E. Christopher Ellison, MD, FACS, MAMSE, an esteemed general surgeon and surgeon-educator, was elected to serve as President-Elect of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) at the Annual Business Meeting of Members on October 27. The First Vice-President-Elect, Mary E. Fallat, MD, FACS, and Second Vice-President-Elect, Anne G. Rizzo, MD, FACS, also were elected.
Dr. Ellison is the Robert M. Zollinger Professor of Surgery Emeritus at The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Medicine (COM), Columbus. He recently completed a two-year term as the George W. Paulson MD Medical Heritage Center Scholar-in-Residence. He is past president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the OSU Physicians Practice Plan and was a founding member of that organization and interim dean and chair of surgery, OSU COM. He was previously recognized as the OSU COM Distinguished Professor and was a recipient of the OSU Distinguished Service Award in 2020.
Dr. Ellison began his career at OSU in 1984 as assistant professor. In 1987, he entered community practice in Columbus, then returned to OSU to direct the division of general surgery and served for six years as director of the general surgery residency program. In 2000, he was named chair of the department of surgery and served until April 2013. During his tenure as chair of surgery, he oversaw the expansion of the department and creation of a multidisciplinary basic science and clinical research program. His clinical interests include pancreatic cancer, gallbladder disease, and the Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.
His current professional focus is on education and operative coaching of surgical residents. A second-generation academic surgeon, Dr. Ellison received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his medical degree (MD) from the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), Milwaukee. He was awarded the MCW Distinguished Service Award this year on the 45th anniversary of his graduation. He completed his general surgery residency at OSU.
Dr. Ellison has published more than 160 peer-reviewed articles. He is principal author with Robert M. Zollinger, Jr., of the 10th Edition of Zollinger’s Atlas of Surgical Operations, and an associate editor of Fischer’s Mastery of Surgery, 7th Edition. He is considered an authority on surgical workforce issues and is co-author of The Coming Shortage of Surgeons. He serves on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Surgery and Journal of American College of Surgeons.
A Fellow of the College since 1986, Dr. Ellison has served in the following leadership roles: President, Ohio Chapter (1997); ACS Governor (1998−2003); Chair, ACS Advisory Council for General Surgery (2013−2015); Chair, ACS Advisory Council for Surgical Specialties (2013−2015); and Foundation Board Chair (2019−present). He also has served on the Committee on Opportunities for Senior Surgeons (2018), the Mastery of Surgery Committee (2013−present), the Committee on Young Surgeons (1992−1995), and the Committee on Video-based Education (2003−2009). He is a Member of the ACS Academy of Master Surgeon Educators™.
Dr. Ellison also has served in leadership positions with the following professional organizations: vice-president, American Association of Endocrine Surgeons (1992); secretary, Central Surgical Association (2003−2007) and president (2007−2008); president, Society of Surgical Chairs (2011−2012); chair, American Board of Surgery (2010−2011); secretary, American Surgical Association (2009−2014) and president (2018−2019); and treasurer (2009−2014), James IV Association of Surgeons and president (2015−2017).
He is member of the Society of University Surgeons, Collegium Internationale Chirurgiae Digestive, International Society for Digestive Surgery, Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract, American College of Physician Executives, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, American Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association, and Society of Laparoscopic Surgeons. He previously served on the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery.
Dr. Ellison is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including membership in the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. He has been honored with a number of awards from his institutions, including the MCW Hoffmeister Award for Excellence, Merck Award for Excellence, and Distinguished Service Award. From OSU, he has been awarded the Resident Housestaff Teaching Award, Edwin H. Ellison Award, Landacre Society Honorary Award, and Distinguished Service Award.
Dr. Fallat, professor of surgery in the Hiram C. Polk, Jr., Department of Surgery, University of Louisville, and director of surgical quality at Norton Children’s Hospital, is the First Vice-President-Elect.
A highly regarded pediatric surgeon, Dr. Fallat has played key leadership roles in advocating for pediatric access to trauma care, serving as Director of the Health Resources and Services Administration-funded Emergency Medical Services (EMS) for Children Program, and Chair of the Kentucky EMS for Children Subcommittee of the Kentucky Board of EMS since 2000. She was a member of the Kentucky Board of EMS (2000−2006); and is a Member/Vice-Chair, Kentucky Department for Public Health, Trauma Advisory Committee (2008−present). She has been a member or liaison of the ACS Committee on Trauma (COT) since 2003, and is a former Chair of the COT’s Subcommittee on Prehospital-EMS.
A Fellow of the College since 1991, she has been an ACS Governor (2007−2013) and a member and subsequent Chair of the ACS Advisory Council for Pediatric Surgery (2012−2016).
