Bright colors and lots of ribbons

I am writing this post with tremendous gratitude for the fact that I am sitting in my kitchen in Salt Lake City while I listen to crickets in the backyard rather than busy Chicago traffic.  The College is always amazing, wonderful, maybe even sometimes a bit TOO much (so many things! so little time! so tired by today!), and being home is always amazing, wonderful, and comforting.  The fact that I have cats wandering in and out of the kitchen to check on me and a dog under my feet as I write provides even more solace.

Soviet General or Young College Leader?
Soviet General or Young College Leader?

I joked more than once about the litany of brightly colored ribbons I’ve acquired with my College engagement over the last decade- if I weren’t so committed to great shoes, I could easily have passed for a Soviet General during the days of the Politburo.  To be completely transparent, a couple of the ribbons are a product of work within the ACS, and a couple more are a product of donating early and often to the ACS Foundation. Here’s a short guide:

  • PAC Contributor- Exactly what it sounds like. I give money to SurgeonsPAC, and not just because I am on the SurgeonsPAC Board of Directors.  The ACS Advocacy and Policy Division was instrumental in finally getting SGR repealed last year. We are now being looked to for leadership on MIPS and APMs, the new alphabet soup of physician payment, and we will be looked to for leadership on GME reform.  Do not underestimate the political clout of our organization in Washington DC, and if you are a surgeon or surgical resident who donates to the PAC your financial support really does help to strengthen our voice.
  • Governor- Last year I was privileged to be selected as the ACS Governor for the state of Utah.  Within the Board of Governors, we help guide the direction of the ACS on many issues, and serve as a representative body for the members of the ACS.  The Board of Governors has recently undergone significant restructuring to have “pillars” of Advocacy, Education, and Member Services, making it a true working group within the ACS.
  • 1913 Legacy Circle- I was a donor to the ACS Foundation’s 1913 Legacy Circle campaign, which was conducted in honor of the 100th year of the ACS.
  • Mayne Heritage Society- I have the ACS Foundation named in my trust to receive a portion of my estate when I die.  Yes, you can do that- and since I don’t anticipate having any human heirs, I have named several organizations in my trust.  For me this is an important way to leave a durable legacy.
  • CPC- This gorgeous pink ribbon is a new one this year!  It stands for Chapter Philanthropic Champion, and we are a group who have agreed to represent the Foundation at Chapter events, reminding members of the tax deductible nature of Foundation donations, and sharing the many amazing missions of the ACS Foundation.  A new-to-me statistic I found out during this year’s Clinical Congress is that our dues as Fellows in the ACS are about $200 a year less than the benefits available to this.  The difference is essentially made up by programs sponsored by the Foundation, and it makes the Foundation immediately relevant to all of us who are ACS members.
  • The AWS ribbon is a nice bonus, something all of us who are Association of Women Surgeons members wear to remind people of our presence and our engagement with the American College of Surgeons, both as an organization and as individuals.  I am incredibly honored to serve as the President of the AWS this year, and thanks to a skillful question from my friend Sherry Wren, one of my upcoming posts will be on the legacy I hope to leave in that role.  Anyone who knows me well knows that I am 100% committed to leaving it better than when I got here, and it’s already in great shape.

And since I mentioned Sherry Wren, here’s a great photo of some ACS leaders yesterday evening at the Taste of Chicago event:

ACS leaders, present and future, and (most importantly) friends
ACS leaders, present and future, and (most importantly) friends

It was great to be there, and I so appreciate the myriad opportunities I am granted.  It is also great to be home, and it’s time for a dog walk.  That’s one of the things I missed most being away.