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System plays a role in the care of our patients and the compassion shown to our guests.


Some Rural Montana Hospitals Struggle To Survive  ENNIS, Mont. – Rural hospitals are the backbone of many small communities and experts say quite a few are in danger of closing if the government cuts reimbursements any further.

Rural hospitals often safer, cheaper for common surgeries: Study  TUESDAY, May 17, 2016 — Having a commonplace surgery — such as a gallbladder removal — may be safer when done in a rural hospital compared to a suburban or city hospital, a new study finds.

Many uninsured still are not enrolling health plans despite Obamacare  Three years after the launch of the state’s health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act, three in five of Maryland’s eligible uninsured still lack coverage.

Health education event helps students learn to make positive choices  On May 18, the students at Greeley Central High School participated in a ceremony commemorating the completion of their participation in the University of Maryland Project SHARE program.

The days of freely prescribed painkillers are ending. Here’s what’s next.  For more than a decade, doctors, dentists and nurse practitioners liberally prescribed opioid painkillers even as evidence mounted that people were becoming addicted and overdosing on the powerful and addictive pain medications.

Rural hospitals need protecting  I’d like to express my admiration for Rep. Henry Beck’s guidance in the Maine House during the complex debate over medical price disclosure. I served with Rep. Beck, D-Waterville, on the Legislature’s insurance committee.

Broadband: The Missing Link to Rural Telehealth Success  Health systems from Maine to Minnesota need reliable broadband to extend their telehealth networks to rural residents. But will the feds make the connection?

Harnessing Data for Real Improvements  A lot of smart people do a lot of innovative things to advance healthcare and technology these days. Too often their contributions remain unrecognized or underappreciated.

NCMS Partners with National Rural Accountable Care Consortium to Help Practices Transition to Value  Is your practice ready for the transition to value-driven health care?  If not, the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) Foundation is partnering with the National Rural Accountable Care Consortium (NRACC) to help practices make the transition to value-based health care delivery and payment.  NRACC is a Provider Transformation Network (PTN), which is a CMS-funded program that is part of the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPI).

North Carolina Hospitals Honored for ‘Treating Their Neighbors’  These are trying times for the state’s rural hospitals. Like their counterparts across the nation, they’re facing reduced reimbursements; aging, declining populations; and difficulties recruiting health care professionals.

Our view: How many hospitals must close before legislators act?  Rural hospitals are struggling. They’re struggling across America, not just in Tennessee. But they’re especially struggling in Tennessee, and across the South.

Investment group may buy rural hospital, says Belhaven mayor  BELHAVEN – Residents and activists working for years to reopen the community hospital in this rural town heard a nugget of good news from its mayor Saturday as they prepared to march for a revival of emergency health care.


Telemedicine goes more mainstream, but cost remains obstacle  Virtual health care -— whether by phone, text or video — is rapidly becoming more common, but a new study says it’s being stymied because doctors and hospitals can’t afford to roll it out faster.

Carena CEO: Telemedicine should be about better care, not technology  Healthcare conference-goers often head for home with new energy to take on challenges they were facing back at work. But one prominent attendee of the American Telemedicine Association annual conference, held May 14-17 in Minneapolis, came home concerned about a new direction the field was taking and its reaction to a study that cast teledermatology in a negative light.

A Payer Makes an Investment in Telehealth  CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is putting roughly $3 million into 10 Mid-Atlantic programs looking to launch or expand telehealth services for underserved populations.

7 telemedicine myths debunked  The market for telemedicine is big and growing. By the end of the year, reckons BCC Research, remote monitoring and telemedicine applications should total $27.3 billion globally, double what it was in 2011.

Telehealth and the levers that will move the healthcare industry  There has been a lot of progress in telehealth over the last three years. In 2013 there were only 13 states that were cleared for consultation and prescribing and three states restricted consultation in the absence of a prior in-person relationship.

SCOTUS case leaves opening for telemedicine  TELEMED HAS NEW TOOL IN STATE FIGHTS: Telemedicine companies may have found a new way to leverage state polices friendly to their business: Intimidation. A little known facet of last year’s North Carolina Dental Board v. FTC case is that individual medical board members could be sued for antitrust violations, and subsequently be exposed to huge damages. The Supreme Court decision left state boards that license doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other professionals liable for antitrust violations should they make it unnecessarily hard for new players like telemedicine companies to do business.

RubiconMD raises $4M to help doctors’ message specialists  New York City-based physician-specialist consult company RubiconMD has raised $4 million in a round led by Waterline Ventures. Dioko Health Ventures, a North Carolina based fund managed by Nashville-based FCA Venture Partners, and Alma Mundi Fund also contributed to the round. Existing investors from the company’s seed round include athenahealth and former Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida CEO Bob Lufrano.

Rural Internet-ification: Jane Dittmar wants to connect the 5th District  In the 1930s, electricity was common in the cities, but pretty much nonexistent elsewhere. If not for the Rural Electrification Act, some of us might still be sitting in the dark. It’s the same situation today for many in rural areas without Internet access.


Veterans Affairs Paid Out $338 Million in Legal Settlements Just for 2015  A new report on Monday says the Department of Veterans Affairs paid out more than $338 million in legal settlements in 2015, more than triple the amount paid out in 2011.  The report is the latest in an already bad week for the Veterans Administration.

Injury Compensation Fund Could Reduce Cesarean Rates  WASHINGTON, DC — A reluctance to offer women trials of labor or vaginal birth after cesarean delivery is likely related to concerns about malpractice, and one obstetrician is calling for a national injury compensation fund that ostensibly would remove the threat of litigation from the equation.

Supreme Court Ready To Hear Medical Malpractice, Other Major Cases  For legal junkies, the Florida Supreme Court will be the best show in town during a three-day period in June. Justices are poised to hear arguments on a series of high-profile issues, including gambling, the death penalty, guns and medical malpractice, according to a schedule released Wednesday.

Louisiana files a lot of medical malpractice suits, data shows  With the highest rate of medical malpractice lawsuits filed in 2015 compared to other states, it appears that Louisiana residents are the most likely to accuse a doctor, nurse, or dentist of negligence, according to data analyzed by a career information company.


North Carolina voter ID law generates controversy  North Carolina’s controversial voter identification law will stay in place after a ruling by U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder at the end of April.

NC Senate Budget Addresses Use of CSRS  The North Carolina Senate released its proposed budget late Tuesday and various Senate committees started to review the $22 billion spending plan first thing this morning. Review the Senate’s budget bill here.

Senate budget plan adds more for WNC  The North Carolina Senate approved its $22.2 billion budget just after midnight Friday, voting 26-13 along party lines. The budget included a few changes from the House’s version, including bigger teacher raises, more for the state’s rainy day fund, and some added funds for Western North Carolina initiatives.

North Carolina Gov. McCrory vetoes coal ash bill  North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) on Monday vetoed Senate Bill 71, which seeks to reestablish the state’s formerly disbanded North Carolina Coal Ash Commission, and claimed that the bill would be bad for the environment and represent an overreach of the Legislature’s authority, The Raleigh News & Observer reported.

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Jennifer Starkey
Executive Director
North Carolina Chapter, ACS
324 S Wilmington St, #235
Raleigh, NC 27601
(877) 859-4561
Fax: (877) 835-5798