Section on Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
Chair's Message

Dr Tobias

Joseph Tobias

Happy New Year and best wishes for a joyous, healthy, and productive 2015. I am sure that we all found our operating rooms busier than ever toward the end of 2014 as patients and parents tried to get their elective surgery before the end of another fiscal year. Although we have had a pause from the interview season, it seems that the next batch of fellowship applicants are already knocking on our doors as we start scheduling interviews for the 2016 applicant pool. We have also seen the second installation of the board examination in pediatric anesthesiology come and go. I know that many of us have now overcome this hurdle and have put that aside, at least for the next 10 years.

I am looking forward to seeing many of you in Phoenix, Arizona in March at the Winter Meeting of the Society for Pediatric Anesthesiology and the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Section on Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine in Phoenix, Arizona. We invite you to join us for a fabulous celebration commemorating the 50th anniversary of the AAP Section on Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine. The reception will be held from 6:00 to 7:30 PM on Saturday evening during the meeting. Due to the gracious donations from many departments, there is no fee for this gala event. Everyone is welcome to attend regardless of whether or not you are a member of the AAP Section on Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine. So please stop by and celebrate this anniversary with us.

I am also anticipating our usual lively and informative academic events at the meeting. The AAP will be highlighted during the meeting with our usual sessions, 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 2015 Robert M. Smith award will be presented by Dr. Rita Agarwal to Dr. Charles Lockhart from Denver’s Children’s Hospital. Please be sure to join us as we celebrate the career of Dr. Lockhart who helped shape the modern era of pediatric anesthesiology. Dr. Gerald Hickson from Vanderbilt University will deliver the AAP Advocacy Lecture entitled: Patient Advocacy Reporting System (PARS). PARS is a peer-review system developed by Dr. Hickson and his colleagues at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Hickson will offer insight not only into the potential adverse effects of disruptive behavior on patient outcomes, but also interventions to deal with and potentially correct it.

The Ask the Experts Panel will include two speakers on timely topics in pediatric cardiac anesthesia. Dr. Dean Andropoulos from Texas Children’s Hospital will discuss recent information regarding neurodevelopmental outcomes after cardiac surgery while Dr. Annette Schure will update us on high-risk cardiac lesions for non-cardiac surgery including Williams syndrome, pulmonary hypertension, and sinusoids. 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 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 this year, we officially welcomed Rita Agarwal as our incoming Chairperson-Elect. We are excited to have her join the Section’s leadership group. We are also in the process of electing 3 new members to the Executive Committee as others have completed their term. I would like to express my personal thanks for the dedication and endless work of the 3 members who have completed their terms including Drs. Corrie Anderson, Courtney Hardy and Mohamed A. Rehman.

The ongoing initiatives of the AAP Section on Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine continue to focus on the improved health and well-being of pediatric patients of all ages. The AAP annual meeting, the National Conference & Exhibition (NCE), and the Annual Leadership Forum (ALF) offer the unique opportunity for us to meet and interact with our colleagues in general pediatrics as well as surgical and medical subspecialties.

The AAP Section on Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine is eagerly awaiting the publication of a 12 chapter handbook on Procedural Sedation, edited by Dr. Joseph Cravero and myself. We are in the final copy-editing stage and hope to see this work come to fruition in the late summer or early fall. The handbook is meant as an educational guide covering all aspects of procedural sedation for pediatric practitioners and nurses from various specialties. The handbook is 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.

These 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. We would ask all of you to encourage your fellows and faculty to consider joining the AAP and its Section on Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine.

Before concluding, I want to highlight a recent accomplishment of Dr. Connie Houck, former Chair of the Section on Anesthesiology & Pain Section. Connie was elected as the new Chair of the Surgical Advisory Panel (SAP). The Surgical Advisory Panel is an active committee consisting of all of the Chairs of the surgical sections including Neurological Surgery, Ophthalmology, Oral Health, Orthopedics, Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Radiology, Surgery, Urology and Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine. The SAP Chair serves as the surgical subspecialty advisor to both the Section Forum Management Committee and the AAP Board of Directors. This is a huge accomplishment for us as pediatric anesthesiologists as Connie is both the first non-surgeon and also the first woman, elected to this prestigious post. I know that we can look forward to more amazing accomplishments from Dr. Houck as she enters this new role.

It is an honor to be the Chairperson of the Section on Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine of the American Academy of Pediatrics. I remain indebted to my fellow committee members for their endless support and dedication to the many items and tasks required of the committee. We are indebted to Jennifer Riefe, Manager for the AAP Section on Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine. A special note of thanks to Linda Raney who did a miraculous job of filling Jen’s shoes during her recent maternity leave. None of our accomplishments would be possible without their guidance and gentle reminders.

I hope that everyone will consider being an active part of the APP and would welcome phone calls, curbside chats at meetings or emails with suggestions as to how to improve our section.


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