Recent Postings

1.     Alex Skaff, MD and David Graf, MD represented WV anesthesiologists at the ASA Board of Directors meeting in Chicago on March 6 and 7. Some items of interest from the meeting:

a.       ASA is in a strong financial position, with its investments rebounding from a decrease during the past two years. The 2010 budget includes revenues of $36.8 million and expenses of $34.1 million and total assets of $62 million. What has especially improved in the past year is non-dues revenue. This is apparent with the abundant advertising in the monthly Newsletter and many educational offerings.

b.      Some ASA infrastructure needs during the next few years will require major expenditures. These include web site renovation ($1.5 million), membership database reconstruction so programs interlink ($2.5 million), new phone system ($500 thousand), new headquarters building ($15 million), and other upgrades.

c.       The most debated issue during the reference committee hearings was the guideline eescribing which component (state) society a member should join. New York leaders preferred a requirement that members join the society where they work. Several people countered, discussing the complexities of anesthesiology work situations. One person recommended members join where they live and vote because that made them more effective political advocates. In the end component society choice was left up to the discretion of the individual.

WV anesthesiologists, Drs Robert Johnstone, David Graf  and Alex Skaff at the BOD meeting, with Alex Hannenberg, MD ASA President

WV anesthesiologists, Drs Robert Johnstone, David Graf and Alex Skaff at the BOD meeting, with Alex Hannenberg, MD ASA President

d.      Minimal criteria for a state component was set at: timely processing of member applications, at least one meeting per year at which officers are elected, at least one member newsletter per year, and a report back to members by the component director of issues raised at the board meeting.

e.       ASA membership is at an all-time high, more than 44,500.

f.       A workgroup is revising the new ASA strategic plan. The new mission statement is “ASA: Advancing the practice and securing the future”. Programs and proposals will be judged whether they further this mission.

g.      Many healthcare reformers are proposing accountable care organizations as a mechanism to control healthcare expenses. The ASA is studying such bundled systems, especially how funds would flow to anesthesiologists.

h.      The Anesthesia Quality Institute has its National Anesthesia Clinical Outcomes Registry up and running. Twenty practices are now contributing practice data. After processes are polished the NACOR will open to everyone. The goal is to have all anesthesiologists participate in it.

i.        The ASA will hold its Annual Meeting this year in San Diego, a military city. The meeting will feature a Saturday evening reception, open to all meeting attendees, with an inspirational patriotic theme. The meeting will also have a blood drive and a morning run in support of wounded warriors.

j.        Two new statements were approved to help anesthesiology departments undergoing accreditation visits:

i.      Statement on Standard Practice for Avoidance of Medication Errors in Neuroaxial Anesthesia

ii.      Statement on Standard Practice for Infection Prevention and Control Instruments for Tracheal Intubation

k.      Patrick Sim, MLS, the long-serving distinguished librarian of the Wood Library Museum, received ASA honorary membership. He is facing health challenges, and was specially recognized by the directors, as well as by Mary Ellen Warner, MD, President of the WLM Board of Directors.

Robert Johnstone, MD, Patrick Sim, MLS, Mary Ellen Warner, MD

Robert Johnstone, MD, Patrick Sim, MLS, Mary Ellen Warner, MD

2.     We have a full contingent of anesthesiologists who will attend the ASA Legislative Conference in Washington DC on April 26-28. The group will call on each of our WV senators and representatives. If you have special information or communications concerning legislative or regulatory priorities please contact one of the group members. They include:

Stuart Cornett, MD                 Beckley

Seth Crislip, MD                     Morgantown/Charleston

Amanda Deskins, DO             Morgantown/Charleston

Richard Driver, MD                Morgantown

David Graf, MD                     Morgantown

Brian Grose, MD                    Morgantown

Ralph Harding, DO                Morgantown

Robert Johnstone, MD            Morgantown

Eric Persily, MD                     Charleston

Alex Skaff, MD                      Charleston

3.      The WVSSA will hold its Annual Meeting in conjunction with the WVSMA Annual Meeting, at the Greenbrier on August 28-29. On Saturday morning we will have several anesthesiology lectures, and on Sunday morning we will have a business meeting. Anyone interested in lecturing should contact Dr Johnstone.

4.    WVSSA will hold a reception on Sunday evening at the ASA Annual Meeting for all WV anesthesiologists attending. The WVU Anesthesiology Department will co-sponsor it, inviting all WVU alumni who are present.

Dues. WVSSA dues for 2010 of $220 are due. Approximately a third of the members have already paid. If you have not, please make your payment. See the invoice at the end of this newsletter. Make checks payable to West Virginia State Society of Anesthesiologists (or WVSSA), and mail to Robert Johnstone, MD, WVSSA Secretary, WVU Anesthesiology, PO Box 8255, Morgantown, WV 26506.

Officers. To contact a WVSSA officer use the e-address below:

President/Delegate            Stuart Cornett, MD –

President-Elect                  Brian Grose, MD –

Secretary-Treasurer           Robert Johnstone, MD –

Director                             Alex Skaff, MD –

Alt Dir/Delegate                David Graf, MD –

Alt Delegate                      Russell Stewart, MD –

Robert Johnstone, MD

WVSSA Secretary


DUES $220

Make check payable to:   WVSSA

Mail to:    Robert E. Johnstone, MD

Secretary, WVSSA

Department of Anesthesiology

PO Box 8255

Morgantown, WV 26506-8

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