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November 5, 2015

  1. WVSSA delegates represented WV anesthesiologists last week at the ASA annual meeting in San Diego.


Drs. Brian Grose, Alex Skaff, Chad Sizemore and Bob Johnstone at the ASA House of Delegates


Details of actions at the ASA Annual Meeting will appear in the ASA Monitor, the new name of the monthly ASA Newsletter. Some highlights:

  • Dan Cole, MD was installed as the 80th ASA president. In his address to the delegates, he reviewed his four priorities for this year:

Protect patient safety by ensuring physician-led anesthesia care

Work on both the legislative and regulatory environments of anesthesia practice

Differentiate anesthesiology by describing the discovery of new knowledge and by advancing the ASA brand

Maintain ASA as a member-led organization

  • Michael Champeau, MD won election as Assistant Treasurer in the only contested officer election. Next year there will be three contested elections.
  • Annual Meeting total attendance was 14,366.
  • No change in dues for 2016.
  • Anesthesiologists were reminded that the ASA Guidelines for the Ethical Practice of Anesthesiology includes “Physician anesthesiologists should provide preoperative evaluation care and should facilitate the process of informed decision-making, especially regarding the choice of anesthetic technique” regardless of whether the physician anesthesiologist is personally performing, medically directing, or supervising care.
  • Delegates approved two new Practice Guidelines:

For obstetric anesthesia

For the prevention, detection and management of respiratory depression associated with neuraxial opioid administration.

  • The ASA budget for next year includes revenues of $50,679,287 and expenses of $50,496,197.
  • ASA membership on June 30 was 49,076, compared to 47,301 on that date one year ago. Membership is at an all-time high with 95 percent of members from last year having renewed for this year, and a 7 percent growth in new members.

30 states now use combined billing with ASA, as WV does.

The primary political discussion at the annual meeting involved a consideration by the Veterans Affairs Department to require all advanced practice nurses, including nurse anesthetists, to work independent of any physicians to save money. This makes little sense for anesthesia practice, where team-based care is the established norm, and the safety of veterans having surgery would be threatened. All anesthesiologists were encouraged to respond to the VA through the weblink,

James Eisenach, the editor of Anesthesiology, impressed annual meeting attendees with his Rovenstine lecture. He titled it, “Without science there is little art in anesthesiology”. His theme was that the best caregivers strike a balance between the heart and the mind. He included Carol Cassela, a best-selling anesthesiologist author, reading excerpts from her novel, Oxygen.

WV anesthesiologists will receive their first dues notice for 2016 next month, in case anyone wants to pay their dues during this tax year.

Numerous WV anesthesiologists attended the Annual Meeting, presenting talks, participating in learning sessions. It is always an informative meeting and busy time. Next year the meeting will be in Chicago, and WVSSA will hold a reception there for its members who attend.

jessicachadsizemoreryanbudwanybobjohnstoneJessica and Chad Sizemore, Ryan Budwany and Bob Johnstone, all from WV, before the Run for the Warriors, one of the social events sponsored at the ASA Annual Meeting. They raised $100 for the Hope for the Warriors.


  1. The 2016 WVSSA annual meeting will be August 27 and 28 at the Greenbrier.


         WVSSA officers:

Immed Past-Pres
Asst Sect-Treas
ASA Delegates

ASA Alt Delgs

ASA Res Delg
ASA Director
ASA Alt Dir

Seth Crislip, MD (
Matt Ellison, MD (
Michael Panger, MD
Robert Johnstone, MD (
Brian Grose, MD
Alex Skaff, MD
Brian Grose, MD
Matt Ellison, MD
Chad Sizemore, MD
John Bozek, MD
Robert Johnstone, MD
Alex Skaff, MD (
Alex Skaff, MD

Robert Johnstone, MD, Newsletter Editor

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