American College of Surgeons Launches Collaborative Online Community to Connect Rural Surgeons around the Country

Apr 12, 2011, 15:35 ET from The American College of Surgeons

CLEVELAND, April 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The American College of Surgeons (ACS),  the largest surgical association in the world, is launching an online community powered by Within3 to support thousands of surgeons in the United States who practice in sparsely populated areas.

The community will offer a range of collaborative tools to connect the surgeons and facilitate the sharing of advice, research, and other resources.  Since many rural surgeons work alone, without access to leading experts at large medical institutions, this private online site will transform how they communicate with each other, regardless of geographic distances.

"Our vision for this community is to connect surgeons anywhere and at any time, thereby enabling them to tap into the collective expertise of their peers. The ultimate objective is to provide the best care and treatment options for their patients," said David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, ACS Executive Director.

With direction from an advisory group of rural surgeons, the community has been designed to achieve specific goals.  Interactive discussions will foster communication among surgeons in rural areas to promote collaboration and networking on patient cases and care.  Moreover, specific topics, "spotlights," and interactive online events will cultivate conversation among isolated surgeons and, most importantly, increase their collective knowledge through shared resources, the latest news, information on advanced procedures, and ongoing online educational opportunities.

"This is not a social media site that tries to be something for everybody," Dr., Hoyt added.  "We've spent extensive time interviewing our rural surgeon members and feel this community will offer them a secure site where they can upload images, case studies, and research so they can collaborate virtually, using the latest technology in a way that hasn't been available to them before."

The community will launch during the annual Rural Surgery Symposium and Workshop in May and will include extensive outreach to ensure that the more than 3,500 rural surgeon ACS members understand the benefits and features of the site.

"We believe this opportunity will be significant for the rural surgeons in ACS who directly impact 20 percent of our population.  Not only will it allow them to communicate and collaborate more effectively, it will also provide a needed support system for these busy surgeons who practice alone in disperse rural settings," said Lance Hill, CEO, Within3.

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 to improve the care of the surgical patient.  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 77,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world.  For more information visit:

About Within3

Within3 is the leader in building online communities that enable healthcare professionals to efficiently connect, collaborate, and share information on a 24/7 basis. Highly branded and customized, Within3 communities energize members by providing an array of interactive capabilities. Working with health systems, medical schools, professional associations, research groups, and industry, Within3's goal is to ensure that each community adds value to both organizational clients and to individual members. For more information about Within3, visit  

Media Contact:
Kathy Ruggeri

SOURCE The American College of Surgeons