Debnath Chatterjee, MD, FAAP
Program Chair

On behalf of the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia (SPA), it is my distinct pleasure to invite you to warm and sunny Orlando, FL for the 33rd Annual SPA Meeting on October 18th, 2019. This year, the meeting will be held at the Hilton Orlando Resort on International Drive, which is the center of the city’s entertainment scene. This resort is directly connected to the Orange County Convention Center and is centrally located to all major theme parks and attractions that Orlando has to offer, including Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld Orlando.

We have a very exciting day planned for you that will start bright and early with twelve problem-based learning discussions that will provide an opportunity to discuss challenging clinical scenarios facing pediatric anesthesiologists. After the welcome address, we will dive straight into the opening panel session on mass casualty events, which unfortunately are becoming more prevalent these days. Our first speaker, Dr. Chadwick Smith was the trauma surgeon on call during the recent Orlando Pulse Nightclub shootings and he will be discussing the need for disaster preparedness in hospitals. Our next speaker, Dr. Brent Kaziny is the physician leader of the Emergency Management Committee at Texas Children’s Hospital and he will be describing the impact of natural disasters such as hurricane Harvey on operating room capacity and elective surgeries. The panel will end with Dr. Iqbal Ahmed from Dallas Children’s Hospital discussing the impact of natural disasters on children.

Being an effective speaker and communicator is an essential leadership trait to form connections, influence decisions and motivate change. Our next speaker, Dr. John Fiadjoe from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia will describe a process to help you connect with your audience, whether it’s in the C-suite, to a clinical team or at a medical conference. Following this presentation, we will have an update from leadership of the American Society of Anesthesiologists.  Next, the SPA Myron Yaster Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Dr. George Gregory for his outstanding contributions to the field of pediatric anesthesiology.

Following lunch, the afternoon session will consist of eleven PEDx talks, which were a huge success at the last annual SPA meeting, and we plan to continue with the same format. The PEDx talks will be 15 minutes long and will cover a wide range of topics from augmented intelligence and fetal myelomeningocele repair to fast-tracking of pediatric liver transplantation and reducing the environmental impact of your anesthetic. Other topics include new insights into the perioperative management of William’s syndrome, pediatric sedation for dental procedures, innovations in intraoperative MRI, radiation safety perception, caring for children with DNAR orders and practical tips for intubating a neonate with Pierre Robin sequence.

The keynote address at the end of the day will be presented by Dr. Julia Finkel from Children’s National Health System in Washington, DC who will be discussing the development of a personalized pain management platform using new methodologies to measure and characterize nociception.

It has been an absolute honor to serve as the program chair for this meeting and I sincerely thank Dr. Kasia Rubin (Program Co-Chair), Dr. Priti Dalal (Program Shadow), Dr. Nina Deutsch (SPA Education Committee Chair) and Ms. Kim Battle for all of their support and guidance. This has truly been a team effort and I can’t thank them enough. The SPA is an incredible organization and I’m so proud to be a part of it.

We look forward to seeing you in Orlando and enjoy the meeting!