October 13, 2014
The American Society of Anesthesiologists® recognizes Rebecca Aslakson, M.D., Ph.D., with its 2014 Presidential Scholar Award
The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA®) today presented Rebecca Aslakson, M.D., Ph.D., with its 2014 Presidential Scholar Award in recognition of her outstanding career in research. Dr. Aslakson has successfully erased boundaries, aligned multiple disciplines and demonstrated the leadership role that physician anesthesiologists can take to impact patients, families and other providers within and beyond the perioperative experience.
After completing her surgical critical care fellowship at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Dr. Aslakson worked on foundational work exploring the influence quality communication can have on the prognosis in long-stay surgical intensive care unit (ICU) patients. She has published important work detailing more effective integration of palliative, critical and perioperative care, as well as detailing barriers that impede this integration and quality improvement and interventions to improve patient outcomes.
Dr. Aslakson also completed a two-year study exploring the palliative care-related experiences of patients and families in surgical critical care units. She illustrated that while patients and families prioritize humanistic and relationship-related aspects of care, clinicians focus on technical aspects of care such as following standards and providing cutting-edge technology.
“I congratulate Dr. Aslakson on this well-deserved achievement,” said Peter Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D., FCCM, professor of anesthesia and critical care medicine, senior vice president patient safety and quality director Armstrong Institute, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore. “It has been a pleasure to work with Dr. Aslakson. Her work has helped the Armstrong Institute come closer to the goal of partnering with patients, their families and others to eliminate preventable harm, improve outcomes and experience and reduce waste.”
Dr. Aslakson also has worked with a grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to provide quality palliative care in the ICU. Her work found that proactive palliative care in the ICU shortens both ICU and hospital length of stay without changing mortality or family member satisfaction.
Dr. Aslakson serves as an associate professor of the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, John Hopkins Medicine and is a core faculty member in the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality. She is a founding and current member of the ASA Subcommittee on Palliative Medicine.