Anesthesiologists Caring for Others

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March 1, 2013 Volume 77, Number 3
Anesthesiologists Caring for Others Alexander A. Hannenberg, M.D.

John F. Capacchione, M.D.

For the second consecutive year, the ASA Run For The Warriors® raised more than $100,000 in support for the unmet needs of our nation’s wounded warriors, their families and the families of the fallen. Since its inception at the ANESTHESIOLOGY™ 2010 annual meeting in San Diego, the event has grown each year. At the ANESTHESIOLOGY™ 2012 annual meeting in Washington, D.C., the Duke Anesthesiology Racing Team and Team Mayo finished first and second in fund-raising for the second straight year with $12,451 and $8,785, respectively. The University of Alabama-Birmingham rounded out the top three with $7,075 raised. The top three male finishers for the 5K race were Joshua Dilley (18:19), Luis Bameutos (18:39) and Bryan Maxwell (18:55). The top three female finishers were Angie Nordlie (21:07), Kathleen Wild (21:17) and Margaret Nagy (22:09). Even with a hectic annual meeting schedule, more than 600 people participated in 2012, exceeding 2011’s total by 36. Enthusiastic participation by ASA members and their families is strong even in inclement weather, as was experienced in Chicago’s 2011 run.

Proceeds from the event benefit Hope For The Warriors®, a non-profit organization started by the wife of a wounded Marine Corps officer and her friend when they realized the significant and costly unmet needs faced by military families when their combat-wounded loved ones are discharged home. Scholarships for spouses of the wounded who suddenly become primary household providers, home remodeling to accommodate amputees and programs to assist the combat-wounded to realize special dreams are just a few of the efforts undertaken by Hope For The Warriors®. Initially intended as a one-time fundraising event, ASA’s Run For The Warriors® has grown into a spirited annual event, creating friendly competition among our nation’s anesthesiology programs. Among medical professional societies, ASA is the only organization that hosts a charitable event of this magnitude, and it serves as a model to other medical professional societies to do the same.

The ASA Run for the Warriors® is but one example of the philanthropic commitment of ASA members, who have a long history of contributing time, skill and money to support those in need. Countless members volunteer their professional skills in the far corners of the world. In the midst of unspeakable disasters, anesthesiologists respond generously to save lives and give comfort. For decades, our society has supported anesthesia education in remote facilities in Africa to raise the standard of anesthesia care through the Overseas Teaching Program. When Hurricane Katrina disrupted medical care and anesthesia education here at home in 2005, our members contributed to the support of anesthesia trainees urgently relocated to continue their education. The earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010 produced an outpouring of volunteer anesthesiologists participating in the disaster relief efforts there.

To provide a platform for this humanitarian work now and into the future, the ASA Charitable Foundation was established in 2011. Unlike ASA itself, the ASA Charitable Foundation was established to be a 501c(3) charity under the Internal Revenue Service and will be able to accept tax-deductible donations for charitable initiatives identified by the ASA Board of Directors.* The new foundation is led by Alexander A. Hannenberg, M.D., who was ASA President in 2010. (Learn more at

In addition to Hope for the Warriors®, the ASA Charitable Foundation supports the Lifebox program. Lifebox is a global effort to provide pulse oximeters to the more than 77,000 operating rooms worldwide that lack oximetry. In many of these settings, the perioperative mortality rate approaches one in 100 cases. American anesthesiologists have contributed hundreds of pulse oximeters to the developing world through the Lifebox initiative and will lead the effort to introduce oximetry and safe surgery practices in Central America.

Most recently, ASA members responded to support relief efforts in both the U.S. and abroad following the widespread damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. The Foundation designated the American Red Cross and the International Medical Corps as recipients of member contributions. Both are top-rated charities and their combined efforts address victim needs in both U.S. and overseas locations, particularly in Haiti, where Hurricane Sandy compounded existing suffering.

Through the efforts of the ASA Charitable Foundation, anesthesiologists will continue to be recognized as the “first-responders” in both the hospital setting and for global disaster relief.

*IRS Application pending.

Alexander A. Hannenberg, M.D. is Associate Chair, Department of Anesthesiology, Newton Wellesley Hospital, Newton, Massachusetts. He was ASA President in 2010.

John F. Capacchione, M.D. is Associate Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda; staff anesthesiologist at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland.