STS 49th Annual Meeting Recap

STS News, Spring 2013

View photos from the Annual Meeting here!

49th Annual Meeting Highlights
Nearly 2,300 cardiothoracic surgeons and allied health care professionals gathered in Los Angeles January 26–30 for 5 days of exciting debates, important research presentations, and networking opportunities at the STS 49th Annual Meeting.

Many attendees arrived early to participate in STS/AATS Tech-Con, special courses held in collaboration with the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists and the American College of Chest Physicians, and a variety of symposia covering topics such as practice management, rheumatic mitral valve disease, and interprofessional collaboration in the operating room.

The meeting kicked into high gear on Monday and Tuesday, January 28–29, with insightful lectures and dozens of scientific sessions. Attendees got their hands dirty at STS University on Wednesday, January 30, which featured 12 courses on everything from mitral valve repair to chest wall reconstruction.

For more details on this year’s Annual Meeting events, visit to peruse PDF copies of the STS Meeting Bulletin, the onsite meeting newspaper. And stay tuned for more information on the Society’s 50th anniversary meeting in Orlando, January 25–29, 2014, which will continue to feature outstanding scientific research and discussion, but with special celebratory events. Abstract submissions will open soon; keep an eye on your e-mail inbox for an announcement.

Presidential Address Focuses on Quality
Jeffrey B. Rich, MD delivered his Presidential Address to a packed room on Monday morning, January 28. His talk, “The Passions and Actions of Our Lives: Changing the World Around Us,” focused on the importance of quality in health care—an area in which he said STS has been and must continue to be an influential force.

Dr. Rich cited the Society’s successes in improving health care quality, such as the STS National Database, the National Coverage Determination for TAVR, and the STS/ACC TVT Registry™. STS must continue to expand its leadership in this field and embrace the power of collaboration to maximize the “heart team” concept, he said. He also encouraged further development of multistakeholder databases modeled after the TVT Registry and stressed that cost data should be incorporated as a key facet of these databases.

He emphasized that the road to improving the country’s health care system is not one that STS must walk alone. “We must be willing to teach other specialties these principles. That should be part of our passion and our moral compass. We alone cannot save health care,” Dr. Rich said.

Dr. Rich urged STS members to take action and cited several ways to start, such as developing a new care delivery model at their institution or participating in a CMS demonstration project. “Let us not have leaders in the society, but let us be a society of leaders,” he said.

Award Winners Honored
In addition to sharing knowledge about cutting-edge science, state-of-the-art technology, and data-driven quality improvements in health care, the STS Annual Meeting also offers the opportunity to recognize those who are making an impact in the field of cardiothoracic surgery. The following were honored by the Society in Los Angeles:

Distinguished Service Awards
STS presented the Distinguished Service Award to Michael J. Mack, MD and Carolyn E. Reed, MD (posthumously). This award recognizes those who have made significant and far-reaching contributions to the Society and the specialty. Dr.
Mack, an STS Past President and current Chair of the STS/ACC TVT Registry™ Steering Committee, is the Medical Director of Cardiovascular Surgery for the Baylor Health Care System and Chair of The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano Research Center. Prior to her death in November 2012, Dr. Reed held several positions at the Medical University of South
Carolina, including Professor of Surgery; Alice Ruth Reeves Folk Endowed Chair of Clinical Oncology; Chief, Section of General Thoracic Surgery; and Deputy Director of Clinical Affairs at the Hollings Cancer Center. She served as STS Treasurer from 2007–2012 and was elected STS President (posthumously) at the meeting.

Earl Bakken Scientific Achievement Award
The Earl Bakken Scientific Achievement Award was presented to D. Craig Miller, MD, the Thelma and Henry Doelger Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery and Director of the Cardiovascular Surgical Physiology Research Laboratories at
Stanford University. The Bakken Award honors individuals who have made outstanding scientific contributions that have enhanced the practice of cardiothoracic surgery and patients’ quality of life. In his acceptance speech, Dr. Miller encouraged the audience to “always keep that quest to satisfy your intellectual curiosity at the top of your priority list.”

President's Award
The President’s Award was presented to Matthew L. Williams, MD, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, for his paper, “Preoperative Hematocrit Is a Powerful Predictor of Adverse Outcomes in CABG Surgery: A Report from the STS Adult Cardiac
Surgery Database.” Selected by the STS President, the recipient of this award is recognized for submitting an outstanding
scientific abstract to the Annual Meeting Program by a lead author who is either a resident or a young investigator who
has completed his or her training within the last 5 years. In presenting the award, Jeffrey B. Rich, MD said that Dr. Williams “did a phenomenal job in using the Database to bring forward a clinical indicator for contemplation.”

Poster Awards

Adult Cardiac Surgery
Twenty-Year Analysis of Autologous Support of the Pulmonary Autograft in the Ross Procedure Using a Variant Inclusion Cylinder Method in Adults Less Than 60 Years (lead author Peter Skillington, MD)

General Thoracic Surgery
The Effect of Lung Size Mismatch on Survival after Single and Bilateral Lung Transplantation (lead author Michael Eberlein, MD, PhD)

Congenital Heart Surgery
Creating a Value Index: A Method to Compare Regional Programs Performing Congenital Heart Surgery (lead author S. Adil Husain, MD)