SPA needs YOU!
By Shobha Malviya, MD, FAAP
Greetings from Michigan! I am proud to lead this incredible organization at a particularly exciting time of growth, discovery and innovation. SPA is approaching the end of yet another productive year. With highly successful initiatives, we are fulfilling our mission to continually advance the safety and quality of the perioperative care of children. The success of these endeavors is credited to the tireless and selfless efforts of our members and past leaders.
I am very excited about the future of our Society. We are one of the largest anesthesiology subspecialty societies, more than 3,000 members strong. However, the strength of an organization rests not only with the size of its membership but also with the engagement of its members. I encourage you to participate in the Society’s work and take advantage of numerous opportunities available to members willing to contribute their talent and time. I began my own involvement with the Society by presenting my research and simply attending meetings. SPA provided me with a valuable forum where I received constructive critiques of my work from experts in my line of investigation. Please consider submitting a research abstract, a PBLD or an article for the newsletter. Alternatively, join a committee or Special Interest Group. SPA needs your input and ideas to identify new programs that will best serve the needs and interests of our members. Our committees are open and any member is free to volunteer. If I can facilitate your participation, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our meeting in New Orleans was a great success, with several excellent and thought-provoking presentations from gifted scientist-anesthesiologists and clinicians. New to the fall meeting was the presentation of the first SPA Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Myron Yaster, Founder and First President of the SPA for his innumerable contributions to our field. Going forward, the Lifetime Achievement Award will be given each year to an individual who has made significant contributions to the SPA and our subspecialty.
The leadership has been busy with a flurry of emails, conference calls and travel opportunities to represent SPA. In partnership with the ASA, we sent a joint formal letter to the FDA Science Board describing the major knowledge gap that still exists related to the potential toxicity of anesthetic and sedative drugs in children. In addition, on behalf of SPA, ASA and AAP, I had an opportunity to make a joint statement to the FDA Science Board related to the potential toxicity of anesthetics. In this statement, we identified the dearth of robust clinical studies that address this issue and the challenges faced on a daily basis by pediatric anesthesia providers and families of children undergoing surgery. It is clear that a strong voice will be required to obtain the necessary resources required to address this issue of critical importance to us and our patients. To this end, SPA continues to seek collaborations with bodies such as the ASA, AAP and SmartTots, along with governmental agencies to secure and optimally utilize resources enabling us to bridge this gap.
With regard to our educational offerings, we are currently creating an updated online version of the Intensive Review of Pediatric Anesthesia. SPA will no longer offer a live version of this course. This change was made in response to audience suggestions from the previous courses as well as recommendations of members who were interested in the content but were unable to travel to the live course. I hope you will avail yourself of the opportunity to replenish your knowledge on a huge breadth of pediatric anesthesia topics.
I would also like to remind you of an exciting research opportunity open to members. The Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research (FAER) has opened its call for applications for grant funding. The online application for the Winter/Spring Funding cycle is now open with a deadline of February 15, 2015 and the Spring/Summer cycle will open on June 1, 2015 with a deadline of August 15, 2015. For further information, please visit: http://faer.org/news/faculty-members-and-trainees-apply-for-anesthesiology-research-grant-funding/
I hope to see you at our next meeting in Phoenix, March 13-15, 2015. The planning committee has put together exciting new content, highly relevant to your practice with availability of MOCA credits, and an excellent constellation of speakers. The next AAP Robert M. Smith Award will be presented in Phoenix to Dr. Charles Lockhart for his outstanding contributions to the field of pediatric anesthesiology. Please join me in Phoenix to congratulate Dr. Lockhart for his accomplishments and this well-deserved honor. Until then, I wish you all a fun-filled holiday season amidst family and friends.