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asap history

The Alliance for Surgery and Anesthesia Presence (ASAP) originated in 2007 as a grassroots effort to bring broader awareness to the large unmet surgical and anesthesia needs in low and middle income countries (LMICs). Initially known as the Burden of Surgical Disease Working Group (BoSD WG), our members led efforts to evaluate and report on surgery and anesthesia conditions, workforce, and infrastructure in LMICs as a means to inform advocacy for inclusion of surgical care within global public health. ASAP members are a multi-national, multi-specialty group, encompassing surgeons, anesthesiologists, obstetricians and gynecologists, trauma experts, nurses, public health and metric specialists, economists, and humanitarians, and involve multiple academic centers and international organizations. In March 2010, the name was changed to the Alliance for Surgery and Anesthesia Presence to better align with the group’s goals and objective.. 


ASAP members met formally for the first time in 2008 at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, USA and continue to meet annually for a major conference co-hosted by prominent global surgery contributors. Subsequent hosting institutions have included Operation Giving Back at the American College of Surgeons, Chicago, Illinois, USA (2009); the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health, Nashville, Tennessee, USA (2010); the University of California at San Diego, USA (2011); and Duke University Global Health Institute, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA (2013). Proceedings of the annual meetings have been published by the World Journal of Surgery since 2009.

In Aug 2013, ASAP became the sixth Integrated Society of the International Society of Surgeons (ISS) during its biennial International Surgery Week in Helsinki, Finland. The inaugural officers were Kelly McQueen, President; Steve Bickler, President Elect; Kathleen Casey, Secretary; and Russell Gruen, Treasurer; with David Watters serving in the role of Immediate Past President to expand the expertise of the board and establish the role.

Subsequent annual meetings have been held in conjunction with the ISS biennially, and in collaboration with hosting organizations in alternate years: the Royal Australasian Colleges of Surgeons and Anesthesiologists, Singapore (2014); ISS World Congress of Surgery, Bangkok, Thailand (2015); College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA), Mombasa, Kenya (2016); and the ISS World Congress of Surgery, Basel, Switzerland (2017).

Our members continue to expand ASAP’s vision to encompass all areas of expertise which impact surgical and anesthesia delivery, evaluation, sustainability, cost effectiveness and global policy.  ASAP members have been at the helm of some of the most influential efforts within Global Surgery and Anesthesia, including the Lancet Commission of Global Surgery (LCoGS); the Surgical volume of the 3rd Edition of Disease Control Priorities (DCP3); the Global Alliance for Surgery, Obstetrics, Trauma and Anesthesia (G4 Alliance); and concerted efforts leading to the unanimous passage of World Health Assembly Resolution 68.15 on Strengthening Emergency and Essential Surgical Care and Anesthesia as a Component of Universal Health Coverage. 

The 2018 annual ASAP meeting will be held in conjunction with the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Global Health conference, October 5-6, 2018, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.  We are pleased to be contributing partners to the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) annual conference planned for December 5-7, 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda.  Our 2019 meeting will be held as part of the ISS World Congress of Surgery in Krakow, Poland, August 11 - 15, 2019.

Please join us!

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