Excerpt from AATS Update Vol. 1, Issue 1.
Our leadership and staff have worked very hard this past year to achieve our goal of keeping you informed of the ongoing mission of our Association. This newsletter is one way we can provide updates on how we are executing the vision and strategic initiatives developed by our members, committee members, councilors, and executive leadership. We will also be sharing educational highlights, journal updates, historical perspectives, as well as member news and profiles on a regular basis.
The concept, design, and format of this newsletter reflect the key features of the new brand of our Association. Our new brand, like this newsletter, is designed to deliver a more modern and focused message for the AATS. Shortly after last year’s Annual Meeting concluded, I organized an executive leadership team including physicians and staff that would focus on an examination of AATS messaging and communications. We interviewed a number of the best branding firms in the world before selecting Big Duck as our strategic partner. Big Duck is a New York firm specializing in communications in the not-for-profit arena – their clients include a who’s who of leaders in healthcare and education. We began with a day-long intensive session where we focused on the positioning and personality of the AATS – we settled on words including prestigious, smart, classic, bold, and generous to describe our members and organization. From there we had a series of regular conference calls where we examined and refined our goals for visual identity, including a new tagline.
All of us remain proud of our emblem of the past 60 years, a replica of the Presidential Medal presented to the Association by the Society of Cardiothoracic Surgery of Great Britain and Ireland – but the reality is Big Duck helped us understand that an evolution of the emblem would be a better representation of the AATS as a forward thinking association, positioned to help its members thrive in a modern world. A refinement to its design details ensures it will be conducive to a 21st century messaging strategy, without limitations of reproducibility on a smaller scale on smart devices and in other mediums.They also identified an opportunity to further define our key core values in a new tagline. Over a series of working calls, involving over 15 individuals between the AATS and Big Duck, we narrowed down options for a refined brand for the AATS and a new tagline. We also reviewed and developed a broader plan to rebrand our educational portfolio, as well as the AATS Foundation, to synchronize our communication across the Association. As we got closer, we then involved a larger leadership group of AATS members, including the full Council, and many past AATS Presidents. Ultimately, a consensus was reached and on the front of this inaugural newsletter you can see the results of our combined efforts. The new logo is a modern version of our cherished Presidential medal which will enhance our efforts to represent our Association and its activities and lends itself to a variety of applications in modern communications. We will continue to use our original emblem on all gifts and related materials for our honorary awardees. Finally, our new tagline, “Vision. Leadership. Scholarship.” summarizes our heritage from the very beginning of our Association and highlights the continued core values which define the American Association for Thoracic Surgery.
I am very excited to share our new brand with all of you, and I want to especially thank Lisa McEvoy - Director of AATS Communications, David R. Jones MD - AATS Secretary, and Shaf Keshavjee MD - AATS Treasurer, for their efforts to help lead this initiative. Our designers and vendors are now hard at work with Big Duck to incorporate our new branding scheme at the completely redesigned 99th AATS Annual Meeting in Toronto from May 4 - 7, 2019 – where scientific sessions take on a new format and design and begin on Saturday morning. I am looking forward to welcoming all of you to Toronto in what will be an exciting and stimulating gathering of friends and colleagues.