Fellows, new members and residents alike, I hope this letter finds all of you well and enjoying this holiday season. I just wanted to deliver a few short lines to greet you and provide you with updates of the events we have shared within the College thus far this year during my presidency.
The 2018 ACA, which was held in Atlanta, Georgia attracted over 1200 surgeons, with 180 speakers delivering lectures across multiple surgical specialties. Three separate keynote addresses were provided during our conference this year. The first, delivered by Michael Daniel, pertained to cybersecurity and the protection of PHI. Daniel, a Cybersecurity Advisor to President Barack Obama (2012 - 2016) and President of Cyber Threat Alliance, explained how the creation of complex passwords, unique to each application, is critical to safeguarding access to patient and facility records and equipment. Additional keynotes offered insight into the personal experiences of surgeons in non-traditional settings and circumstances, with Zachary W. Brown, D.O., sharing his experiences as a deployed trauma surgeon and W. Britt Zimmerman, D.O., FACOS describing catastrophic event management, including the importance of planning and the realities of providing medical care following severe weather events, offering recommendations from his first-hand experience with Hurricane Florence.
As in year's past, the ACA not only offered members an opportunity to learn new surgical techniques and review unique cases, the conference also provided attendees with many instances to reconnect with colleagues, new and long-time peers and friends. The fellowship was warm and welcoming.
We honored three extraordinary members of our College this year. The distinguished Orel F. Martin (Michael G. Moncman, D.O., FACOS), Charles L. Ballinger Distinguished Osteopathic Surgeon (Gary L. Roth, D.O., FACOS) and Humanitarian (John P. Smith, Jr., D.O., FACOS) Awards were delivered at the annual conclave. Sadly and unexpectedly, we lost Dr. Michael Moncman shortly before this year's ACA. However, he was advised in advance of this year's ACA that he was the recipient of the Orel F. Martin Award, and had already composed his speech. His son, Dr. Ryan Moncman, a neurosurgery resident at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, delivered the words of his father in a moving presentation and proudly spoke of his father as a surgeon, mentor, leader, husband and father. Mrs. Patricia Moncman and her son Ryan then accepted the Orel F. Martin Award on behalf of their beloved husband and father. I am deeply grateful to the Moncman family for sharing Michael with us, and allowing us to honor him. He was a dear friend and I, as well as countless others, will miss him.
This year's poster winners and recipients of the Robert C. Erwin and Resident Achievement Awards demonstrated that future patients will be in excellent hands with the next generation of surgeons. As we begin our transition to open podium presentations and interactive reviews of the research efforts of our members, I would encourage each of you to participate in both presentation and open forum review/discussion. The continued enthusiasm for membership and participation in the College was apparent at this year's Conclave Ceremony and we were thrilled to welcome 106 new members and 66 new Fellows into the College.
As we close out 2018 and prepare for 2019, please remember the ACOS Trust Fund with your end of year charitable donations. Because of the trust fund we are able to support initiatives that continue the promotion, study and practice of osteopathic principles in surgery. The trust fund is utilized to promote and support the research efforts of our residents and members, as well as many of the offerings of the College in various stages of development and is dependent upon you, the membership. I encourage you to reach out to myself, any of the Board of Governors or the full time staff with questions, ideas and your willingness to continue to support this volunteer organization.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for allowing me the honor of the Presidency this year, to reiterate my commitment to serving you, and to wish you and your families a joyous holiday and a fulfilling and peaceful New Year. As we celebrate this season, let us all remain mindful of those who have sacrificed for us, hold those serving abroad in our prayers, and attempt to pay it forward.
Todd A. Nickloes, D.O., FACOS, FACS
American College of Osteopathic Surgeons