It gives me very great pleasure to welcome you to Kazakhstan for the 27th Annual meeting of the World Society of Cardiothoracic Surgery.
As most of you know, the Society was founded in 1990 by some of the original pioneers in cardiac surgery, with the goal of having a truly international forum for the exchange of ideas and progress in clinical care and research. The annual meetings are therefore held in many parts of the world. The 26th annual meeting was in Cape Town, South Africa, and the 27th annual meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan. The 2018 meeting with be held in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
The Chancellorship of the Society was held since the initiation of the Society in 1990 by the late Juro Wada of Japan, and I took over as Chancellor in 2007. I have attended the last twenty-two meetings of the Society, which have been held in many parts of the world. Every year, the steering committee of the Society, made up of the officers of the Society, the Past Presidents and the Regional Representatives, selects the host country for the annual meeting, three years in advance. The unanimous choice for the meeting in 2017 was Kazakhstan. In the past twenty-two years I have seen the annual meetings progressively increase in participation and quality. The meetings now are very widely attended and the quality of the presentations outstanding – made up of not only invited lectures by the world leaders in the respective topics, but also selected international presentations of submitted abstracts.
Astana is a vibrant and exciting city which has a stunning architecture. The quality of medical care is of the highest level. The National Research Cardiac Surgery Center, under the leadership of Dr. Yuriy Pya, is a regional leader in innovative surgical techniques.
Today Astana is not only a major administrative centre, but also the place where innovative ideas become a reality. It is an excellent choice for the meeting in 2017, and I encourage your participation.
I look forward to seeing you there.