As your Vice President for Scientific Affairs, it is my pleasure to provide you with an update of activities in the area of scientific affairs. ASA is fortunate to have so many highly qualified members who participate in the advancement of scientific and medical knowledge. The Division of Scientific Affairs is composed of five Sections: Clinical Care (Joy L. Hawkins, M.D., FASA, Chair), Publications (Daniel J. Cole, M.D., FASA, Chair), the Annual Meeting Oversight Committee (Meg Rosenblatt, M.D., FASA, Chair), Education and Research (David Martin, M.D., Ph.D., FASA, Chair) and Subspecialties (Erin A. Sullivan, M.D., FASA, Chair). Rounding out the Division, and also a component of the Committee on Professional Education Oversight, is representation from the Committee on Scientific Affairs headed by Jeffrey Jacobs, M.D., FASA. Within each of these sections are hard-working and dedicated anesthesiologists who comprise the membership of each committee.
ANESTHESIOLOGY 2020 will be held in Washington, D.C., October 3-7, 2020. Committee on Annual Meeting Oversight (AMOC) Chair Meg Rosenblatt, M.D., FASA; Vice Chair David Hepner, M.D., FASA; Second Vice Chair Santhanam Suresh, M.D., FASA; and Third Vice Chair Sheela Pai Cole M.D., FASA, as well as others, have done a fantastic job in planning what will be an excellent meeting. The educational program – which as you will remember has been shortened to four days while maintaining essentially the same number of CME credits – has an exceptional lineup of featured lecturers, including an Opening Session featuring NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. The Emery A. Rovenstine Memorial Lecture will be delivered by Joanne Conroy, M.D., and the John W. Severinghaus Lecture on Translational Science will be presented by Beverly Orser, M.D. The FAER Panel: “The Present and Future State of Neuraxial Drug Delivery” will include speakers Tony Yaksh, Ph.D., Richard Rauck, M.D., Mike Iadarola, M.D., and James Eisenach, M.D. The FAER-Helrich Research Lecture, titled “Why Is Pain Such a Tough Nut to Crack? A Mechanistic Perspective on our Emphasis upon Neuraxial Processing,” will be presented by Tony Yaksh, Ph.D. The ASA/APSF Ellison C. Pierce, Jr., M.D., Patient Safety Memorial Lecture will be given by Matthew B. Weinger, M.D., M.S. Some additional featured lectures indicate how the program organizers are taking advantage of our meeting location, Washington, D.C., and include “Medical Device Innovation in Anesthesiology: FDA Wants to Help, and to Have Your Help,” and “NIH-Funded Clinical Trials in Anesthesiology: Current Studies, Networks and Innovations.” Simultaneous translation of some featured lectures will also be available. The subspecialties will be highlighted at the meeting, with an increased attention on pain medicine. Additionally, like last year, there will be a variety of programming and resources on women in anesthesiology.
The 2020 annual meeting will place special emphasis on academics and research. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of Jeffrey Kirsch, M.D., FASA, Committee on Scientific Advisory chair, there will again be a designated track that researchers and academicians can utilize to help them maximize their attendance at academic and research offerings. There will also be a dedicated research area for poster presentations as well as a Researcher’s Lounge where academicians can meet and exchange ideas in an informal setting. The journal Anesthesiology, FAER and APSF will have excellent educational offerings.
The Section on Publications is headed by Dan Cole, M.D., FASA, and includes the editorial board of Anesthesiology (Evan Kharasch, M.D., Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief), and the ASA Monitor (Steven L. Shafer, M.D., Editor-in-Chief). Anesthesiology is the premier journal in our specialty and has an excellent impact factor. ASA is proud to have a journal with such an excellent reputation as part of the organization. We all enjoy reading the ASA Monitor and look forward to a new, redesigned format of this publication in July.
