Dr. Robinette (at podium) addresses chapter members and ACS staff at the first annual meeting of the revitalized Alaska Chapter
On March 14, the Alaska Chapter held its first meeting since the mid-1980s, with newly elected Chapter President Danny R. Robinette, MD, FACS, presiding over the day’s educational and social events. The meeting took place at Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage, named for Captain James Cook, who was the first person credited with mapping the state’s jagged coastline. A total of 20 Fellows attended the meeting, and a combined total of 28 Fellows, guests, sponsors, and College staff participated in an evening reception and dinner.
Patricia L. Turner, MD, FACS, Director, ACS Division of Member Services, provided an update on ACS activities and gave a presentation on Abdominal Wall Reconstruction. Meg Gilley, Congressional Lobbyist, ACS Division of Advocacy and Health Policy, offered an overview of the College’s legislative activities. Also in attendance was Donna Tieberg, ACS Chapter Services Manager, who worked with Dr. Robinette as administrator for the Alaska Chapter meeting and chapter activities during the revitalization period.
A view of the Cook Inlet, from the top of the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage. Most of the population of Alaska surrounds Cook Inlet.
In addition, guest speaker Mika N. Sinanan, MD, FACS, ACS Governor and professor of surgery, University of Washington, Seattle, spoke on Managing the Complex Referral Patient. Frank D. Sacco, MD, FACS, a general surgeon at Alaska Native Medical Center, Anchorage, gave an Update on the State of Alaska Trauma System. A lively Town Hall discussion involving chapter members and guests focused on future chapter goals. The chapter council, including officers and councilors-at-large, met to further solidify and outline the goals discussed at the Town Hall session.
Over the past 18 months, a small yet active core group of Fellows in Alaska has been instrumental in reviving interest in the chapter. Significant motivating factors for bringing Alaska Fellows together include changes to medical reimbursements, the evolving political climate, and threats to both national and state trauma funding. The chapter plans to work closely with Jon Sutton, Manager of State Affairs, ACS Division of Advocacy and Health Policy, to obtain funding for a state lobby day.