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President's Message

Peter J. Davis, MD
SPA President
Children's Hospital
Pittsburgh, PA

SPA continues in its mission to be a resource in providing educational opportunities to its members. This February, in conjunction with the AAP, the SPA Winter Program in San Diego was a huge success. Jim Steven, with the aid of the Education Committee, is to be congratulated on an outstanding 3-day program. For October, the annual meeting in New Orleans promises to be equally as exciting. Frank Kern, the program director for the annual meeting has put together a tremendous scientific and clinically oriented program.

Clearly, meeting the educational needs of our members is no small task. In an effort to solicit what members want and what members need in order to further meet their continued medical and educational needs, the society is striving to be more interactive with its membership.

Thus, the web is becoming an integral component of our SPA lives. As a result, the SPA website is growing. The website is now a location for members to help with program development, program content, program location and program format. In addition to meeting and program information, the website will also serve as a vehicle for other information. Information regarding fellowship directories, membership directories, job postings and third world country missionary opportunities are now accessible via the SPA website.

As the educational needs of the membership develop, and if and when recertification in anesthesiology becomes a reality that we all might have to face, it is the hope that SPA will be able to better provide the necessary educational needs to its members. However, the educational price of running meetings, sustaining a website and providing members with value added come at a cost. This cost is not offset by dues and registration fees. As I noted in previous communications, the operational cost of the organization is greater than its income from meeting registrations and dues.

The need for members to make a philanthropic contribution to SPA is important. Dues have not been raised, and costs continue to rise. Our goal of raising $1,000,000 to endow an educational fund that will be self-supporting is essential to maintaining the quality of our educational mission. If members pledge the remuneration of one myringotomy and tube procedure ($250) a year for 2 years, that would allow us to reach our goal. I realize everyone is asking for money, and in days of decreasing reimbursements, philan-thropic donations are difficult.

As we further expand upon the SPA missions, I hope the society continues to deliver to its members a high quality organization and that you as members continue to derive satisfaction from an organization that is meeting your professional needs. However, as with any commitment that an individual makes, what an individual gets out of such a commitment is directly related to what they put into it. SPA needs your support. It needs it through your continued membership and your philanthropic support. As we recognize the realities and limitations of our organization and its need for financial security, it is my hope that all the members will see the society as a good investment, and thereby take a more active financial role.