By Randall Flick, MD, MPH, FAAP
My term as SPA president will come to an end this fall and so it is a good time to reflect and say thanks. Before I do, let me first give you an update on the upcoming fall meeting in San Francisco.
The team led by SPA Education Committee chair, Kirk Lalwani; program chair, Justin Lockman; co-chair, Debnath Chatterjee; and shadow, Tammy Wang have put together a wonderful program that will cover a broad range of exciting and interesting topics including a PedX session in which the lectures are shortened to 15 minutes. This rapid fire format should be fun and will pack a huge amount of content in a very short time. Also featured is a talk from the inventor of the artificial womb, a session on thoracic anesthesia and, to complete the day, Steve Shafer will discuss disruptive technology and transformative innovation. A fantastic program from a great team. Thanks to all!
Let me also update you on a few other important activities at the Society. Bill Greeley is pushing our strategic plan forward and has also partnered with Peggy McNaull to help the Society review the scope and content of fellowship training. We owe Bill and Peggy a big thanks for all the effort they have put into this process. Jim Fehr, Anna Clebone and the Quality & Safety committee are helping to resuscitate the PediCrisis app. A new and improved version should be available very soon thanks to the amazing work of Mike Anderson and Jeff Hottle, the husbands of SPA members Gina Whitney and Kim Strupp. They have totally revamped the app for both iOS and Android platforms and have done so as volunteers…incredible!
Other ongoing projects include a partnership with the American College of Surgeons to participate in the NSQIP quality database; with the help of Lynn Martin and Shobha Malviya we have undertaken an extensive review of Wake Up Safe; and Jennifer Lee and a group of passionate colleagues have established a mentoring program for women that will kick off this fall. We have embarked on a project to document the history of the Society which should be available in book form next year. Dr. Britta Regli-von Ungern-Sternberg, MD, MB, BCh, PhD will be joining us as our second Distinguished International Scholar, and I will be attending the second gathering of society presidents at the International Assembly for Pediatric Anesthesia in Brussels. No doubt I have failed to mention more than one important initiative, event or individual, and if so, please forgive me.
I will close by saying thanks to my friends and colleagues on the Executive Committee and Board of Direcors, all those who chair and participate on the many committees, the wonderful staff at Ruggles especially Kim and Stewart who literally make the trains run on time, and to Shobha Malviya who will be leaving the Board after more than ten years of service. Always, most important are you, the members, who define the future of the specialty and the society. These two years have gone quickly but it has been a great experience and I am confident that under Kirk’s Lalwani’s leadership the Society is in great hands.