CREF Speakers

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

2018 CREF Speakers Joanna Chikwe MD

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.

2018 CREF Speakers Tara Cohen PhD

SPEAKER

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.

CREF-Speaker-David-Ti

FEATURED SPEAKER

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.

CREF Speaker De La Cruz

SPEAKER

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. 

CREF-Speaker-Fitzgerald-D2

SPEAKER

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.

2018 CREF Speakers / Faculty Lawrence Tim Goodnough MD

SPEAKER

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.

CREF Speakers Gudzenko

SPEAKER

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.

CREF Speaker Serdar Gunaydin MD PhD

PC MEMBER & SPEAKER

Serdar Gunaydin MD PhD

Turkish cardiac surgeon Dr. Serdar Gunaydin serves as Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery, Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, at the University of Kirikkale in Ankara, Turkey. He is also a member of the Steering Committee for MiECTiS, an organization dedicated to minimally invasive cardiac surgery. Dr. Gunaydin assists the CREF Program Committee by proposing topics and speakers for the scientific agenda.
2018 CREF Speakers William Hiesinger MD

SPEAKER

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.

2018 CREF Speakers Robert Kramer MD

PC MEMBER & SPEAKER

Robert S. Kramer MD

Since 1980, Dr. Robert S. Kramer has served as a specialist in thoracic and cardiac surgery at the Maine Medical Center, where he actively participates in the Northern New England Cardiovascular Disease Study Group. His research interests include coronary artery bypass grafting, acute kidney injury, hemodynamics, and more. As a CREF Program Committee member, Dr. Kramer helps select topics and speakers to address the unique educational needs of our international, interdisciplinary audience. 
CREF Speakers Likosky

SPEAKER

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.

2018 CREF Speaker Keynote David Mazer MD

FEATURED SPEAKER

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.

CREF Speakers Mongero

SPEAKER

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. 

CREF Faculty Pawale

SPEAKER

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. 

CREF Speakers Stammers

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.

CREF Speakers - Wahr

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.”