Newswise — WASHINGTON, DC (June 12, 2018) – US Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) received the Legislator of the Year Award from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) Tuesday afternoon, celebrating his firm commitment to issues impacting cardiothoracic surgeons and their patients.

“Sen. Alexander demonstrated exceptional leadership by spearheading a bipartisan effort to stabilize health insurance markets,” said Alan M. Speir, MD, Chair of the STS Council on Health Policy and Relationships. “We are honored to recognize this senior senator who is making a real impact in Washington and shining a spotlight on important matters affecting the cardiothoracic surgery community. The Society is pleased to honor Sen. Alexander with this award.”

Sen. Alexander consistently has been willing to work with Democratic leadership to advance policies supported by physicians. As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), he collaborated with Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash) on a focused plan to stabilize the Affordable Care Act’s insurance marketplaces. Sen. Alexander also helped spearhead the 21st Century Cures Act, which contained provisions to fund the National Institutes of Health, reduce opioid abuse, and advance medical research and development. It also included an STS-drafted definition about clinical registries.

“I am grateful to the Society for this honor, but the real thanks goes to the thousands of physicians and researchers and health care professionals who work tirelessly to heal bodies and save lives," said Sen. Alexander. "The 21st Century Cures Act was passed into law to help spur medical breakthroughs and aid the lifesaving work that happens each day in surgery, and the Senate health committee continues to work on important health care issues, including addressing the opioid crisis.”

In addition to overseeing the HELP Committee, Sen. Alexander currently chairs the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee. He previously served as governor of Tennessee, as president of the University of Tennessee, and as US Secretary of Education under George H.W. Bush.

The STS Legislator of the Year Award acknowledges a member of Congress who has made sustained and/or extraordinary efforts in promoting issues of importance to cardiothoracic surgeons and their patients through legislation, funding, or other outreach to policymakers.


For more information, contact Jennifer Bagley at 312-202-5865 or [email protected].

Founded in 1964, The Society of Thoracic Surgeons is a not-for-profit organization representing more than 7,400 cardiothoracic surgeons, researchers, and allied health care professionals worldwide who are dedicated to ensuring the best possible outcomes for surgeries of the heart, lung, and esophagus, as well as other surgical procedures within the chest. The Society’s mission is to enhance the ability of cardiothoracic surgeons to provide the highest quality patient care through education, research, and advocacy.