Felix Fernandez Named Chair of STS Workforce on National Databases

December 2018

As an active member of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) since 2011, Emory cardiothoracic surgeon Felix Fernandez, MD, has served in various capacities on multiple STS committees and has led and collaborated on several projects designed to refine and enhance components of the STS National Database, a highly impactful initiative for quality improvement and patient safety among cardiothoracic surgeons and their institutions across the U.S.

After two years of serving as chair of the STS Workforce on Research Development, Dr. Fernandez has been appointed chair of the STS Workforce on National Databases, which oversees the Adult Cardiac, General Thoracic, and Congenital Heart Surgery Databases that are part of the STS National Database.

The broad purview of the Workforce on Research Development, which included monitoring the activities of the STS Research Center, promoting scientific areas of research suitable for the STS, educating and guiding new investigators, and cultivating clinical trials in thoracic surgery, prepared Dr. Fernandez for the responsibility of managing and evaluating the National Database, one of modern medicine's most comprehensive and well-engineered patient data repositories. He has also been a member of the Workforce on National Databases since 2013.

"We worked very hard in the Workforce on Research Development to continuously improve access to and use of the data collected in the National Database for research purposes, and now I will enjoy the opportunity to participate in analyzing and refining the functions that the interpretation of all that data makes possible, such as quality reporting, risk stratification for cardiothoracic operations, performance measurement, and public reporting of outcomes," he says.

Dr. Fernandez's efforts to strengthen the capabilities of the National Database include his work to integrate patient reported outcomes data into Emory's patient data archive for the STS General Thoracic Surgery Database, and his co-direction of an endeavor with Dr. Alessandro Brunelli from St. James's University Hospital in Leeds, England, to link lung cancer surgery outcomes data from the STS General Thoracic Surgery Database and the European Society of Thoracic Surgery Database.

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