During the 100th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS), Marc Moon, MD, became the new AATS President. Moon, Section Chief of Cardiac Surgery, is the sixth cardiothoracic surgeon from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis to be named President of the AATS, following in the footsteps of, among others, Evarts Graham, MD, the first Chairman of the Department of Surgery. The title honors and recognizes Moon’s contributions to patient care, research and education in cardiothoracic surgery. An authority on even the rarest forms of heart disease, Marc Moon is committed to promoting heart health and providing the best in patient care.
Due to travel and health and safety restrictions, the meeting was held as a virtual learning experience to “provide cardiothoracic surgery professionals around the world with complimentary access to some of the most exciting research, education, and science in the field.”
According to Moon, 2020 is not the first time that the AATS Annual Meeting has been disrupted by world events.
“I looked back through the archives and found a gleam of hope,” Moon says. “In the 1940s, three annual meetings were cancelled as a consequence of the global conflict, but in the first meeting back after the hiatus in 1946, a record number of attendees met in Chicago at the Drake Hotel with a renewed interest in the field of thoracic surgery.”
Cardiothoracic surgery at the School of Medicine is a busy, innovative practice that has evolved from one of the first thoracic surgical programs in the United States.
“Our division encompasses the entire breadth and depth of clinical programs in our specialty, while at the same time providing multiple opportunities for basic and clinical research,” says Ralph Damiano Jr., MD, Division Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery. “While we have superb clinical facilities and a supportive environment for academic surgery, our greatest asset has always been and continues to be our faculty.”
Also representing the faculty at the Annual AATS Meeting, G. Alexander Patterson, MD, delivered the David J. Sugarbaker Memorial Lecture, titled “The Road to Excellence.” Patterson, the Joseph Bancroft Professor of Surgery and 90th President of AATS, describes the association as “an extraordinarily productive organization.”
The mission of the AATS is to “Promote Scholarship, Innovation, and Leadership for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.” This mission is reflected in the goals Moon has set as President.
“My first promise to you as President is that the AATS, like the specialty of cardiothoracic surgery, will not ‘stand still without care,'” Moon says. Moon provides three areas he plans to focus on over the coming year:
- International Outreach
- Diversity and Inclusion
“These three areas of focus will foster future generations of cardiothoracic surgeons, who may not ‘look like’ the group that gathered a century ago for the first AATS Annual Meeting, but whose dedication to advancing our field is paramount to our continued growth as a specialty and Association,” Moon asserts.
Moon’s vision for cardiothoracic surgery and the AATS is one of continued progress and innovation.
“I want it to be transformative and in perpetual motion,” Moon says in closing. “Let’s wear our hearts on our sleeves. Let’s be spontaneous and creative—it’s our nature, and it’s the nature of our field.”