Recent Postings

  1. 119 physicians have already renewed their WVSSA and ASA memberships for 2015. Those who have not yet renewed can pay both their national and state society dues by credit card at, Members must belong to both the national and state component societies.


Membership benefits include education, advocacy, and practice support. Find more information on benefits at,


  1. The 2015 West Virginia Legislative session is coming to an end. Several WVSSA members attended legislative meetings to speak on behalf of anesthesiologists and our patients. Special thanks to Drs. Michael Panger, Seth Crislip, Alex Skaff, Ken Nanners, Eric Persily, Chris Payne, and Donna Slayton for successfully representing WV anesthesiologists.


  1. The 2015 Legislative Conference is May 4-6 in Washington DC. West Virginia anesthesiologists attending include Drs. Seth Crislip, Tim Davis, Matt Ellison, Brian Grose, Ralph Harding, Pooya Heiraty, Bob Johnstone, Matt Jordan, Alex Skaff, Justin Stover, and Tom Whealton. The group will review about current legislative and regulatory issues, and visit WV congressional offices to discuss them.
  2. Drs. Alex Skaff and Bob Johnstone attended the ASA Board of Directors meeting in Chicago last weekend. A report of board actions will appear in an upcoming issue of the ASA Newsletter. Some items of interest:
    1.  The two most debated issues involved expansion of the Anesthesia Quality Institute registry and a possible Veterans Administration proposal for independent practice of all advanced practice nurses, including nurse anesthetists.
    2. The board approved $1.35 million from unrestricted reserves to upgrade the National Anesthesia Clinical Outcomes Registry. Now that CMS has approved NACOR as a Qualified Clinical Data, the site needs improvements. An increasing number of members will use the registry to report quality data and earn bonus payments. Surveys showed that many anesthesiology practices do not understanding the QCDR requirements and processes, so member education will be included. NACOR remains free for all ASA members.
    3. The board approved up to $1.5 million of funding, if needed, to respond to any release of a VA policy exempting nurse anesthetists from state laws and physician supervision. Anesthesiologists and the ASA think care teams that are physician led protect patients better.

(L-R) Drs  Bob Johnstone - John Abenstein (ASA President) - Alex Skaff at the March 2015 ASA Board of Directors meeting

(L-R) Drs, Bob Johnstone, John Abenstein (ASA President), Alex Skaff at the March 2015 ASA Board of Directors meeting

  1. The ASA budget for 2015 includes revenues of $48.1 million and expenses of $47.7 million.
  2. The ASA Newsletter will be renamed the ASA Monitor and designed as a monthly magazine. Many businesses prefer advertising in a magazine instead of a newsletter.
  3. Perioperative Surgical Home remains a major ASA initiative, with many successful programs under way. The second PSH summit will meet in California June 27 and 28.
  4. The most bizarre debate involved a proposal to rename the specialty as “anesthesiology and perioperative medicine”. Proponents argued it better reflected what anesthesiologists do, and more clearly differentiated anesthesiology and nursing. Opponents argued that ASA did not have the authority to rename a specialty, and that many departments already use the additional title.
  1. There is one contested ASA officer election this year – a three-person race for Assistant Treasurer among anesthesiologists from California, Tennessee and New Hampshire. Candidates were already busy politicking at this meeting.
  2. The ASA Charitable Foundation is the newest, and sixth, ASA related organization. It sponsors global humanitarian outreach, the Lifebox Campaign, and a Run for the Warriors at the Annual Meeting, among other activities.
  1. Save the Date. The WVSSA will hold its annual education and business meetings August 29 and 30 at The Greenbrier, in conjunction with the state medical association Healthcare Summit. The Saturday educational session will run from 7:30am until noon, and the Sunday business meeting from 8 until 11am. Speakers for the Saturday educational session include Drs. David Hardman, Chad Sizemore, Manny Vallejo, Jim West, and Jeff Plagenhoef (ASA First Vice President).
  2. The WVSSA recently contributed on behalf of its members $150 to the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation, Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research, and the Wood Library Museum of Anesthesiology.
  3. 2015 WVSSA Officers

President                     Michael Panger, MD   (

President-elect            Seth Crislip, MD   (

Sect-Treas                   Robert Johnstone, MD   (

Asst Sect-Treas           Brian Grose, MD

ASA Delegates           Alex Skaff, MD

Brian Grose, MD

ASA Alt Delgs           Michael Panger, MD

Matt Ellison, MD

ASA Res Delg            Jeremiah Jeffers, MD

ASA Director              Robert Johnstone, MD

ASA Alt Dir               Alex Skaff, MD   (

Legislative Rep           Alex Skaff, MD

Eric Persily, MD


Robert Johnstone, MD, Newsletter Editor

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