Newswise — FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA (January 29, 2018) – The Society of Thoracic Surgeons honored three respected and extraordinary contributors with its 2018 Distinguished Service Award, presented this evening at the Society’s 54th Annual Meeting.

“Marshall Jacobs, Francis Nichols, and Cameron Wright are on the frontline, giving back in ways that help other surgeons, help our specialty, and—in the end—help our patients. These three surgeons deserve to be recognized as exceptional individuals,” said 2017-2018 STS President Richard L. Prager, MD.

Marshall L. Jacobs, MD, Baltimore, Maryland

An STS member since 1991, Dr. Jacobs has served the organization in many capacities, including as Chair of the STS Workforce on Congenital Heart Surgery and his current role on the Workforce on National Databases—particularly as Chair of its Congenital Heart Surgery Database Task Force. He also has served on the Committee for Congenital Heart Surgery Initiatives and the Workforce on Evidence Based Surgery.

Dr. Jacobs has been a cardiothoracic surgeon and clinical investigator for 30 years, with special emphasis on congenital heart disease, pediatric heart transplantation, and pediatric cardiac critical care. In addition to his clinical career, he is the author of more than 250 peer-reviewed publications.

A graduate of Yale College and Harvard Medical School, Dr. Jacobs trained in general and cardiothoracic surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), where he also was a fellow in cardiovascular research. He currently holds the positions of Professor of Surgery at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Director of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Outcomes Research at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

“Dr. Jacobs’s tireless efforts in the complex world of congenital heart surgery and his expertise in helping to build a database around it make him very deserving of this award,” said Dr. Prager. “With his thoughtful and keen intellect, he recognizes the challenges and diagnostic complexities in the congenital world. Dr. Jacobs has been phenomenal.”

Francis C. Nichols III, MD, Rochester, Minnesota

Dr. Nichols—an STS member since 1993—is currently the Chair of the STS Workforce on Coding and Reimbursement, while also serving on the Health Policy and Relationships Council Operating Board. His previous STS experience includes service on the Workforce on Patient Safety.

After graduating with honors from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, Dr. Nichols completed a residency at the Mayo Clinic. With more than 30 years of diverse thoracic and vascular surgery experience, he currently holds the positions of Chair of Thoracic Surgery at the Mayo Clinic and Professor of Surgery at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.

“Dr. Nichols works behind the scenes of our specialty via STS, effecting change in coding and reimbursement,” said Dr. Prager. “His dedication, commitment, and desire to help have been unheralded—until now. This award signifies how important his efforts are to all of us in cardiac and thoracic surgery.”

Cameron D. Wright, MD, Boston, Massachusetts

An STS member since 1991, Dr. Wright currently is an STS Director-at-Large and serves on the Meetings and Education Council Operating Board. He previously chaired the American Board of Thoracic Surgery in addition to serving on several STS governance bodies, including the Council on Health Policy and Relationships, the Quality, Research, and Patient Safety Council Operating Board, the Workforce on National Databases (chairing its General Thoracic Surgery Database Task Force for many years), and the Workforce on Coding and Reimbursement.

Dr. Wright graduated with honors from the University of Michigan and the University of Michigan Medical School. He completed his internship and residency at MGH and became board certified in both surgery and thoracic surgery. With a special interest in quality and patient safety in surgery, Dr. Wright is Chair of Quality for Surgery at MGH. He also currently holds the positions of Associate Chief of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at MGH and the Mathisen Family Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Wright serves as a colonel in the Medical Corps of the US Army Reserve, completing three tours of duty over the last few years in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Dr. Wright is a clinical leader in general thoracic surgery, as well as a recognized and thoughtful commentator in the world of general thoracic surgery,” said Dr. Prager. “His ability to provide instrumental guidance in coding and reimbursement has been most helpful, and he is universally viewed as a thoughtful discussant on complicated issues. “

The Distinguished Service Award, established in 1969, recognizes individuals who have made significant and far-reaching contributions to STS and the specialty.


For more information, contact STS Media Relations Manager 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 7,100 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.

Register for reporter access to contact details