American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

New York Surgeon Valerie W. Rusch, MD, FACS, Elected Chair of ACS Board of Regents


CHICAGO (November 10, 2015): Valerie W. Rusch, MD, FACS, New York City, was elected Chair of the Board of Regents of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) during the College’s annual Clinical Congress, held in Chicago, last month.

A thoracic surgeon, Dr. Rusch is the vice-chair, clinical research, department of surgery; Miner Family Chair in Intrathoracic Cancers; attending surgeon, thoracic service, department of surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; and professor of surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College.

In her role as Chair of the Board of Regents, Dr. Rusch will work closely with the ACS Executive Director and will chair the Regents’ Finance and Executive Committees. The College’s 23-member Board of Regents formulates policy and is ultimately responsible for managing the affairs of the College. The Board’s diversity and the variety of experiences and interests among its members enable the Regents to represent views related to myriad issues in contemporary surgery.

As a thoracic surgeon, Dr. Rusch specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with cancers of the lung, airways (trachea, bronchi), esophagus, mediastinum, chest wall, and pleura (malignant pleural mesothelioma). She was among the first women in the country to be board certified in thoracic surgery.1

Dr. Rusch has been a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS) since 1986. She has served a leadership role on several prominent ACS Committees, including serving as Chair of the Program Committee (2011-present), Chair of the Board of Regents Nominating Committee (2011-2012), Chair of the Central Judiciary Committee (2009-2013), and Chair of the Board of Governors Executive Committee (2006-2008).

Dr. Rusch has been a leader in national clinical trials for the treatment of thoracic malignancies and in 2007 received the Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education Socrates Award. In 2012 the Association of Women Surgeons awarded her The Nina Starr Braunwald Award, for lifetime contributions to the advancement of women in surgery. She has held 25 visiting professorships and lectureships and given nearly 300 major lectures on thoracic cancers at medical conferences around the world.2 Dr. Rusch has also been chair of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, chair of the Lung and Esophagus Task Force of the American Joint Commission on Cancer, and is currently chair of the Mesothelioma Subcommittee of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer Staging Committee.1

Dr. Rusch is fluent in both French and English, having graduated from the Lycée Français of New York and Vassar College. She received her medical degree from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and completed surgical residency training in general surgery and thoracic surgery at the University of Washington, Seattle, followed by a fellowship at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

  1. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Valerie W. Rusch, MD, FACS. Available at: Accessed October 23, 2015.
  2. University of Washington. 19th Annual Visiting Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery is cancer specialist Dr. Valerie Rusch of Sloan-Kettering. Available at: Accessed October 23, 2015.

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About the American College of Surgeons
The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for all surgical patients. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 80,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. For more information, visit


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