Executive Report  |   September 2016
My Kind of Annual Meeting Town
Author Affiliations
  • Paul Pomerantz
    Chief Executive Officer
Article Information
Cardiovascular Anesthesia / Gastrointestinal and Hepatic Systems / Practice Management / Executive Report
Executive Report   |   September 2016
My Kind of Annual Meeting Town
ASA Monitor 09 2016, Vol.80, 10-68.
ASA Monitor 09 2016, Vol.80, 10-68.
From both a personal and professional perspective, I’m very excited about the location of this year’s ANESTHESIOLOGY® annual meeting. Although Chicago needs no introduction as a world-class economic and cultural center, the city can sometimes take an unfair beating, mostly through snippets on the nightly news and other media reports that don’t take into full account the vast dynamism of this city. This sort of thing has been happening to Chicago for well over 100 years. The city has mostly responded by growing taller, wealthier, savvier, more integrated, more innovative and more fun.
To a person, every visitor I’ve talked to about Chicago agrees that it’s one of the most vibrant, robust and creative cities they’ve ever seen. As I write this report, Chicago is in the midst of an economic and cultural renaissance. Cranes dot the skyline from near north to the south loop and are steadily creeping westward. There are, in fact, 40 high-rise buildings or skyscrapers currently under construction in 2016. Just last year, the city saw record downtown office sales, at more than $6 billion, eclipsing the previous 2006 record of $5.3 billion. Chicago’s downtown vacancy rates are the lowest they’ve been in 15 years.
September 2, 2016
Bracken Kolle
US Anesthesia Partners
Additional Meeting Info

Mr. Pomerantz, you make Chicago sound so delightful! I couldn't think of a better reason to visit Chicago than for the ASA ANESTHESIOLOGY annual meeting. For anyone lucky enough to attend, don't forget to tweet while you are there using the #ANES16 hashtag. For convenience, here is the link to the ASA official meeting website: https://www.asahq.org/annualmeeting.

January 7, 2017
James Hannifin
Member, VA Medical Center Memphis
Cities to avoid

Mr. Pomerantz, 

I wish to voice my objection to patronizing cities that cater to illegal aliens. So called "sanctuary cities" should not profit from any organization that has America(n) in its name. Furthermore, Chicago is patently dangerous. It was a bad choice on that grounds by itself. Perhaps the decision on future meetings should be voted on by the membership.

Response From Paul Pomerantz:

Thank you for your comment, Dr. Hannifin. As always, we welcome any feedback from the membership on the services we provide to you. In fact, it’s such feedback that guides the society’s actions in everything we do.

ANESTHESIOLOGY 2016 in Chicago was quite successful. Almost 8,000 ASA members attended, with a total attendance from all categories of nearly 13,000. That puts this meeting on the high end of attendance for any host city in the last few years. And in the last 12 years, Chicago has averaged more attendees than any other city except San Francisco.

Anecdotally, we heard extremely positive comments from ASA members about the programming in Chicago. The most consistent criticism we received was related to transportation between the convention center and downtown hotels. This is a common complaint about McCormick Place in general, and it’s something we continue to work to address.

As for member input on the annual meeting site selection process, that is one of the most important determinants of host city selection, as described in ASA’s Administrative Procedures. Every five years, a minimum of 10 percent of the membership is surveyed regarding choice of host cities. That data is considered along with criteria such as hotel availability, attractiveness and convenience for international attendees, convention center size, and availability of quality restaurants, shopping, museums, attractions and social activities, among other considerations.

Finally, Administrate Procedure states that “ANESTHESIOLOGY® annual meetings may be scheduled only in hotels and cities in which all facilities are offered to all registrants, regardless of race, color, creed or sex.”

Orchestrating an ANESTHESIOLOGY annual meeting is an incredibly complex undertaking. We try to do the most for the greatest number of members within a relatively brief five-day stretch. And we are constantly striving for improvement.

Please keep your comments coming. We need them to help us shape a society that can best serve all its members.

Dr. Hannifin, I hope you can give Chicago another chance – it really is one of the most vibrant, dynamic and American of all cities in the U.S. I also hope to see you in Boston this year for ANESTHESIOLOGY 2017.

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