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Welcome to the Congenital Heart Surgeons' Society

50th Annual Meeting


David Overman Greetings fellow CHSS members,

I hope this finds all of you well and able to enjoy a bit of summertime. It is has been a very eventful few months for the CHSS, and this letter is intended to bring everyone up to speed, as it were.

This is my first opportunity to reach out as President, and it is with considerable sadness that the occasion comes before its scheduled time. My predecessor in the CHSS Presidency, Jim Tweddell, finished his valiant battle with brain cancer this past month, and his absence is felt by us all.



Dr. James S. Tweddell

James S. Tweddell
James S. Tweddell, MD
September 2, 1959 - July 1, 2022


It is with tremendous sadness that the CHSS observes the passing of its President, Dr. James Scott Tweddell after a heroic battle with brain cancer. Jim was a modern day giant in congenital heart surgery. His skills, intellect, and innovations were inspirational to surgeons around the world, and his passing is an enormous loss to our community. More...

CHSS members who wish to add a video tribute to Jim Tweddell to be included at the CHSS Annual Meeting should use the drop box link below. Please be considerate of time and be sure to upload by the deadline: September 30th.


Gerhard Ziemer, MD, PHD

Gerhard Ziemer, MD, PHD
Gerhard Ziemer, MD, PHD

It is with great sadness that the CHSS reports that fellow member Gerhard Ziemer died suddenly on November 12, 2022. Gerhard has been a CHSS member since 2012 and was the Director of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery and Adult Congenital Heart Surgery at the Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania.

Gerhard obtained his congenital cardiac surgery training at the Boston Children’s Hospital and became friends with many congenital heart surgeons now practicing in the United States. After his training he returned to Germany and eventually became the Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Tuebingen. In the spring of 1991 he convened a meeting of congenital cardiac surgeons in Europe that led to the European Congenital Heart Surgeons Association (ECHSA) that we know today. He was the first president of ECHSA.

Gerhard moved to the United States in 2011 and became the Chief of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at the University of Chicago. He moved to Geisinger in 2020.

The thoughts and prayers of the CHSS community are with his wife, Dr. Sabine Ziemer, and his two children, Philipp and Anja.


CHSS Quality Assurance Project
The CHSS Quality Committee with the support of the Executive Council is pleased to provide an update on the ongoing CHSS Quality Assurance Project, available to all members of the Society. The initiative is consistent with a new and major strategic focus of the CHSS on quality assurance and quality improvement.
More Information


Norwood NPC-QIC Surgical Coaching Project
The Norwood NPC-QIC Surgical Coaching project continues to accept applications as formalized visits have begun by visiting surgeons to host centers. We invite congenital heart surgeons who are at programs where the Norwood Procedure is performed and those who are either board eligible or board certified in the subspecialty of congenital heart surgery to apply for participation via the application.
More Information


Membership In The Congenital Heart Surgeons' Society
The 2022 CHSS membership cycle has closed. All applications submitted will be considered for 2023.


CHSS branded silk neckties and silk scarves
The CHSS has partnered with Vineyard Vines to create CHSS branded silk neckties and silk scarves to benefit The Kirklin/Ashburn Fellowship Fund. Each $100 donation will include the item of your choice!


The congenital heart surgery community is coming together in full support of each other. As part of this, the CHSS has created a CHSS-member only ListServ, where our congenital heart surgeon members can communicate in a private forum and share ideas, ask questions, and seek insight and assistance as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve. To opt in and be part of this online community, please send an email to:


CHSS Data Center

The Congenital Heart Surgeons' Society (CHSS) is a premier organization of heart surgeons who treat defects in the heart existing from birth. The CHSS Data Center is devoted to encouraging and stimulating investigations and studies that will increase the knowledge of congenital cardiac physiology, pathology and therapy, and to correlate and disseminate such knowledge.

Each year, thousands of surgeries are performed on children born with heart conditions. The Congenital Heart Surgeons' Society (CHSS) Data Center is dedicated to research to find better treatment for children with congenital heart disease.

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John W. Kirklin/David Ashburn Fellowship Endowment Fund

The Kirklin/Ashburn Fellowship Fund was established to support the CHSS Data Center Research Fellow. In 2008, CHSS changed the name of the John W. Kirklin Fellowship Endowment Fund to the John W Kirklin/David A. Ashburn Fellowship Endowment Fund. This change was made in recognition of Dr. David Ashburn, the very first Kirklin Fellow, who was tragically killed when his flight crashed on June 4, 2007 after procuring a donor organ for transplantation.

In 2022 The CHSS Data Center expanded its footprint from Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, to include the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, OH. With The expansion of the Data Center, comes a new name CHSS Center for Research and Quality (CRQ), a broader base for research and development, and the addition of a second Kirklin/Ashburn Fellow. The fellows are critical to furthering the goals of both the CHSS and the Data Center while providing an outstanding research experience for a young trainee. In order to recruit the very best talent available, we must ensure that the John W. Kirklin/David Ashburn Fellowship Fund is fully supported.

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View a Current List of Donors


CTSNet Congenital Specialty Portal


TSDA Congenital Cardiac Surgery Fellowship Committee



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