The 2018 CREF speakers include experts in the field of cardiothoracic surgery, cardiovascular anesthesia, extracorporeal perfusion, health service research and quality, hematology, and human-factors engineering. View the brief biographies of this year's invited CREF faculty below.
The 38th Annual Cardiothoracic Surgery Symposium is dedicated to providing quality education for the entire cardiac OR team. Recurring topics include the science and techniques of cardiopulmonary bypass, cardiac surgery, and extracorporeal life support (ECLS/ECMO). For regular updates about CREF speakers, faculty, and abstract presenters, and more, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram.
Invited Speakers & Faculty
COURSE DIRECTOR & SPEAKER
Joanna Chikwe MD
CREF Course Co-Director Dr. Joanna Chikwe is Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Stony Brook University Hospital, leading a multi-disciplinary team that works closely with cardiologists and vascular surgeons to manage the full spectrum of surgical, transcatheter, and endovascular treatment options to patients with adult cardiac surgical disease. Dr. Chikwe also serves as Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York.
Tara Cohen PhD
Tara Cohen PhD, Research Scientist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, received her doctorate in human-factors engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Dr. Cohen's research interests center around proactive approaches to patient safety, including identifying and mitigating potential threats to safety or workflow disruptions in the cardiac operating room. She offers practical tips for healthcare quality improvement founded on well-documented research.
Tirone E. David MD
Dr. David is known worldwide for having developed the "David Operation," a valve-sparing aortic root replacement procedure in patients with aortic root aneurysms. A frequent speaker at international conferences, he shares his expertise and demonstrates surgical techniques. Dr. David has published many articles in peer-reviewed journals, authored numerous chapters in surgical textbooks, and served as the editor or co-editor of five surgical textbooks. In 2005, Dr. David served as president of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery and an officer many years.
Kim De La Cruz CCP
Since 2007, perfusionist Kim De La Cruz has served as the Director of Perfusion Services and Coordinator of the ECMO Program at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. Ms. De La Cruz currently serves on the Blood and Blood Derivatives, POCT, and ECMO committees. She has participated in many quality and performance improvement projects for the department, two of which led to a publication in Transfusion Medicine and recognition as an ELSO (Extracorporeal Life Support Organization) Center of Excellence.
David C. Fitzgerald MPH CCP
Perfusionist David Fitzgerald serves as a Staff Perfusionist, Clinical Coordinator, and Assistant Director of the Cardiovascular Perfusion Program at the Medical University of South Carolina. As an instructor in the perfusion training program, Mr. Fitzgerald coordinates clinical rotations and oversees the hi-fidelity perfusion simulation program. Past President of AmSECT, David Fitzgerald remains actively involved in research, with key interests including transfusion, inflammatory response, and patient safety.
Lawrence Tim Goodnough MD
Dr. Lawrence Tim Goodnough currently serves as Professor of Pathology and Medicine (Hematology) at the Stanford University Medical Center. Dr. Goodnough's research interests include the following: alternatives to blood therapy, including autologous blood use; acute normovolemic hermodicution; stimulation of red blood cell production with erythropoietic agents; pharmacologic strategies to reduce blood loss; artificial oxygen carriers; and re-evaluation of transfusion triggers.
Vadim Gudzenko MD
Dr. Gudzenko is associate professor of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. At present, he serves as medical director of the adult ECMO program as well as director of the anesthesiology critical care fellowship. His clinical and research interests are focused on ICU management and outcomes of cardiac surgical and ECMO patients.
PC MEMBER & SPEAKER
Serdar Gunaydin MD PhD
William Hiesinger MD
Dr. William Hiesinger serves as Assistant Professor of Adult Cardiothoracic Surgery at Stanford University Medical Center. There he also leads the Hiesinger Lab, which fosters collaborative research among clinicians, engineers, and scientists to create solutions to clinically relevant cardiovascular problems. Dr. Hiesinger also serves as the Director of the MCS Program and has extensive ECMO clinical and programmatic experience.
PC MEMBER & SPEAKER
Robert S. Kramer MD
Donald S. Likosky PhD MS
Dr. Likosky serves as Associate Professor and Head of the Section of Health Services Research and Quality in the Department of Cardiac Surgery at the University of Michigan. His research focus is on optimizing the delivery and outcomes for cardiac surgery patients. Dr. Likosky's interests and expertise also include the use of clinical registries for quality assurance and improvement. As the evaluative clinical scientist for the Michigan Society of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons Quality Collaborative, Dr. Likosky helps Michigan healthcare centers improve the quality and safety of cardiac surgery.
C. David Mazer MD FRCPC
Dr. Mazer is a Professor in the Departments of Anesthesia and Physiology at the University of Toronto. His research interests include cardiac physiology and perioperative blood conservation and organ protection. Dr. Mazer has co-authored 100+ peer-reviewed publications; these include practice guidelines and position statements related to perioperative transfusion and hemostasis from the STS, SCVA, and the CCS. Dr. Mazer was a lead investigator in the BART trial and is the principal investigator for TRICS III, a global study of transfusion triggers in cardiac surgery.
Linda B. Mongero BS CCP
Perfusionist Linda Mongero is the Director of Education and Clinical Performance for SpecialtyCare, Inc. Prior to that, she served for nearly 30 years as the Director of Perfusion Services at New York-Presbyterian / Columbia University Medical Center. Throughout her career, she has been a leading perfusionist and instructor, and she has contributed to academic research, clinical trials, and professional organizations. Ms. Mongero has also served as president of the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion and the American Academy of Cardiovascular Perfusion.
Amit A. Pawale MD FRCS
A native of India, Dr. Amit Pawale currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and an Associate Director of Heart Transplantation and Mechanical Assist Devices at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. Dr. Pawale performs a comprehensive range of adult cardiac surgical procedures, including mitral valve repair, aortic root reconstruction, and coronary artery bypass surgery, and coronary revascularization, and he has a special interest in minimally invasive cardiac surgery.
COURSE DIRECTOR & SPEAKER
Alfred H. Stammers MSA CCP
CREF Course Co-Director Alfred H. Stammers serves as Director of Clinical Quality & Outcomes Research at SpecialtyCare, Inc. Prior to this position, he was a perfusionist at ESSA Heart and Vascular Institute and Director of Perfusion Services at Geisinger Health Systems. Mr. Stammers has authored more than 300 publications on perfusion-related topics and is a world-renowned speaker in this area. His research interests include safety and quality improvement, myocardial protection, EMRs, hematology, blood conservation, outcomes analysis, and cardiovascular perfusion.
PC MEMBER & SPEAKER
Joyce A. Wahr MD FAHA
Dr. Joyce Wahr, Professor of Anesthesiology at the University of Minnesota, is a board-certified anesthesiologist practicing in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Dr. Wahr graduated from University of Colorado School of Medicine and has served as director of the ICU rotation for residents, director of cardiac anesthesiology, and director of the cardiac research program. She is the first author on the American Heart Association Scientific Statement “Patient Safety in the Cardiac Operating Room: Teamwork and Human Factors.”