STS Fact Sheet

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  • Founded in 1964, The Society of Thoracic Surgeons is an international not-for-profit organization representing cardiothoracic surgeons, researchers, and other health care professionals who are part of the cardiothoracic surgery team. STS members are dedicated to ensuring the best possible outcomes for surgeries of the heart, lung, and esophagus, as well as other surgical procedures within the chest.
  • STS has more than 7,100 members located in 90 countries.
  • The Society’s mission is to enhance the ability of cardiothoracic surgeons to provide the highest quality patient care through education, research, and advocacy.
  • The STS Annual Meeting is one of the largest cardiothoracic surgery meetings in the world. The 2015 STS 51st Annual Meeting in San Diego attracted more than 4,400 registrants from 67 countries, including more than 2,300 cardiothoracic surgery professionals. 
  • STS and the American Association for Thoracic Surgery jointly sponsor Tech-Con, a 2-day educational program on novel therapies and leading-edge technologies in cardiac and general thoracic surgery. Tech-Con, launched in 2002, is held immediately prior to the STS Annual Meeting. 
  • STS offers educational opportunities throughout the year in the form of in-person and online courses, including the Annual Meeting Online and Tech-Con Online, webinars, and podcasts. Educational topics focus on new and emerging technologies, surgical techniques, and management of patient care. 
  • The STS National Database was established in 1989 as an initiative for quality improvement and patient safety among cardiothoracic surgeons. The STS National Database has three components—Adult Cardiac, General Thoracic, and Congenital Heart Surgery, with the availability of anesthesiology participation within the Congenital Heart Surgery and Adult Cardiac  Surgery Databases.
  • The STS Adult Cardiac Surgery Database is the world’s premier clinical registry for cardiac surgery. The Database houses more than 5.8 million surgical records and gathers information from more than 90% of the groups that perform cardiac surgery in the United States. 
  • Launched in 2011, the STS Research Center is a nationally recognized leader in outcomes research. The Center seeks to capitalize on the value of the STS National Database and other resources to provide scientific evidence and support cutting-edge research that ultimately helps cardiothoracic surgeons, government, industry, and other interested parties improve surgical outcomes and the quality of patient care.
  • STS has partnered with the American College of Cardiology to create the STS/ACC TVT Registry, a data repository developed to track patient safety and real-world outcomes related to transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). The TVT Registry, which launched in December 2011, has since added mitral valve procedures. To date, more than 400 sites have entered more than 57,000 patient records.
  • As a national leader in health care transparency and accountability, STS believes the public has a right to know the quality of surgical outcomes. To further this goal, the Society has established the STS Public Reporting initiative, which allows participants in the STS Adult Cardiac Surgery Database and the Congenital Heart Surgery Database to voluntarily publicly report their surgical outcomes.
  • As a part of its public reporting initiative, the Society also collaborates with Consumer Reports to publish performance outcomes data for bypass surgery. Using this information, consumers can see how participating cardiac surgical groups compare with national benchmarks for overall performance, survival, complications, and other measures.
  • The Annals of Thoracic Surgery is the official journal of STS and the Southern Thoracic Surgical Association.
  • First published in 1965, The Annals is an international, peer-reviewed journal that provides original research in cardiothoracic surgery and related areas. This leading monthly journal annually receives nearly 4,000 manuscripts for consideration and maintains rigorous acceptance standards under the leadership of Editor G. Alexander Patterson, MD.
  • STS advocates for cardiothoracic surgery professionals, as well as their patients, to help ensure the best possible care. STS carries to Washington the message of what meaningful health care reform means for cardiothoracic surgery professionals and promotes policies aimed at improving quality and reducing health care costs.
  • STS-PAC is the only political action committee in Washington that exclusively represents cardiothoracic surgeons.
  • STS manages and provides staff support for six affiliate organizations:

Cardiothoracic Surgery Network (CTSNet)
Joint Council on Thoracic Surgery Education
Southern Thoracic Surgical Association
Thoracic Surgery Directors Association
Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education
Women in Thoracic Surgery

  • CTSNet is the most widely used source of information about cardiothoracic surgery available worldwide, and its online community of cardiothoracic surgeons is the largest in the world.
  • STS has more than 55 employees and is headquartered in Chicago, with an additional office in Washington, DC. The Society’s staff core values are respect, teamwork, innovation, quality service, and ownership.

January 2016