Advocacy Efforts of the Society for Thoracic Surgeons

Society for Thoracic Surgeons pic
Society for Thoracic Surgeons

A cardiovascular surgeon with nearly three decades of surgical experience, Dr. Marc Gerdisch has spent the last decade serving as chief of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at Franciscan Health in Indianapolis, Indiana. Also a clinical assistant professor in the same field at Loyola University Medical Center and senior partner at Cardia Surgery Associates, Dr. Marc Gerdisch has held membership with the Society for Thoracic Surgeons (STS) since 1995.

STS, which was established in 1964, is a non-profit association that represents surgeons, researchers, and other health care professionals specializing in treatment of the lungs, heart, and esophagus. In addition to educational programs and safety initiatives, STS advocates for regulatory issues of importance to thoracic practitioners.

Recently, STS joined with numerous other organizations to advocate against two policy riders added to a bill from the House Appropriations Committee. These riders hinder the ability of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate tobacco products.

One bill provision would prevent the FDA from effectively ensuring product quality, because the general language used too broadly defines tobacco products such as cigars. The second provision would enable producers of e-cigarettes and cigars to bypass FDA-led scientific reviews that determine public health risks.

STS and its fellow advocates encouraged the Committee on Appropriations to stop any policy riders that could undermine the FDA’s ability to safely monitor tobacco products.