On behalf of the AATS Council as well as the Abstract and Didactic Committees, I'd like to welcome you to our Centennial year! We invite you to join us in celebrating our 100th birthday next April 29 – May 3 in Boston, Massachusetts. It is an enormous privilege and honor to have been selected to serve as the AATS President for the year leading up to this important milestone and I look forward to celebrating the history of our Association - and more importantly our specialty. We aim to create a once in a lifetime event for every member of the surgical team.
As we reflect on the last 100 years and enter our second century as an Association for Thoracic Surgery the 2017 Annual meeting will provide again, as it always does, an extraordinary variety of educational opportunities across all areas of our specialty. Whether via the formal program of didactic and abstract presentations or through the rich discussions encouraged inside and outside of the sessions, we are confident that you will come away with new insights applicable to your practice to the benefit of patients. Consistent with the mission of the organization to promote leadership, scholarship, mentoring, excellence in patient care, integrity and professionalism, the official theme of the meeting is "Always Learning." We know that you attend the meeting because of your drive to life-long learning and commit to making your time well-spent.
There are some new twists to the meeting this year as well. The Association has long recognized the essential nature of a multidisciplinary approach to care of the cardiothoracic surgical patient as reflected in the original membership roster, as well as the more recent addition of a postgraduate symposium for the Interprofessional Cardiothoracic Team. As before we look forward to participation from nurses, perfusionists, anesthesiologists, and others within the program and as faculty. This year we have taken another step forward by holding our meeting in conjunction with the American Society of ExtraCorporeal Technology. In addition to the programs with which you have become familiar, we'll also be conducting collaborative parallel sessions during the didactic portion of the program with AmSECT which are sure to be of interest to all members of the team.
Although I am certainly biased, celebrating such a historic milestone for the Association seems particularly appropriate in so historic a city as Boston. More than that, though, we will embrace the city's rich culture of higher education – Colleges, Universities, Schools of Music and Performing Arts – throughout our program including the AATS Centennial Gala to take place at the famed Wang Theatre.
So please join us in Boston to celebrate and to learn together.
I hope you'll make it a point to join us next April in Boston to learn about the specialty, take advantage of interactions with the collection of international leaders in attendance and we'll learn together about how to improve outcomes for our patients.
Thoralf M. Sundt, III
Massachusetts General Hospital