Working for You
One of the things that makes STS so unique and so great is that it is a member-centric, patient-centric Society. I cannot overemphasize this point enough. There are many great things that STS does for members and our patients. During my term as President, I want to make sure that we share more about all of the important things we are doing.
Among them is our annual STS Legislative Fly-In in Washington, DC. At press time, we had just canceled the Fly-In and other in-person courses due to the coronavirus pandemic. I plan on keeping members informed about how STS is helping during this crisis via a series of videos and emails.
We are facing a lot of unknowns right now, but as cardiothoracic surgeons, we know how to take charge and get the job done. I will do my best to help you through this crisis—and I am confident that we will be stronger as a result.
Focusing on the Entire Specialty
Although my primary professional focus is congenital heart surgery, my commitment is to the whole specialty—adult cardiac, general thoracic, and congenital. I will do my best to address all of the challenges in each of these areas. The two leading causes of death in this country are heart disease and lung cancer. The most common birth defect is a congenital cardiac anomaly. As cardiothoracic surgeons, we are ideally positioned to ask questions and solve problems that will have the greatest impact in terms of the number of people affected.
Although my primary professional focus is congenital heart surgery, my commitment is to the whole specialty.
Over the next year as you get to know me better, you’ll observe that I listen more than I talk. I believe strongly in transparency and accessibility, and I want to know your professional pain points so that I can help make a difference.
I also strongly believe in diversity. We are lucky that more women are interested in cardiothoracic surgery, and our specialty is better because of that. Dr. Higgins worked hard during his presidential year to include more women and underrepresented groups in the governance structure. He also launched the STS Leadership Summit to help advance the careers of the younger generation of surgeons. Our 2020 summit hit a home run, and we will keep building on that legacy.
In the coming months, we will continue strategic planning meetings (see page 9) to identify key focal points and create a new Society roadmap for the next 3 to 5 years. We are grateful to the many of you who took the time to complete the 2019 STS Practice Survey and 2018 Member-Needs Assessment. We are carefully reviewing the results of these surveys and will incorporate your feedback as we prepare the new STS Strategic Plan.
As we move forward, I see a bright future for the Society and for cardiothoracic surgery. Our specialty combines important qualities of intellect, critical thinking skills, judgment, technical abilities, and perseverance—it’s never over until it’s over. No other specialty really captures all of these ingredients. That’s what I love about cardiothoracic surgery, and that’s why I am committed to STS and making a difference.