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About ASA

The American Society of Anesthesiologists is an educational, research and scientific association of physicians organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology and improve the care of the patient.

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Published monthly, the NEWSLETTER contains up-to-date information on Society activities and other areas of interest. 

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N. Martin Giesecke, M.D., Chair

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Send general NEWSLETTER questions to j.reid@asahq.org.

January 1, 2013 Volume 77, Number 1
Administrative Update: Continuing to Advance Our Practice and Secure Our Future Jane C.K. Fitch, M.D., ASA President-Elect


Your ASA President-Elect has three major responsibilities, in addition to assisting the president and serving the Executive Committee (EC), Administrative Council (AC), Board of Directors (BOD) and House of Delegates (HOD). The first involves leading the strategic planning process for the upcoming year as president. The second involves leading the budgeting process for the following year as president. The last involves making all of the committee and leadership appointments to ensure that members are in place to help accomplish the strategic goals of ASA.

At the end of October, the AC met, along with additional key thought leaders and staff, to review and modify our ASA strategic plan. Our session was led once again by Kathy Henrichs. We ended the day by refreshing our existing plan as well as the addition of several items not previously included on our prior version. As I write this “Administrative Update,” we are just concluding an electronic rank order and prioritization of all items on our plan. We are eager to see the collective wisdom of this group in terms of prioritization of the various items. All items were ranked in terms of urgency, magnitude of change and feasibility. Once this plan is prioritized, it will serve to lead and guide our ASA activities.

The budgeting process for 2013 is just beginning. It will be the priorities of the strategic plan that will drive our budgeting process. Our Section on Fiscal Affairs, including our treasurer, assistant treasurer and select BOD members, in addition to our key financial staff, will work closely in order to ensure that our revenues and expenses are congruent with our strategic plan.

ASA is a bottom-up, member-driven organization, run in large part by our volunteer members. Much of the work of ASA gets done at the committee level. That is why committee appointments, committee chair appointments and section chair appointments are so critical to ASA’s continued success. As I write this update, the process for committee self-nomination and peer nominations has just opened. When this article is published, the nominations will have closed and the vetting begun. The first phase of vetting is for the committee chairs to comment on committee composition. The next level of review is performed by the section chair. The subsequent review is done by the division chair. The final review is done by the president-elect. Membership length varies so as to provide some continuity to committees, as well as to be able to include as many ASA members as possible. Membership may be for three years for members, two years for an adjunct member in the first appointment, or one year for subsequent adjunct appointments.

The important work of ASA performed at the committee level is accomplished by 81 committees that represent 1,263 ASA members. Those committees fall under 10 different sections (Administration, Representation, Professional Standards, Professional Practice, Clinical Care, Subspecialties, Annual Meeting, Education and Research, Journals, and Professional Education Oversight). Those sections then fall under three different divisions (Administrative Affairs, Professional Affairs, Scientific Affairs) led by our first vice president, our vice president for professional affairs, and our vice president for scientific affairs, respectively.

Going forward, we will attempt to strive for closer alignment of our various committees with our strategic plan. This will also include committee review and budgeting, which will also align with our strategic plan.

ASA is extremely fortunate to have members who are so engaged; however, we realize this represents only a minority of our membership. We must be able to reach the large majority of our members who are not active and involved. Whether we do that through our advocacy efforts, our education efforts or our member services, it will be critical to our long-term success. So will our relationship with our state components, as many of our legislative and regulatory challenges will be at the state level, in addition to the federal level.

In planning for our future, we have recently named our new first permanent CEO, Paul Pomerantz. Our society owes a debt of gratitude to Gene Sinclair, M.D., and the CEO search committee, for their tireless efforts in first defining this new role and then in finding the best possible person. Paul brings more than 20 years of executive experience in the health care association sector to ASA. He has worked with other hospital-based medical specialties as well as other medical specialties. Paul has exhibited strong leadership in both legislative and regulatory advocacy and in strategic communications. He has proven that he can drive membership growth and satisfaction through enhanced education opportunities.

Paul has created and sustained strategic alliances with health care and related industry associations. He has also proven he can improve an organization’s operational and financial performance. By the time this article is in print, we will be in the on-boarding process for Paul, who will help lead ASA into the future. We will also be planning for our move into the new headquarters building in Schaumburg, Illinois. We are currently entertaining the potential sale of our existing headquarters building and property next door.

Many thanks go to Barbara Fossum, our interim CEO, for all she has been able to accomplish with our staff over her tenure with us thus far. The maturation of and the collaborative efforts among our staff in our two offices has been an inspiration to watch.

It is my sincere wish that everyone had great holidays. The year 2013 will prove to be a monumental one in terms of health care reform. We must all work together to strategically position ASA to lead and guide our specialty to survive and thrive by advancing our practice and securing our future.



Jane C.K. Fitch, M.D. is John L. Plewes Chair, Professor and Chair, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City. She is a member of the Texas House of Representatives.


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