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

Chapter Objectives and Responsibilities

The following objectives outline the expectations of the American College of Surgeons for its chapters:

  1. Chapters offer a variety of opportunities for its members to collaborate and share their interests in improving the standards of surgical practice and education.
  2. Chapters should provide a medium through which surgical experiences may be shared and discussed. Such discussions should include other aspects of surgery, such as continuing education, granting of surgical privileges, review of ethical practices, and all other factors that influence the quality of surgical care at the community level.
  3. Chapters should serve as a meeting ground for all surgical specialties for discussing common problems, shared surgical interests, and ways to complement one another’s efforts to improve the quality of surgery.
  4. Chapters should provide a forum and include special activities for young surgeons and medical students. In both formal and informal settings, senior surgeons may influence their younger colleagues, not only in matters of patient care, but also concerns of surgical ethics.
  5. Chapters are encouraged to offer collective or individual assistance for College programs such as the various endowment funds. The ACS encourages Fellows who would like to make tax-deductible gifts to fund vital programs to contact the ACS Foundation or to support other professional and civic groups concerned with the health of the community.
  6. Chapters by virtue of their local influence and credibility can focus community attention on College programs, such as those conducted by the Committee on Trauma and the Commission on Cancer, as well as the College’s activities concerning professional liability, patient safety, education, communications, public advocacy and health policy and other activities that are approved by the ACS Board of Regents.
  7. Chapters should recruit Associate Fellows, Resident Members, Medical Students and Affiliate Members and encourage them to take part in the chapter’s scientific program and other educational and social activities that the chapter considers appropriate.
  8. Chapters in the United States, U.S. Territories, Canada and other countries where chapters exist, are responsible for nominating Governors-at-Large to fill pending vacancies or new seats on the College’s Board of Governors. All nominations are submitted to the Nominating Committee of Fellows (NCF) through the College’s Division of Member Services. The NCF is responsible for making final nominations for election to the Board of Governors held during the annual Clinical Congress. Final nominations are voted on by Fellows attending the Annual Meeting of Fellows at the Congress.
  9. Chapters are highly encouraged to participate in advocacy activities at the state and federal levels. These may include visiting members of Congress locally in the home state and on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC; using online legislative action platforms to share views with members of Congress; becoming a state advocacy representative for the chapter; applying for State Lobby Day Grants via the College and seeking out and accepting appointments to insurance carrier and regulatory liaison committees and commissions. For more information about scheduling a visit to Capitol Hill or for assistance with state and federal legislative activities, contact the College’s Division of Advocacy and Health Policy at 202-337-2701 or visit the Advocacy web page.

The following items must be adhered to as a requirement to maintain an ACS chapter charter:

  1. Chapter applicants must hold an active ACS membership as a Fellow, Associate Fellow, Resident, Medical Student or Affiliate member. Chapters may not accept anyone as a local member who does not hold an active national membership with ACS.
  2. Chapters must have a minimum of 15 Fellows as members to remain an ACS chapter.
  3. Chapters must have a membership application and charge annual dues.
  4. Chapters must maintain a current set of bylaws, which should be reviewed by the chapter council annually. Any changes should be submitted to the ACS, along with the full membership for review and approval.
  5. Chapter councils must meet a minimum of twice a year.
  6. There must be an annual rotation of officers and changes in officers must be communicated to the ACS upon appointment. At a minimum chapter officers must include a President, President-Elect or Vice-President, Secretary* and Treasurer* (the offices of Secretary and Treasurer may be combined).
  7. Annual member meetings should include educational and networking opportunities for members, as well as activities for resident and medical student engagement.
  8. Chapters must complete and submit an ACS Annual Report, along with copies of council minutes from the last complete year, minutes of the annual business meeting of the members, year-end financial statements, an annual meeting program/brochure and a current membership roster.
  9. Chapter authority is confined to its geographic area, as defined by the College. Through the Governor(s) of the College, chapters can suggest to the Board of Regents changes in existing College policies or ideas for developing new ones. These ideas should represent the concerns of the local Fellows and should be forwarded to the Board of Regents through the Governor(s).
  10. Chapter charters contain stipulations concerning ACS representation at the local level. This clause states: “Neither the chapter nor its officers, nor any members of the chapters, is authorized to represent, or in any way bind, the American College of Surgeons.”
  11. The ACS seal may be used on chapter webpages, on printed materials used at chapter meetings, on chapter stationery or business cards, on official documents and chapter minutes-reports, and in the signature line of emails. Queries pertaining to the use of the College seal should be directed to the Division of Member Services.
  12. U.S. chapters are encouraged to be involved with state and federal advocacy activities; however participation in political activities, such as campaigns and political fund raising should be undertaken with advice from legal counsel. The regulations of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) prohibit chapters designated as having 501(c) (3) status from participating in political Campaigns. In contrast, 501(c) (6) organizations may engage in political activities. Nearly all of the College’s chapters are tax-exempt organizations under either section 501(c) (3) or 501(c) (6) of the IRS Code.
  13. Chapter leaders must be responsive to any inquiries or requests from ACS staff and provide the requested action according to established deadlines.

ACS Reporting Requirements

All chapters are required to submit an annual report in every year in January. Data is collected in the following areas:

  1. Administration & Management
  2. Membership Recruitment & Retention
  3. Communications
  4. Chapter Finances
  5. Advocacy (US only)
  6. Education Programming & Events

Upon completion of all annual reports, chapter leaders receive a customized report that compares their chapter to the aggregate data of domestic or international chapters along with suggested areas of focus. Data from this report will also be used to develop initiatives that are beneficial to chapters and its members.