RSSCategory: Member Spotlight

Charles Fraser and Francis Robicsek Named 2019 STSA Inspiration Award Recipients

The STSA Inspiration Award was established in 2007 to recognize the important contribution of mentorship to the specialty and the organization, and to encourage upcoming generations of CT surgeons by helping to cultivate mentors worthy of emulation.

The Award is given to the STSA member who has demonstrated exceptional efforts in motivating, inspiring, and cultivating the clinical and research talents of medical students, residents and/or early career CT surgeons. Nominations are submitted in writing to the President, to be considered for presentation at the STSA 66th Annual Meeting. The award is given at the discretion of the President in consultation with the Council. Drs. Charles Fraser and Francis Robicsek were named the 2019 Inspiration Award recipients at this year’s Dinner Gala.

Dr. Charles Fraser has been a long-time Member of STSA. Dr. Fraser was nominated by an incredibly strong and emotional letter of support signed by eleven pediatric cardiac surgeons. The letter of support stated:

“It is unusual to have the opportunity in life to meet a person that has not only excelled at what he does but has found a way to inspire and mentor students, residents, fellows, and colleagues the way he has done. With his mentorship and inspiration, Dr. Fraser has touched every one of our lives in a very meaningful way. He has successfully trained and mentored many congenital heart surgeons from all around the globe. He has trained surgeons from India, Japan, Mexico, Korea, Australia, Canada, Israel, and Egypt, to name a few. Many of them now lead congenital heart programs in the United States and at their home countries.”

Dr. Francis Robicsek, was President of STSA in 1983, and a valued colleague to all members of STSA. Dr. Jeff Jacobs presented the award and said of Dr. Robicsek, “Notable amongst the multiple accomplishments of Dr. Robicsek is his commitment to international humanitarian cardiothoracic surgery dating back to the early 1960s in Honduras, treating surgical tuberculosis patients. For nine decades, Dr. Robicsek has known his WHY and inspired cardiothoracic surgeons around the world.”

The Awards were presented during the Dinner Gala by the then President, Dr. Jeff Jacobs, at the STSA 66th Annual Meeting on November 8, 2019 at the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort in Marco Island, Florida. View a list of past Inspiration Award recipients at www.stsa.org/awards.

December 11, 2019 | By More

Walter Wolfe and Gordon Murray Named 2018 STSA Inspiration Award Recipients

The STSA Inspiration Award was established in 2007 to recognize the important contribution of mentorship to the specialty and the organization, and to encourage upcoming generations of CT surgeons by helping to cultivate mentors worthy of emulation.

The Award is given to the STSA member who has demonstrated exceptional efforts in motivating, inspiring, and cultivating the clinical and research talents of medical students, residents and/or early career CT surgeons. Nominations are submitted in writing to the President, to be considered for presentation at the STSA 65th Annual Meeting. The award is given at the discretion of the President in consultation with the Council. Drs. Walter Wolfe and Gordon Murray were named the 2018 Inspiration Award recipients at this year’s Dinner Gala.

 

Dr. Judson Williams accepts the award on behalf of Dr. Walter Wolfe.

Dr. Walter Wolfe has been a long-time Member of STSA. Nomination letters regarded his sage advice in or out of the operating room as always profound, and noted that he can always be counted on to “do the right thing”. Unable to accept the award at the Dinner Gala, he sent a kind note remarking that he was honored and humbled by this recognition.

“I am honored and humbled by this recognition. I am so sorry that I cannot be there. My joy in life was training residents in surgery. I was unaware of the impact I had but am so grateful to know this at this stage in my life. I am blessed to have been a small part of the training of so many talented and gifted surgeons while being a faculty member at Duke. It was my privilege and my blessing. Your friendships are treasured.”

 

Dr. Gordon Murray’s family proudly accepted the award on his behalf.

Dr. Gordon Murray who passed on May 21, 2018, was President of STSA in 1993, and a valued colleague to all members of STSA. Dr. Kevin Accola presented the award and said of Dr. Murray, “His recent passing saddened us all as he will be remembered as a sincere friend and a consummate gentlemen. I am humbled to present this award to Dr. Gordon Murray in honor of his memory, and we’re so pleased his family could be with us this evening”. Mrs. Murray attended the Dinner Gala and was escorted by Drs. Vinay Badwar and David Jones to the stage to accept the Award on behalf of her late-husband.

