News Release: School of Medicine

Oct. 23,  2009

LaMar McGinnis Begins Tenure as President of American College of Surgeons

LaMar S. McGinnis Jr., MD, FACS, clinical professor of surgery, Emory University School of Medicine, was installed this week as president of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). He was officially sworn-in for a yearlong term during the group's annual meeting in Chicago.

In addition to his role at Emory, McGinnis also currently serves as senior medical advisor to the American Cancer Society. His surgical practice was affiliated with DeKalb Medical in Decatur, Ga., for 40 years, where he was medical director of the Eberhart Cancer Center from 1991 to 2000.

"We here at Emory's Woodruff Health Sciences Center are delighted that Dr. McGinnis has been recognized with this prestigious post," says Fred Sanfilippo, MD, PhD, Emory's executive vice president for health affairs and CEO of its Woodruff Health Sciences Center. "His leadership of the worldwide fight against cancer and his contributions to medicine as a talented surgeon and a committed educator are unparalleled, making this honor richly deserved."

A Fellow of the American College of Surgeons since 1962, McGinnis has been active in providing service to the College for over four decades. He served on the College's Board of Governors as a Governor-at-Large (1985-1991) and as chair of the Governors' Committees on Chapter Activities (1987-1988) and Surgical Practice in Hospitals (1989-1991), and its Nominating Committee (1990).

McGinnis was an ACS delegate to the American Medical Association (AMA) from 1994 to 2006, served as a member of the Commission on Cancer (1980-1990), and as vice-chair (1985-1986) and chair (1985-1986) of the Commission on Cancer's executive committee. Additionally, he served as vice-chair of the College's Health Policy Steering Committee from 2001 to 2008. He was president of the College's Georgia Chapter from 1986 to 1987 and has served on that chapter's Board of Directors since 1987. From 2000 to 2001, he was second vice-president of the College. McGinnis is a life member of the Fellows Leadership Society, and in 1998 he was awarded the ACS Distinguished Service Award, the College's highest honor.

A 1954 graduate of the Medical College of Georgia, where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, McGinnis served an internship at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, Quebec, Canada (1954-1955), and completed a general surgery residency at University of Texas Medical Center, Galveston, in 1959. From 1959 to 1963, he served in the United States Air Force as chief of professional services and surgical services at the Plattsburg Air Force Base (SAC) in New York.

In addition to his service to the College, McGinnis has been an active leader and member of numerous other national surgical and medical organizations, including the American Cancer Society, with which he has been involved for more than 25 years. McGinnis served as first vice-president of the Southern Surgical Association (2004-2005) and as president of the Georgia Surgical Society (1982-1983). He has been president of the Medical College of Georgia's Alumni Association and of the Medical College of Georgia Foundation.

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 75,000 members and it is the largest organization of surgeons in the world.


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service. Its components include schools of medicine, nursing, and public health; Yerkes National Primate Research Center; the Emory Winship Cancer Institute; and Emory Healthcare, the largest, most comprehensive health system in Georgia. The Woodruff Health Sciences Center has a $2.3 billion budget, 17,000 employees, 2,300 full-time and 1,900 affiliated faculty, 4,300 students and trainees, and a $4.9 billion economic impact on metro Atlanta.

Learn more about Emory’s health sciences:
Twitter: @emoryhealthsci

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