American Society of Anesthesiologists Honors Jane C. K. Fitch, M.D. with 2016 Bertram W. Coffer, M.D. Excellence in Government Award - American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA)

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American Society of Anesthesiologists Honors Jane C. K. Fitch, M.D. with 2016 Bertram W. Coffer, M.D. Excellence in Government Award

WASHINGTON, D.C. – May. 17, 2016 -- The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) today presented ASA Past President Jane C.K. Fitch, M.D., with the 2016 Bertram W. Coffer, M.D. Excellence in Government award, given in recognition of exemplary contributions to the medical specialty of anesthesiology, its practitioners and patients.

A long-time member of ASA and advocate for the specialty, Jane C.K. Fitch, M.D., served as president from 2013-14. Dr. Fitch is a steadfast anesthesia patient safety advocate having actively led and participated in initiatives at both the federal and state levels to assure patients access to the highest quality anesthesia care available. As a former practicing nurse and nurse anesthetist, Dr. Fitch has advocated for the use of the physician-led team-based model of anesthesia care – a model through which physician anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists work collaboratively to provide high quality patient-centered anesthesia care.   

"Even after her tenure as ASA President, Dr. Fitch continues to make an impact on the specialty as an advocate for patient safety," said Erin Sullivan, M.D., chair of the Committee on Governmental Affairs. "Her tireless work on behalf of Veterans to maintain the team-based physician-led model of care in the VA has been invaluable."

Dr. Fitch was unable to accept the award in-person, as she is currently presenting at an international conference, but offered her gratitude for the recognition.

“There has never been a more exciting time to be a physician anesthesiologist,” Dr. Fitch said. “Thank you so very much for this high honor, but please know that in my heart I am accepting it on behalf of the team of giants who have gone before us and on whose shoulders we now stand.”
The Dr. Bertram "Bert" W. Coffer Excellence in Government Award is presented in memory of one of the most active and impressive leaders of the ASA. ASA honored Bert by making him the inaugural recipient of the ASA Excellence in Government Award, which is now named after him and his outstanding legacy.  Each year, a physician anesthesiologist is recognized for his or her contributions to the specialty to advance ASA’s legislative, political and regulatory priorities. 

A second Excellence in Government award is presented to a lawmaker who has shown commitment to patient safety during his or her tenure in office. ASA honored California State Sen. Richard Pan, M.D., with the 2016 Excellence in Government award.


Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 52,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care every patient deserves. 
For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists online at To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit  Like ASA on Facebook, follow ASALifeline on Twitter.

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