News Briefs: Fall 2017

Rob Headrick, MD, MBA

Health Policy Scholarship Encourages Physician Leadership

Rob Headrick, MD, MBA saw the ongoing health care crisis in the United States and realized he needed a deeper education. 

“My health policy experience had been limited to meeting with state legislators regarding local issues and superficial conversations with my US senator and congressman,” he said. “I lacked the knowledge of how health policy and legislation is made, along with a true understanding of how complicated health care reform can be.”

To expand his understanding, Dr. Headrick attended the intensive Executive Leadership Program in Health Policy and Management at Brandeis University as the 2017 recipient of the STS/ACS Health Policy Scholarship, a joint offering from STS and the American College of Surgeons.

During the weeklong course this past June, Dr. Headrick joined surgeons from a variety of specialties for a week of lectures and small group discussions on health care policy, health care finance, leadership, operations management, and conflict negotiation. 

“Two of the most valuable topics covered in this course were leadership development and operating room efficiency,” said Dr. Headrick, who is Chief of Thoracic Surgery and Co-Director of the Rees Skillern Cancer Institute at CHI Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga, Tenn. “We learned how standardization, reducing surgical variability, and synchronizing our teams can help improve efficiency.”

Dr. Headrick said that his attendance at the course had an immediate impact on his career. “This leadership course has already improved my confidence in being a leader within my institution,” he said. “It also has made me an expert in health care policy within my community. I’ve been asked to give lectures at the Civitan Club and Rotary Club, as well as be an expert commentator on our local news during the national health care policy debate. And I’ve been able to interact with my elected officials in a more meaningful way.”

As a scholarship recipient, Dr. Headrick will be appointed to serve a 3-year term on the STS/AATS Workforce on Health Policy, Reform, and Advocacy, starting in January 2018.

Applications for the 2018 scholarship will be accepted later this year. Applicants must be members of both STS and ACS and between the ages of 30 and 55. Application materials, which include a curriculum vitae and a one-page essay discussing why a candidate wishes to receive the scholarship, are due by February 1, 2018. The scholarship will help cover the costs of tuition, travel, and accommodations during the course.

For more information, visit www.sts.org/healthpolicyscholarship or contact Grahame Rush, Director of Information Services, at Grahame Rush or (312) 202-5848.


Communicate with STS Members and Meeting Registrants by Blast E-mail

The Society is now offering you, your colleagues, and your institution the ability to share news about your events, clinical trials, or other information directly with STS members and/or Annual Meeting registrants by e-mail. For a royalty, STS will distribute the pre-approved message on behalf of the sender. Learn more about the new STS eBlast Communication program, which complements the existing mailing list license program, at www.sts.org/mailinglists. If you have any questions about these programs, contact Samantha McCarthy, Industry Relations Manager, at Samantha McCarthy.


Domenico Pagano, MD, FRCS(C-Th), FETCS

New International Director Selected

Domenico Pagano, MD, FRCS(C-Th), FETCS has been appointed by the STS Board of Directors as an International Director to fulfill the remainder of the 3-year term vacated on August 1 by A. Pieter Kappetein, MD, PhD (see page 5).

Dr. Pagano is a Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon and Clinical Director of the Quality and Outcomes Research Unit at the University Hospital Birmingham in England. He previously served on the STS Workforce on National Databases and the STS Quality, Research, and Patient Safety Council Operating Board. As International Director, Dr. Pagano will work with fellow International Director Haiquan Chen, MD, PhD and other members of the STS Board of Directors to advance the Society’s role and relationships within the international cardiothoracic surgery community.


Learn How to Maximize Your Reimbursement

Keep yourself and your office at the forefront of coming changes to physician coding and reimbursement. Register yourself and/or your billing manager for the STS Coding Workshop, November 16-18 in Hollywood, Calif.

Attendees will learn about new and revised codes for 2018, as well as other important reimbursement changes, through scenario-based questions, problematic coding examples, extensive Q&A, and attendee interaction.

New for 2017:

  • Video Challenge: Watch narrated videos of various procedures to identify the codes for the services. Faculty will then provide the recommended codes and associated documentation supporting the service.
  • Stump the Experts: Ask questions or present complex coding questions to faculty for open discussion.

See the full agenda and register at www.sts.org/codingworkshop.


Dedicated CT Surgeons and Their Teams

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma couldn’t stop cardiothoracic surgeons and their team members from providing care to their patients and sharing information on current trends in the specialty.

Jeffrey P. Jacobs, MD (in white coat on right), Chair of the STS Workforce on National Databases, and his colleagues at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, camped out in the Cardiovascular ICU to make sure patients and their families received the care they needed.

Despite travel problems because of Hurricane Irma and lingering cleanup from Hurricane Harvey, cardiothoracic surgeons gathered in Houston September 8-9 for the 11th Current Trends in Aortic, Cardiac, and General Thoracic Surgery conference. Speakers included (from left) Drs. Shanda H. Blackmon and Joseph E. Bavaria, both members of the STS Board of Directors, as well as Drs. Ourania Preventza and Steven Lansman.