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American College of Surgeons Appoints Weill Cornell Medicine Physicians to High Positions

Dr. Fabrizio Michelassi
Photo credit: Weill Cornell Medicine

Two Weill Cornell Medicine physicians have attained leadership positions in the American College of Surgeons.

Dr. Fabrizio Michelassi, chairman of the Department of Surgery and the Lewis Atterbury Stimson Professor of Surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine, has been elected to the Board of Regents of the college. Dr. Barbara Bass, a professor of surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine and the John F. and Carolyn Bookout Distinguished Presidential Chair at Houston Methodist Hospital, has been named president-elect of the college; she will serve as president after its next Clinical Congress.

Founded in 1913, the American College of Surgeons aims to improve the quality of care for surgical patients by setting high standards for surgical education and practice. Its leadership includes a 24-member Board of Regents – elected by a Board of Governors – which includes the college president.

"Election to the Board of Regents is a true honor, and I feel tremendously privileged to be elected,” Dr. Michelassi said. “More importantly, this new appointment is an opportunity for me to continue to be part of an organization dedicated to the mission of ‘improving the care of the surgical patient and to safeguarding standards of care in an optimal and ethical environment,’” he said, quoting the mission statement of the American College of Surgeons.

Dr. Barbara Bass
Photo credit: Houston Methodist

A fellow of the college since 1987, Dr. Michelassi recently ended a two-year term as chair of the Board of Governors. As a member of the Board of Governors since 2010, Dr. Michelassi has served on its Committee on Surgical Infections, Committee on Socioeconomic Issues and the Ad Hoc Committee to Restructure the Board of Governors. His clinical interest lies in the surgical treatment of gastrointestinal and pancreatic cancers, as well as inflammatory bowel disease.

Dr. Bass, who serves as the chair of the Department of Surgery at Houston Methodist Hospital and as executive director of the Methodist Institute for Technology Innovation and Education, has been a fellow of the college since 1988. Her interests are in surgical education, computational surgery, and breast and endocrine surgery. She previously served as chair of the college’s Board of Governors and as a regent, and was recognized with the Distinguished Service Award in 2013.

“My first independent research funding came from the American College of Surgeons in the form of a Career Development Award nearly 30 years ago,” she said. “That small grant truly helped launch my academic career and subsequent three decades as a funded investigator. I am honored to have the chance to pay back, in service, that long-ago investment. The college is the leading surgical organization in the world to support surgical education and to create programs that foster excellence in delivering surgical care. I’m astonished by the honor to lead this remarkable group.”

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