While 2018 was a year of gains for the AATS Foundation, it was also a year of tremendous loss with the passing of David J. Sugarbaker, MD, 94th
President of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery and long-standing President of the AATS Foundation. It was his vision and leadership
that enabled the AATS Foundation to expand opportunities and become the significant organization that it is today.
His contributions to the AATS Foundation are just a small part of his influence on the specialty. No other contemporary leader has left a larger
footprint on the field of Thoracic Surgery than Dr. Sugarbaker. A legendary pioneer who helped define the management of patients with
mesothelioma and other complex thoracic tumors, Dr. Sugarbaker’s legacy endures through the numerous Division Chiefs and Professors of
Thoracic Surgery he trained that are now in leadership positions throughout the United States.
His impact on the American Association for Thoracic Surgery cannot be forgotten, through his service as Councilor, Treasurer, President, and then
President of the AATS Foundation. He personified the Association’s core values of Leadership, Education, Research and Innovation, Excellence in
Patient Care, and Mentoring as a teacher, physician, and compassionate healer. He loved the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, and
through his leadership and focused attention, he played a major role in transforming the organization into a contemporary, international, and
philanthropic organization. His mentorship of so many leaders in the Association will have a lasting effect on the trajectory of the organization for
years to come.
It was Dr. Sugarbaker’s vision that the AATS Foundation would foster and promote individual scholarship to enhance the knowledge of cardiothoracic surgeons throughout the world. Thanks to his exceptional leadership and the generosity of our donors, this mission is now being realized.
The AATS Foundation is pleased to announce the addition of the David J. Sugarbaker Memorial Lectureship as an integral part of the Honoring Our Mentors Program. This Lectureship will be presented as a highlight of the AATS Annual Meeting and will be given by a true pioneer in cardiothoracic disease. Make your gift in support of this newly established program to recognize Dr. Sugarbaker’s legacy.