SPA 37th Annual Meeting
October 13, 2023


Joe Sisk, MD, FAAP
Program Chair

On behalf of the planning committee for the 37th Annual Meeting of the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia (SPA), it is my privilege to welcome you to San Francisco.

In anesthesia, it is easy to fall into routines. As they are reinforced, these routines become a source of comfort. We are going to take you out of your comfort zone with our program. The meeting’s theme is “Challenging the Status Quo.” Your beliefs will be confronted with data and we hope you find yourself evolving your practice as you return to your patients.

The meeting will be held at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square in San Francisco, California. Given San Francisco’s rich history of Challenging the Status Quo, it is a fitting home to our meeting. This meeting also features a collaboration between the SPA and the Association of Paediatric Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (APA-GBI). We have arranged several visiting lecturers and a guest moderator to add unique international perspectives to your educational experience.

Our meeting kicks off with our keynote session "Confronting our Biases: Preparing for Change." Dr. Sara Gorman, a public health and behavioral sciences expert will prepare you to change your practice by calling out the barriers your mind uses to protect itself when confronted with information that challenges your beliefs. She will be followed by our first APA-GBI representative, Dr. Sumit Das. Dr. Das will explore how human factors can contribute to catastrophic events and outcomes.

Our second session, “Data-Driven: Does Science Support Your Practice?" stresses the importance of using evidence when making decisions. Dr. Randy Flick will present an update on Anesthesia Related Neurotoxicity. Next, Dr. Annery Garcia-Marcinkiewicz will present an “An Evidence Based Approach to the Neonatal Airway”. The session will conclude with Dr. Joanna Paquin discussing the evidence behind the use of Intranasal Dexmedetomidine.

Following a coffee break with our exhibitors, we will return for our third session. In this collaborative session between the SPA and the APA-GBI, representatives of the SPA and APA-GBI will share the stage to compare and contrast their approaches to common anesthetic conundrums. This will bring us into our fourth session, the Myron Yaster Lifetime Achievement Award Presentation.

Our fifth session, “The Future of Pediatric Anesthesia: No Time To Rest on our Laurels,” brings us back from lunch. Drs. Ellen Basile and Heather Byrd will present their work on “Gender Gaps: Women and Leadership Acquisition in Anesthesiology.” Then, Dr. Andrew Giustini will explore the impact of a dwindling pediatric anesthesia trained workforce on the care of children in the United States. Finally, Pediatric Anesthesia Program Directors Association President, Dr. Concetta Lupa, will take the stage to discuss how we can improve recruitment into our specialty.

Adverse Childhood Events and Trauma Informed Care: We Can Do Better! is the sixth session. The session will lead off with Dr. Cornelius Groenewald discussing the long-term effects of medical trauma and Adverse Childhood Events (ACE). Our second talk in the session will feature a pediatrician, Dr. Melissa Egge, discussing the physical exam findings that may indicate non-accidental trauma and how to identify at-risk patients. The session will close with Dr. Becca Nause-Osthoff speaking on providing trauma-informed care in perioperative medicine before an ice cream social with our exhibitors.

Our final session features the return of PEDx talks, a perennial favorite. These 15-minute talks will cover a variety of topics. Dr. Jonathan Tan leads off by speaking about "The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Pediatric Anesthesia.” Dr. Stephanie Pan will then take the stage to present “There's a Block for That! - Novel Analgesic Techniques for Pediatric Surgeries.” Sustainability expert and Project SPRUCE Forest Principal Investigator will then speak about the environmental impact of Nitrous Oxide and how you can successfully eliminate it from your practice. The educational program will close with Dr. Justin Lockman presenting a review of the best Pediatric Anesthesia Articles of the Day.

The team effort it took to bring you this program cannot be overstated. I must extend my heartfelt thanks to Dr. Tammy Wang (Program Co-Chair), Dr. Giuliana Geng-Ramos (Program Shadow), Dr. Peggy McNaull (SPA Education Committee Chair/President-Elect) and Dr. Jim Fehr (SPA President) for their outstanding contributions. As always, none of this would have been possible without the organizational magic of the amazing Kim Battle (Association Executive). Please enjoy the meeting and your stay in beautiful San Francisco. 

Meeting WiFi
Network:  SPA2023
Password:  anesthesia


All Program & Schedule Times are Pacific Time (PT).


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October 13, 2023

6:00 AM - 5:00 PM Pacific Time

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