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NextGen Discovery Series – Feb. 14, 2024

The NextGen Precision Health Discovery Series provides learning opportunities for UM System faculty and staff across disciplines, the statewide community and our other partners to learn about the scope of precision health research and identify potential collaborative opportunities. The series consists of monthly lectures geared toward a broad multidisciplinary audience so all can participate and appreciate the spectrum of precision health efforts. 

Information about this upcoming talk, including continuing education, is available below.

For questions about this event or any others in the Discovery Series, please reach out to Veronica Lemme at

“Improving Improvement: Generalizable Lessons of Improvement from Surgery”

Speaker: Clifford Ko, MD, MS, MSHS, FACS, FASCRS, Director of the Division of Research & Optimal Patient Care at the American College of Surgeons (ACS); Director, ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP); Robert & Kelly Day Professor of Surgery, UCLA; and Professor of Health Services, UCLA School of Public Health

Date: Feb. 14, 2024, noon-1 p.m.

Location: Roy Blunt NextGen Precision Health Building, Atkins Family Seminar Room


Improvement is important across industries given the advances in knowledge, understanding and technology. This is particularly true in health care. With experts estimating the health care knowledge half-life is 73 days, continued learning, change and improvement in patient care is paramount, including in surgery. Yet an increasing number of studies have demonstrated achieving improvement is often complex and difficult, efforts are suboptima, and yields are thus marginalized. This lecture will share Dr. Ko’s experiences and ongoing efforts to improve improvement.

About the Speaker

Dr. Ko’s work focuses on surgical quality of care, including quality measurement, process improvement, value-Clifford Kobased care and achieving high reliability in surgical care. He has served in advisory roles to national and international efforts for achieving higher quality and safety including the World Health Organization, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Quality Forum and PCORI, among others. He has received millions of dollars in grant funding to study quality of care from sources that include the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Cancer Society, the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Veterans Administration. He has published over 400 peer reviewed manuscripts, more than 20 book chapters and two books. Clinically, Dr. Ko is a double board-certified surgeon with a practice currently focusing on patients with colorectal cancer. Dr. Ko received his B.A (Biology), M.S. (Biological/Medical Ethics) and M.D. from the University of Chicago. He also received a Master’s of Science (Health Services/Outcomes Research) from the University of California, Los Angeles during his time as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Fellow at UCLA and RAND. Dr. Ko completed his General Surgery Residency at UCLA Medical Center and obtained specialty training at the Lahey Clinic in Boston in colon and rectal surgery.


Continuing Professional Education Credit

Successful Completion of this activity, which includes participating in the educational offering, participating in the evaluation process and completing the verification of attendance, enables the learner to satisfy the requirements for continuing education.

Nursing Contact Hours

University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing is approved as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the Midwest Multistate Division, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation (ANCC). 

1.0 contact hour may be awarded.


The University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 

The University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine designates this live educational activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should only claim the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Financial Relationships

Current ACCME and Midwest Multistate Division, ANCC rules state that participants in continuing education activities should be made aware of any relevant affiliation or financial interest in the previous 24 months that may affect the planning of an educational activity or a speaker’s presentation(s). Each planning committee member and speaker has been requested to complete a financial relationship reporting form for the NextGen Precision Health Discovery Series. No planning committee member or speaker has a relevant financial interest.