 

The Awards were presented during the Dinner Gala by the then President, Dr. Kevin Accola, at the STSA 65th Annual Meeting on November 9, 2018 at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort in Amelia Island, Florida. View a list of past Inspiration Award recipients at www.stsa.org/awards.

December 4, 2018 | By More

STSA Member Spotlight: Elizabeth A. David, MD

Elizabeth A. David, MD joined STSA as an Active Member in 2015. She is currently Assistant Professor General Thoracic Surgery at the David Grant Medical Center/UC Davis Medical Center. STSA Members, Dr. Shanda Blackmon and Dr. Ara Vaporciyan, nominated Dr. David for Active Membership in 2014 and her application was approved at the November 2014 Business Meeting. Prior to becoming an Active Member, Dr. David was among STSA’s first Resident Members.

STSA recently interviewed Dr. David about her experience as a new STSA Active Member.

Member Spotlight; Elizabeth A. David, MD

Dr. David (far left) attended a reception during the STSA 61st Annual Meeting held November 5-8, 2014 in Tucson, AZ with STSA Councilor, Dr. Christine Lau (second from left); STSA President-Elect, Dr. Andrea J. Carpenter (second from right); and STSA ACS Representative, Dr. Shanda Blackmon (far right).

When did you first learn about the Southern Thoracic Surgical Association?
I initially learned about the STSA from Dr. Blair Marshall, who always referred to it as one of her favorite meetings to attend. It was several years before my schedule allowed me to attend for myself though.

Please briefly summarize your educational and professional background, including your experience in the Southern region.
I completed medical school and general surgery residency at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. In 2010, I moved to Houston, TX for my cardiothoracic surgery residency at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. I continued moving west in 2012 when I moved to Northern CA to start practice.

Do you perceive the Southern Thoracic as different or unique from other membership organizations that you participate in?
YES! I have not been to every thoracic surgery organization meeting, but the size of the STSA and its Annual Meeting drew me in. Because of the meeting’s intimate size, even as a new member I feel like I know a lot of other members and that they are getting to know me. It’s welcoming to be at a meeting where you are greeted with friendly faces who seem genuinely glad that you are there.

Welcome and introduce yourself to Dr. David and all of STSA’s newest members this November at the 62nd Annual Meeting. Pick them out by looking for the green new member ribbon on attendees’ name badges.

Learn more about STSA membership at www.stsa.org/membership and contact STSA Headquarters with questions about membership at stsa@stsa.org or 800.685.7872.

September 22, 2015 | By More

STSA Member Spotlight: Pierre de Delva, MD

Pierre de Delva, MD joined STSA as an Active Member in 2014. He is an Assistant Professor of Surgery and Section Chief General Thoracic Surgery at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. STSA Members Dr. Walter Merrill and Dr. Curt Tribble nominated Dr. de Delva for Active Membership in 2013 and his application was approved at the November 2013 Business Meeting. Read on to learn why Dr. de Delva joined STSA, what he values most about the Southern Thoracic, and why you should encourage your colleagues, especially younger faculty, to join our great Association.

Pierre de Delva, MD

Pierre de Delva, MD

Early in my experiences with groups like the Southern Thoracic Surgical Association (STSA), I recognized that regional surgical societies serve a complimentary and yet distinct role from our national and international associations. Strong feelings of community and pride are magnified by a shared sense of responsibility to represent and highlight the region’s excellence in patient care, innovation, and service. The regional proximity brings members and their families together and fosters lasting relationships. That’s what sets the STSA apart and makes the Annual Meeting a fun event hallmarked by great science, camaraderie, and friendship.

I joined the STSA to be part of this community and share in its mission of supporting Southern surgeons in pursuit of the highest quality patient care, education, scientific achievement, collegiality, and life balance. As a physician who did not train in the South, I am looking forward to the meeting in Tucson. It will be an opportunity to meet other cardiothoracic surgeons, find collaborative opportunities, and make new friends.

I was encouraged by several of my mentors to join STSA and I hope that you will do the same for your junior partners, residents, and students. The strength of any organization is its members. The STSA is living proof of that principle. I am very excited to be a new member and join this great organization.

– Pierre de Delva, MD

Visit www.stsa.org/membership to learn more about STSA membership. Contact STSA Headquarters at stsa@stsa.org or 800.685.7872 with questions about membership. Active, Associate, Resident, and Student Membership applications are accepted and reviewed each fall.

February 11, 2015 | By More