Message from the President

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

The SPA-AAP Pediatric Anesthesiology 2019 meeting is over, but the memories linger even as we catch our breath. What a meeting it was!

Approximately 1,200 registrants from 22 countries, over 300 faculty, 21 Workshops, 42 PBLDs and 40 committee meetings! A stimulating and engaging program by Dr. Melissa Brooks-Peterson and team, the first ever SPA Gala with the SPA Pinnacle of Merit awards for Dr. Mark Rockoff, Dr. Frank McGowan and Dr. Steven Hall, and every one of the 366 accepted posters assigned a moderator.

The AAP Robert M. Smith Award was presented to the incomparable Dr. Nancy L. Glass for her work in pediatric anesthesia and palliative care, as a mentor, a role model and an icon of what we all aspire to be. The Nominations Committee unanimously voted to select Dr. George A. Gregory to receive the Myron Yaster Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019 at our Annual Meeting in Orlando. Come and celebrate his monumental achievements in pediatric anesthesia and critical care and congratulate him in person. Congratulations to all the awardees!

A superb SPA program bursting with content awaits you in Orlando on October 18, 2019 with 12 PBLDs, the continuation of ten shorter PEDx talks, as well as a session entitled "Mass Casualty Events: Prepare and Practice." We hope to see all of you there, and at the ASA meeting that follows immediately after. We had a very productive meeting with ASA leadership at the SPA, and have agreed on a number of initiatives to ensure closer collaboration between our societies. One change that the ASA has made is to schedule the Subspecialty Panels on Saturday immediately following the SPA meeting, so that it is easier for members to attend in the event they have to return to work over the weekend. A Pediatric Fellowship 'Meet and Greet' event is also planned for resident trainees.

The Trainee Group recently held the Second Trainee Webinar entitled “Transitioning Fellowship to Attending”, and it was very well received. Thanks to Dr. Branden Engorn and team for organizing it, and to all the panelists who participated. It is now up on the SPA website for those who could not log in last week. Similarly, the collaboration with Open Anesthesia continues, with the Second Virtual Grand Rounds and 10th SPA Ask the Expert interview easily accessible via the SPA website for you to indulge in at leisure. (

The SPA Board and Committee members are working hard to implement the recommendations of the Strategic Plan, which were highlighted in the fall newsletter. As we kick into high gear to begin the process of planning the 2020 meeting in the Bahamas, please reach out to us if you have a proposal for a talk or a workshop, especially if you work at an underrepresented institution in terms of participation at our SPA meetings or in committees. We will direct you as best we can to ensure success with your proposal, or find a place for you to be involved with the Society. This applies to your trainees as well. Urge them to become members at the special discounted rate, submit abstracts, co-submit PBLDs with faculty, use and practice emergency care with the PediCrisis app and Critical Events Checklists, and come to the meetings! Please feel free to contact Kim Battle (SPA Association Manager), Dr. Tarun Bhalla (Meeting Planning Chair), Dr. Nina Deutsch (Education Committee Chair), or myself.

Finally, don’t forget to follow SPA on the newly redesigned Facebook page, or on Twitter at @PediAnesthesia.

Vince Lombardi once said, “Individual commitment to a group effort–that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” Thanks again to all of you, our members, who volunteer their time and effort with the Society to help it thrive.

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