John Fiadjoe, MD
Program Chair

Welcome from the Program Chair

It is a sincere honor and pleasure to serve as program chair for the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia (SPA)/ American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine (AAP) Pediatric Anesthesiology 2017 meeting in Austin Texas, March 3-5, 2017.

I remember my first SPA meeting; it was a joint meeting with the Japanese Society of Pediatric Anesthesiology (JSPA), I knew no one and felt isolated. I already had a pain fellowship lined up, and this was just a fun meeting to use up the rest of my resident PE funds… well was I in for a shocker. I was fascinated and enthralled by the meeting content, and I was curious to learn about the contrast between the Japanese perspective and the North American perspective… fetal surgery?? I had no idea that was possible….I wanted to learn more. I returned to my residency program and decided to forego my pain fellowship to pursue a pediatric anesthesia fellowship and have never looked back. Our meeting content changes lives! It changed mine. Our meetings influence the care we provide to our patients and enhance our relationships with each other. I eagerly anticipate the 2017 spring meeting and hope the meeting content impacts you in a positive and meaningful way like it did for me many years ago.

The planning committee has spent many hours on phone conferences, sorted through and sent many emails, reviewed feedback from prior meetings and the SPA education committee, even had some fist fights (got your attention) to arrive at this program that is designed to challenge dogma! Austin is known for its rich history, great food, and great music. Our themes of ‘challenging the status quo’ and ‘keeping Austin weird’ will be evident throughout the meeting. The 2017 SPA/AAP meeting will offer a maximum of 28.75 CME credits and will offer ABA MOCA part II Patient Safety credits (pending approval). We kick things off on Thursday with the Society for Pediatric Pain Medicine (SPPM) and Congenital Cardiac Anesthesia Society (CCAS) Meetings, which offer 10.5 and 8.5 CME credits respectively. On Thursday afternoon we offer the Perioperative Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) certification workshop, and workshops on Acupuncture and Advanced Ultrasound Guided Regional Anesthesia.

Set your alarm clocks for PBLD’s bright and early Friday morning.  Melissa Brooks-Peterson (PBLD Coordinator) and Nathaniel Greene (PBLD Shadow) have worked hard to put together a diverse and engaging set of PBLD’s. Our journey to challenge the status quo begins with a neonatal session.  Ken Brady will discuss cerebral autoregulation in neonates and blood pressure targets under general anesthesia. Next, Walid Habre from Geneva Children’s Hospital in Geneva, Switzerland will challenge what you know about neonatal ventilator management. No anesthesia meeting is complete without reviewing the latest developments in anesthetic neurotoxicity. For this, we introduce a new format for presenting the information, a roundtable discussion. It will feature Per-Arne Lonnqvist from Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden, Caleb Ing, and Randy Flick discussing recent publications on neurotoxicity and how they should influence our practice. We move on to challenge our current care models in anesthesia and host a series of talks discussing enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) in children and how it may benefit our patients while reducing costs. Ty Muhly and Megan Brockel will discuss the pediatric anesthesia applications of ERAS while Sanjay Krishnaswami will discuss the surgical perspective.  The Robert M. Smith Award honors an individual who has made outstanding contributions to our field. I am pleased to announce that Peter J. Davis is the 2017 recipient of this award. Dr. Davis is a luminary in our specialty; he is an affable individual who has been at the forefront of shaping the way pediatric anesthesia is practiced today and is most deserving of this award.

We are thrilled to have Annie Janvier, a neonatologist and Clinical Ethicist from CHU Sainte-Justine in Montreal, deliver the AAP advocacy lecture on intensive care decisions for fragile neonates. Drug errors remain a significant problem in our practice, and we host a session discussing these mistakes and potential solutions.  Karen Nanji will review the scope of the problem, and Elliot Grigg will tell us about some of the creative workspace design solutions that may help to reduce medication errors. Finally, Susan Varughese will close out the session by challenging our paradigms of achieving excellence.  Our late afternoon session begins with Mark Ansermino who will challenge our current standard of inhalational anesthesia followed by Joe Cravero and Ann Bailey who will engage in mind-to-mind combat when they debate the merits/evidence or lack thereof supporting our current NPO guidelines.