Joy Hawkins, M.D. FASA, is Chair of the Section on Clinical Care, which is composed of committees that represent a broad range of clinical activities and interests. These include Equipment and Facilities (Robert Loeb, M.D., Chair), Occupational Health (Richard A. Beers, M.D., Chair), Patient Blood Management (Daryl J. Kor, M.D., FASA, Chair), Respiratory Care (Allen Gustin, M.D., FCCP, FASA, Chair), Surgical and Procedural Anesthesia (Chris R. Giordano, M.D., FASA, Chair) and Trauma and Emergency Preparedness (Albert J. Varon, M.D., FCCM, FASA, Chair). Each committee addresses issues as they arise. As an example, some committees are reviewing and commenting on issues such as infection control guidelines in light of the coronavirus infection.
The Section on Education and Research is chaired by David Martin, M.D., Ph.D., FASA. The outstanding educational products from this section provide real member value as evidenced by both their popularity and robust sales. They provide a convenient way to learn and obtain both CME and MOCA® credits. One very popular product, SimSTAT®, has been exceptionally well received, and all five modules are now available. Educational resources from this section are provided by a number of different committees or editorial boards. There are editorial boards for the Anesthesia Patient Safety Program (Jane Easdown, M.D. FRCPC, Editor-in-Chief), ACE Program (Joel O. Johnson, Ph.D., Stacy Jones, M.D., FASA, Co-Editors-in-Chief), Interactive Computer-Based Education (Adam Levine, M.D., Editor-in-Chief), SEE Program (Wade Weigel, M.D., FASA, Editor-in-Chief) and Simulation-Based Training (Amanda R. Burden, M.D., FASA, Editor-in-Chief). The Committee on Excellence in Research (Evan Kharasch, M.D., Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief) as well as the Committee on Research (Y.S. Prakash, M.D., Ph.D., Chair), which evaluates applications for FAER funding, are also in this section. A new committee in this section is the Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) Editorial Board (Josh Zimmerman, M.D. Editor-in-Chief), which is working diligently to develop an educational product for our members so they can learn POCUS. David Martin, M.D., Ph.D., FASA, and Beverly Philip, M.D., FASA, while in her role as Vice President for Scientific Affairs, worked in coordination with the Society for Education in Anesthesia (SEA) to examine the proper method to recognize leading educators in the field of anesthesiology. We now have awardees with the designation of “ASA-SEA Distinguished Educator in Anesthesiology.” There is an ASA-SEA sub-committee that evaluates candidates for this distinction.
Erin A. Sullivan, M.D., FASA, is the Chair of the Section on Subspecialties,. The current presidents of the similar sub-specialty organizations are members of appropriate committees, including Ambulatory Surgical Care (Steven Gayer, M.D., M.B.A., Chair), Cardiovascular and Thoracic Anesthesia (Gregory Fischer, M.D., FASA, Chair), Critical Care Medicine (George Williams, M.D., FASA, FCCP, Chair), Geriatric Anesthesia (Mark D. Neuman, M.D., MSC., Chair), Neuroanesthesia (Dorothea Rosenberger, M.D., Chair), Obstetric Anesthesia (McCallum Hoyt, M.D., M.B.A., Chair), Pain Medicine (Asokumar Buvanendran, M.D., Chair), Palliative Care (Rebecca Aslakson, M.D., Ph.D., Chair), Pediatric Anesthesia (Sulpicio Soriano, M.D., FASA, Chair), Regional Anesthesia and Acute Pain Medicine (Edward Mariano, M.D., Chair) and Transplant Anesthesia (Evan Pivalizza, M.B., FCMSA, Chair). Each committee addresses pressing issues of their subspecialty area. These committees are very engaged and busy – for instance, in the time and effort invested in dealing with issues surrounding the ongoing opioid crisis.
Lee Fleisher, M.D., has done a phenomenal job as the Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Brain Health Initiative in promoting brain health for older adults before, during and after surgery. He has placed the issue of perioperative cognitive dysfunction onto the national agenda as one of importance for care of the elderly.
The Division of Scientific Affairs is a busy and productive division within ASA. I certainly appreciate all the dedication and hard work the members of the division do each day. As a group, we will continue our hard work in order to provide the highest level of science and education to our membership so that our patients receive optimal care.