Pay Your Dues Members Only Area
Central Surgical Association
Fall 2021 Newsletter

President's Message

Joseph C. Cleveland, Jr., MD
Joseph C. Cleveland, Jr., MD

"Scientific Endeavor in a Collegial Environment"

I begin this message with one of our core values highlighted. I write this message as we convene the Annual Meeting in Phoenix, AZ. The anticipation of seeing everyone in-person is almost overwhelming. I think of all the things that I have missed during the COVID-19 pandemic, is reflected by our core value statement. While Zoom provides education, it is hard to argue that the environment is ideal – we are social beings and have a profound need for personal connection with each other.

Clearly, the program and the scientific program of the WTSA remain amongst the finest of all our cardiothoracic societies/associations. This meeting’s program offers the highest quality, current clinical and scientific material. This program is typical for a WTSA meeting. The ability to connect and have spirited discussions of the scientific abstracts is unique to the WTSA and something which we have all missed in the last 18 months. The WTSA did a magnificent job of pivoting from the June meeting in Victoria, BC to the Arizona Grand venue in Arizona. For all of us who enjoyed the last meeting in Victoria, BC – do not fret – we will return to Victoria in the next few years!

I wish to challenge each member of the WTSA to help our organization by reflecting upon how the unique features of the WTSA will help us as cardiothoracic surgeons deliver the best, evidence-based care to our patients. I want us to think about how we can continue to offer contemporary, valuable scientific education to benefit our patients. What strengths do we have as one of the leading regional cardiothoracic surgical organizations? How can we responsibly grow and partner with our health care organizations, and our other professional societies to highlight the unique and invaluable aspects of the WTSA? Lastly, I will ask members to engage the WTSA with their talents and help us to progress as a leading organization for providing outstanding education in a collegial environment.

I will close this message by welcoming participation of all members of the WTSA. As an organization, we truly wish to be inclusive of all backgrounds, all facets of CT surgery, and to continue our unique position as the professional home for CT Surgeons who practice in the Western part of North America.


Joseph C. Cleveland, Jr., MD
President, WTSA

47th Annual Meeting in Review

The 47th Annual Meeting of the Western Thoracic Surgical Association was held at the Arizona Grand in Phoenix, Arizona from September 29-October 1, 2021. The meeting included oral presentation of 18 original plenary, panel discussions, a post graduate course, and 38 other papers presented during concurrent forums in the disciplines of adult cardiac, general thoracic, and congenital heart disease. View the final program and photos from the meeting.


48th Annual Meeting

48th Annual Meeting

Save the Date
Please save the date for the 2022 Annual Meeting. The 48th Annual Meeting is taking place in Koloa, Kauai, HI at the Grand Hyatt Kauai from June 22-25, 2022.

Call for Abstracts
You are encouraged to start preparing your abstracts and submit your work to the 2022 WTSA Annual Meeting. The abstract submission site is now open. The abstract submission deadline is January 10, 2022 at 11:59 PM PST. Please plan to submit your abstract for the scientific program.

The WTSA housing block for the 2022 Annual Meeting at the Grand Hyatt Kauai will open for members in the beginning of December followed by non-members at the beginning of 2022.

21st Century Founders Fund

For over two decades, the Postgraduate Course at the Western Thoracic Surgical Association Annual Meeting benefited from the support of the Lyman A Brewer, III, Research and Education Fund of the White Memorial Charitable Foundation; and more recently, the PG Course received multi-year support from Dr. Thomas J. Fogarty. These endowments ended in 2016, at which time the WTSA Council sought new support to ensure the long-term viability of the Postgraduate Course as well as other educational activities offered at the Annual Meeting. To achieve this goal, the Council established the 21st Century Founders Fund.

To support the unrestricted 21st Century Founders Fund, the WTSA Council is asking each Association member to consider a generous donation of $1000 USD. This may be in the form of either a single $1000 donation, or to make one $500 donation with a pledge to give an additional $500 within the next calendar year. Alternatively members may make a single $250 donation with a pledge to give $250 each year over the next three years.

