SPA-AAP Pediatric Anest 2021 Virtual Meeting
February 25 - 28, 2021


Emmett E. Whitaker III, MD
Program Chair

Welcome! As Program Chair for the SPA-AAP Pediatric Anesthesiology 2021 Meeting, it is my pleasure and honor to welcome you to the first 100% VIRTUAL Winter meeting! This year, our meeting will take place from Thursday, February 25 – Sunday, February 28, 2021. Though the entire planning team had hoped to have the meeting in person, we have worked extremely hard to transition the program to a virtual format that will provide a meaningful educational experience for all who attend.

The theme for Pediatric Anesthesiology 2021 is “A Celebration of Women in Pediatric Anesthesiology.” Our goal in selecting this theme was threefold. Our first and most important goal was to highlight and recognize the immense expertise and contributions of  women to our specialty and the perioperative care of children. Second, we aimed to promote diversity and highlight the prominent place that women have in pediatric anesthesiology. Finally, we sought to provide an opportunity for women in the early stages of their career to get involved in our specialty on a national level. In planning this meeting, it has become obvious that there is no shortage of female talent among our ranks. I am proud to say that the roster of speakers and moderators for this year’s program includes greater than 80% women!

We have included two sessions that were specially designed to focus on the impact of women on pediatric anesthesiology. We will kick off the meeting with our plenary session – “Women in Pediatric Anesthesiology: Cornerstones of a Specialty”. This session will feature four women who have each made a huge impact on our specialty- Drs. Nancy Glass, Linda Mason, Eugenie Heitmiller, and Olutoyin Olutoye. Each of these formidable women will speak about their journey to becoming leaders in our field. On a personal note- it was incredibly difficult to select just a few women who have had such an amazing impact on pediatric anesthesiology! The other landmark session is our “SPA Women’s Empowerment and Leadership Initiative (WELI) Forum”. The SPA WELI program aims to empower women to achieve promotion, leadership and equity in pediatric anesthesiology. In this session, four WELI mentees will have the opportunity to give a talk on the topic of their choice in collaboration with their WELI mentors. This year, we have selected Drs. Chinyere Egbuta and Lynne Maxwell; Drs. Lynnie Correll and Dr. Hal Shaffner; Drs. Norah Janosy and Corrie Anderson; and Drs. Katherine Taylor and Scott Markowitz.

We are living in unprecedented times.  In addition to dealing with the devastating effects of COVID-19, we have repeatedly witnessed African Americans' senseless killings in this country.  These events unearthed several other acts of racial injustice in our country and led to protests against racial injustice worldwide. It sparked a reckoning of America's longstanding history of systemic racism, from individuals to industry to corporations.  The Board of Directors of the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia (SPA) believes that it is rooted in our Society's core mission to improve children and their families' lives and condemn all acts of racism, discrimination, and violence.  We are delighted to have a featured session in this meeting, highlighting racial and ethnic diversity.  Our first session on Friday is "Discussing Racial and Ethnic Diversity in SPA and Beyond." The moderators for this session are Drs. Titi Aina, Elisha Peterson, Vivian Porche, and Isabel Pesola.  The session will begin with a presentation by Drs. Nathalia Jimenez and Nina Deutsch, reviewing the results of the SPA Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion survey and discussing actions by SPA to improve diversity. Next will be a moderated Panel Discussion featuring Drs. Nina Deutsch, Nathalia Jimenez, Renee Navarro, Caro Monico, Meredith Brooks, Cheryl Gooden, and Josephine Hernandez. Finally, Dr. Odi Ehie will speak about allyship and how we can all take action to promote diversity and inclusion.

We’re also excited to include program elements old and new. In an effort to respond to the feedback of our membership, we have included some sessions that have been great successes in the past:

  • WWspaD (What Would SPA Members Do?) Panel
  • Lightning Abstracts
  • Advanced Practice Provider (APP) Symposium
  • Afternoon Tracks

For the WWspaD Panel, Drs. Inger Aliason, Nina Hardcastle, and Allison Ross will lead a discussion of three challenging cases moderated by Dr. Helen Lee. The ever-popular Lightning Abstracts session will be moderated by Dr. Jorge Galvez. Finally, we will have two afternoon “tracks” during which talks will be concurrent, and attendees can select which lectures they will attend. One track will be the “General Session” during which you can enjoy traditional SPA-type talks. The second track is the “Clinical Practice Track”, which will focus on issues relevant to the daily practice of pediatric anesthesiology. Don’t worry about missing some lectures during the concurrent sessions- you will be able to watch recordings of the lectures you missed. More on that later.

There is far too much fabulous content in the rest of our program to cover here, but some highlights are in order. With the emerging focus on point-of-care ultrasound in the operating room and beyond, we have dedicated an entire session to this topic. The list of speakers is a veritable “who’s who” in the field, including physicians who have published extensively and are funded to study POCUS as it relates to pediatric anesthesiology. Another area of focus is the use of opioids in pediatric perioperative medicine. We’re fortunate to have the opportunity to hear from our colleagues in Seattle, who are doing some groundbreaking work in minimizing opioids for pediatric ambulatory surgery. Personalized medicine is coming- and pediatric anesthesiology is no exception. An entire session will focus on how we can individualize our care of children during the perioperative period. Finally, in the pandemic era, no program would be complete without some discussion of how COVID is affecting the practice of pediatric anesthesiology the world over. We’re fortunate to have the opportunity to hear about how those on the front lines are handling the novel coronavirus. Dr. Jeong-Rim Lee, our Korean International Scholar, will describe her experiences dealing with COVID in her home country. Another talk will include how our colleagues at Texas Children’s Hospital have pioneered a simulation program that prepares pediatric anesthesiologists to care for children with COVID.

Planning this meeting has been an absolute pleasure, despite its challenges. I have to thank the entire planning committee for their dedication and hard work: Drs. Nina Deutsch, Jim Fehr, Jina Sinskey, Titi Aina, Katherine Keech, Joe Sisk, Michelle LeRiger, Lisa Wise-Faberowski, Anita Honkanen, and of course the fabulous team at SPA headquarters: Kim Battle, Stewart Hinckley, and Matt Carpenter.

We hope that you will take some time to peruse the mobile meeting guide to get a look at the full program. We think you’ll agree that this year’s Pediatric Anesthesiology is not to be missed, and we hope to see you all there!

Oh, by the way- all lectures are no more than 20 minutes this year!

NOTE: Are you unable to attend the live virtual meeting? If you register for the meeting, you may view the sessions on-demand and still claim CME credit. Recordings will be posted within 24-48 hours after the completion of each session. All attendees, whether viewing the sessions live or on-demand, will have 90 days after the end of the live meeting to complete the online evaluation and claim your CME credits. Questions? Please email us at

All Program & Schedule Times are Eastern Standard Time (EST)