STS Staff Welcomes You to Fort Lauderdale

Rob Wynbrandt

On behalf of the Society’s staff, I join STS President Rich Prager in welcoming you to The Society of Thoracic Surgeons 54th Annual Meeting and Exhibition in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. As in the past, the Annual Meeting will provide you with a wide range of educational, networking, and social offerings.

Because there is so much to experience between Saturday and Wednesday, this STS Meeting Bulletin will help you keep track of what’s happening and provide up-to-date information about new sessions, meeting room locations, exhibitor descriptions, and much more.

Watch for the Monday and Tuesday/Wednesday editions of the Bulletin; the newspapers will be placed in bins throughout the convention center. Check the front page left-hand column in each issue for a quick summary and update of the day’s activities.

The Bulletin also provides a handy reference to the Exhibit Hall, which is an important component of the meeting experience. The Exhibit Hall is a great place to learn about new and improved technology and products, and it offers the perfect opportunity to see and meet with colleagues and friends. Surveys from past meetings show that the majority of attendees make a point of visiting with the exhibitors at least three times over the course of the meeting. The STS Exhibit Hall opens its doors at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, with a reception that runs through 6:30 p.m. Snacks and refreshments will be served throughout the Exhibit Hall.

While you’re there, I hope you will stop by the STS booth (#807). Staff members will be there, eager to talk with you about—and provide updates on—all things STS. Be sure to ask about plans to upgrade and expand the STS National Database—including the new STS Intermacs Database component for mechanical circulatory support device procedures, our public reporting initiatives, exciting developments from the STS Research Center, and upcoming educational programs.

You also will want to take a moment and talk with the STS Government Relations staff, who can bring you up to date on the Society’s many efforts on Capitol Hill. From coding and reimbursement issues to the future of health care reform legislation and regulation, STS continues to champion the specialty in Washington. Stop by and learn more. There’s a lot going on—and you’ll want to understand the implications for your practice.

If you are not already an STS member, please stop by the STS booth and learn about the many membership benefits we have to offer, including a complimentary subscription to The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. Those attendees who are not cardiothoracic surgeons—i.e., other physicians, CT surgery and general surgery residents, medical students, and all allied health care professionals—should especially note that our rolling admission process for Candidate, Pre-Candidate, and Associate Membership allows for the prompt disposition of their STS membership applications, typically within a week or two, so that they can start enjoying the benefits of STS membership almost immediately. CT surgeon applications for Active and International Membership also are reviewed and approved by our Board of Directors three times per year, and those applications received by March 16 will be eligible for consideration when the Board next meets on April 29. Even if you already are an STS member, please pick up a membership packet for a colleague; you will be helping both your colleague and your Society.

All the scientific sessions at this 54th Annual Meeting, including the symposia, meet the experts sessions, breakout sessions, hands-on sessions, and invited talks, create a vast array of educational opportunities—more than any one person could ever attend onsite. Fortunately, the STS 54th Annual Meeting Online is included free with your Annual Meeting registration. This online product will allow you to catch those sessions you weren’t able to attend—and review all the sessions you did attend—in the comfort of your home or office throughout the year ahead.

In closing, please know that all of us on the staff are here to serve you. Look for the distinctive green STAFF ribbon on our name badges, and please don’t hesitate to let us know if there’s anything we can do to help.

Thank you for attending, and enjoy the meeting!

Rob Wynbrandt
STS Executive Director & General Counsel