Message from the President
It is an honor to serve as the President of the Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education (TSFRE). I’d like to thank my predecessor Dr. Michael Mack for his dedication and service to the Foundation and my fellow Board members for their support and commitment to TSFRE.
The Foundation plays an essential role in fostering the career development of surgeon scientists in cardiothoracic surgery; funding cutting edge research has been the hallmark of the Foundation’s mission since its inception 25 yeas ago. The Foundation has funded approximately $11 million in crucial research grants, fellowships, career development awards and matching grant programs with the NHLBI and the NCI. Most of the young surgeons awarded these grants have subsequently developed their own independent laboratory program and competed successfully for peer review funding from the NIH and other agencies. In addition, TSFRE has provided over $1 million to support educational opportunities by supporting scholarships for cardiothoracic surgeons to attend health policy and leadership courses held at Harvard’s Kennedy School, Brandeis University and the American College of Surgeons as well as Simulation in Thoracic Surgery Educational programs. The Foundation’s research and educational programs have had a tremendous impact on almost 350 cardiothoracic surgeons providing them with the fundamental skills and support necessary to launch them on a successful career in our specialty.
The research and educational initiatives of the Foundation have made a significant contribution to our specialty; however, due to the current economic climate TSFRE is facing a shortfall in the unrestricted funds essential to the support of these programs. The Board of Directors has taken immediate steps to address this shortfall. All Board members have made personal commitments to increase their level of personal support. Additional fundraising efforts focused on cultivating new corporate support have been implemented. The Board retained an outside fundraising consultant who has reviewed the structure and fundraising efforts of the Foundation and provided the Board with structural and operational recommendations through which the TSFRE will clarify and focus its mission in the areas of research and education.
These steps will ensure TSFRE continues in its role as a pivotal force for the growth and vitality of our specialty. As your Foundation moves ahead, join me in supporting its efforts with annual contributions. Your commitment will make a great difference in TSFRE’s ability to continue offering these valuable research and educational opportunities and will significantly improve the future of our specialty and the care of our patients.
Thank you for your continued support. I will periodically report to you on the future successes of the Foundation during my tenure as its President.
G. Alexander Patterson, MD
Thoracic Surgery Foundation
for Research and Education