Message from the President

Dr. LalwaniBy Kirk Lalwani, MBBS, FRCA, MCR
SPA President

I hope you have all had the opportunity to recharge with some downtime and relaxation this summer, even though many traditional summer pursuits are off-limits.

As the pandemic continues to test our resolve and resilience with one challenge after another, we continue to work together to keep our operating rooms and ICU’s running while potentially endangering our own well-being as we prioritize the safety of our patients, families, and friends. Our challenges are not limited to the workplace; difficult decisions about children heading back to school or being home-schooled as a result of virtual classes remain a significant source of stress for many working families as they navigate work schedules, childcare, education, and children’s safety.

There is cause for optimism. The development of dozens of new vaccines continues at an astonishing pace, and several have made it to Phase Three trials. We hope to have an effective vaccine by early next year if the initial results of a robust and sustained immune response are confirmed, with no major side effects.

Registration for the SPA Virtual 34th Annual Meeting is open, and it offers CME credits at reduced rates this year as a result of the virtual format, similar to the ASA Annual Meeting. While many of us will bemoan the lack of networking and social interaction that is integral to these events, there will still be an opportunity to support our meeting planning team and the many excellent speakers who will share their expertise with us, so please consider 'attending’ the meeting.

We have initiated steps to start a SPA Leadership and Mentorship Program in the coming months along the lines of the Women’s Empowerment and Leadership (WELI) initiative. In addition, members of the Executive Committee along with members of our Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are formulating a Diversity Strategic Plan to ensure that SPA’s initiatives are thoughtful and will have a long-term effect on supporting research on racial disparities in pediatric healthcare, as well as increasing mentorship and leadership opportunities for members from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds.

We will also be collaborating with the Society for Education in Anesthesia’s newly formed Diversity Taskforce to co-host educational session and workshops at our meetings. We have reached out to our `Rising Stars’ from previous years and encouraged them to contact us about SPA activities or committees that they would like to be involved with.

We continue to increase the value of your membership with new resources that will soon be delivered to your email inboxes. Watch for regular emails with Clinical Questions, Quality & Safety Poll of the Month, and links to recently recorded SPA Meeting lectures which will complement our `SPA Virtual Grand Rounds’ and `SPA Ask the Expert podcast’ collaboration with Open Anesthesia. You can also find a link to the recorded SPA Virtual Town Hall: `COVID 19- Unmasking the Pandemic’ on the SPA website in case you were not able to watch it live.

I’ll leave you with an article by Dr. Mohamad Moussa who is an EM physician in Toledo entitled “What If I Told You the COVID-19 Pandemic Is Not Entirely Bad?” as a thoughtful lesson in reflection and positive thinking:

As always, thank you all for your engagement and efforts to keep the wheels of the Society turning and helping us achieve the strategic goals that were set for us by a group of very wise members what seems like eons ago. We could not do any of it without your passion and commitment. Last, but not least, take care of yourselves, your colleagues, and your families as we face this pandemic together.

"Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it's less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you've lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that's good.

— Elizabeth Edwards

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