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 Weekly Member Update - July 20, 2012

Volunteer's Note

Deadline to Apply for Resident and Fellow Fast Track Grants is August 1

Member L. Scott Levin, MD, FACS Elected to ACS Board of Regents

Opportunities in Leadership: Apply to the AFSH Board of Trustees

ASSH Webinar Now Available On-Demand: Current Coding Challenges

Help Finalize Topic List for 2012 Members Business Meeting

AMA Membership Update

Thank You to AFSH Donors

Survey: IT Solutions are Strategic Drivers for OR Efficiency, Managing Increased Volumes and Surgeon Recruiting and Retention

Volunteer's Note

In addition to its clinical and basic science research funding programs, the ASSH Research Division offers a variety of opportunities aimed at supporting and mentoring both established and younger investigator-hand surgeons.

Residents considering a career in hand surgery and fellows obtaining subspecialty training in hand surgery can apply for research funding through the Fast Track Grant Program.  This program offers grants for support of small research projects carried out during the academic year under the supervision of ASSH members.

Young investigators can seek guidance for the development of their research ideas and careers through the Research Management Committee's (RMC) mentoring program.  Each June, individuals who have applied for research support from the American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand (AFSH) are invited to Chicago to participate in small group meetings with senior investigators.  Discussion can range from issues surrounding a specific research question to more general topics related to balancing clinical practice with protected research time or maximizing the chances of success in applying for support from granting agencies.

An extension of this kind of mentoring can also be obtained through the Clinical Scientist Development Program, which represents a joint effort by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF).

Investigators in all stages of their careers can also discuss their ideas and works-in-progress at the Clinical Investigators Workshop and at the Basic Science Investigators Workshop, both of which take place on the Wednesday afternoon before the ASSH Annual Meeting.  The objective of these workshops is to provide a forum in which investigators can meet with experienced researchers and talk about their challenges in carrying out their studies.  For more information, contact Sarah Meyer Hughes (

The ASSH also seeks to help investigators craft the best submission possible when applying for research support.  To achieve this goal, the organization funds one individual each year to attend the US Bone and Joint Decade Grant Writing Workshop.

Finally, through a partnership with the Plastic Surgery Education Foundation (PSEF), the ASSH offers support for Hand Surgeon Scientists.  Individuals who have received a Research Development Award (K Series) from the National Institute of Health can apply to have their support doubled by this program.  The intent is to nurture hand surgeons who are committed to a career in research.  The award is for five years of support and is an incredible opportunity for young clinician scientists to make a successful start to a productive career.

Brent Graham, MD
Director, ASSH Research Division

Deadline to Apply for Resident and Fellow Fast Track Grants is August 1

The AFSH recognizes that hand surgery residents and fellows can benefit from a research funding mechanism that offers a small amount of funding to seed innovative projects related to hand surgery.

With this in mind, we've established the Hand Surgery Resident and Fellow Fast Track Grants. Hand surgery fellows or surgical residents in ACGME-accredited programs are eligible to apply. Funding will be limited to one applicant per institution. Up to $4,000 will be awarded per project.  For more information, visit the ASSH website.

Levin for web_border.jpg
Member L. Scott Levin, MD, FACS Elected to ACS Board of Regents

It is our pleasure to announce that Hand Society member L. Scott Levin, MD, FACS was recently elected to the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Board of Regents.  Dr. Levin's term will begin this year and will conclude in 2021.

The American College of Surgeons is dedicated to improving the care of the surgical patient and to safeguarding standards of care in an optimal and ethical practice environment.

Dr. Levin has led the Hand Society's charge to improve ER hand care as Chair and primary liaison to the ACS for the ER Hand Care Committee.  Since his appointment in 2008, Dr. Levin has worked to influence important changes to the Greenbook that will lead to better patient care throughout the US.

We are thankful to Dr. Levin for his contributions and look forward to the important work he will accomplish on the ACS Board of Regents.


Opportunities in Leadership: Apply to the AFSH Board of Trustees

The American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand (AFSH) funds vital research and education projects that lead to ground-breaking innovation in upper extremity surgery and treatment.

The AFSH Nominating Committee, chaired by Daniel J. Nagle, MD, would like to invite all Active Members to apply to the AFSH Board of Trustees.  Applicants should be committed to the Foundation's Mission and also be willing to contribute and raise funds to support that mission.
Open positions on the board include Vice Chair and Trustee-At-Large (fewer than five years membership).

If you are interested in joining a group that plays a key role in shaping upper extremity care, complete the online application by August 15, 2012.  For more information, contact Alexzandra Wallace (


Get top-notch practice management coaching in the comfort of your home by purchasing on-demand access to the webinar Current Coding Challenges.

This 60-minute webinar, recorded on June 18, is now available through the ASSH eLearning Portal.  At the member rate of $50, you'll have unlimited access to the recording for two years.

Whether the procedure is done endoscopically or open or requires accurate use of unlisted code, there is no doubt hand surgery cases are challenging.  In this session, surgeons will gain insight into how to improve their documentation.  In addition, staff will find specific coding advice, resulting in improved appeal techniques.

To access the video, visit the ASSH website.

Help Finalize Topic List for 2012 Members Business Meeting
Thank you for your feedback and suggestions for topics to discuss during the Members Business Meeting at the Annual Meeting in Chicago.
Your early suggestions and participation in the topic-ranking survey allowed ASSH President W. P. Andrew Lee to narrow the topic field. Now, we invite you to take this brief survey to rank the top topics of interest. The highest-rated topics will be added to the final agenda.
We also invite you to add the Members Business Meeting – Thursday, September 6, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – to your 2012 Annual Meeting calendar.
Again, thank you for your input and assistance in helping shape the Members Business Meeting agenda.

AMA Membership Update
AMA rules stipulate that in order to qualify for a seat in the AMA House of Delegates, 25% of our members must be AMA members.  We are seven members shy of the 25% mark, following a week in which the ASSH Central Office received no notifications of Hand Society members who've recently joined or rejoined the AMA.

Have you joined or rejoined the AMA since January 1, 2012?  Please let us know by contacting so we can track the progress of your AMA membership.  ASSH will reconcile our membership list with the AMA to get credit for our members.
Have your voice heard: Join the AMA.
Thank You to AFSH Donors
Charles S. Lane, MD
Marilyn Miller
Paul F. Nassab, MD
Daniel I. Singer, MD
John B. Thaller, MD
Christopher J. Widstrom, MD
Special thanks to the Indianapolis Hand Club for sponsoring two Resident/Fellow scholarships for the 67th ASSH Annual Meeting.

Did you know you can support the Foundation (AFSH) through automated monthly payments? Visit to complete an auto-pay form, or contact

Survey: IT Solutions are Strategic Drivers for OR Efficiency, Managing Increased Volumes and Surgeon Recruiting and Retention
Surgical Information Systems (SIS), a leader in perioperative information systems, this week released results of a national survey showing that surgeons view specialized perioperative information systems as essential tools to drive OR efficiency, enhance physician satisfaction and improve access to patient information.  Read more.