In 1985 Dr. Eugene Blackstone & Dr. John Kirklin proposed that the CHSS surgeons pool their experience in managing infants with rare congenital anomalies of the heart and this concept lead to the establishment of the CHSS Data Center.
Drs. Kirklin and Blackstone recognized that the occurrence of congenital heart disease is low and that any single institution requires a great deal of time to acquire sufficient experience to treat these lesions. By pooling the experience of all the CHSS members, Drs. Kirklin and Blackstone proposed that the CHSS surgeons could improve their ability to determine the best methods of treating patients.
Dr. Blackstone has continued to have a major, central role in operations, not only of statistical analysis, but of study conceptualization, design, and eventual abstract and manuscript production. He has continually enhanced the quality of CHSS investigations, introducing cutting edge analytic tools (e.g. competing risks analysis, “bootstrap bagging”), and applied these to CHSS data sets. His contribution to the overall quality and impact of CHSS multi-institutional outcome studies is enormous, as is his contribution to the training of many member surgeons as clinical investigators.
Currently, Dr. Blackstone resides in Cleveland and is full-time head of Clinical Investigations at the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute at Cleveland Clinic, and staff member of the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Quantitative Health Sciences and Transplant Center.
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