ASA and ASAPAC Update

  • Hertzberg, Linda, MD, FASA
| Aug 31, 2020

Linda_HertzbergCalifornia does it again!!! After a hiatus last year in which Texas took the top spot, California and the CSA prevailed in the ASAPAC’s 7th Annual “DoC Challenge” held on August 26. ASAPAC raised $938,389.08 and shattered last year’s results.

California raised $104,426 from 542 contributors, which represented 14 percent of active CSA members and residents and was nearly $10,000 more than CSA raised last year. While these numbers are significant, because of California’s size, it is difficult for CSA to compete in the category of percentage of membership participating. However, below are some interesting statistics:

  • California makes up 9.6% of the ASA membership.
  • CSA comprised 14.1% of the total donors.
  • CSA accounted for 11% of the total dollars raised.

Top Contributing States:                 

1. California - $104,426.67                          

2. Indiana - $77,179.00                             

3. Texas - $76,298.77                             

4. Florida - $51,616.99                            

5. Missouri - $49,415.00                             

6. South Carolina - $48,906.66                    

7. Tennessee - $37,861.66                     

8. Alabama - $32,235.20                        

9. North Carolina - $30,292.52                 

10. Colorado - $29,825.00  

Many thanks to California’s ASAPAC Board member Paul Yost, MD, FASA, for his tireless efforts on the DoC challenge, and to the CSA staff, CSA Board Members and Committee Chairs who encouraged their districts, practice forums, committees, and colleagues to donate.

In other ASA news, the ASA Board of Directors met virtually the weekend of August 15-16. Since there was no need to travel, multiple members of the CSA Board of Directors were able to avail themselves of the opportunity to attend. Instead of the usual late Friday evening drinks and Board packet review, we held a Zoom California Caucus on Thursday, August 13 and a Zoom Western Caucus on Friday, August 14. With a little pre-planning both felt very manageable despite the larger than usual number of attendees.

The same could not necessarily be said for the actual BOD meeting. The ASA contracted with DAHLIA+Agency to run the events at the actual BOD meeting. However, to make this work all presenters, moderators, speakers, etc. had to be in a Zoom meeting first and this Zoom meeting was then projected into the dahliaplus platform for the attendees. This created a lag of approximately 10-30 seconds. Presenters needed to be on two devices, one for each platform in order to see where things were in the presentation and in the chat box. For anything interactive or for in person questions or comments attendees in the dahliaplus platform had to ask to speak and then were entered into the Zoom platform.  This made for awkward delays along the way and was especially noticeable during the Administrative Affairs Review Committee hearing. 

On both Saturday and Sunday, things improved as the day went on, as participants became accustomed to the two platforms and how they worked together. The chat feature seemed to work fairly well for comments and testimony but was not universally used. If this experience is an indication of what may happen at the governance and educational portions of the ASA, it may be problematic. Hopefully the ASA will learn from this experience and the Annual Meeting will be a little more seamless.

In a departure from the traditional format and to shorten the Saturday format, the educational sessions were held on both Saturday and Sunday. The Review Committees followed the educational sessions on Saturday, and the actual BOD meeting followed them on Sunday. Since no one had to rush out to catch a plane on Sunday, this worked well.

Saturday’s educational session opened with the traditional candidate’s forum. ASA Treasurer and CSA Past President Michael Champeau, MD, FASA, gave an outstanding speech to introduce his candidacy for CSA First Vice-President, for which he is currently running unopposed. ASA Director from Wisconsin, James Mesrobian, MD, FASA, is running for ASA Assistant Treasurer and also spoke. Current Assistant Treasurer Donald Arnold, MD, FASA, will move up to Treasurer upon Dr. Champeau’s (presumptive) election as First Vice-President. Paul Pomerantz gave the CEO report in which he presented the challenges and changes the COVID-19 pandemic has created within the administrative organization of the ASA. ASA President-Elect, Beverly Philip MD, FASA, presented an updated one-year strategic plan which also took into account the effects of the pandemic on the organization.

Following the educational sessions, the Review Committee Hearings were held sequentially. Pre-submitted written testimony was encouraged and read aloud. In addition, verbal testimony was accepted. In the Administrative Affairs hearing this process was slow and painful due to the dual platform but improved with the subsequent committees. Action items of note were:

Administrative Affairs:

260-3.2 Proposed Administrative Procedure Revisions – this proved unexpectedly controversial since the governance staff tried to change the reporting deadlines for the HOD for component societies to May 1, rendering such reports uninformative out of date by the time of the HOD. Much testimony was heard against this change and this item was ultimately referred to a committee of the President’s choice the next day on recommendation of the review committee and vote of the BOD.

300-2 Changes were suggested to editorial board and speaker stipends which also proved controversial. This recommendation was amended to cut editorial board stipends by 10 percent for 2021 only. A committee of the President’s choice will study issues related to appropriate, transparent, and equitable recognition of member work on both editorial boards and committees and make recommendations for 2022 and beyond.

357 -1.2 The Committee on Anesthesia Care Team put forward a new Statement on Physician-Led Anesthesia Care which was approved.

Professional Affairs:

406-1.3 Committee on Ethics – Guidelines for the Ethical Practice of Anesthesiology. This was accepted with a minor revision.

411-2.2-2.9 Committee on Quality Management and Departmental Administration (QMDA) – Four new or revised Statements were presented

  • Statement on Standard Practice for Avoidance of Medication Errors in Neuraxial Anesthesia – accepted with minor revisions
  • Statement on Distractions - accepted
  • Statement on Fatigue – accepted with minor revisions
  • Statement on Administration of Medications – accepted with minor revisions

427-2 Committee on Economics – Approved the new/ revised ASA Physical Classification system which now includes both pediatric and obstetric examples.

Scientific Affairs:

527-1 Committee on Pain Medicine – last year the committee submitted a document which was considered controversial and was pulled prior to BOD consideration for further work. This year the committee submitted a new Statement on the Practice of Pain Medicine. The board accepted the document with minor revisions, by striking the word “collaboration” as it applied to advance practice nurses in two places in the document and rewording those sentences.


No action items

All of these items will come to the ASA House of Delegates in October for final disposition, so if you have an opinion on any item, please submit testimony to the Reference Committees for the HOD. Written or oral testimony by any member will be accepted. I recommend the written format.

Sunday’s educational session included an AMA update from Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD, who spoke about the congruent interests of the AMA and ASA, and on AMA’s efforts on diversity and inclusion in health care and within the AMA. ASA Vice President for Scientific Affairs, Andrew Rosenberg, MD, FASA, outlined the plans for the ASA’s Virtual Annual Meeting Plan.

Lastly, Crystal Wright, MD, FASA, and I moderated a panel on diversity and inclusion in Anesthesiology that featured FAER President Harriet Hopf, MD, FASA, who spoke on the meanings of diversity and inclusion in general. Elizabeth Rebello, MD, FASA, past Chair of the Committee on Professional Diversity spoke on prior efforts of the ASA in this arena. We conducted a brief online discussion and then polled the participants about what they felt were the best next steps for the ASA. The poll results have not yet been analyzed but I will share them when they are available. This session and the poll results meshed well with CSA’s own efforts on diversity, equity, and inclusion.




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