CREF Preliminary Program and Scientific Agenda

The 2021 CREF program and scientific agenda will focus on the following general topic areas:

  • Extracorporeal Life Support (ECLS / ECMO) and COVID-19
  • Updates & Controversies in Cardiac Surgery
  • Safety and Quality Improvement
  • Neurological and Renal Protection
  • Teamwork and Communication
  • Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS)
  • Fluid and Blood-Management Strategies
  • Perioperative Opioid Reduction Strategies
  • Single-Dose Cardioplegic Solutions
  • Physical and Emotional Wellness

Below is the preliminary scientific agenda for the 40th Cardiothoracic Surgery Symposium. Check back regularly or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter to be informed of updates to the 2021 CREF program.

CREF 2019 Hotel Marriott Marquis

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CREF Program Overview

Below is a snapshot of the 2021 San Diego CREF program. Check back later to download a preliminary brochure.


10:00 - Registration Opens

Attendee Choice: Hands-On, Interactive Education

  • Workshops TBA

Meet & Greet Coffee Social

Swain Scholarship & Abstract Presentations 
  • Swain Scholar Presentation
  • Abstract Presentations

Welcome Reception & Exhibits


Breakfast & Exhibits

  • Alfred H. Stammers MSA CCP (emeritus) and C. David Mazer MD

Cardiac Surgery Updates & COVID-19
  • Trends in Perfusion Technologies: What's Hot and What's Not?
    Alfred H. Stammers MSA CCP (emeritus)
  • Anesthesia & COVID-19: An Update
    C. David Mazer MD
  • SARS-CoV-2 and Cardiac Surgery: Lessons Learned
    Robert S. Kramer MD
  • Cardiac Intensivists & COVID-19
    Michael C. Grant MD

Break & Exhibits

  • Consequences of COVID-19 in Cardiac Surgery and ECMO
    Alfred H. Stammers MSA CCP (emeritus)
  • Review of Neurologic Injury in Adults supported with Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation
    Linda B. Mongero CCP (emeritus)
  • Managing 90-Day+ on ECMO
    Dominic A. Emerson MD
  • Legal Issues for ECMO Providers in the Age of COVID
    James M. Arrowood Esq
  • Challenging Cases + Panel Discussion

Lunch & Exhibits

  • Conflict Between Evidence and Practice
    C. David Mazer MD
  • At the Bedside of the “Sickest Patient in the Hospital”: Authentic Presence with Patients and Families When Life or Death Is Uncertain
    Paul N. Uhlig MD MPA FACS
  • Pregnancy and Delivery on ECMO
    Dominic A. Emerson MD
  • What We Did, What We Learned, and What We'll Do Differently Next TImeChallenging Cases and Panel Discussion

Break & Exhibits

Attendee Choice: Hands-On Workshops


Breakfast Product Theaters

Blood Management

  • Determinants of Hospital Variability in Perioperative RBC Transfusions During CABG Surgery
    David C. Fitzgerald DHA MPH CCP
  • STS Blood Management Guidelines: An Update
    C. David Mazer MD
  • Techniques in Blood Conservation
    Erick D. McNair PhD CCP FICA
  • Goal-Directed Therapy: Fluids, Transfusion, and Perfusion in Cardiac Surgery
    Michael C. Grant MD
  • Challenging Cases + Panel Discussion

Break & Exhibits

Neurological and Renal Protection
  • KEYNOTE: Neurologic Complications after Bypass Surgery: The Substrate or the Surgery?
    Rebecca F. Gottesman MD PhD
  • Pain Management Reimagined: Strategies to Reduce Opioids in Cardiac Surgery
    Michael C. Grant MD
  • Novel Biomarkers for Acute Kidney Injury
    Erick D. McNair PhD CCP FICA
  • Challenging Cases + Panel Discussion

Medtronic Lunch Product Theater: New Advances in AutoTransfusion

  • Preventing Dementia: Interventions to Promote Brain Health
    Rebecca F. Gottesman MD PhD
  • Cognitive Biases — Or When Things Go Wrong
    Joyce A. Wahr MD
  • Molecular Evidence of the Impact of Single Dose Cardioplegic Solutions
    Serdar Gunaydin MD PhD
  • Cannabis Use & Myocardial Infarction in Young Adults
    C. David Mazer MD
  • Challenging Cases + Panel Discussion


Attendee Choice: Fireside Chats


Breakfast Product Theaters

Presentation of the 21st Annual Utley Award

  • Medication Safety during Anesthesia and the Perioperative Period
    Joyce A. Wahr MD
  • Resilience in the Cardiac OR : Role of Human Factors in Recognizing and Recovering from Intra-Operative Disasters
    Joanna Chikwe MD
  • KEYNOTE: Insights from Collaborative Care Research: 5 Simple Changes You Can Make to Strengthen How Your Care Team Works and Learns Together
    Paul N. Uhlig MD MPA FACS
  • Challenging Cases and Panel Discussion

Break + Raffle Prize Drawing

Perfusion Education and Staffing
  • KEYNOTE: Perfusion Education: What a Student Experiences Today and What the Future Holds
    Jeffrey B. Riley MHPE CCP (emeritus) LP
  • Perfusion Non-Technical Skills Assessment
    David C. Fitzgerald DHA MPH CCP
  • Is There a Light at the End of the Tunnel? An Update on the Perfusion Shortage
    Alfred H. Stammers MSA PBMS CCP (emeritus)
  • Challenging Cases and Panel Discussion

Medtronic Lunch Product Theater: Evolution of ECLS

Are Perfusionists Untethered from the Heart-Lung Machine?
  • Development of an Adult ECMO Specialists Exam
    Jeffrey B. Riley MHPE CCP (emeritus) LP
  • Ultra Fast-Track Minimally Invasive Aortic Valve Replacement: How to Compete with TAVR
    Serdar Gunaydın MD PhD
  • Development of a National QI Program for ECMO
    Linda B. Mongero BS CCP (emeritus)
  • The Expanding Role of the Perfusionist in the ICU
    Jeffrey B. Riley MHPE CCP (emeritus) LP
  • Panel Discussion

Attendee Choice: Fireside Chats


5K/10K Fun Run & Walk

Care for the Caregiver: Physical and Emotional Well-Being

  • Time-Restricted Eating for Weight Loss and Improved Health
    Pamela R. Taub MD FACC
  • How to Practice Emotional Resilience and the Art of Gratitude
    Karen R. Dobkins PhD
  • Panel Discussion and Workshop

Meeting Adjourns

The CREF program and scientific agenda is subject to change. All updates will be posted to our social-medial accounts and this website. For questions, contact us today!