Investing in the Future of Surgical Care
The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Foundation is proud to feature two Fellows who have received ACS scholarship funding, supported through the generous contributions of Mayne Heritage Society (MHS) members. MHS recognizes Fellows who have provided a bequest or other planned gift to the College through their estate plans.
Many Fellows who have made planned gifts to the College have done so with no restrictions on the use of the donations. Therefore, these gifts are directed to the ACS Foundation’s Greatest Needs Fund. Each year, this fund supports ACS fellowships and scholarships, which make it possible for young surgeons to perform potentially lifesaving surgical research.
CHAD A. PERLYN, MD, PHD, FACS
Providing Expertise in Craniofacial Disorders
As a surgical expert in craniofacial disorders, Chad A. Perlyn, MD, PhD, FACS, is one of the most sought-after pediatric plastic surgeons in Florida. He is an attending plastic surgeon, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, and assistant professor and chief, Division of Plastic Surgery, Florida International University’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Miami.
As the recipient of an ACS resident research scholarship in 2003, he was accepted at the University of Oxford in England and completed a doctorate degree in craniofacial molecular biology in three years. While at Oxford, Dr. Perlyn studied why children are born with particular facial birth defects. As a result of his efforts, he received several national and international research awards, including the Cassio M. Raposo do Amaral Award, which is presented for the best resident presentation by the International Society of Craniofacial Surgery at its annual meeting.
“As a surgical resident interested in research, it was very important to me to obtain formal scientific training,” Dr. Perlyn noted in his fellowship outcomes report. “When the opportunity for me to do a PhD in craniofacial development at Oxford arose, I was honored and delighted, but was also concerned that I may not be able to attend the program due to funding issues. However, the ACS scholarship allowed me to pursue this training and begin a surgical career in rare and complicated craniofacial disorders.”
One of Dr. Perlyn’s most remarkable cases was a child born with a tongue the size of an adult’s because of a rare genetic condition called Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome. He struggled constantly to eat and breathe, but many surgeons were unwilling to operate due to his age. However, with Dr. Perlyn’s specialized training in craniofacial development, he felt confident performing the operation, which was a success. The child was then able to breathe, eat and speak normally.
KATHLEEN B. TO, MD, FACS
Improving Outcomes in Emergency General Surgery
Kathleen B. To, MD, FACS, assistant professor of surgery, Division of Acute Care Surgery (trauma, burns, critical care and emergency surgery), University of Michigan Hospital and Health System, Ann Arbor, was the inaugural recipient of the Thomas R. Russell, MD, FACS, Faculty Research Fellowship in 2015. Dr. To’s clinical practice and research interests are in emergency general surgery, trauma, critical care, wound care, patient outcomes and quality improvement. She has been a principal investigator or co-investigator for a number of research studies in these areas.
Through her ACS fellowship award, Dr. To is focused on improving surgical outcomes for trauma patients. Her project title is “Emergency General Surgery—Catalyst for Change: Outcomes, Models of Care, and Performance Improvement.” Her research will focus on identifying key factors and correlation of the variations with patient outcomes, and she will use this data to determine best practices in emergency surgical care.
In her presentation at the ACS Foundation’s Donor Recognition Luncheon at Clinical Congress 2015, Dr. To said emergency general surgery patients are unique. “They only make up 10 percent of surgical cases but have a 32 percent mortality rate and make up 40 percent of complications, costs and resource utilization.”
ACS fellowship award recipients, bolstered by the generosity of others, have affected the lives of countless patients and shared their research and knowledge within the surgical field. Each MHS member is ensuring that support for the profession and optimal patient care will continue beyond his or her lifetime. A planned gift is a powerful legacy and can mean so much to the careers of the next generation of surgical researchers and leaders.
If you are interested in learning how you can join MHS members in planning for a future gift to the ACS, contact Shane Hollett, ACS Foundation Executive Director, at 312-202-5506.