“We are all anesthesiologists and we are all in this together.”
– Jeffrey Plagenhoef, MD, ASA President-Elect
This past weekend, the CSA House of Delegates met in San Francisco to elect new officers, discuss issues affecting anesthesiologists across the state, to plan for the future of the society, and ultimately, to implement change within our specialty.
The CSA had the honor of having Jeffrey Plagenhoef, MD, the current President-Elect of the ASA, kick off the meeting with a dynamic talk about professional citizenship. He highlighted the role anesthesiologists have in advocating for patient safety, and encouraged all physicians to speak up against any political agenda that undermines the important role anesthesiologists play in the care-team model.
Dr. Plagenhoef’s talk specifically addressed a direct and immediate threat to the practice of anesthesiology - proposed changes to the VA Nursing Handbook, recently posted in the Federal Register, which proposes to provide “full practice authority” to non-physician practitioners within the VA system, including anesthesia care. Dr. Plagenhoef urged all members of the CSA to submit comments at www.safeVAcare.org in opposition to the rule. Citing ASA’s “1+5 campaign”, he challenged all CSA members to recruit five additional people from among friends, family and colleagues, to submit comments during the comment period, which closes July 24th.
The CSA awarded its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, to Linda Mason, MD, a past president of the CSA who is currently the Secretary of the ASA. Dr. Mason is unopposed in her bid to become the next First Vice President of the ASA, which will lead in turn to her becoming the President-Elect and then the President of the ASA in 2018. Dr. Mason has devoted her career to pediatric anesthesiology, and is Professor of Anesthesiology as well as the Program Director of the Pediatric Anesthesia Fellowship at Loma Linda University.
The House heard reports from officers:
- Linda Hertzberg, MD, ASA Director, reported on initiatives at the national level, and received the CSA’s wholehearted support in her contested race for ASA Assistant Secretary;
- Judi Turner, MD, PhD, Assistant Treasurer, presented the budget for the next year, which includes new allocations for evaluating the feasibility of a CSA charitable foundation, and for funding a community outreach project to support STEM education in public schools;
- Karen Sibert, MD, Secretary, reported an increase of more than 300 in the CSA’s active membership since the transition to unified billing with the ASA;
- Jeff Poage, MD, LPAD Chair, reported on CSA’s extensive advocacy efforts in the State Legislature, in partnership with KP Public Affairs, CSA’s lobbying firm.
James Moore, MD, the current CSA President, who concluded his term at the House of Delegates meeting, reported on many of the achievements the CSA made over the last year. He highlighted the continued efforts of the CSA to foster relationships with California’s legislators, the success of defeating a bill that would have mandated Medicare payment rates for out of network patients, and the ongoing campaign to create an opportunity for Certified Anesthesiologist Assistants (CAAs) to work California. Dr. Moore extended special thanks to William Feaster, MD, MBA, for his years of extraordinary contribution to the CSA. Dr. Feaster has chosen not to seek reelection to the post of Treasurer, but will chair the committee that will evaluate the establishment of a CSA charitable foundation.
Mark Zakowski, MD, the President-Elect, officially took the reins from Dr. Moore as he outlined his plans for the CSA over the coming year. He reiterated his commitment to advocacy and discussed his plans to expand the relationship between the CSA and the CMA. He also hopes to increase young member involvement within the society, and build a stronger mentorship program.
Marc Leib, MD, JD, who chairs the ASA Committee on Economics, gave the House a highly informative update on two topics: the impact of ICD-10, and the financial implications of the MACRA law (Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act) which was passed by Congress last year.
Four new resolutions were addressed by the House of Delegates:
- The delegation voted to support a resolution by Assistant Treasurer Judi Turner, MD, PhD, to provide future funding for resident members to attend the CSA HOD meeting. The funding will cover travel expenses in addition to overnight accommodations, and is designed to increase resident participation.
- The House also voted in favor of two resolutions presented by Dr. Zakowski. Both resolutions support “one standard of care on behalf of patient safety across the continuum of care for deep sedation/general anesthesia.” The first resolution supports the CMS and ASA interpretations that a surgeon/proceduralist cannot focus on both the procedure and the administration of anesthesia/monitoring. The second resolution supports physician-led anesthesia care, which improves patient safety outcomes, and maintains the highest standards of patient safety.
- A resolution authored by Kenneth Pauker, MD, a past CSA President, would have changed CSA bylaws in two respects:
- Altering the method of election for the office of President Emeritus, and defining the role of the President Emeritus in more detail;
- Altering the structure and function of the Committee on Leadership Development and Nomination (CoLDaN).
This resolution was considered carefully by the Reference Committee, which recommended referral to a committee of the President’s choice. The House voted to affirm the Reference Committee’s recommendation, requesting a report back on the results.
The CSA extends congratulations to the following officers who were elected to new positions:
||Mark Zakowski, MD
||Karen Sibert, MD
||Judi Turner, MD, PhD
||John Hsieh, MD
||Rima Matevosian, MD
||Phillip Levin, MD
|LPAD Vice Chair for Legislative Affairs:
||Annie Lee, MD
The following officers will continue in their present positions for the upcoming year:
|Speaker of the House:
||Christine Doyle, MD
|Vice-Speaker of the House:
||Ed Mariano, MD, MAS
||Sam Wald, MD, MBA
||Jeff Poage, MD
|LPAD Vice-Chair for Practice Affairs:
||Keith Chamberlin, MD, MBA
The following CSA members were nominated to new three-year terms as ASA delegates: Drs. Keith Chamberlin, Neal Cohen, William Feaster, Robert Martin, James Moore, Johnathan Pregler, Jeffrey Rusheen, Earl Strum, Sam Wald, Zeev Kain, Rajesh Patel, Annie Lee, Sydney Thomson, and Harrison Chow.
In the Board of Directors meeting that immediate followed the HOD meeting, Dr. Zakowski announced the new rosters of committee members. Edgar Canada, MD, was elected by the Board to serve a two-year term as President Emeritus.