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Freischlag unveiled as ACS president-elect

By Bryan Kay

Julie Ann Freischlag, MD, the first and so far only female president of the Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS), will be the next president of the American College of Surgeons (ACS).

The Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based vascular surgeon was elected to serve as the 2020–2021 president-elect of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), a development announced at the ACS Clinical Congress 2020 (Oct. 3–7). Freischlag’s one-year term as president starts in October 2021.

Currently, Freischlag is CEO of Wake Forest Baptist Health and dean of Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, leadership roles she assumed in 2017 after nearly 30 years as a practicing surgeon and educator at medical institutions across the U.S.

Freischlag’s past faculty and hospital appointments include serving as professor of surgery and vice-chair in the section of vascular surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and professor of surgery and William Stewart Halsted Professor, chair and surgeon-in chief at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.

She has been a surgeon-scientist throughout her career, and is considered an internationally renowned expert in the diagnosis and treatment of thoracic outlet syndrome. Freischlag was also a national investigator of the OVER (Open versus endovascular repair) Veterans Affairs Cooperative Study, a multicenter randomized trial on the repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs). She has also led or participated in research on topic areas including vascular grafts and peripheral vascular disease.

A Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS) since 1991, Freischlag has served in various leadership roles within the organization, including as a governor (2000–2006) and secretary (2002–2006). She was the 2013 president of the SVS.