21CCSS Newsletter - Summer 2019

Upcoming Events

21CCSS Fall Meeting - Houston, TX

October 17 - 19, 2019

21CCSS Annual Meeting - Grand Velas Los Cabos

Los Cabos, Mexico

Mexico - February 13 - 17, 2020

Dear Mark

As the 2019 - 20 President of the 21CCSS, there's lots to talk about and cover. I want to give you some updates on the 21CCSS and changes that are in the works - and hopefully our 21CCSS newsletter will become a regular event.

1) Committees - At the 2019 Annual Meeting in Hawaii we discussed the formation of 21CCSS committees. We conducted a survey to assess the interest in joining a committee, and over 1/2 the members said - "Sign Me Up!" In this newsletter we discuss our initial thoughts on the committee makeup and responsibilities. I'm interested in your thoughts.

2) Upcoming Events - the Fall Meeting in Houston at Billy's CDI is looking like an event not to be missed. I hope you can free up your schedule and join us there. Of course, the Annual Meeting at the Grand Velas in Los Cabos promises to be one of our best. Our 2015 meeting was at the Grand Velas in Riviera Maya - and those who were there most probably still remember the quality of the resort and food! As many of our members have never been to Los Cabos before, we're expecting the 2020 meeting to be one of the most well-attended meetings ever.

3) Sponsorship Involvement and Outreach - our sponsors are an important component of the 21CCSS success. Many of our regular sponsors have already signed up to be with us in Los Cabos, and several new companies have expressed strong interest in being there. Check out the list of confirmed sponsors and if you know a company that MUST be there, please let Alan know as soon as possible. We really expect all sponsor positions to fill up this year...and very soon!

4) New Member Nominations are now closed and are being reviewed by the nomination committee.

5) 21CCSS - The NEW Web Site - Web site committee members Mark Russo and Todd Demmy have been working with Alan to create a new 21CCSS web site. Check it out atwww.21ccss41.wildapricot.org Shortly we will be converting it over to our www.21ccss.orgweb address.

More to follow soon. Let me know what else the 21CCSS can do for you.

Ed Soltesz

21CCSS President


21CCSS Fall Meeting Houston

Oct. 17 - 20, 2019

It's time to register for the 21CCSS Fall Meeting in Houston. The agenda will include:

Thursday - Oct. 17th

Arrivals into Houston with a Group Dinner at the Cohn's residence.

Friday - Oct. 18th

Breakfast and lunch catered with meetings at the Center for Device Innovation (CDI) on Friday, with a quick tour of JNJ's JLABs and the TMCx Accelerator right after lunch. Then tour the Houston Methodist Walter's Tower - MITIE and Texas Heart Institute animal lab.

That evening, we'll gather for another group dinner and finish off the evening at a local bar with performances by Billy's Band! 

Saturday - Oct. 19th

After an early breakfast - we're heading to NASA for a 9:00 am VIP Tour. The price of this special tour ($199) is included in your registration fee. Departures in the afternoon.

Our boutique hotel will be the Hotel ZaZa in the Museum District - with nightly rates for Grande King rooms of $209 - and the option of upgrading to suites for $50 - $80 more. You may reserve your room by using this link 

To register for the meeting, here's the link Your travels should be scheduled to arrive into Houston on October 17th - with a group dinner that night, and departure sometime later in the afternoon on October 19th.

Registration is Now Open for the 2020 Meeting

in Los Cabos, Mexico

Our 21CCSS Annual Meeting will be held next February at the Grand Velas Resort in Los Cabos, Mexico on the west coast of Mexico. All 21CCSS members attending both of the Friday and Saturday educational sessions will receive lodging reimbursement for Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights in the form of a credit of $2160 against your hotel bill ($720/night). This is the single rate for suites at the Grand Velas. The 21CCSS registration fee for guests and family covers the Grand Velas all-inclusive fee (for all food and beverage, kids/teens' club, and recreation) - and represents a significant subsidized discount provided by the 21CCSS. The food and beverages are first class - worthy of the many awards that Grand Velas has received.  

The rooms in our block are the Grand Velas Ambassador Suites. All rooms are ocean front with unobstructed views of the Sea of Cortez. I will be assisting you in making your hotel reservations based on what you provide me for date of stay and room type on your registration form. The Grand Velas suites are large - 1100 sq. ft - over 3 times larger than the standard hotel room. Please note that the resort's occupancy rules are a maximum 3 adults (18 and above) and 1 infant or 2 adults and 2 minors (17 and under). The hotel does not permit quad occupancy. This may require you book more than one room at the rate of $720 per night for single occupancy and $1020 per night for double occupancy. If you are needing additional rooms, this will result in a reduction in your registration fees as the Grand Velas is all-inclusive. Contact Alan for details.

Registration for the meeting should be made as soon as you can as the resort typically sells out during Presidents' Day Weekend, and we anticipate increased member/sponsor attendance at the 2020 meeting. Our group rate is available to you for stays of 3 days before or after the meeting. Additional days and rooms would be your financial responsibility. 

All Members receive complimentary registration to the 21CCSS meeting. A $750 non-refundable credit card deposit per room is required to secure your registration.  This fee will be refunded back to you after the meeting. As noted above, the registration fee for adults covers the additional charge for your room for Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, and represents a savings of $250 from what you'd pay to the resort even with our significantly-discounted rates.

