The American Association for Thoracic Surgery believes that the interests of the specialty and its practitioners are best-served when the volunteer leadership (Officers; Directors; Committee Chairs and Members; and senior staff (collectively, the “AATS Leaders”) disclose the existence and nature of any relationships which might influence, or appear to influence, their actions. Therefore, it is the policy of the Association to require disclosure from all AATS Leaders as to their financial or other relationships1 that may pose conflicts of interest2.
Further, it is the policy of the Association that each AATS Leader will refrain from voting on or influencing any matter that involves the relationship giving rise to the AATS Leader’s disclosure, provided that the Chair may call for a closed ballot on any such matter. The Board of Directors (Board) may waive this requirement in special circumstances (e.g., if implementation of this requirement would render the AATS body unable to act effectively).
Adopted by AATS Board of Directors, May 2007
1 Including (1) a financial interest of $10,000 or more (e.g., through ownership of stock, stock options, or bonds), (2) the receipt of $10,000 or more in cash, goods or services within the current 12-month period (e.g., through research grants, employment, consulting fees, royalties, travel or gifts), or (3) a non-remunerative position of influence (e.g., as an officer, director, trustee or public spokesperson). Excluded from such required disclosures are financial relationships that involve blind trusts and other passive investment vehicles such as mutual funds. (Blind Trusts shall be a trust that retains the settler's rights to terminate the trust, but which relinquishes all power over the trust’s management; i.e. the beneficiaries do not have knowledge of the trust’s specific assets, and in which a fiduciary third party has complete management discretion.)
2 Including any relationship between the individual AATS Leader (or known relationships of his or her immediate family, department and partners) and any healthcare-related business or other entity whose products or services are likely to be discussed by (or, as in the case of competing products or services, are likely to be affected in the marketplace directly by) the body(ies) on which the individual serves as a AATS leader.
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