WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) announced Claude Brunson, M.D., FASA, executive director of the Mississippi State Medical Association (MSMA), received the 2021 Bertram W. Coffer, M.D., Excellence in Government award in recognition of his tireless leadership in protecting patient safety in Mississippi.
Dr. Brunson is committed to improving and protecting patient care in his state. Dr. Brunson, MSMA and the Mississippi Society of Anesthesiologists (MSA) successfully led a charge to preserve the safest, high-quality anesthesia care for the citizens of his state, including an innovative social media campaign ending with the first public denial of a request to opt-out of the federal physician supervision requirements for nurse anesthetists.
Dr. Brunson has been a long-time member of the ASA Board of Directors, leading several committees, and is a past president of MSMA and MSA. In 2019, he began serving as executive director for the MSMA. Dr. Brunson made history as the first African American physician elected president of the association, and its first African American executive director. He also served as senior advisor to the vice chancellor and led the External Affairs Division at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi.
“Dr. Brunson is a champion for elevating patient safety in Mississippi,” said ASA President Beverly K. Philip, M.D., FACA, FASA. “His impressive determination to preserve physician-led care for the citizens of Mississippi is a testament to his dedication to the specialty and to patients.”
“I am honored and humbled to receive this recognition from my colleagues and peers at the ASA,” said Dr. Brunson. “The advocacy we do as physician anesthesiologists is more critical now than in any time in our history as we work to maintain a high-quality and safe delivery of anesthesia and pain medical services to Mississippians here in my home state and to Americans across our nation. None of the successes I or my colleagues have had in protecting the public safety in our specialty would be possible without the support of ASA leadership, staff and its excellent Government Affairs Division.”
The Bertram "Bert" W. Coffer, M.D., Excellence in Government award is presented in memory of one of the most active and impressive ASA leaders. ASA honored Dr. Coffer by making him the inaugural recipient of the ASA Excellence in Government award, which is now named after him for 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.
Separately, the Excellence in Government award is given to congressional leaders for exemplary contributions to the medical specialty of anesthesiology, its practitioners, and patients. This year’s recipient is U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA-18).
THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF ANESTHESIOLOGISTS
Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 54,000 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 asahq.org. To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit asahq.org/WhenSecondsCount. Like ASA on Facebook, follow ASALifeline on Twitter.
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