Recent Postings

  1. The ASA Legislative Conference will meet Monday, April 29 through Wednesday, May 1 in Washington DC. Find information about the meeting, including the conference agenda as it develops, at, The conference theme this year is “Focus on the Future” and will cover both state legislative and federal regulatory issues. The WVSSA will again send a group of four to eight members to the meeting. If you would like to attend please let Dr. Johnstone, WVSSA Secretary-Treasurer, know. His e-address is
    • We would like to have at least one member from each of the three WV congressional districts attend.
    • The WVSSA will pay the registration fee for each member who attends, as well as $250 towards expenses. In addition the WVSSA will pay for a group dinner at the conference.
    • Residents are encouraged to attend. The WVSSA will pay all the expenses for a resident who attends.
    • Members attending the conference are expected to visit a WV congressional office to educate legislators and staff about anesthesiology issues. The conference announcement notes: “Due to the new abbreviated 2013 Congressional schedule with its focus on in-district work periods, many members of Congress and Senators will be working in their respective Congressional Districts and states that week…Most lawmakers will not be available for meetings. Only staff will be available.” Visits are still encouraged, and make a difference.
    • The conference schedule is such that most attendees can travel to Washington DC Monday morning, and return home on Wednesday afternoon.
    • The conference will be held at the JW Marriott Hotel. Attendees must make their own room reservations. A hotel link will be available through the ASA website.


  1. The West Virginia House of Delegates is now in session, with many bills being introduced that affect anesthesiologists and the practice of medicine. The ASA and WVSSA monitor bills and activities. Members should be ready to support or intervene on pertinent bills.


  1. Karin Coombe, WVU law student and WVSSA member spouse, has proposed a bill that would empower the WV Board of Medicine to regulate anesthesia safety in physician offices where surgery is done. A white paper in support of the proposed bill is titled, “Eliminate Preventable Patient Injury and Death by Regulating Office Surgery”. The introduction from the paper:


Regulation of Office-based Surgery is currently “left” up to the states.  If you have a surgical procedure done in a hospital, you expect to have it done according to safety standards.  If you have the same surgical procedure done in a physician’s office, you would expect to have it done according to safety standards.  However, West Virginia has no safety standards for surgery performed in physicians’ offices.


The boards of medicine and osteopathy lack the authority to regulate surgery performed in physicians’ offices.  West Virginia should enact this bill to give rule making authority to the boards of medicine and osteopathy to regulate office-based surgery.  This bill will allow the boards to create regulations in compliance the American Medical Association’s Core Principles of Office-based Surgery  and the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ Practice Guidelines for Sedation and Analgesia by Non-Anesthesiologists.

The purpose of this bill is to eliminate preventable patient injury and death by regulating the administration of anesthesia used in office-based surgery by physicians supervised by the Board of Medicine and the Board of Osteopathy.  This bill will allow the boards of medicine and osteopathy to regulate office-based surgery by establishing office-based safety standards of care and requiring all physicians’ offices where procedures are performed with moderate sedation/analgesia, deep sedation/analgesia, or general anesthesia to be subject to the office-based surgery standards of care, registration requirements, inspection for compliance requirements, and registration and inspection fees.

Karin Coombe

Karin Coombe

For more information or a copy of the bill white paper contact Ms. Coombe at, If introduced, WVSSA would probably support this patient safety bill.


  1. Annual dues. WVSSA and ASA dues for 2013 are now due. Through the end of January 61 members have paid their dues. Members can find information about membership categories and the benefits of being a member, as well as the link to pay their dues by credit card at,
  2. Several WV anesthesiologists attended the recent ASA Practice Management Conference, which had a total registration of 900. John Zerwas, MD, ASA President, presented an update on Society activities. Some of his points:
    • The ASA is “indispensible to your practice”. The society mission is “Advancing the practice, Securing the future”.
    • The ASA is financially secure. Total reserves are $66.4million. The five largest sources of revenues for the ASA are dues ($19.2million), educational products ($7.2m), meetings ($4.0m), exhibits ($3.8m) and publications ($3.7m).
    • The five largest society expenses are: Education ($10.1million), advocacy ($7.9m), house of delegates and ASA committee support ($7.6m), governance ($7.1m), and related organization support (($3.9m). Related organizations are the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation, Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research, Anesthesia Quality Institute, Anesthesia Foundation, and Wood Library Museum.
    • Membership continues to grow steadily, and should exceed 50,000 this year.
    • The president spent considerable time reviewing some of the exceptional member benefits the ASA offers, including Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology support, a Learning Center that will track member activities and credits for them, the Annual Meeting, the highest-impact journal in anesthesiology sent free to members, and extensive media support.
    • Advocacy priorities include correcting disproportionately low Medicare payments for anesthesiologists, the threat of an unpredictable Independent Payment Advisory Board, promoting truth and transparency among healthcare clinicians, providing rural pass-through Medicare payments for anesthesiologists, clarifying the role of anesthesiologists in meaningful use of electronic anesthesia records, and preventing unsafe drug shortages.
  3. ASAPAC. The ASA Political Action Committee was the top healthcare PAC in the United States last year and among the top 35 PACS, out of 4000, in the country. Participation rate exceeded 20 percent of all anesthesiologists last year, giving the Society considerable effectiveness in getting its messages out. WVSSA has started its campaign for 2013, a year with many regulatory threats. Please contribute to the ASAPAC to help insure our future. Contribute at, Or WVSSA members can send a check made out to ASAPAC to Dr. Johnstone, Secretary-Treasurer, who will forward it and get them a PAC pin.
  4. WVSSA Annual Meeting. The WVSSA Annual Education and Business meeting will again be held in conjunction with the WV State Medical Association at the Greenbrier on August 24 and 25. John Abenstein, MD, ASA First Vice President, will attend and present an ASA Update. We are evaluating the best format – one versus two days, how much CME, outside speakers, etc. If you have thoughts on this please share them with one of the WVSSA officers.
  5. 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 –

Secty-Treas/Director         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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