from the editor

Going Viral

Dr. FlackBy Sean Flack, MBChB, FCA
SPA News Editor

A warm and sunny welcome to the latest (summer) edition of SPAnews. As usual, much of the newsletter is devoted to reviews of the fantastic SPA/AAP meeting held in Colorado Springs back in March… more about the meeting later. Also, it’s election time, not just nationally but for our society too. Please take some time to review the biographies of the board nominees and then be sure to vote.

The American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine has been particularly active under the leadership of Dr. Joe Tobias (past chair) and Dr. Rita Agarwal (current chair). Rita and Jennifer Riefe (section manager) provide an update regarding the manuals, statements, policies, guidelines and letters that have been produced in the last year. Procedural sedation in children is always a controversial topic, so I draw your particular attention to the manual authored by Dr. Tobias and Dr. Joe Cravero that is mentioned in the article.

The newsletter would not be complete without an article about great work accomplished by society members working abroad. Vanderbilt University’s global health program has been well described in the newsletter. Under Dr. Mark Newton’s leadership, they have created an opportunity for the pediatric anesthetic fellows to perform a global pediatric anesthesia elective. The first fellow to take advantage of this opportunity, Dr. Jacob Hummel, and his mentors describe this elective and his experience working in Kijabe, Kenya.

I mentioned earlier that it is election season for the society (don’t forget to vote!). This reminds me that SPA has something else in common with our country’s political figures… we tweet! In fact, during the SPA/AAP meeting in March, the #SPACOS216 conference hashtag had the following impact:

Twitter impact

Twitter Impact (from

Yes, our online presence is growing and we are looking to take it to the next level. Some time ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) established a social media ambassador program. These media-savvy individuals volunteer to represent the Academy on social media by moderating online discussions and sharing important resources developed by the AAP’s committees and sections.

With the help of members of the communication committee, we would like to start a similar program for SPA. So, if you are active on social media and interested in learning more about this opportunity, please contact me at

I hope you enjoy the newsletter and have a great summer!

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