On Friday, October 12, 2012, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) hosted the Surgical Health Care Quality Forum Philadelphia at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, featuring keynote speaker U.S. Congressman Jim Gerlach (R-PA6), who encouraged surgeons to insert their knowledge into the health care policy process and ensure the right programs are implemented – or sustained – to most effectively improve care and reduce costs.

The event was co-hosted by Marshall Z. Schwartz, MD, FACS, Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics, Drexel University College of Medicine; Surgeon-in-Chief, Chief, Pediatric Surgery, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and Howard M. Snyder III, MD, FACS, Attending Urologist, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Professor of Urology in Surgery, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Additionally, a distinguished panel of surgeons and health care leaders discussed the importance of using physician-led data collection, reporting and measurement, including the ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP®) and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons National Database, to help improve patient outcomes and streamline costs throughout Pennsylvania and across the nation.

L to R: Mark V. Pauly, PhD; Glenn D. Steele Jr., MD, PhD, FACS; Larry R. Kaiser, MD, FACS; U.S. Congressman Jim Gerlach (R-PA6); Marshall Z. Schwartz, MD, FACS; Howard M. Snyder III, MD, FACS; and John S. Kukora, MD, FACS, FACE

Forum panelists included:

  • Larry R. Kaiser, MD, FACS, Senior Executive Vice President for Health Sciences, Dean, Temple University School of Medicine; President and Chief Executive Officer, Temple University Health System
  • John S. Kukora, MD, FACS, FACE, Chairman, Department of Surgery, Program Director, General Surgery Residency Program, Abington Memorial Hospital
  • Mark V. Pauly, PhD, Bendheim Professor, Professor of Health Care Management, Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
  • Glenn D. Steele Jr., MD, PhD, FACS, President and Chief Executive Officer, Geisinger Health System

For more information, read the ACS news release about the Philadelphia forum or email

“The mission of the Ways and Means Committee right now is to prevent the 27 percent cuts in Medicare reimbursement and extend it until we can come up with a proper formula for reimbursing physicians. You [surgeons] bring a credibility and knowledge that legislators don’t have and I would encourage you to advocate for these changes we need to have and the programs you want to save because they work.”

U.S. Congressman Jim Gerlach (R-PA6) House Ways and Means Committee; Subcommittees on Health and Select Revenue Measures