The Burden of Surgical Disease Working Group (BoSD WG) was founded in 2007 to advocate for surgical intervention within global public health, advance knowledge about the large unmet surgical and anesthesia needs in low and middle income countries, encourage evaluation of surgery and anesthesia and reporting of outcomes, and expand the literature on this growing global crisis. In March 2010, the name was changed to the Alliance for Surgery and Anesthesia Presence (ASAP) to better align with the group’s focus.

Begun as a grass roots effort of multi-national surgeons, anesthesiologists, public health and metric specialists, economists, and humanitarians, our work has grown to include obstetrics and nursing expertise and involve multiple academic centers and international organizations. Our 450+ 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 met for the first time at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, USA in 2008 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); Duke University Global Health Institute, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA (2013); the Royal Australasian Colleges of Surgeons and Anesthesiologists (2014; meeting held in Singapore); and the College of Surgeons of East, Central and South Africa (COSECSA) (2016; Mombasa Kenya). 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 the biannual International Surgery Week in Helsinki, Finland. The inaugural officers were named as Kelly McQueen, President; Steve Bickler, President Elect; Russell Gruen, Treasurer; and Kathleen Casey, Secretary, with David Watters serving in the role of Immediate Past President to expand the expertise of the board.

Since 2013, our meetings are held in conjunction with the ISS’s biennial World Congress of Surgery – in 2015 in Bangkok Thailand, and our upcoming meeting in Basel Switzerland in August, 2017.  In alternate years, ASAP continues its tradition of holding an annual meeting, hosted by an institution dedicated to global surgery and anesthesia.