Our workshops continue in the afternoon on Friday. Thanks to the hard work of Peggy McNaull (Workshop Coordinator) and Andrea Dutoit (Workshop Shadow) we have added several new workshops including a point of care ultrasound workshop, a workshop on work life balance  aptly titled “Lessons from the Trenches: Reflections on achieving work-life balance” and a professionalism workshop. We will offer the medical malpractice, quality improvement, perioperative surgical home, difficult airway, transesohageal echo, vascular access and research workshops at the meeting. A MOCA Simulation session will take place on Sunday for those who need MOCA part 4 credits. If you can’t find a workshop of interest among these diverse offerings, start one! The meeting planning committee is always open to new creative workshop ideas. Peggy, Andrea and Kasia Rubin have been instrumental in organizing a new dinner sign up at the meeting to encourage networking among our colleagues. Make sure to sign up for dinner with other SPA members and establish ties outside of your home institution. You may connect with a future collaborator or make a new friend!

From Amy Winehouse to Prince, opioid abuse is on the rise and at the forefront of the news.  Myron Yaster will examine this problem on Saturday and will demonstrate how clinical research can lead to discovery.  Tracy Jackson of TEDx fame offers us alternatives to opioids and dives further into the abuse issue. Many of us have heard about mindfulness, is it relevant to anesthesia practice and patient care?  Michael Baime, director of the University of Pennsylvania Program for Mindfulness, will share his insights on this practice and how it may benefit our patients and ourselves.  We keep Austin Weird with the AAP Experts panel, featuring Franklyn Cladis and Susan Goobie. Franklyn will review challenging craniofacial syndromes, and Susan will discuss blood management in patients presenting for craniofacial surgery. We close Saturday afternoon with talks about new technology for vascular access by Luis Zabala and advanced ultrasound applications in the operating room by Marc Mecoli.

On Sunday, Echo Rowe will speak about emotional intelligence, an important skill that is essential to building research teams, patient care, and education.  Olutoyin Olutoye, SPA Research Committee Chair, will moderate a session featuring the updates from the recipients of the 2016 SPA Young Investigator Research Grants.  The session will continue with the SPA Research Committee’s selection of the four best pediatric anesthesia articles of 2016. We have invited the authors to present their work followed by a question and answer session. 

The CRNA Symposium will take place on Sunday morning and will cover a broad range of topics including post- tonsillectomy hemorrhage, endocrine conditions, idiopathic spine management and much more. It will feature several excellent speakers including Nathan Jones, Julie Soelberg, Robert Simon, Randall Brenn, Judy Audus, Margaret Hartig, Rhonda Martone, Barbara Dezayas and Doyle Lim.

Finally, we have replaced Jeopardy with “Who wants to be a millionaire?” Jim Fehr, Sam Wald, and Stuart Hall will host this new session. We hope to use the new format to encourage audience participation - so come prepared to participate when the contestants “phone a friend” or “ask the audience.” The planning committee has worked tirelessly to create a fantastic program. I thank each of them for their teamwork, commitment, and dedication. As I conclude my service on the meeting planning team I thank Randy Flick (for his encouragement and guidance), Kirk Lalwani (for his astute insights),  Rita Agarwal (for questioning our assumptions and making great suggestions), Jennifer Lee-Summers (for working efficiently and tirelessly to get the grunt work done and keeping me on my toes), Melissa Brooks and Nathaniel Greene (for deciphering all the PBLD files and putting together our PBLD offerings), Peggy McNaull and Andrea Dutoit (for being the diesel engines behind the workshop organization) and of course Kim Battle who has been the steady anchor who has kept us on the path of the straight and narrow and finally Shobha Malviya who has been incredibly supportive throughout my time on the committee.

“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” - Steve Jobs.