Northern California

On Tuesday, January 14, 2014, health care leaders from across the Bay Area took part in a community discussion around improving surgical quality, drawing on valuable lessons learned in the successful delivery of emergency and trauma care of nearly 200 injured patients at twelve Bay Area hospitals after the Asiana Airlines accident in July of 2013.

The event, hosted by John Maa, MD, FACS, President, Northern California Chapter, American College of Surgeons; Chair, University of California Office of the President Tobacco Related Disease Research Program SAC; Board of Directors, San Francisco Medical Society; Board of Directors, American Heart Association, and Shelley Marks, MD, FACS, General Surgeon, Palo Alto Medical Foundation; President-elect, Northern California Chapter, American College of Surgeons, further examined emergency medical response in California and discussed best practices on improving health care delivery and quality in the state, including the need to invest further resources to maintain the emergency care system, and to more effectively regionalize emergency services across the nation. The event also featured keynote speaker Fiona Ma, CPA, Former Speaker Pro Tempore, California State Assembly (view full presentation).

Northern California IQ Tour Group Photo

(From left to right: David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS; Michael C. Huang, MD; Thomas G. Weiser, MD, MPH; Fiona Ma, CPA, Former Speaker Pro Tempore, California State Assembly; Randolph W.Y. Wong, MD, FACS; Shelley A. Marks, MD, FACS; M. Margaret Knudson, MD, FACS; John Maa, MD, FACS)

Presenters shared the challenges in trauma/critical care delivery in the days and weeks after the accident and explored new solutions in emergency care through regionalization, coordination and collaboration.

Additional forum speakers included:

  • David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, Executive Director, ACS
  • Michael C. Huang MD, Assistant Clinical Professor, Neurological Surgery, UCSF
  • M. Margaret Knudson, MD, FACS, Professor and Interim Chief of Surgery, San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, UCSF Division of General Surgery
  • Thomas G. Weiser, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Stanford University Medical Center
  • Randolph W.Y. Wong, MD, FACS, General and Thoracic Surgeon, Mills-Peninsula Health Services

Following the forum, host Dr. Maa co-authored an article titled, “Will acute care surgery and surgicalists help to avert an emergency care crisis?” published in the Feb. 2014 ACS Bulletin which highlights themes from the San Francisco presentation and discussions at the 2013 Acute Care Surgery Conference regarding the growing concerns surrounding emergency surgical care.

For more information, read the ACS news release or email

“Looking forward, I believe greater regional cooperation and communication is needed between all stakeholders involved in response, including EMS, The Coast Guard, The American Red Cross and hospitals. In addition, translation services at the scene of the accident could help to alleviate future incidents where medical providers face challenging language barriers.”

Fiona Ma, CPA, Former Speaker Pro Tempore, California State Assembly