Dear SAGES Education and Research Foundation supporters,
About me –
As I begin my term as President of the SAGES Education and Research Foundation (SERF), I want to introduce myself to those of you who don’t know me. I have been a member of SAGES since I was a mid-level resident in the late 1970’s. I am a former Chair of Surgery and am still a busy practicing attending at Mount Sinai in Miami Beach, Florida. I am at the tail end of a 40 Plus year career, having focused first on flexible endoscopy and then innovating as an early adopter of laparoscopic surgery. I was very active in SAGES at the beginning of the Laparoscopic era, and, in the early 2000’s, turned my focus to the philanthropic side, working with the cadre of leadership who understood the need to ensure the future of our organization.
About the Foundation –
SAGES Foundation came to fruition at a time when corporate sponsors had greater leeway to invest in the advancement of surgical training and education through foundations such SERF. The Foundation was fortunate to capitalize on that timing.
What We Do –
The list of projects funded by SERF is remarkable. FLS, FES, FUSE, Career Development Awards, and annually awarded research grants help fulfill SAGES mission to train and educate surgeons. Donor specified funding has allowed the Foundation to support SAGES Go Global initiative as a major priority. SERF Funding is a huge part of the development of the OWLS platform which will allow better use of SAGES online educational resources. Patient safety remains a prime focus with extensive funding of the safe laparoscopic cholecystectomy project as well as multiple safety initiatives in other applications of laparoscopic surgery and funding of guideline development initiatives.
SERF has also served as a catalyst for honoring and memorializing important leaders who have had an impact on our specialty and our organization.
The Board’s role –
First and foremost, we are committed to personal, annual philanthropic support of SERF. Through our mindful stewardship of the corpus, the Foundation also safeguards the funds which allow support of critical SAGES initiatives.
Your role –
As a member of SAGES, you have already made a commitment to advancing your own surgical education and training. We ask that you expand that commitment to the Foundation, to the next generation of general surgeons. We will be reaching out to you to solidify that pledge.
Stephen Wise Unger