Those who donate $1000 will be gratefully acknowledged in perpetuity as a member of the 21st Century Founders Club on the WTSA website and at the Annual Meeting via signage and in meeting app listings.

You may donate online by credit card via the Members Only Area; you may also donate by credit card via secure fax or by check by downloading the Contribution Form.

It is our hope that the 21st Century Founders Fund will allow the WTSA to continue as a vibrant society serving thoracic and cardiovascular surgeons within the Western region and beyond.

Thank you for your consideration.

Please note: The Western Thoracic Surgical Association is a 501(c)3 corporation; your donation is tax-deductible as allowed by law.

2021-2022 Council

Joseph C. Cleveland, Jr., MD
Joseph C. Cleveland, Jr., MD
Jessica S. Donington, MD
Vice President
Jessica S. Donington, MD
Richard I. Whyte, MD
Immediate Past President
Richard I. Whyte, MD
Michael P. Fischbein, MD, PhD
Michael P. Fischbein, MD, PhD
Michael J. Weyant, MD
Michael J. Weyant, MD
Ram Kumar Subramanyan, MD
Ram Kumar Subramanyan, MD
Daniel L. Serna, MD
Daniel L. Serna, MD
Y. Joseph Woo, MD
Y. Joseph Woo, MD
Arthur N. Thomas, MD
Arthur N. Thomas, MD
Douglas E. Wood, MD
Douglas E. Wood, MD
Alec Patterson, MD
Alec Patterson, MD

WTSA New Members

2021 New Members

Congratulations again to the 2021 New Members. Following is the list of 15 Active and 16 Candidate members newly elected at the 2021 Annual Meeting.

New Candidate Members:
Aaron M. Abarbanell, MD, St. Louis, MO
Brett L. Broussard, MD, Sun City, AZ
Elizabeth M. Colwell, MD, Milwaukee, WI
Irmina Anna Elliott, MD, Stanford, CA
Katharina Fetten, MD, La Jolla, CA
Luis A. Godoy, MD, Sacramento, CA
Brandon A. Guenthart, MD, Stanford, CA
Burhan Hassan, MD, Portland, OR
Gurion Lantz, MD, Portland, OR
Richard Lee, MD, Seattle, WA
Jonathan Praeger, MD, Los Angeles, CA
Ruchi Thanawala, MD, MS, Portland, OR
Caitlin Wahl, MD, Portland, OR
Walter C. Wakwe, MD, Gilbert, AZ
New Active Members Upgrading from Candidate Membership:
Zachary E. Brewer, MD, Sacramento, CA
Chun W. Choi, MD, Baltimore, MD
Matheau A. Julien, MD, PhD, San Francisco, CA
Natalie Lui, MD, Stanford, CA
Thomas P. Templin, II, MD, Tacoma, WA
Harma K. Turbendian, MD, Jacksonville, FL
New Active Members:
John deGraft-Johnson, MD, Modesto, CA
Jennifer M. Hanna, MD, MBA, Aurora, CO
David Mauchley, MD, Seattle, WA
Raghav Murthy, MD, DABS, FACS, FACC, New York, NY
Tom C. Nguyen, MD, San Francisco, CA
Hao Pan, MD, Loveland, CO
Sara J. Pereira, MD, Salt Lake City, UT
Michael J. Sasevich, MD, Modesto, CA
Aleem Siddique, MBBS, Omaha, NE

WTSA Traveling Fellowship for Residents, Trainees, and Practicing Surgeons

Applications are now being accepted for the 2022 WTSA Traveling Fellowship for Residents, Trainees, and Practicing Surgeons, the goal of which is to promote interaction and learning between residents / trainees / practicing surgeons and WTSA members. The traveling fellow will visit a University-affiliated or academic practice of his/her choosing, within the boundaries of the WTSA (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming along with Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan), for a period of one to two weeks, under the sponsorship of a Western member at the hosting institution.

