STS Staff Welcomes You to Phoenix!

Rob Wynbrandt

On behalf of the Society’s staff, I join STS President Mark Allen in welcoming you to The Society of Thoracic Surgeons 52nd Annual Meeting and Exhibition in Phoenix, Arizona. 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 Phoenix Convention Center during the Annual Meeting. 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, take advantage of the free services offered at the Tech Bar. Experts can help you with both personal and professional tasks, such as downloading and using the STS Annual Meeting Mobile App, utilizing social media, improving your work productivity, troubleshooting issues with your smartphone or tablet, and more—all as a benefit of meeting registration.

I hope you also will stop by the STS booth (#523) in the Exhibit Hall. Staff members will be there, eager to talk with you about—and provide updates on—all things STS. Be sure to ask about the first outcomes report from the STS/ACC TVT RegistryTM, plans to upgrade and expand the STS National Database, our public reporting initiatives, exciting developments from the STS Research Center (now in its fifth year), and upcoming educational programs, such as the STS ECMO Symposium that will be held in March 2016.

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 implications of health care reform to important legislation relevant to cardiothoracic surgeons, 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. And if you are an STS member, please pick up a membership packet to take home to a colleague; you will be helping both your colleague and your Society.

All the scientific sessions at this 52nd Annual Meeting, including the symposia, early riser 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 52nd Annual Meeting Online now 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