2019 STS Meeting Bulletin

Tues | Jan. 29

  • Naunheim Points to Resilience as Key to SurvivalCardiothoracic surgery has been under attack for several decades. Beginning with diagnosis-related groups, the specialty was hit by reduced reimbursement, lower patient volume, and a shrinking workforce. Instead of getting angry, cardiothoracic surgeons got resilient. They worked to influence federal policy, used data to change practice patterns, improved medical guidelines and began to change the face of the specialty, said 2018-2019 STS President Keith S. Naunheim, MD during his Presidential Address on Monday. READ MORE
  • Robert S.D. Higgins, MD, MSHA Robert S.D. Higgins Elected 2019-2020 PresidentRenowned heart-lung transplant surgeon Robert S.D. Higgins, MD, MSHA was elected by the STS membership yesterday evening as the Society’s 2019-2020 President. READ MORE
  • Douglas E. Wood, MD and James M. Levett, MD Two Honored for Selfless Service and Commitment to STSIn honor of their outstanding work and significant contributions, Douglas E. Wood, MD and James M. Levett, MD each were presented a 2019 STS Distinguished Service Award at the Annual Membership (Business) Meeting yesterday evening. READ MORE
  • Eric Topol, MD Hear How Artificial Intelligence May Affect Your PracticeDeep-learning artificial intelligence is starting to impact clinicians, health systems, and consumers. In today’s keynote C. Walton Lillehei lecture, Eric Topol, MD will explore High-Performance Medicine: The Convergence of Artificial Intelligence and Health Care. READ MORE
  • Video-Based Sessions Offer Pearls for Common, Complex ProceduresCardiothoracic surgeons are visual, hands-on practitioners and learners. Textbooks can be a useful starting point, but the most effective way to learn the technical nuances of common, yet challenging operations is by watching them being performed with expert commentary and extra time for questions. Three video-based “how-to” sessions will bring that visual focus to adult cardiac, congenital and pediatric cardiac, and general thoracic surgeries. READ MORE
  • New Officers, Directors ElectedIn addition to electing Robert S.D. Higgins, MD, MSHA as the Society’s new President, STS members elected several new officers and other Board members yesterday evening. READ MORE
  • Joan Y. Reede, MD, MPS, MBA Improving Diversity Enhances CT Surgery Access, Care, OutcomesDiversity is not about political correctness, according to Joan Y. Reede, MD, MPS, MBA, of Harvard Medical School. “It is about improving the care we deliver as physicians every day.” READ MORE
  • Symposium Takes a Hard Look at Heart Transplantation ProtocolsHeart transplantation is in flux. As donor pools grow smaller, the medical community is looking for nontraditional ways to procure hearts for life-saving transplantations. READ MORE
  • Digital Era Brings New Perspectives on Patient SafetyHealth care is going digital. And while most attention is focused on the potential advantages of artificial intelligence, electronic health records (EHRs), telehealth, and other developments, digital innovation challenges the current notion of patient safety. READ MORE
  • Mara B. Antonoff, panelist Meet the ExpertsThe foremost experts in a variety of cardiothoracic surgery topics will be available to answer your questions at seven Meet the Experts sessions held today from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. These sessions provide an in-depth look at the issues, with question-and-answer time emphasized over more formal presentations. READ MORE
  • Changing Medicare Programs Impact Physician PaymentsPhysician payments are undergoing a sea change as payers seek to reward quality over volume. New regulations and policies coming from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services make it essential for cardiothoracic surgeons to stay apprised of changes in reporting requirements and performance benchmarks. READ MORE

