The Executive Council of the Congenital Heart Surgeons’ Society met in Houston, Texas on Sunday evening, January 22, 2017. I wanted to share the highlights of that meeting with our members. I want to begin by thanking the members who stepped up to my call for end of the year donations to the Kirklin-Ashburn fellowship. The total dollar amount of the Kirklin-Ashburn fund at the end of 2016 is now up to $436,371! My goal for the Kirlin-Ashburn fund by the end of 2017 is to raise the corpus to $500,000. This will allow us, in a meaningful way, to help support the salary of the Kirklin-Ashburn Fellow in the upcoming years.
My thanks go out to the 51 individuals who filled out the survey that was sent at the conclusion of our 2016 Annual Meeting (October 23-24, 2016). The great majority of the respondents appeared to strongly agree that this meeting was an excellent educational activity. There were over 100 responses to what things surgeons are going to change in their practices as a result of what they learned at the meeting! I also appreciate the many suggestions that were made regarding improving the meeting. Responding to those comments, the Executive Council voted to change the presentation format for our next meeting to 8 minutes for presentations and 7 minutes for discussion, and revisit the role of invited discussants so as to allow presenters more time for their talks. A new session this year will be entitled, “My Worst Nightmare Case.” The coupling of our meeting with the National Pediatric Cardiology Quality Improvement Collaborative (NPC-QIC) was widely praised, and they again plan to schedule their meeting the day before ours in 2017.
I want to draw your attention to several upcoming deadlines and dates for you to put on your calendar.
- The deadline for submission of abstracts for the 2017 CHSS Annual Meeting will be April 7, 2017. This will allow the Program Committee a chance to meet during the American Association for Thoracic Surgery Annual Meeting at the end of April to review the abstracts in person.
- The upcoming CHSS Data Center Work Weekend in Toronto is scheduled for April 7-9, 2017. Forty-nine people engaged in some part of the 2016 Fall Work Weekend which was a new record! We particularly encourage our new members to attend the Work Weekend if at all feasible. For scheduling purposes the Fall 2017 Work Weekend is scheduled for November 17-19, 2017.
- NPC-QIC is sponsoring the first Pediatric Cardiology Improvement Symposium from May 18-20, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
- For those of you who are considering proposing new members the deadline for membership applications is June 30, 2017. Instructions regarding applying for membership can be found on the CHSS Website.
- The CHSS Annual Meeting will be October 22-23, 2017. We will again be at the Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel. From the survey it appears that most members feel that the Loews is a major improvement from our previous venue.
It is my great privilege to serve as your President of the Congenital Heart Surgeons’ Society. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or suggestions you have to improve our Society and its services to the membership.
Carl Lewis Backer, M.D.
President, Congenital Heart Surgeons’ Society
Carl L. Backer, MD