Recent Postings

1.  Happy holidays. Thanks to everyone for making anesthesia and surgery safer throughout West Virginia.

2.  Meetings during 2013

  • Jan 25-27. ASA Practice Management Conference, Las Vegas. Information at,
  • Feb 14-15 WVSMA. Physician Practice Conference and Annual Business Meeting, Charleston. Information at, If several WVSSA members attend we will organize a luncheon for them.
  • Mar 2-3. ASA Board of Directors. Drs. Skaff, Graf and Johnstone will represent WVSSA and report on activities.
  • Apr 29-May 1 ASA Legislative Conference, Washington DC. Information at, WVSSA will send a contingent again to this advocacy meeting. It is not clear at this time if Congress will be in session on these dates, so this meeting could change.
  • Aug 17-18. ASA Board of Directors. Drs. Skaff, Graf and Johnstone will represent WVSSA and report on activities.
  • Aug 24-25. WVSSA Annual Education and Business Meeting at the Greenbrier. Our meeting is held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the WVSMA, which has not finalized its plans. More information in the future.
  • Oct 12-16. ASA annual Meeting, San Francisco. Information at, Meeting

3.  Pain clinic regulation. Several notices of proposed rule-making have been filed recently in West Virginia, including ones regulating pain clinics and offering limited prescriptive authority for advanced practice nurses. Each is open for public comments. The WVSMA and ASA monitor these proposed rules and alert us to important developments. Of most interest to anesthesiologists is one that regulates pain clinics. This regulation follows recent legislation aimed at battling prescription drug abuse. Find the regulation at, The WVSSA occasionally comments on proposed rules, as do members individually.

4.  Anesthesiologists assistants. AAs work in all the states surrounding West Virginia, and are trained at schools in Maryland and Ohio. West Virginia University has had an AA in the department for many years, working under delegatory authority, similar to other physician assistants. WV has a large number of nurse anesthetists. Nationally NAs have campaigned against AAs. An attorney representing the WV Nurse Anesthetists Association recently sent a letter to the WV Board of Medicine that questioned the standing of AAs in the state. The BOM response stated in part:

The BOM response conflicts somewhat with a previous letter from them. WV has not previously been an active state for nurses in their scope of practice battles or attempts to restrict the mid-level practice of anesthesia to nurses. WVSSA will continue to monitor the situation.

5.  Elections. Last month the WVSSA endorsed Representatives Shelly Moore Capito and David McKinley for the US House of Representatives, and Delegate Amanda Pasdon for the WV House of Delegates. They have shown great understanding of anesthesiology issues. Each won re-election.

6.  Member survey results. In July the ASA surveyed a sample of members about their state societies. 3149 members responded, 69 from West Virginia. Here are the most pertinent questions and results for all and for WV responders:

  • “ASA members are required to join the state association for the state in which they reside. How valuable is your state association membership?”

All WV
Very valuable 28% 33%
Somewhat valuable 38% 33%
Not very valuable 22% 19%
Not at all valuable 12% 14%

  • “State society communications: How satisfied are you with the communications and advocacy support provided by ASA and your state society?”

All WV
Very satisfied 26% 33%
Somewhat satisfied 48% 33%
Not very satisfied 19% 20%
Not at all satisfied 7% 13%

  • “State society advocacy support: How satisfied are you with the communications and advocacy support provided by ASA and your state society?”

All WV
Very satisfied 26% 20%
Somewhat satisfied 45% 33%
Not very satisfied 20% 33%
Not at all satisfied 17% 13%

Survey results for WV are similar to those for all states. The full survey results will be reviewed by WVSSA officers and presented at the WVSSA annual meeting. The intent of the WVSSA is to serve the educational, practice and advocacy needs of its members. Members with ideas for improving any aspect of the society are encouraged to share them with WVSSA officers.

7.  Dues for 2013 can be paid this year if desired. Dues are the same this year as last ($845 for ASA and WVSSA combined), and are collected by the ASA. As a reminder members must belong to both the national and component (state) societies to belong to either. Dues can be paid on line at,

8.  Newsletters. Find past issues of our Newsletter on the WVSSA website at,

2013 WVSSA officers and their e-address:
President/Delegate Brian Grose, MD –
President-Elect/Alt Del Michael Panger, MD –
Secretary-Treasurer Robert Johnstone, MD –
Director Alex Skaff, MD –
Director Designate Robert Johnstone, MD –
Alt Dir/Delegate David Graf, MD –

WVSSA officers are glad to hear from members and to help with any issues.

Robert Johnstone, MD
WVSSA Secretary


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