Dan Roke, MD
Program Chair

Welcome from the Program Chair

In our past, on October 16th 1846, Dr. William Morton gave a public demonstration of ether at Massachusetts General Hospital.  For over 170 years, inhalation anesthetics have been used in Boston and elsewhere around the world. Pediatric anesthesiology has a proud history of innovation and adaptation as we have constantly developed better ways to care for our patients. While we rightfully acknowledge this heritage, we also need to be aware of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

 the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia and its members are critical to the perioperative care of hundreds of thousands of children per year in the United States. We, and our patients, are the beneficiaries of a tradition of constant striving for better and safer care.

Our future will be marked by tremendous shifts in the environment in which we care for our patients. There will be less emphasis on counting the procedures performed and more on the quality of the outcomes. Making our way through that transition and continuing to improve the care of our patients will require the same commitment and vision that our predecessors have exhibited for close to 200 years.

This program is the result of the work of the planning team, the SPA Education Committee, and of you – the attendees who have taken the time to give us the insightful feedback we need to design the meetings you’ve asked for. The 7.75 hours of CME credits offered are distributed among a selection of PBLDs and presentations that cover the scientific content you’ve requested and the clearer view many of you have asked for of what lies ahead for us as the economics of the health care industry continue to shift.

Our day begins with a dozen PBLDs chosen for their level of academic rigor and applicability to your daily practice. Dr. Justin Lockman (Program Co-Chair) and Dr. Katherine Keech (our BLD Shadow – no P because there’s no problem when she’s involved) reviewed our many excellent submissions and gave us all the challenge of choosing among the PBLD offerings.

The presentations begin with Dr. Sol Soriano as he takes us to the leading edge of neuroanesthesia. We will complete the first session with a discussion of artificial intelligence and how it can help us continue to develop our specialty. Appropriately bridging the gap between brains old and new will be Dr Shu-Ming Wang who will describe for us the current uses for the ancient science of acupuncture.

Dr. Morton’s ether demonstration made such an impact due, in large part, to his understanding of the environment within which he practiced. We will also be best prepared to give our patients the best possible care if we understand the political and economic changes coming to health care. Dr. Mary Dale Peterson, CEO of Driscoll Children’s Hospital and a pediatric anesthesiologist herself, will help us to see what’s ahead in health care reform. Providing additional guidance in terms of what we can do to best adapt to these changes will be Dr. Butch Uejima. I look forward to a lively audience discussion with both of these speakers after their presentations.

While we are able to cope with and modify our environment, many of our patients face particular challenges in doing so themselves. Dr. Jeff Koh will help us to see the world as our patients with developmental issues do. Giving us a better idea of how to help these patients will be Camilla Sutter, a child life specialist. Returning to our brain theme from the first session, Dr. Alexandra Ross will provide us with a better sense of the psychology of the child during the perioperative period.

In the finest Boston tradition of bringing things to an exciting close, Dr. Mark Rockoff will remind us of our history as pediatric anesthesiologists. When we recognize how far we’ve come, we’ll know that we have what it takes to meet what lies ahead.

This meeting had many contributors but I’d like to recognize and thank the planning committee. Dr. Justin Lockman has been an energetic and dedicated co-chair, Dr. Katherine Keech shone in her role as program shadow, Dr. Kirk Lalwani kept us all on track as the Education Committee chair, and Kim Battle who did…well what doesn’t she do? I’d also like to thank Dr. Mark Rockoff and Stewart Hinckley for all of their work on the reception and tours of Boston Children’s Hospital and the Ether Dome.

Dr. Morton recognized a need and took a bold step to show how we would meet that need. His skill and confidence led us to where we find ourselves today. Please join me in Boston as we pay homage to our notable past and, with bold confidence, plan our way toward meeting the needs of our patients in the future.

Dan Roke, MD
SPA Program Chair