Mon | Jan. 28

  • Laurie H. Glimcher, MD Future Is Promising for Cancer ImmunotherapyImmunotherapy may be the key to transforming cancer from a death sentence to a chronic condition. Some progress has already been made; checkpoint blockade has changed the prognosis for 10 usually lethal tumor types, including stage IV melanoma. READ MORE
  • Lauren A. Sarno, MD Clark Papers Highlight Top STS National Database StudiesData from the STS National Database have been part of numerous research studies over the years that have advanced quality and patient safety in cardiothoracic surgery. Three of these studies, selected as the best among the many submitted for the 2019 Annual Meeting, were designated as this year’s Richard E. Clark Memorial Papers. READ MORE
  • Thomas M. Krummel, MD Artificial Intelligence Touches Cardiothoracic SurgeryArtificial Intelligence (AI) already exists in medicine. AI systems can read chest radiographs faster, cheaper, and—by some accounts—at least as accurately as skilled radiologists, according to Thomas M. Krummel, MD, of Stanford University in California. With approximately 18 robotic surgical devices in development, AI is almost certainly coming to cardiothoracic surgery. READ MORE
  • Joseph Bavaria, MD Search Continues for Optimal Approach for Type A Aortic DissectionsThe continuing evolution and improvement of procedures to repair type A aortic dissections is leaving cardiothoracic surgeons with more questions than firm answers as they plan what is typically an emergency repair. READ MORE
  • ‘Shark Tank’ Takes Aim at Unmet Surgical NeedsThe cardiothoracic device market has grown dramatically in recent years, but unmet needs persist. Four physician-inventors aiming to tap the burgeoning market pitched their cutting-edge devices during “Shark Tank,” part of the Tech-Con Joint Session: The Future of Cardiothoracic Surgery. READ MORE
  • Tom C. Nguyen, MD Re-imagining Thoracic SurgeryIt was 2011 and incoming STS PresidentMichael J. Mack, MD warned members that it was time to get on the train to treat structural heart disease or lose out. Eight years later, Tom C. Nguyen, MD, of The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, expanded Dr. Mack’s admonition. He said that it is time to re-envision the future of cardiothoracic surgery or lose it. READ MORE
  • Tara Semenkovich, MD Plenary Session Unveils New Approaches to Familiar ProblemsExpanding the pool of donors for neonatal heart transplantation and using adjuvant therapy for node-positive esophageal cancer have the potential to improve patient outcomes, according to two studies that will be presented at today’s plenary session. READ MORE
  • Michael J. Weyant, MD Regional Perspectives Influence Treatment Options for Lung, Esophageal CancersThe complex process of determining cancer stages requires accurate decision-making within the context of an interdisciplinary team. But standard general thoracic and esophageal diagnosis and treatment practices can vary due to a lack of uniformity between European and US practice guidelines. READ MORE
  • Vinod H. Thourani, MD Heart Team Decision-Making Adds ValueTreatment options for valve disease have grown exponentially from the days of simply choosing between tissue or mechanical valves. Now, determining the most appropriate treatment for each patient requires multidisciplinary perspectives. READ MORE
  • Keith B. Allen, MD Cardiac and Vascular Surgeons Can Learn From Each OtherMore and more often, cardiac and vascular surgeons are seeing the same patients and dealing with similar challenges, making a collaborative approach essential to optimizing outcomes. READ MORE
  • Vinay Badhwar, MD Get Tips on Excelling Early in Your CareerThe first few years after completing a cardiothoracic surgery residency can be challenging. Newly established surgeons must figure out how to build up a clinical practice, manage a wide variety of competing responsibilities, launch their research careers, and more. READ MORE
  • Presenters Meet the MediaThe Society will host a press conference on Monday highlighting some of the exciting research being presented at the STS 55th Annual Meeting. The press conference will take place at 12:30 p.m. in Room 27B. READ MORE

