Washington, DC surgeon will emphasize long-term outcomes and value of surgery


SAN DIEGO (January 23, 2023) – Cardiothoracic surgeon Thomas E. MacGillivray, MD, from MedStar Health, was elected President of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons at STS 2023 during the Society’s Business Meeting.

“I am honored and humbled to serve as the next President of the STS, the largest and most inclusive professional society in our specialty, as we continue to support our members and our patients through collaboration, education, research, and patient care,” Dr. MacGillivray said.

As STS President—and as the call for quality improvement and value-based care intensifies—Dr. MacGillivray will focus on harnessing the analytical power of the STS National Databases to demonstrate the superior long-term outcomes and value of surgery for patients compared with other competing therapies.

Last summer, Dr. MacGillivray became the Physician Executive Director and Chairman of the Department of Cardiac Surgery at MedStar Health’s Heart and Vascular Institute in Washington D.C and Maryland.  In his own practice, he specializes in the surgical treatment of adults with congenital heart disease (ACHD), acquired heart disease, thoracic aortic disease, and end-stage cardiopulmonary failure.  Over the last few decades, as more and more children are surviving and thriving from early life cardiac surgery for congenital heart disorders, Dr. MacGillivray has dedicated more of his work to these patients as they experience cardiac related issues in adulthood.

A native of Danvers, Massachusetts, Dr. MacGillivray is one of 13 children.  His father was a general surgeon who was Dr. MacGillivray’s most important role model as a physician and surgeon.  Dr. MacGillivray was a Classical Studies major at Tufts University and earned his medical degree at Tufts University School of Medicine.  On graduation from medical school, Dr. MacGillivray admits that he had little interest in pursuing cardiothoracic surgery until as a surgical resident he experienced the unparalleled benefit it brought to patients.  “Cardiothoracic surgery combines amazing mastery of technical surgery with fastidious intensive patient care which together treats incredibly sick patients getting them better and back to their families and normal life.  After all these years of being a cardiothoracic surgeon, I still think it is miraculous!”

Dr. MacGillivray did his internship and surgical residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Dr. MacGillivray completed an impressive three fellowships that enhanced his expertise in heart disease over the lifespan—at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine in fetal surgery research, Chief Resident at Boston Children’s Hospital in congenital cardiovascular surgery and Chief Resident at Massachusetts General Hospital in adult cardiothoracic surgery.

After his training, he spent 19 years at Massachusetts General Hospital, serving as the surgical director of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program, co-director of the Thoracic Aortic Center, surgical director of the Mechanical Circulatory Support Program, and associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School.  In 2016, Dr. MacGillivray joined the Houston Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas with the honor of serving as the Jimmy F. Howell, MD, Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Surgery, the chief of the Division of Cardiac Surgery and Thoracic Transplant Surgery, and the associate medical director of the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit.

Dr. MacGillivray says, “There has never been a more exciting time to be a cardiothoracic surgeon.  We have so many effective techniques and treatments to offer patients suffering with thoracic, congenital and acquired cardiac diseases.  Cardiothoracic surgeons must continue to lead the efforts to ensure that all patients have access to the highest quality surgery and value-based care.”

With more than 30 years of experience in the field, Dr. MacGillivray has published over 125 peer-reviewed articles and textbook chapters on aortic diseases, adult congenital heart disease, mechanical circulatory support and cardiac tumors.

Dr. MacGillivray assumes the Presidency from his immediate prior role as the Society’s First Vice President. An STS member since 2003, he held a variety of additional leadership roles with the Society, including STS Treasurer, and Chair of the Council on Education and Member Services. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Thoracic Surgery Foundation and an editorial board member and previous Deputy Editor with The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. In addition, he is former President of the Northeast Cardiothoracic Surgery Society. He has co-authored several clinical practice guidelines, including the STS/American Association for Thoracic Surgery Clinical Practice Guidelines on the Management of Type B Aortic Dissection and the American Heart Association’s guidelines for surgical treatment of pulmonary embolism.

Dr. MacGillivray and his wife, Dr. Leslie Lucchina, have been married for 28 years. Dr. Lucchina, a dermatologist specializing in laser and cosmetic dermatology, is in solo private practice in Boston’s Back Bay. Their daughter Caroline, a graduate of Amherst College, works in financial services.

Also elected during the Annual Meeting were Jennifer C. Romano, MD, MS, from Ann Arbor, Michigan, as First Vice President and Joseph F. Sabik III, MD, from Cleveland, Ohio,  as Second Vice President.


For more information, contact Charlie Simpson, STS SVP of Marketing and Communications, at 312-202- 5819 or csimpson@sts.org.

Founded in 1964, The Society of Thoracic Surgeons is a not-for-profit organization representing more than 7,700 cardiothoracic surgeons, researchers, and allied health care professionals worldwide who 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. The Society’s mission is to enhance the ability of cardiothoracic surgeons to provide the highest quality patient care through education, research, and advocacy.