SubSpecialties  |   November 2019
The Society for Pediatric Anesthesia (SPA) Is Thriving
Author Affiliations
  • Kirk Lalwani, M.D., F.R.C.A., M.C.R.
    President, Society for Pediatric Anesthesia
    Committee on Pediatric Anesthesia
Article Information
Pediatric Anesthesia / SubSpecialties
SubSpecialties   |   November 2019
The Society for Pediatric Anesthesia (SPA) Is Thriving
ASA Monitor 11 2019, Vol.83, 64-66.
ASA Monitor 11 2019, Vol.83, 64-66.
A simple Child,
That lightly draws its breath,
And feels its life in every limb,
What should it know of death?
– (‘We are Seven’ – William Wordsworth, 1770-1850)
On a balmy Las Vegas day in October 1986, curious about the invitation from a young Dr. Myron Yaster from John’s Hopkins, a few hundred pediatric anesthesiologists showed up to discuss the formation of a new, inclusive society dedicated to advancing the perioperative care of children. Thus, the SPA was born, and the inaugural meeting was attended by approximately 200 members a year later in Atlanta.
Thirty-two years and 3,300 members later, SPA is flourishing. It encompasses three Sections (Congenital Cardiac Anesthesia Society, Society for Pediatric Pain Management, Pediatric Anesthesia Leadership Council), partner organizations like Wake Up Safe and the Pediatric Regional Anesthesia Network, the Pediatric Anesthesia Program Directors Association, as well as Significant Interest Groups, Committees and Councils. As the organization grows more complex, so does the need to outline a framework for future growth at periodic intervals. The recent Strategic Planning Initiative, skillfully led by Dr. Bill Greeley, brought together past leaders of the Society as well as key figures from the spheres of research, education and patient care to chart a course for the Society over the next five years. Some of the goals articulated by the five groups included: clarity of our governance structure; enhanced communication and educational offerings for members, parents, and providers of pediatric anesthesia services; funding of projects to examine key research questions; dissemination of members’ research and the development of young researchers; growth of our membership and social media presence; increased engagement with other societies domestically and internationally; and development of a process to advocate for public issues related to the health of children.
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