Sat-Sun | Jan. 26-27

  • Welcome to STS 2019I am thrilled that you’ve joined us in San Diego for the Society’s 55th Annual Meeting, and I hope you are ready for a meeting that is packed with interactive learning, thought-provoking lectures, hands-on sessions, an abundance of networking opportunities, and a chance to view the latest products and services in the specialty. READ MORE
  • Chamberlain Papers Will Be Presented at Sunday PlenaryTranscatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) outcomes, the influence of regionalization on outcomes after pulmonary resection, and long-term survival differences between arterial and atrial switch procedures are the focuses of this year’s prestigious J. Maxwell Chamberlain Memorial Papers. READ MORE
  • Should Genome Editing Be Used on Embryos to Prevent Disease?Editing genes in human embryos, even for research, has always been controversial. Although the scientific community has grappled over the ethics of gene modification, the technology for it has exploded with the invention of CRISPR, a genetic engineering tool that makes gene editing easier and more precise. READ MORE
  • Laurie Ferguson Lecturer to Discuss Cancer ImmunotherapyThe first of the exciting keynote lectures at the STS Annual Meeting—the Thomas B. Ferguson Lecture on Sunday afternoon—will feature Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, who has made seminal discoveries in cancer immunology research, particularly in the fields of transcriptional regulation, lymphocyte differentiation, immunology, and osteobiology. READ MORE
  • VATS, Robotics in Greater Demand Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) is the most common approach to thoracic surgery in specialized centers, but robotics is rapidly being adopted.  READ MORE
  • Unconscious Biases Negatively Impact Relationships With Colleagues, PatientsEveryone has biases. But with increased awareness, you can “train” yourself out of bias and make informed decisions based on actual data. A session organized by Women in Thoracic Surgery (WTS) will provide attendees with the tools they need to do just that. READ MORE
  • Michael S. Firstenberg, MD Staying Current Helps Drive Decisions During Critical Care EmergenciesAs technology and patient acuity expand, cardiothoracic surgeons and their teams must understand how to use the latest pharmacologic and mechanical therapies for emergencies in the critical care setting. READ MORE
  • Jennifer S. Nelson, MD, MS Neonatal Surgical Techniques Influence OutcomesThanks to major medical and surgical advances, 85%-90% of patients with congenital heart defects now survive into adulthood. Congenital and adult cardiac surgeons are learning more about long-term sequelae and how neonatal and childhood repairs can set up patients for long-term success or failure.  READ MORE
  • Jill Engel, DNP, ACNP The Multidisciplinary Team: Collaborating to Improve OutcomesA multidisciplinary team is key to improving clinical outcomes, reducing the length and cost of hospital stays, and enhancing communication among health care providers. As the movement toward collaborative care gains momentum, nonphysician health care providers are playing increasingly important roles on the cardiothoracic surgery team.   READ MORE
  • STS Staff Welcomes You to San DiegoOn behalf of the Society’s staff, I join STS President Keith Naunheim in welcoming you to The Society of Thoracic Surgeons 55th Annual Meeting and Exhibition in San Diego, California. As in the past, the Annual Meeting will provide you with a wide range of educational, networking, and social offerings. READ MORE
  • How to Live Tweet From the STS Annual MeetingUsing Twitter for communication and information dissemination at major medical conferences such as the STS 55th Annual Meeting allows for real-time international conversations, critical appraisal, and networking. READ MORE
  • Learn How Surgeons Can Succeed in a Changing Health Care Landscape Despite many years of clinical training, most cardiothoracic surgeons aren’t provided with sufficient education in a key area of career development—optimizing their value to their organizations. READ MORE
  • Become an Advocate for CT SurgerySTS Key Contacts are the lifeblood of the Society’s advocacy efforts. Key Contacts meet with their elected officials in Washington, provide facility tours at home, and do much more to advocate for legislative and regulatory issues that affect cardiothoracic surgeons and their patients. READ MORE
  • Access the STS National Database for ResearchThe STS National Database is a valuable tool for quality improvement, and the Society offers investigators various options for using data from the Database for research projects. READ MORE
  • Improve Your Chances of PublicationThe peer-review process is a critical step in the production of high-quality scientific journals, such as The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. An effective peer-review system facilitates informed clinical practice changes that will enhance value-based care for patients and iteratively educate the entire field of cardiothoracic surgery. READ MORE
  • Enhance Your Meeting Experience With STS UniversitySTS University, a popular series of hands-on learning activities, will take place during two sessions on Sunday morning. Several courses still have space available, so check at Registration if you’d like to add one or more to your schedule. READ MORE
  • Alt Text goes here, man Explore an Iconic Destination at the President’s ReceptionJoin your colleagues for the STS President’s Reception at the celebrated Hotel del Coronado on Sunday evening. READ MORE
  • CT Surgery Residents Prepare for Jeopardy TitleCardiothoracic surgery residents from Europe and North America will face off Sunday evening in the ultimate cognitive challenge—the STS Cardiothoracic Surgery Jeopardy Championship. READ MORE
  • Thank YouThe Society of Thoracic Surgeons gratefully acknowledges the following companies for providing educational grants for the STS 55th Annual Meeting. READ MORE
  • Industry-Sponsored Satellite ActivitiesSatellite activities are programs offered by industry and held in conjunction with the STS 55th Annual Meeting. They are not developed or sponsored by STS. READ MORE
  • Learning Opportunities in the Exhibit HallExhibiting companies and others will present talks and demonstrations in the Learning Lab Theater, located in the Exhibit Hall. READ MORE