The traveling fellow does not need to be a WTSA member; the award is open to any resident / trainee / practicing surgeon. A stipend of up to 5,000 USD will be provided to the traveling fellow, to defray reasonable costs for travel, lodging, and meals, with expenses reimbursed upon receipt of the fellow's final written report and summary of expenses.

Completed applications must be submitted no later than December 15, 2021. The award will then be announced publicly at the 48th WTSA Annual Meeting, June 22-25, 2022, in Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii; it is requested that the awardee be present at this meeting to receive the award. The awardee will contact the sponsoring member and make arrangements to complete the fellowship during the period of July 1, 2022, to June 24, 2023. It is requested that the awardee attend the 49th WTSA Annual Meeting, June 21-24, 2023, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and make an oral presentation at that meeting about the traveling fellowship experience. Read the complete award details & access the online application.

Donald B. Doty Educational Award

Applications are now being accepted for the 2022 Donald B. Doty Educational Award, the purpose of the award is to foster innovative educational initiatives in cardiothoracic surgery by WTSA members and to provide an opportunity for the dissemination of this information to other training centers and academic institutions.

Completed applications must be submitted no later than February 15, 2022. Following the review of applications by the WTSA Council, the successful applicant will be notified and awarded an education grant of $10,000. It is expected that the activities associated with the award will be completed by June 24, 2023 and that the awardee will provide both a written summary report as well as a brief oral report at the time of the 2023 WTSA Annual Meeting, June 21-24, 2023. Read the complete award details & access the online application.

2022 Membership Cycle Is Open

The WTSA is now accepting Applications for Membership online for Active as well as Candidate membership status. Visit the WTSA website to read the complete membership eligibility requirements. Current WTSA members may initiate a new application by logging into the Members Only Area and entering the applicant's name, phone, and e-mail address, or applicants may themselves initiate their own applications.

An application must include the following uploads: a photo, a complete curriculum vitae with bibliography, and, for Active applicants, the 3 most significant articles that s/he personally wrote. The application must be completed and submitted online by March 1, 2022, and all support letter(s) (three for Active applicants, one for Candidates) uploaded by that applicant’s sponsor(s) by March 31, 2022, in order for the applicant to be considered for election to membership at the 2021 Annual Meeting.

Reminder to Renew Membership

2022 dues invoices will be sent in October 2021 by email. If you have not already paid your 2021 dues, please do so now, by accessing your invoice online via the Members Only Area.

Additionally, it is suggested that each member make a lifetime contribution of $500 to The Samson Endowment/Samson WTSA Fund. A line item for optional contribution is included on the annual dues statement as a reminder. Please consider donating this year to reach the fulfilled amount.

About The Samson Endowment/Samson WTSA Fund: The Fund is managed as an endowment and the interest accruing to the principal is used exclusively for specific educational purposes. One such purpose is the funding of the Samson Resident Prize Essay which each year brings to the scientific program the best work of residents from thoracic surgical education programs throughout North America and abroad.

The Samson Endowment Fund has reached its goal and has now been capped. A new, unrestricted Samson WTSA Fund has been opened, the purpose of which is to help the WTSA achieve its ongoing mission: associating persons who desire to advance the quality and practice of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery as a specialty; encouraging research and study or thoracic and cardiovascular functions and disorders so as to increase knowledge and improve treatment; and holding scientific meetings for the presentation and discussion of topics of interest to thoracic and cardiovascular surgeons and to encourage publication to these proceedings.

Committee and Representative Listing

View 2021-2022 Committees and Representatives

The WTSA fills many of its committee positions through a self-nomination process. Our goal is to enhance participation by opening active roles in the association to the membership. There was a healthy number of members interested in committee participation this year and for that we thank you. Unfortunately not all self-nomination requests were not able to be fulfilled in 2021-2022.

The WTSA leadership strongly encourages you to participate in the self-nomination process again next year. We hope you will continue to enjoy membership in the WTSA, and look forward to seeing you at upcoming meetings.