The U.S. Department of Defense Military Health System (MHS) and the American College of Surgeons (ACS) formalized a partnership—known as the Military Health System Strategic Partnership American College of Surgeons—in October of 2014, chartered by then Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Jonathan Woodson, MD, FACS, and ACS Executive Director David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, to improve educational opportunities, systems-based practices, and research capabilities in surgery. The strategic partnership facilitates collaboration and the exchange of information between ACS and MHS to advance high-quality, cost-effective care for surgical patients in both the civilian and military sector.
To maximize the potential of this partnership, the previously sunset Excelsior Surgical Society (1945–1984) has been resurrected and is now a formal society within the ACS. The Excelsior Surgical Society will leverage past and current lessons learned as we move forward in the 21st century. The Society has elected officers, developed a charter, and serves as a platform to foster ties between civilian and military.
The Society has hosted a full-day meeting for the past four years in conjunction with the annual ACS Clinical Congress. To avoid conflict with any of the educational programming during this year’s virtual Clinical Congress, the 5th Annual Excelsior Surgical Society meeting will provide a total of six hours of content with sessions on Thursday, October 8, and Friday, October 9, 9:00 am–12:00 noon each day. The theme is “Enterprise-wide Military Surgical Care.” The meeting will include presentations from the Defense Health Agency, Military Service Consultants—active duty and reserve components—and Uniformed Services University Health System. Papers from the Region 13 (military) Committee on Trauma Resident Paper Competition are presented at this meeting. Julie Freischlag, MD, FACS, FRCSEd(Hon), Past-Chair, ACS Board of Regents, has been selected to deliver the Army Major John P. Pryor Lecture, titled Trust in Action.
The Society also selects the Clinical Congress Excelsior Surgical Society/Edward D. Churchill Lecturer. Major General Jonathan Woodson, MD, FACS, U.S. Army Reserve, delivered the 2020 Churchill Lecture, American Surgery: The Imperative to Lead and Evolve at the Speed of Relevance, which is available for on-demand viewing through December 31.
This virtual platform will serve as an enduring opportunity to offer broad participation for the military surgery community without geographic and funding limitations, helping to enhance military medicine now and in the future.