I hope everyone had a great summer with some time for friends and family. Perhaps with the kids back in school, our OR lists are a bit shorter. By the time that you read this, many of you will have successfully completed the board examination in pediatric anesthesiology. Many of us have now successfully navigated this adventure and can put it aside for the next 10 years. I am looking forward to seeing many of you in San Diego for the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia meeting on October 23rd followed by the ASA meeting. At the same time as the ASA, the AAP will be holding its National Conference & Exhibition in Washington, DC. Our Section has two sessions that are cosponsored with the Committee on Substance Abuse and the Section on Adolescent Health: "Is Marijuana Really Harmless: What Pediatricians Need to Know When Counseling Teens and Families about Marijuana" as well as "Pain Medicine and Adolescents: Special Considerations."
We are actively preparing for the 2016 combined meeting of the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia and the Section on Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine of the Academy of Pediatrics, which will be held April 1-3, 2016, at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. For those who may be interested, the abstract submission deadline is November 16th. I am anticipating our usual lively and informative academic events at the meeting. As always, the AAP Section on Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine will be sponsoring several events, including the presentation of the AAP Robert M. Smith Award, the Ask the Experts Panel, the AAP Advocacy Lecture, as well as the presentation of awards to the top three abstracts from our in-training colleagues.
The 2016 Robert M. Smith award will be presented to Dr Lynne Maxwell, formerly of the Johns Hopkins Hospital and now of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. As one of Lynne's former fellows, I can think of no one who deserves this award more than she. Please be sure to join us as we celebrate the career of Dr Maxwell who played such a significant role in the training of so many of us (see page 6 for more information about our esteemed 2016 Robert M. Smith Award winner). Dr David J. Schonfeld, Director of the National Center for School Crisis & Bereavement and Professor of Pediatrics at Drexel University College of Medicine, will deliver the AAP Advocacy Lecture entitled "The Second Victim: Impact of Disasters on Families and Caregivers" (see page 8 of the current SOA Newsletter for information about a new policy statement authored by Dr Schonfeld). Dr Courtney Hardy from Lurie Children's Hospital will moderate the session. Dr Schonfeld will highlight important issues regarding how our work affects us, our lives, and our families. The Ask the Experts Panel will be moderated by Dr Rita Agarwal from Stanford University. The session will include two speakers on topics related to the skin, including Dr Louise Furukawa from Stanford University discussing Epidermolysis Bullosa and Dr John McCall from the Shriners' Hospital for Children in Cincinnati discussing "Burns: Management and Complications." The final offering from the AAP Section on Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine will be the John J. Downes Resident Research Awards for the top three abstracts from our trainees. The session will be highlighted by brief oral presentations from the young investigators. Dr Kirk Lalwani and I will moderate the session.
The AAP Section Executive Committee holds business meetings at the SPA's annual meeting in the fall and again at the combined SPA/AAP Winter meeting. At our fall meeting last year, we officially welcomed Rita Agarwal as our incoming Chairperson-Elect. She will assume responsibilities as Chairperson starting this November after the ASA meeting. Also in November, Drs Nina Guzzetta and Mary Landrigan-Ossar will join the leadership of our Section as new Executive Committee members. In March 2016, we will be electing a new Chairperson-Elect who will serve as Chairperson after Dr Agarwal's two-year term is complete in the Fall of 2017.
The ongoing initiatives of the AAP Section on Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine continue to focus on the improved health and well-being of pediatric patients of all ages. The AAP has endorsed a revised version of the 2012 SmartTots Consensus Statement on the Use of Anesthetics and Sedatives in Children. It has been endorsed by 19 organizations and was released on October 13 (for more information, see page 7 of the current SOA Newsletter). We expect that a revision of the "Guidelines for the Pediatric Perioperative Anesthesia Environment," to be titled "Critical Elements for Anesthesia Care in the Pediatric Perioperative Environment," will be published in Pediatrics in December 2015. We are also working with the AAP in hopes of creating an online CME course on pediatric pain management through the AAP's online CME platform, PediaLink. Thanks to Rita Agarwal for her amazing and endless work on this project.
The SOA continues their work on developing platforms for the education of physicians and healthcare providers on appropriate opioid use. We have been working with the Committee on Substance Abuse, as part of the by Providers' Clinical Support System for Opioid Therapies grant from SAMHSA, to begin developing a 6-part webinar series aimed at preventing, identifying, and treating opioid dependence. The first webinar in the series, which was offered in July 2015, focused on the Neurobiology of Pain. The second webinar, offered in August 2015, focused on Strategies for Pain Management. Four additional webinars will be offered in the near future. The AMA is currently working to develop a CME product for primary care providers on the topic of opioids. Rita Agarwal is participating as the AAP's representative to the AMA Pain Management Expert Panel.
Dr Connie Houck continues to serve as the Chair of the AAP Surgical Advisory Panel (SAP). The Surgical Advisory Panel is an active committee consisting of all of the Chairs of the AAP's surgical sections, including Neurological Surgery, Ophthalmology, Oral Health, Orthopedics, Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Radiology, Surgery, Urology and Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine. The SAP Chair serves as the surgical subspecialty advisor to both the Section Forum Management Committee and the AAP Board of Directors. Connie's election to this post serves as a landmark accomplishment for pediatric anesthesiologists, as she is both the first non-surgeon and the first woman to be elected to this prestigious post. I know that we can look forward to many more amazing accomplishments from Dr Houck.
The AAP Section on Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine recently published a 12-chapter handbook on procedural sedation, which Dr Joseph Cravero and I edited. The handbook is meant as an educational guide covering all aspects of procedural sedation for pediatric practitioners and nurses from various specialties. It represents a collaborative effort with our pediatric colleagues from various arenas, including authors from the fields of emergency medicine, anesthesiology, critical care medicine, and child life. Please take a look at it on the AAP website (http://shop.aap.org/Procedural-Sedation-for-Infants-Children-and-Adolescents-Paperback) and consider purchasing a copy for yourself or your department (see page 17 of the current SOA Newsletter for more information about the manual, including a promo code to receive 15% off).
The above items are just a few of the many benefits of belonging to the AAP, which continues to serve as the premier organization promoting the overall health and well-being of infants and children of all ages. Please encourage your fellows and faculty to consider joining the AAP and the Section on Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine.
After the October ASA meeting, Dr Rita Agarwal will be assuming the role of Chairperson of the AAP Section on Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine Section. It has been my immense honor and pleasure to serve as the Chairperson over the past 2 years. I have gained even greater respect for what the AAP does to ensure the safety of children. The successes would not have been possible without the hard work and support of the many members of the committee. I am especially indebted to the support, advice and friendship of Drs Carolyn Bannister and Connie Houck. I am continually amazed at the inspiring work of Dr Corrie Anderson in the preparation of our newsletter. Above all, I am indebted to Jennifer Riefe, Manager of the AAP Section on Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine. She is the "behind the scenes" power to the organization. None of our accomplishments would be possible without her guidance and gentle reminders.
I look forward to seeing everyone soon in San Diego and then in the spring in Colorado Springs. I hope that the weather will cooperate and that we can hold off the advance of winter for a few more weeks. I welcome phone calls, curb side chats at meetings or emails with suggestions as to how to improve our section.