The CSA Board of Directors meeting was conducted virtually on Sunday afternoon, April 18 immediately following the conclusion of CSA’s two-day Annual Meeting, which was also held on a virtual platform.
In 2022, we are all hoping to convene in person in sunny San Diego to experience world-class CME content and presenters and enjoy each other’s company once again!
The board received a report from Audit Committee Chair and former CSA President William Feaster, MD, MBA, FASA, which featured comments from the Dave Ljung, the principal of CSA’s new auditing firm, Gilbert and Associates in Sacramento. Dr. Feaster noted that CSA received a clean audit for 2020 and for the first time, the committee authorized a consolidated financial report that included finances from both CSA and GASPAC, which, according to Gilbert, is consistent with General Accounting Procedures for nonprofit associations of CSA’s size.
Mr. Ljung informed the board that CSA was financially sound – among the top 20% of similar associations – with assets totaling 18 months of operating expenses, versus the standard six months. Mr. Ljung noted that this presented the board with the opportunity to continue to invest surplus funds relatively aggressively and suggested the board has the opportunity to invest some surplus in priority programs that would benefit CSA members.
CSA Treasurer, John Hsieh, MD, FASA, reported that CSA ended the year with over $400,000 in net revenue due to relatively steady membership revenue, increased investment income and reduced event and travel expenses due to COVID restrictions. Dr. Hsieh reminded the board that the budget approved by the House of Delegates included a modest deficit primarily due to conservative estimates for membership revenue.
After some discussion, the board approved a recommendation by the Executive Committee to authorize $15,000 to support survey research to better assess the needs of resident members and early career physicians to increase the conversion of resident members to active membership and to increase retention among young physicians.
Education and Programs Division (EPD)
EPD Chair, Richard Applegate, MD, MBA, reported that over 200 paid registrants participated in the just concluded CSA Annual Meeting, which included approximately 50 non-CSA members. This revenue combined with modest sponsor support will allow CSA to realize a small net profit on the meeting. Dr. Applegate recognized CSA’s Practice Management Committee Chair Christopher Tirce MD, FASA, for leading a valuable and informative session on Saturday, and David Copenhaver, MD, for leading Sunday’s Pain Management program, affectionately known as Pain Day. Pain Day included an engaging session with the new Executive Director of the California Medical Board and two staff members with the California Attorney General’s Office, which highlighted the role of the medical board in the assessing and evaluating problematic opioid prescribing juxtaposed to case law and penalties levied through the Attorney General’s Office. Pain Day attracted non-CSA members as the session offered the opportunity for other California physicians to obtain education required by the Medical Board of California (12 hours of CME) on pain management and the treatment of terminally ill and dying patients which must include education on the risks of addiction associated with the use of Schedule II drugs.
Dr. Applegate also reviewed elements of a more stringent set of disclosure requirements for committee members, program chairs and speakers associated with CSA’s CME programs. The new requirements were established by the ACCME, which establishes standards and provides oversight to certified medical education and apply to all similar organizations in the US.
Legislative and Practice Affairs Division (LPAD)
LPAD Chair, Anthony Hernandez Conte, MD, MBA, FASA, thanked board members and others who attended the virtual fundraising reception for GASPAC on Saturday, April 17. The effort raised over $25,000 in additional funds for GASPAC from over 40 individuals and included one $7,500 contribution from East Bay Anesthesia Group.
Practice Affairs Committee
Practice Affairs Committee Chair, Christopher Tirce, MD, FASA, reported that traffic on the Practice Management Committee pages of the CSA website continued to generate significant traffic with Resident Resources, Op-eds and Educational Resources receiving the most activity. Dr. Tirce noted the committee would be leading the effort on two of the CSA Board of Directors strategic priorities for 2021: Positioning Anesthesiologists as Leaders in Hospitals and Health Systems; and Defining the Roles of Mid-Level Practitioners in Hospitals and Anesthesia Practices.
Legislative Affairs Committee
Newly appointed Legislative Affairs Committee Chair, Felipe Perez, MD, FASA, reported that recent virtual meetings with state legislators and staff, as part of CMA’s annual Legislative Conference, was very effective in transmitting CSA’s priority policy issues to members of key committees as well as engaging a greater number of CSA members including district directors, delegates and alternates, many of whom are also constituents within legislators’ home districts.
Dr. Perez also recognized the committee’s new Vice Chair, Jenni Telesz, MD, FASA, who was appointed by CSA President Jeffrey Poage, when former committee chair Sunny Jha, MD, left California to practice at Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas.
CSA Lobbyist Bryce Docherty of TDG Strategies provided an overview of CSA’s activities in the state legislature including CSA co-sponsored AB 562 introduced by Evan Low, Chair of the Assembly Business and Professions Committee. AB 562 will establish a mental health resiliency program to provide mental health services to licensed health care providers who provide or have provided consistent in-person healthcare services to COVID-19 patients. Docherty noted that AB 562 presents an opportunity for CSA to forge coalitions with relevant state interests outside the traditional partners within the House of Medicine.
The board meeting also featured presentations from recently established committees and task forces including Edi Ohie, MD, Chair of the Committee on Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI), Greg Hammer, MD, Chair of the Task Force on Wellness and Ana Crawford, MD, MSc, FASA, Chair of the Task Force on Global Health, which plans to request approval from the House of Delegates to form as a standing committee.
CSA President Jeffrey Poage, MD, FASA, concluded his final board meeting as CSA President by inviting members to submit comments in the chat describing what they viewed as CSA’s top achievements over the last year. Dr. Poage will publish these comments in a future CSAOF.
The CSA Board of Directors will meet next in a virtual session immediately following the House of Delegates meeting on Sunday, June 6.