Keynote Speakers


Noel M. Adachi, MBA
Thursday, February 27 | 9:20 - 10:00am
“Quality: More than Skin Deep”

Accreditation Association of Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC)

In May 2019, I was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma resulting in Mohs surgery on my face and shoulder. Based on consultation and recommendation of two dermatologists (conveniently Board members), I was referred to an excellent dermatologist surgeon who performed a biopsy, confirmed and removed the cancer, and conducted reconstructive surgery to minimize scarring and improve aesthetics.

This episode is neither unique nor does it qualify me to serve as a keynote speaker at the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery annual meeting. But I share my story because it gave me a first-hand view of the importance of quality in ambulatory care. Whether the issue is cancer or aesthetic improvements, patients are trusting you with their lives and their livelihood.

I experienced the private practice personalization difference that puts patients—my care, first. Heightened focus on profits, corporatization, and competition puts these important differences at risk. This trend is not new, infecting nearly every specialty, and more recently accelerating specifically in the ambulatory space—from pathology and GI to cosmetic surgery. But as a consumer of medical care, this matters to me and it matters to your patients. The changes in the environment and the healthcare landscape worldwide make a focus on quality and safety ever more important as patients increasingly are involved in selecting where they go and why, as governments and providers are under increased pressure to “prove” their quality is superior, and as patients look beyond our domestic borders for less expensive alternatives that may not adhere to quality practices.

The AACS with is diverse array of medical specialties can lead the charge on ensuring quality, safe patient care. During my presentation, we’ll take a quick look at events during the past 35 years that have led us to this point with a heightened focus on the cosmetic surgery quality roadmap as demonstrated by AAAHC accreditation results. We will discuss how quality is more than skin deep. It requires a steadfast commitment to staying on top of best practice not only in the surgical suite but across the entire continuum of care from patient selection and pre-screening through post-surgical care.


Noel brings a lifetime of success as a "builder" of new strategies, execution plans, and organizational reshaping efforts that have accelerated growth and allowed organizations to be successful. She has focused most of her 33-year career on driving programs and leading organizations whose mission is to improve quality compliance and patient access to quality care. For 21 years, Noel was immersed in expanding the College of American Pathologists (CAP), an organization whose growth has been strongly tied to success in the accreditation business. Most recently at CAP, she led international strategy development and execution with full P&L responsibility doubling CAP’s market presence in priority emerging markets through appropriate resource allocation and strategic alliances, effective sales and marketing strategies, and solid relationships with key stakeholders and influencers.

Recognizing that the real health frontier is ambulatory care she joined the Accreditation Association of Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) as President/CEO. For past two years, Noel has led the transformation of this organization by building a more sustainable platform for growth including reshaping its governance model, redesigning its core IT systems, and strengthening its headquarters staff while driving an internal and external cultural shift to 1095 STRONG / quality every day. This is not just a tagline, but a philosophical platform that infuses a dedication to ongoing learning and staying quality-strong throughout the 1,095-days between onsite surveys that is key to building best practices and improving long-term results—for patients, for practices, and for the AAAHC.

Noel received her undergraduate degree in mathematics and economics from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, and an MBA from Northwestern University’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Zubin Austin, BScPhm, MBA, MISc, PhD, FCAHS
Friday, February 28 | 3:30 - 4:15pm
"If 'Competency' is the Answer... Have We Asked the Right Question?"

In medical education and regulation, the shift towards competence-based assessment has been rapid and overwhelming - yet is "competence" the best way of describing the work physicians and other health professionals perform? This presentation will review the current literature on competency and propose alternative models for consideration.


Zubin Austin, BScPhm, MBA, MISc, PhD, FCAHS is Professor and Koffler Chair in Management at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy and the Institute for Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation - Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on the professional and personal development of the health workforce.

He has published over 170 peer reviewed manuscripts and authored 4 textbooks. In 2017, he was installed as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of the Health Sciences, the highest honour for health services researchers in Canada. He is also the only University of Toronto professor ever to have been awarded both the President's Teaching Award for Excellence and the President's Research Impact Award for the societal significance of his research. He has also been named undergraduate Professor of the Year by students on 20 separate occasions.

Gerald G. Edds, MD, FACS, FAACS
CSF 2020 Webster Recipient Lecture
Friday, February 28 | 9:15 - 10:00am
The Wisdom of Sir William Osler: Guidance from the Past to Illuminate the Future


Gerald G. Edds, MD, FACS, FAACS has practiced general cosmetic surgery in Owensboro, KY for thirty-five years. He is board-certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology. Dr. Edds is a former president of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery and a former member of the Board of Trustees of the AACS. He is past president of the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, and has served on the Board of Directors for the AAAHC. Dr. Edds has been an active surveyor for the AAAHC for twenty-five years. He has served on the Board of The Cosmetic Surgery Foundation and currently sits on the Board of the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, and is a board examiner for the ABCS. He is a former President of The Kentucky Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

Dr. Edds has been a fellowship director for the AACS, and has been a speaker at multiple courses and seminars.

Volunteer activities include participation in the National Domestic Violence Project providing reconstructive surgery at no charge to victims of domestic violence. He has also been a mission director for seven medical mission trips to Santa Marta, Colombia, treating children with burn injuries.