Other leadership positions that Dr. Fallat has held include the following: member, Pediatric Surgery Board, American Board of Surgery (2006−2012); chair, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Committee on Bioethics (2009−2013); and member, program committee, and vice-president, American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST), 2011−2014 and 2019−2021, respectively. She has been active in the AAP Section on Surgery, including serving as member, executive committee (2013−2020), secretary (2015−2018), chair-elect and chair (2017−2019). She has been president-elect and president, American Pediatric Surgical Association (2014−2016), and is a member, review committee, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (2017−present).
Dr. Fallat received her bachelor of arts degree in biology from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, and completed her residency in general surgery at the University of Louisville. She was a research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, and pediatric surgery chief resident at Children’s Hospital, Washington, DC. She did an honorary research fellowship in pediatric surgery at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.
She has earned multiple awards and honors, including the following: Special Service Award for Pediatric Advanced Life Support, American Heart Association; EMS for Children (EMSC) Award, Kentucky Emergency Medical Services; Thomas B. Calhoun Teaching Award, University of Louisville School of Medicine; Golden Cross Award, American College of Emergency Physicians; Master Educator Award, University of Louisville; Golden Apple Teaching Award, University of Louisville School of Medicine; National EMSC Heroes Award; Kosair Charities Roger Fox Award; Ephraim McDowell Compassionate Physician Award; Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award, University of Louisville; AMA Inspirational Physician Recognition Honoree; National Safety Council and ACS COT Award for Service to Safety; and the Pediatric Trauma Society Lifetime Achievement Award. In the past year, Dr. Fallat received both the medical school’s and the University of Louisville’s Distinguished Service Award for national and international service, as well as the William E. Ladd Medal from the Surgical Section of the AAP, the highest award given to a member for service to the profession.
Dr. Rizzo is the Second Vice-President-Elect. She is system surgical chair and president of surgical services, Guthrie Clinics—a six-hospital system serving northern Pennsylvania and south-central New York, anchored by its Level I independent teaching hospital in Sayre, PA. A respected general, trauma, and surgical critical care surgeon, she is also professor of surgery, Uniform Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), Bethesda, MD; Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond; and University of Virginia, Charlottesville.
Dr. Rizzo has vast experience with military medicine through her work at USUHS and by serving in multiple capacities in the U.S. Air Force Medical Service, including deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Italy. She continues to serve as Special Medical Advisor to the NORTHCOM Commander.
On the civilian side, she previously was vice-chair of surgery, INOVA Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church; chair, Trauma, Burn, Surgical Critical Care Board; director, American Board of Surgery (ABS); and director, American Board of Thoracic Surgery.
A Fellow of the College since 1997, Dr. Rizzo was uniquely qualified to co-chair the committee that established the Military Health Services Surgical Partnership ACS in 2015. She has been an ACS Governor since 2017, serving on the Board Governors as Pillar Lead for the Continuing Education Workgroup, Patient Education Workgroup, and Surgical Training Workgroup, as well as a member of the Health Policy and Advocacy Workgroup and the EFxecutive Committee. She has been a member of the ACS Committee on Trauma (COT) since 2017, and the Verification and Review Committee since 2011.
She is a member of the American Surgical Association, Excelsior Society, Southern Surgical Association, Texas Surgical Society, Society of University Educators, American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, Society of Critical Care Medicine, Western Trauma Association, Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons, American Medical Association, and Association of Women Surgeons, among others.
Dr. Rizzo is the recipient of the U.S. Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Outstanding Unit Award, and Outstanding Performer Award. Other honors and awards include the Carl A. Moyer Award in Burn Research, INOVA Fairfax Hospital; American Academy of Family Practitioners Teaching Excellence Award; Humanitarian Award, Balad Air Base Hospital, Iraq; Department of the Army Certificate of Appreciation; Barry Goldwater Reserve Officer Award for Service to the U.S.A.; O’Malley Military Leadership Award; and Joint Commendation Medal for the COVID (coronavirus disease) Response.
She serves on the editorial boards for Journal of Surgical and Laparoendoscopic Surgery, Journal of Surgical Education, and Journal of Trauma. Dr. Rizzo has been a prolific contributor to the clinical and scientific literature on burns, trauma, critical care, and general surgery.
She earned her bachelor of science degree at Georgetown University, Washington, DC, and her MD at State University of New York at Buffalo, where she also completed her internship. She trained at Tulane University, department of surgery, and completed her fellowship in surgical critical care and trauma at Washington Hospital Center Medstar Health, Washington, DC.