Back to News Releases

ABS Elects Three Surgeons as At-Large Directors

January 25, 2006 Media Contact: Christine Shiffer, 215-568-4000

The American Board of Surgery (ABS) elected three distinguished community surgeons to newly created at-large director positions at a meeting in early January: Thomas H. Cogbill (La Crosse, Wis.), Nathalie M. Johnson (Portland, Ore.) and J. Patrick Walker (Crockett, Texas). The three surgeons were chosen from more than 100 nominations received through an open nomination process this summer.

The ABS added these at-large positions as part of an effort to better reflect the diversity of the U.S. surgeon community and specifically increase the representation of surgeons in community or group practice. The overwhelming response to the call for nominations resulted in applications by many highly qualified surgeons from a wide range of backgrounds and practice environments. While the selection of three candidates from such an outstanding group was challenging, the ABS focused on experienced community-based surgeons with unusual records of achievement.

The three new directors will begin their terms as of July 1, 2006. The ABS is delighted to welcome them to the board and looks forward to the new perspectives they will bring.

  • Thomas H. Cogbill, M.D.
  • Dr. Cogbill is a full-time general surgeon at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, a 400-physician multi-specialty group practice in La Crosse, Wisconsin. He attended Dartmouth Medical School and the University of Colorado School of Medicine and completed his residency at the University of Colorado Medical Center. He has served as the center's surgery residency program director since 1990 and is a clinical professor of surgery at the University of Wisconsin Madison Medical School. He serves on the executive committee of the Western Surgical Association and represents the organization on the ACS Advisory Council for General Surgery. He currently is chairman of the ACS Wisconsin Committee on Trauma and a past president of the Wisconsin Surgical Society and Western Trauma Association.
  • Nathalie M. Johnson, M.D.
  • Dr. Johnson is a member of a seven-surgeon practice in Portland, Oregon and medical director for Legacy Hospitals Comprehensive Cancer Program and Legacy Breast Health Centers. She also serves as a clinical professor of surgery at Oregon Health Sciences University. She attended medical school at the Medical College of Virginia and completed residency at Los Angeles County - USC General Hospital. She currently serves as chairperson of the ACS Committee for Applicants - Oregon Chapter and as a member of the Oregon State Board of Medical Examiners, and just completed a term as an at-large member of the ACS Advisory Council for General Surgery. Dr. Johnson is a past president of the Portland Surgical Society and has served as an associate examiner for the ABS Surgery Certifying Examination.
  • J. Patrick Walker, M.D.
  • Dr. Walker is chief of surgery of the East Texas Medical Branch of Crockett, Texas, and trauma director for the branch's level III trauma center. He and his practice partner cover a population of 60,000. Dr. Walker attended medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) and completed residency at University of Texas Medical Branch - Galveston. He currently serves as chairman of the ACS Committee for Applicants - South Texas Chapter and member of the Texas Medical Association Patient-Physician Advisory Committee. He is also secretary of the Houston County Medical Society and a member of the UTMB Development Board. Dr. Walker has received numerous grants from the Texas Department of Health and has served as an associate examiner for the ABS Surgery Certifying Examination.
About the ABS

The American Board of Surgery (ABS) is an independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1937 for the purpose of certifying surgeons who have met a defined standard of education, training and knowledge. Surgeons certified by the ABS, known as diplomates, have completed a minimum of five years of surgical training and successfully completed a written and oral examination process. The ABS currently certifies surgeons in the following fields: general surgery, pediatric surgery, vascular surgery, surgical critical care, and surgery of the hand. The ABS is one of the 24 member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties.