Welcome from the Program Chair

Dr. HeitmillerThis year’s Society for Pediatric Anesthesia (SPA) meeting will be held in conjunction with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at the beautiful Marriott Harbor Beach Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, March 7-9, 2014.

As Program Chair, I want to express my sincere gratitude to those who spent numerous hours of their own time on conference calls and emails in order to organize our program: Sam Wald (Workshop Coordinator), Rosalie Tassone (PBLD Coordinator), Shobha Malviya (Chair, SPA Education Committee), Carolyn Bannister (AAP Section Chair), and Kim Battle (SPA Association Manager).

This year, we instituted electronic PBLD submissions, and thanks to the Information Technology group at SPA headquarters, we implemented the process in time for this year’s submissions. Additionally, we created a “shadow” program that offered younger SPA members on the Education Committee the opportunity to participate in the program organization. The three members who accepted the invitation—Nina Deutsch, Peggy McNaull, and Dawit Haile—proved their value by offering speaker suggestions, proposing workshop ideas, and assisting in the development of educational objectives. Nina Deutsch took on the challenge of drafting an application to the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) for approval of our safety-oriented lectures as Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology (MOCA®)educational presentations.

So, for the first time, SPA is pleased to offer several opportunities to help fulfill your ABA MOCA® Part II Patient Safety requirements at the SPA/AAP Pediatric Anesthesiology 2014 meeting! By attending the following sessions, you are eligible to receive up to 3 credits that may be applied toward Part II: Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment- Patient Safety CME requirements for the MOCA Program of the ABA.*

  • General Session: New Anesthesia Machine Ventilators—Safer Technology
  • Refresher Course: Disclosure of Adverse Events
  • AAP Ask the Experts Panel: Transfer of Care and Handoffs
  • Refresher Course: Transfusion Limbo—How Low Will You (Safely) Go?

The SPA/AAP meeting will offer a maximum 35 CME credits. Additional CME offerings on Thursday offer 9.5 credits for the Congenital Cardiac Anesthesia Society (CCAS), organized by Program Chair Wanda Miller-Hance, and 9.5 credits for the Society for Pediatric Pain Medicine (SPPM), organized by Program Chair Petra Meier-Haran. Please note that registration for the CCAS and SPPM meetings are separate from that for the SPA/AAP meeting.

Based on feedback from attendees at previous meetings, we have made changes to this year’s program. We added a PBLD session on Saturday morning and will have fewer tables per session to reduce the noise in the PBLD area. Our sell-out workshops in ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia, advanced vascular access, echocardiography, moderating a PBLD, and difficult airway are being repeated, and we are adding an additional airway workshop because of the high demand. The financial planning workshop will be continued with a revised focus, and the faculty research workshop will be expanded to a half-day session. New workshops being added for this year are trans-thoracic echocardiography, a legal workshop with a mock trial, and a social media workshop.

The Robert M. Smith Award has been presented at SPA since 1986 to honor an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the field of pediatric anesthesiology. I have the pleasure to announce that the AAP Robert M. Smith Awardee this year is Raafat Hannallah, MD, from Children’s National Medical Center. Please join me in congratulating him and attend the award presentation at the beginning of the afternoon session on Friday.

Having the meeting in Fort Lauderdale around the time of Spring Break led us to the theme of the adolescent patient. On Friday, we will hear inspiring talks from two young ladies, Kelsey Tainsh and Kelsey Seymour, who have been challenged by illnesses that required multiple anesthetics. They will be followed by a talk on the perioperative management of patients with chronic pain and patients who are in chronic pain rehabilitation. After lunch on Friday we have the AAP Advocacy Lecture, and this year we are very fortunate to have Dr. Barbara Snyder, Chair of the AAP Section on Adolescent Health, as our AAP Advocacy Speaker. Her talk is entitled Adolescence 101: Physical and Emotional Development. The Friday afternoon panel session that follows will address perioperative care during scoliosis surgery—a procedure commonly performed during the teenage years. The adolescent theme will continue on Saturday morning with a session on drug abuse in teens and its impact on anesthesia. We are very lucky to have two guest speakers for this topic: Dr. Wilson Compton from the National Institute on Drug Addiction, who will speak on the problem of teenage drug abuse, and Dr. David Birnbach, who will address the interactions of anesthetics and abused substances.

The general sessions also include topics important to anesthesiologists who care for pediatric patients of all ages. The opening session on Friday focuses on airway/respiratory issues, and Dr. Pamela Zeitlin, an internationally known expert on the forefront of cystic fibrosis research, will give our first talk on the advances in cystic fibrosis. She will be followed by Dr. Linda Mason, who will speak on the often-encountered problem of asthma in the perioperative period. The Saturday general session includes a timely talk by Dr. Keith Berge on the topic of chemical dependency and drug diversion by physicians.

Sunday opens with “Editors’ Best Picks,” where editors from Anesthesiology, Anesthesia and Analgesia, and Pediatric Anesthesia will review the past year’s most significant articles. This will be followed by the ever-popular Pro/Con panel known as Family Feud, in which six members of our specialty are divided into two teams that each present opinions and best practices about important controversies in pediatric anesthesia. This year the teams will be private practice vs. academics, or “Town vs. Gown,” moderated by Aubrey Maze (private practice) and Myron Yaster (academics).

As I complete my three-year term of involvement in the planning of this meeting, I would like to again extend a heartfelt thank you to all the members of the Program Organizing Committee and the AAP representatives, as well as the Education Committee, Nancy Glass and the SPA board members, and the wonderful staff at the SPA office. Their collective expertise and great ideas have helped to assemble what I believe will be an outstanding meeting!

*Please consult the ABA website, www.theABA.org, for a list of all MOCA requirements. Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology Program® and MOCA® are registered certification marks of The American Board of Anesthesiology®.

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