Pioneers in patient safety

Explore the international visionaries and thought leaders who support and energize the movement for health care improvement.

The 2019 Keynote Speaker is David J. Birnbach, M.D., M.P.H. at IFPSQ conference by ASA and ESA

Keynote Speaker
David J. Birnbach, M.D., M.P.H.

Infection Prevention. Does the Anesthesiologist Need to Play a Role?

Miller Professor and Executive Vice Provost University of Miami, Director, University of Miami – Jackson Memorial Hospital Center for Patient Safety Miller School of Medicine

David J. Birnbach, M.D., M.P.H., is currently Miller Distinguished professor of anesthesiology and professor of obstetrics and gynecology and public health sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He is a senior attending anesthesiologist at the University of Miami / Jackson Memorial Hospital and is also director of the University of Miami-Jackson Memorial Hospital Center for Patient Safety. In addition, Dr. Birnbach is executive vice provost of the University of Miami. He has served at the National Institute of Health (NIH) and Food & Drug Administration (FDA), and was previously Chair of both an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Study Section and the FDA panel on Anesthesia and Respiratory Devices. Dr. Birnbach has also been a member of the board of directors of the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation. He is the past president of the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology and previous Chair of the American Society of Anesthesiologists Committee on Obstetric Anesthesia.  Dr. Birnbach is the editor of two textbooks and has published more than 250 articles, abstracts and textbook chapters. Over the past 15 years, much of his research has focused on patient safety and in particular to O.R. infection risk. Most recently, he was senior author of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) expert guidance “Infection Prevention in the Operating Room Anesthesia Work Area.”

Dr. Birnbach completed his anesthesiology residency and fellowship training at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School and earned a master’s of public health degree at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Daniel Arnal

Daniel Arnal, M.D.

Dr. Arnal is Cofounder and Chairman of the Spanish Anesthesia Incident Reporting System (SENSAR), a professional scientific network of more than 100 anesthesia departments in Spain and Chile that works for patient safety through learning from the incidents, training programs, innovation and networking. He is Chairman of the Patient Safety Movement Regional Network for Spain and Latin America, and Vice President of the Quality, Patient Safety and Ethics of the Spanish Society of Anesthesiology and Reanimation (SEDAR). He completed his anesthesiology training in Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón in Madrid and has been an Anesthesia Consultant in the Hospital Universitario Fundación Alcorcón since 2005 where he also coordinates and teaches simulation training programs in the IDEhA Simulation Center. His publications and scientific interests focus on patient safety, and Dr. Arnal is co-editor of the Spanish Anesthesia and Critical Patient Crisis Manual. He also chairs the board of AnestesiaR.org, the most read scientific anesthesia related website in Spanish worldwide.

Alexander Arriaga

Alexander Arriaga, M.D.

Dr. Arriaga is an Assistant Professor of Anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School and Anesthesiologist for the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). He is also the Assistant Program Director for the BWH Anesthesiology Residency Program. He completed his undergraduate studies from Columbia University and graduated from medical school with Honors in Research from Cornell University. He completed two years of categorical general surgery residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.  He has Master of Public Health and Doctor of Science degrees from Harvard University.  He completed his clinical residency in anesthesiology at the BWH with Distinction in Research. He was a member of the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania for two years. Dr. Arriaga has over 35 co-authored publications, including two book chapters as senior author.  His peer-reviewed published work includes first-author original research studies in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), the Annals of Surgery and Anesthesiology.  He is one of seven members of the Patient Safety Editorial Board for the American Society of Anesthesiologists. He is an Affiliate Faculty member for the Center for Surgery and Public Health and its SHARPP program (Surgical Health Scientists Aligning Research with Patient Priorities). He is also an Associate Faculty Member for Ariadne Labs.

Rita Katznelson

Rita Katznelson, M.D., FRCPC

Dr. Katznelson is a Staff Anesthesiologist and Medical Director of Hyperbaric Medicine Unit in the Department of Anesthesia and Pain Management at the Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network and an Associate Professor of Anesthesia at the University of Toronto. She completed her training in Anesthesia in Israel and obtained a fellowship in cardiac anesthesia and pain medicine at the University of Toronto. She has been practicing hyperbaric medicine since 2012. Dr. Katznelson is an author of multiple publications and a recipient of several peer-reviewed research grants. Her areas of interest include postoperative neurocognitive dysfunction, chronic pain and the therapeutic applications for hyperbaric medicine.

Johannes Wacker

Johannes Wacker, M.D.

Dr. Wacker has completed his anaesthesiology training in Zurich, Switzerland, and trained as a Clinical and Research Fellow in Cardiac Anaesthesia and Intensive Care at Toronto General Hospital, Canada. He has been a consultant anasthesiologist at the University Hospital Zurich, from 2001 to 2009, and at the Hirslanden Clinic in Zurich since 2009. Dr. Wacker is the Past Chair of the Patient Safety and Quality Committee of the European Society of Anaesthesiology. He is a member of the Data and Quality Committee of the Swiss Society for Anaesthesiology and Reanimation. His scientific interests and publications focus on perioperative patient safety and quality. He is Associate Lecturer (Patient Safety) at the University of Zurich.

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