Common Values and a Common Voice Speaking for the Specialty
By Randall Flick, MD, MPH, FAAP
This is my first president’s message and I would like to take this opportunity to address two issues that I believe will be of increasing importance to the society and membership; unity and values. Before I do so I must first thank outgoing president, Shobha Malviya for her leadership and mentorship over her many years in leadership. I would also like to wish Nancy Glass all the best as she leaves the board after many years of devoted service and to congratulate our new board members and officers. Kirk Lalwani has moved into the position of President-Elect, Nina Deutsch to the position of Secretary-Treasurer and we have added four new members-at–large; John Fiadjoe, Jennifer K. Lee, Sean Flack, and Peggy McNaull.
Congratulations to them and thanks to our departing board members, Mary Ellen McCann, Wendy Binstock, Randall Clark and Joseph Cravero. Your contributions and wisdom will be greatly missed by the Board.
As president I have the good fortune of inheriting a robust and healthy society that by all measures is thriving in a sea of change that, at times, can be a bit bewildering. Our membership is showing steady growth, winter meeting attendance has now reached one thousand and our endowment has grown to about five million dollars. The Society now has three sections chartered within the by-laws and others that may seek that status in the future. The Congenital Cardiac Anesthesia Society, the Society for Pediatric Pain Management and the Pediatric Anesthesia Leadership Council represent critical areas within the specialty and are invaluable members of the SPA family as are all the committees, special interest groups and work groups.
As you know there are storm clouds on the horizon and the future is replete with challenge and uncertainty. Financing of healthcare is likely to undergo significant change which is almost certain to put more pressure on our home institutions, corporate supporters and on each one of us as we consider how to use whatever resources we are able to devote to society membership, meeting attendance and philanthropic support. Whether positive or negative, growth and change in the life of an organization creates stress just as it does in an individual or a family. As a family of pediatric anesthesiologists together we must confront change by remaining united, speaking with a common voice and most importantly being always mindful of our culture, values and mission. It is my responsibility as president, our responsibility as a board and your responsibility as members, no matter what the political or social climate, to adhere to the core values of our society. Transparency, inclusion, mutual respect and tolerance are among the values that have been and remain the bedrock of the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia. As a society we are always stronger when we come together as colleagues to speak with a single respectful voice about those things that first and foremost advance the mission of our specialty and the great organization that speaks for it.
Together, the future of the SPA is as bright as it has ever been.
I want to thank you for your commitment to the Society and you confidence in me as your board president. Please feel free to send me your thoughts and comments.