The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) today installed Jane C.K. Fitch, M.D., as its president during the ANESTHESIOLOGY 2013™ annual meeting.
“I am greatly honored to accept this leadership position during such an important time for our patients, the specialty of anesthesiology and our larger health care system,” said Dr. Fitch. “I look forward to working closely with patients, colleagues and policymakers on ASA’s key initiatives related to legislative and regulatory advocacy as well as educational activities.”
Dr. Fitch has served ASA in numerous positions. She just completed two years on its Executive Committee, initially as first vice president and most recently as president-elect. Prior to these offices, Dr. Fitch was the director from Oklahoma and chair of the Board Review Committee on Professional Affairs. Dr. Fitch also chaired the Anesthesia Care Team Committee and the Governmental Affairs Committee. In addition, she served on the Committee on Economics. Dr. Fitch is the past president of the Oklahoma Society of Anesthesiologists (OSA).
Outside of her many leadership roles at ASA, Dr. Fitch is serving a two-year term as president of the Society of Academic Anesthesiology Associations (SAAA), an umbrella organization representing academic anesthesiology chairs, core program directors and subspecialty program directors. She previously has served as both a program director and a fellowship director.
Dr. Fitch currently is professor and chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City. She holds several leadership positions within the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, OU Physicians Faculty Practice Plan and OU Medical System. Previous academic appointments have been with Baylor College of Medicine and Yale University School of Medicine.
Dr. Fitch is an Alpha Omega Alpha medical graduate of the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. She completed internship training at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Houston, followed by a residency and fellowship in cardiovascular and thoracic anesthesiology at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Prior to her medical career as a physician anesthesiologist, Dr. Fitch worked as an ICU nurse, then as a nurse anesthetist.
“As a former nurse anesthetist, Dr. Fitch will bring a unique perspective to her presidency,” said ASA Immediate Past President John M. Zerwas, M.D. “She understands the important role of having a physician anesthesiologist lead other members of the anesthesia care team, including anesthesiologist assistants and nurse anesthetists, to provide the highest quality and safest patient care available.”
Dr. Fitch and her husband of 37 years, John, currently reside in Edmond, Okla.