Members should book air travel to arrive in Los Cabos (SJD) on or before Thursday, February 13th.You will be reimbursed up to $700 for your flight. Our first official event is the Thursday evening welcome dinner reception (6:00 - 9:00 pm).

Once you've completed the form and clicked "Submit", you will be directed to a payment site to either pay by credit card by selecting the PayPal option as a Guest User or select "paying by check". All attendees should be current on their dues payments prior to registering.

Questions? please do not hesitate to contact Alan directly at 360-859-4123 (office) or 360-852-4507 (cell) or alan@21CCSS.org

We are looking forward to seeing you in Los Cabos, Mexico in February!

Annual Meeting Sponsorships 

Just a Few Spots Left

We have 2 Sponsorship Levels for the 21CCSS - Platinum and Gold. The following companies have committed to being with us at the 2020 meeting in Los Cabos, Mexico.






La Jolla Pharmaceutical

Quest Medical


Astute Medical



Zimmer Biomet

If you are aware of a company who should be with us in 2020, let Alan know as soon as possible. With several companies expressing interest - we anticipate filling all available spots shortly.

Here's the link to the 2020 21CCSS Sponsorship Brochure.

21CCSS Committee Structure and Guidelines

A Way for You to Be More Involved

With members who want to be more involved with their organization, the 21CCSS Board is creating a committee structure to enhance membership participation and to support the Board members by sharing their workload. The inaugural committees will be Membership, Meetings, Finance and Communications. The committees will recommend policy for approval by the entire Board, making full use of board members' expertise, time and commitment, and ensure diversity of opinions on the Board.

Additionally, these committees and the greater involvement of the membership in these key roles will serve to assist the Board in generating the insight, perspective, and cultural awareness required for the 21CCSS to maintain its relevancy in the CT surgical field.

A) Membership

1) Assist the current membership in identifying and nurturing new members

2) Review new member nominations to ensure the candidate meets the 21CCSS membership guidelines

3) Identify ways to maintain member engagement in the 21CCSS organization

4) Promote the satisfaction of current members

B) Meetings

1) Work with staff to ensure the current Annual Meeting concept provides continuing value to the membership and sponsors

2) Recommend opportunities for the Annual Meeting to enhance the member and sponsor benefit

3) Identify the Fall meeting location and activities

4) Work with staff on satellite events such as the STS and AATS reception to provide member and sponsor benefit

C) Finances

1) Work closely with the 21CCSS Treasurer and staff to ensure the organization's fiscal viability is maintained

2) Work with the treasurer to prepare the annual budget and financial reports

3) Help the Board understand the 21CCSS financial affairs and the members' need for information

D) Communications

1) Develop programs and identify vehicles to connect and engage members within the 21CCSS

2) Identify programs and vehicles to spread the news and increase awareness about the 21CCSS to external organizations/partners

3) Develop a social media presence and assist with regularly updating content

4) Work with staff to revamp the website to one that provides benefit to the members and accurately projects the 21CCSS image

5) Work with staff to provide material for internal/external communication - newsletters, etc. 

21CCSS Fall Meeting in 2020 - Apple?

Over the past three years we have done exceptional Fall workshops that have highlighted both technology and human performance as it relates to medicine and our daily practice of surgery. This has included the Google, Verily, Verb, and Intuitive workshop, the Navy Seals, Blue Angels, and USS Carl Vinson Carrier workshop, and most recently our Microsoft, Amazon, and Boeing workshop. An illuminating window into medical device innovation in Houston is planned for this Fall hosted by Billy Cohn. With these and other past workshops the theme that has developed for the workshop over the years is how technology enables medicine and our practice of surgery.

Keeping with this trend, Tom Nguyen is wondering if his workshop for the Fall of 2020 might involve a trip to the new Apple headquarters along with maybe Netflix or other neighboring technology companies. To explore this, Mark Russo and Jim Fonger made an introductory call to a high-level Apple executive and discussed what would be required to make this possible. Apple wanted to know what things we wanted to learn at Apple and what capabilities we might hope to see in the future for the IOS platform in its phone, IPAD, and wrist watch. Tom needs your help suggesting what medical challenges you hope to see Apple try and solve over the coming years within IOS. We would like to have three suggestions for Apple on the next call and hope that will be of enough interest to their medical application development group for an invitation to Apple. The image below reminds us that healthcare solutions are a top priority for Apple from Tim Cook, the CEO, on down, likely because this was one of Steve Jobs last requests to Tim for the company after his own personal experience with the American medical system.

In return, Apple may want to enlist several of our members and their medical centers to test and evaluate solutions Apple already has developed or plans to develop in the near future. 21CCSS brings that capability to the conversation with Apple as an established group of interested medical innovators. This would help balance the value proposition during our Apple follow up call and visit. Below is a short set of questions to help Tom, Mark, Jim and Allan re-approach Apple with some creative ideas from the membership who will be attending the workshop. Please take 5 minutes to help us with this effort for the 2020 workshop (Click to the Survey)


Tom, Mark, Jim and Alan

The 21CCSS Mission Statement

To Network Innovation and Leadership in Cardiothoracic Surgery


PO Box 55454

Portland, OR 97238




Upcoming events

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PO Box 55454

Portland, OR 97238


FAX - 360-256-5597



21CCSS is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. 

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