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Secretary’s Update

December 2022

As we enter the holiday season, I would like to reflect on some of the highlights from this past year, but also look to the future as well. 2022 was a year where we were able to reunite with our friends and colleagues at events, resume travel, and build new relationships. It was also a year of tremendous loss in our surgical community with the passing of surgical giants such as Drs. W. Gerald Austen, Sean Grondin, Marc de Leval, James Tweddell, and Robert Wallace.

This past year, AATS has finally been able to gather again in-person with our scientific events. The 2022 Annual Meeting in Boston brought us back together with one of the first major North American cardiothoracic surgical conferences in almost two years. Although we were able to see several our friends and colleagues at the event, many international leaders were still unable to join us due to travel restrictions. As we prepare for the 2023 Annual Meeting, we hope to see those who were and were not able to attend in 2022 as we continue to advance scholarly exchange together in-person.

2022 also saw the successful return of in-person AATS specialty meetings. International Thoracic Surgical Oncology Summit was held in New York and under Dr. David Jones’ leadership, hundreds of experts gathered to discuss the rapidly changing field of thoracic surgical oncology. Drs. Ralph Damiano and A. Marc Gillinov held the first Surgical Treatment for Arrhythmias and Rhythm Disorders Course since 2019 in Boston, MA this past weekend with outstanding presentations and discussions on the wide array of arrhythmia therapies now available.

In addition to AATS Meetings, the Association joined with our partner organizations to hold a joint session at the EACTS Annual Meeting in Milan, Italy as well as very successful AATS/JATS Mitral Conclave Workshop during the Japanese Association for Thoracic Surgery’s 75th Annual Meeting in Yokohama, Japan. On behalf of the AATS we look forward to our continued partnership with all of our affiliates including the 2023 AATS/ASCVTS PG Course and AATS/JATS Aortic Symposium Workshop in 2023.

As we continue to look towards future activities and build on the success from the past year, I would like to encourage all members to participate in AATS activities. As you know, we rely on the expertise and volunteer efforts of our members to continue to support the specialty and provide opportunities for the next generation of surgical leaders to advance their academic careers. To help drive the AATS and AATS Foundation’s missions, each Board appoints members to serve on committees, taskforces, writing groups, and represent the specialty to affiliate organizations. To help us better understand our member’s clinical expertise and interest in volunteer activities, we ask that all members update their profile on and submit a self-nomination for all positions with open vacancies for the 2023-24 year. In past years, approximately 2/3rds of the open positions have been filled with self-nominees, so if you are interested in participating in AATS activities, it is important that you provide this information to be considered. The Board will review all nominations during their March Board meeting and all new appointments will be announced during the 2023 Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, CA.

I would like to conclude by wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season and I look forward to the exciting opportunities the New Year will bring.

Rosemary F. Kelly, MD
AATS Secretary