Associate Editors
Cheryl K. Gooden, MD, FAAP
Helen V. Lauro, MD, FAAP

28th Annual promo

New Lifetime Achievement Award Named for Dr. Yaster

By Lynn D. Martin, MD, MBA
Immediate Past President

Dr. YasterThis year the Board of Directors of the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia unanimously approved the creation of a new annual award for members of the society.  The award is designed to acknowledge a lifetime contribution to the society’s mission to ‘continually advance the safety and quality of anesthesia care, perioperative management, and alleviation of pain in children’.  Furthermore, the board also unanimously authorized the naming of this award after its first recipient, Dr. Myron Yaster.  Myron was the society’s founding member in 1987 and was elected to serve as its first president. 

Dr. Yaster, the Richard J. Traystman Professor of Pediatric Anesthesia at Johns Hopkins University, is the logical first recipient for this honor.  He is widely regarded as a trailblazer and leader in the field of pediatric anesthesiology and pain medicine.  Myron founded the Pediatric Pain Service at Johns Hopkins in 1989, which he directed until 2005.  Dr. Yaster and his colleagues have pioneered new methods of pain management in infants, children and adolescents.  He was one of the early voices challenging the dogma that infants do not feel pain.

 “Myron was instrumental in changing the viewpoint of pediatric anesthesia organizations from exclusive (AAP Anesthesia Section requiring 90% time doing pediatric anesthesia) to inclusive (SPA) where the focus was interest in the area. He told me part of his motivation was his annoyance (he may have used a stronger term) at being considered not eligible for AAP Section membership. Look how far we’ve come! Thinking outside present paradigms is a talent of his and this award is richly deserved. I’m sorry I won’t be there to lift a glass! Congrats Myron.”  - Anne M. Lynn, MD

“He is a mensch in every regard.  Never wants to upset anyone.  He is one of our pioneers in pediatric pain medicine. I am delighted to call him a friend.”  - Aubrey Maze, MD, FAAP

“Myron dragged me to my first SPA meeting and dragged me to my first SPA committee meeting and urged me to contribute.  His encouragement and support were foundational in the success of my career as a pediatric anesthesiologist.  He will always be my Jedi Master.” – Lynn D. Martin, MD, MBA

Dr. Yaster received his medical degree from State University of New York, followed by a residency in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburg and a residency in anesthesiology at the University of Pennsylvania. Yaster completed a fellowship in pediatric anesthesiology and critical care medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia before joining Johns Hopkins as an assistant professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine in 1983.

Dr. Yaster is the author of two books, “Pain in Infants, Children, and Adolescents” and The Pediatric Pain Management and Sedation Handbook,” both considered leading texts in the field of pediatric anesthesiology and pain medicine.

“One of my favorite TV award shows is the Kennedy Center Honors the yearly televised ceremony that honors 5 of America’s greatest living artists. Many years ago when Leonard Bernstein, the great composer and former conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, won the award he looked around at the other honorees and wondered aloud why he was receiving the award because he, unlike the others, was still active and not past his prime.  Well I am honored and speechless (and for those who know me, you know how out of character this is) by this award and like Mr. Bernstein, I am hoping that my best work is still ahead of me!” - Myron Yaster, MD

Dr. Yaster will receive the Myron Yaster Lifetime Achievement Award on October 10th at the 28th Annual Meeting of the Society in New Orleans.  It is a true honor (shared by many others) to list Myron as one of my mentors.  I hope you all come and join in the celebration with Myron.

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