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Varghese, known for his innovative research in perioperative care and mentorship to physician-scientists, will become SUS President in February 2024.
Thomas K. Varghese Jr. MD, MS, MBA, FACS, chief value officer and associate chief medical quality officer at Huntsman Cancer Institute, is the 2023-2024 President-Elect of the Society of University Surgeons (SUS). Varghese’s one-year term as SUS President will begin in February 2024 following the Academic Surgical Congress, the joint meeting of the two leading associations for academic surgery – the Association for Academic Surgery (AAS) and the Society of University Surgeons (SUS).
Together the AAS and SUS have more than 5,000 members from leading institutions nationwide. SUS was established in 1938. Election to membership is based on scholarly productivity, extramural funding, teaching and leadership roles. SUS is one of the world’s premier organizations dedicated to the advancement of surgical science.
Varghese, who also serves as Chief of General Thoracic Surgery at the University of Utah (the U) and professor in the department of surgery at the Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine at the U, is a health services researcher whose clinical, research and operational experience focuses on optimizing patient health before surgery, surgeon performance, and health system outcomes. He helped create the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Strong for Surgery program, that is active at 331 sites across the nation and is a co-principal investigator of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) clinical trial on the role of Precision Exercise Prescription (PEP) for elective lung cancer surgical resection. Varghese has mentored and sponsored medical students, residents, fellows, PhD candidates, and junior faculty.
In addition to his academic work, Varghese is passionate about building a better world through diversity, equity, and inclusion. He is a member of Huntsman Cancer Institute’s Equity, Diversity, Inclusion Governance Council and Enterprise Leadership Council, served as the co-chair of the Association of Women Surgeons #HeForShe Task Force, and as inaugural chair of the SUS Justice.Equity.Diversity.Inclusion Committee. In that role, he led the SUS Promising Leaders program for under-represented populations in medicine faculty. Varghese is also a co-principal investigator of an American College of Surgeons Board of Regents Innovative DEI and Anti-Racism grant that led to the development of the SUS-AAS JUMPSTART program.
“Scientific progress relies on problem solving and collaboration, where groups of people with diverse experiences and areas of expertise are empowered to lead, be creative, and innovate. I am incredibly honored and blessed to serve our members and this wonderful organization as president-elect,” Varghese says.