American Association of Plastic Surgeons (AAPS)
Winter 2021 Newsletter
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A Message from your AAPS President
Linda G. Phillips, MD, AAPS President
Linda G. Phillips, MD
AAPS President

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

As we prepare to celebrate our year-end holidays, I want to thank you all for your active membership in the oldest plastic surgery organization, and for the many gifts you have given of your talent and time to the American Association of Plastic Surgeons. Your hard work in committees and on the Board of Directors is making the Association stronger and more reflective of our patient populations and practices. You are contributing to a landmark year as we celebrate our Centennial. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you about our new developments and accomplishments.

The Program Committee, with Co-Chairs Julie Park and Warren Garner, has worked tirelessly and quickly to review an outstanding array of abstracts - more than 600 - to bring together our usual high standard of programming for the annual meeting. Acceptance notices have gone out; invitations to moderators and new-member secretaries are in process. The program has many innovations for our Centennial. The top-ranked abstracts will be presented in a special President's Panel on Sunday afternoon, with invited discussants. In recognition of our theme "Honoring the Past, Anticipating the Future," the main body of our program will include ten-minute talks from Giants in our field, people who are synonymous with excellence in our subspecialties. They will discuss the many innovations that have occurred in our discipline, including their own contributions, and then will assist the moderators with the question and answer period of grouped papers in that area. The panels will provide many highlights, focusing on areas of particular current interest : our History, discussed by the authors of our upcoming Centennial book, will be moderated by the book's Editor Arun Gosain; ACAPS will discuss the evolution of plastic surgery training; the Women Plastic Surgeons Chair, Liza Wu, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Chair Russell Reid will host a panel on the forgotten and underrated contributions by women and under-represented minority plastic surgeons; Social Media Task Force Chairs Lynn Jeffers and Heather Furnas will evaluate the positive and negative aspects of these communications platforms; Warren Garner has gathered a group of notable senior surgeons who will tell us what previously revered dogma they no longer follow in their clinical practices. As always, we will have the rapid-fire papers session moderated by Steve Buchman. These are just a few sessions of what awaits you at our April meeting in San Diego.

We are resuming our Expert Consensus Statement Panel White Papers project with a group of internationally recognized experts in the pressing concern of breast implant associated ALCL. Mark Clemens and Terry Myckatyn have assembled a stellar group of experts, including those in other disciplines from outside the US, to evaluate the evidence and compile a report that will impact our efforts to diagnose and treat this novel disease entity. They will report on their progress during the Opening Ceremonies.

Our venue, Manchester Grand Hyatt, is on the water near the Gas Lamp District, affording easy access to many fine restaurants, water activities, shopping and other activities compiled by our Local Hosts Jack Fisher and Amanda Gosman. The Exhibit Hall and Gala venue will be transformed from our usual surroundings, and the meeting and exhibit space will be filled with history details chronicling our 100 years. Our Technology Committee is planning a display to recognize our advances in plastic surgery technology over our first century; we will have historical materials on display and used in our Gala decorations as well.

Those of you who are Past Presidents of our Association, and current Presidents of all of our other Plastic Surgery Sister Societies, will be recognized during the Sunday afternoon festivities as we pay homage to everyone who contributes so heavily to making our plastic surgeons cutting edge leaders of our field. As the Opening Ceremonies will be longer than usual, we will include a Champagne Break as befitting the Centennial celebration. Other social events will include informal networking prior to the Opening ceremonies, a lunch for the Cannon Scholars and the New Members, a book signing by the authors of our history book, and our Gala dinner dance, white tie or period attire preferred. As it will be hard to get flights back on Tuesday, and where the programming ends at 4 PM, we are adding a casual closing night event at the San Diego Zoo. "Zoo not Zoom" celebrates rekindling our connections in person.

Our Membership committee, co-chaired by Jennifer Walden and Brad Wilhelmi, has been hard at work to choose our first class of New Members in time to have just presented them to you for comment. The new members will be notified soon after the first of the year, so they can be announced at the Opening Ceremonies. The committee is also charged with review of the membership criteria to be more inclusive of all types of leadership in Plastic Surgery, consistent with our efforts of the Women Plastic Surgeons and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committees. Bylaws changes will likely be needed, and Marty Matthews heads that committee. Both the Women's and DEI committees are working on webinars for the new year, prior to our Annual Meeting, adding to the webinar on our adjustment to COVID restrictions that the Board sponsored in November. We are holding these webinars and convening the Consensus Panel with the aim to bring you added value all year, not just at the Annual Meeting.

Finally, as we "Anticipate the Future", the DEI and Women's committees have been hard at work networking with medical student groups, especially those from schools that do not have plastic surgery residencies or who largely serve an underrepresented student body. Many of these students have applied for the Cannon Scholarships: over 150 at this time. We depend on our Cannon members for the $500 donations that allow these students to attend our meeting. This encourages many to continue on a course to become plastic surgeons, inspired by meeting many of you and attending the amazing programming we provide. As you complete your year-end donations, please consider contributing to the Cannon fund and to the future of our wonderful specialty, even if you are still too young to be a Cannon yet.

I hope that I have whetted your appetite for what we plan to be a wonderful experience of friends, colleagues, science and history. Please join us in San Diego in April, but before that, whatever holidays you celebrate, I hope that they are merry and bright, surrounded once more by those you love. May you all have safe, healthy and Happy Holidays!

Linda G. Phillips, MD, AAPS President
Linda G. Phillips, MD
AAPS President

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