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Society of Surgical Oncology Introduces Incoming CEO

Washington, D.C. (March 30, 2022) – The Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) recently introduced Anna Polyak, RN, JD as their incoming Chief Executive Officer, effective Monday, April 4, 2022.SSO ceo

Polyak, Esq. has more than 20 years of experience in both the healthcare sector and association management. Polyak earned a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Loyola University of Chicago in 1999. In her early career, she was an Operating Room nurse, while also working toward her Juris Doctorate at the Loyola University of Chicago School of Law. She completed those studies with a Certificate of Health Law in 2004.

She joins SSO from her most recent position as Senior Director of State Government and Legal Affairs for the American Association of Nurse Anesthetist (AANA), where Polyak worked closely with the Board of Directors as part of the association’s executive staff. Polyak was recruited for this role in 2011. Before this, she worked in legal counsel to health organizations, taking on the role of Associate Chief Counsel to the Illinois Department of Public Health in 2004. In 2007, Anna was hired as the Corporate Compliance Attorney with Extended Care Consulting, LLC, an Evanston, IL, firm that provides healthcare consulting services to facilities in the region.

In SSO’s recent announcement, SSO President, Sandra Wong, MD shared “After an extensive national search, the SSO Executive Council is excited to announce Ms. Polyak for this important leadership role. She brings significant expertise in building collaborative industry relationships in areas of research, quality and advocacy and is adept at optimizing operational processes. Her leadership skills combined with her healthcare background will enable her to successfully direct the future of SSO.”

About SSO

SSO is the premier surgical oncology organization in the world. The mission of SSO is to improve multidisciplinary patient care by advancing science, education, and cancer surgery care worldwide. SSO is a dynamic, global community of cancer surgeons dedicated to delivering the highest quality surgical care for cancer patients. SSO champions leading-edge education and research in surgical oncology and cancer care.

SSO advances leading-edge research and education related to cancer treatment. The SSO hosts an annual International Conference on Surgical Cancer Care and is responsible for the publication of the Annals of Surgical Oncology, a high-quality peer-reviewed journal. Additionally, the SSO funds lectureships and research grants – such as the Clinical Investigator Awards, and Young Investigator Awards – and offers educational opportunities such as the Fellows Institute and various virtual events such as tumor boards and symposia.

SSO emphasizes quality measures and evidence-based outcomes by promoting research, providing educational resources, and collaborating on the development of guidelines that keep cancer surgeons on the leading edge of best practices for effective cancer care. Most importantly, SSO helps surgeons evaluate the appropriate therapeutic treatment for each patient. SSO stimulates debate and collaboration and encourages members to broaden their perspectives for assessing therapeutic approaches. Through these candid conversations, SSO helps members make thoughtful decisions about specific treatments that improve patient care.

SSO recognizes optimal patient care requires well-coordinated, multidisciplinary teams where each participant serves a critical role. SSO members build, support, and lead these teams to create skillful practices that drive better outcomes for patients. Unique to SSO is its ability to attract cancer surgeons across the entire spectrum of disease sites. As a result, SSO members gain valuable insights that enable them to challenge assumptions, assess alternative treatments and make refinements to their own approaches to cancer care. Equally as valuable, SSO members enjoy a high level of camaraderie in a global community of cancer surgeons.

About SMA

Sterling Martin Associates is a leading, specialty national search firm conducting chief executive-level searches for associations and nonprofit organizations. SMA has built an outstanding reputation by providing impeccable service to clients and by placing exceptional talent in associations and nonprofits. Based in Washington, DC, SMA has offices in New York, Chicago, Orange County, CA, and Portland, OR.

Founding the firm in 2006 with a mission to combine his search expertise with nonprofit board experience, David Martin now leads a highly experienced, diverse team of 15, combining in-depth client analysis with the latest search technologies to create effective, personalized searches. Since the day he founded the firm, David has personally taken a leadership role with every search, for every client.