As we approach the end of 2017, I want to thank you for the privilege of having served as President of the Congenital Heart Surgeons’ Society (CHSS) for a little over a year now. It has been a busy and productive 2017 for the CHSS, including our very successful meeting at the lovely Loews Hotel in Rosemont, Illinois. The 2017 Meeting Program as overseen by Dr. Harold Burkhart, and was well-received. There were 25 oral presentations, 5 videos, and 10 posters, and 5 of the oral presentations were part of the new Sunday evening session "My Worst Nightmare Cases." Attendees really enjoyed the candor and open discussion during this important session, something we are continuing for our 2018 Annual Meeting. We also for the first time live-streamed the Coordinator Session so that program coordinators who were unable to attend the Annual Meeting could access the Coordinator program and discussion offered on Sunday.
The 2017 Annual Meeting offered an expanded session from the CHSS Data Center, which does incredibly important work. We intend to keep this expanded session in future years, highlighting the work of our institutional members, the papers produced, and the presentations which are accepted at so many important meetings in North America and around the world.
A very exciting new offering for our CHSS Members is our affiliation with the World Journal for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery (WJPCHS). Beginning in 2018, all CHSS members will receive electronic access to the journal, and the masthead of each issue will identify itself as the Official Journal of the CHSS. This is yet another important collaboration between the CHSS and our sister organizations – both the World Society and the ECHSA, who has also moved ahead with a similar affiliation. We now have the three major congenital heart societies all collaborating together on one journal, which we hope will make the WJPCHS the leading resource for congenital heart papers.
We also hit our first goal for the John W. Kirklin-David Ashburn Fellowship Fund, reaching the target of ,000 between donations, earnings, and pledges. We intend to increase our funds to the point where the CHSS can support the tuition of the Kirklin-Ashburn Fellow on an annual basis, again demonstrating the importance of the synergy and relationship between the CHSS and our CHSS Data Center housed in Toronto. Thanks to each of our CHSS members who has supported this program – without your generosity and pledge commitments, the goal would not have been reached so quickly. As always, a full list of our donors is available on our CHSS website.
I would be remiss in not thinking our Committee Chairs, who have worked very hard on a number of key initiatives, and who are active throughout the year keeping CHSS business moving forward. Each of the chairs takes their job seriously, oversees calls of their committees, and makes regular reports to our CHSS Executive Council.
On that note, our Executive Council will meet next during the STS Annual Meeting in Ft. Lauderdale next month. We also, for the first time, will participate at the STS Annual Meeting as an exhibitor, sharing a space with the World Society – to help raise awareness of our organizations, our meetings, and opportunities to submit work or strive for membership. Please take the time to visit us if you are in Ft. Lauderdale in January.
Wishing everyone the Happiest of Holidays and a Peaceful and Healthy New Year.
Carl L. Backer, MD