Glenn P. Gravlee, MD
President, 2003-2005

President's Message

An International Organization

SCA's participation in the recent 9th International Congress of Cardiothoracic & Vascular Anesthesia (ICCVA) in Tokyo offers the opportunity to underscore the international scope of our mission. SCA's mission statement (in the event that you have not committed it to memory) states, "The SCA, an international organization of physicians, promotes excellence in patient care through education and research in perioperative care for patients undergoing cardiothoracic and vascular procedures" (italics mine). Although most of SCA's 7,100 members are American, we are proud to have over 1,200 international members as well. These members represent 66 countries on 6 continents. Since 2,500 of our members are serving residencies in the United States, and since nearly all of our international members are practicing cardiovascular anesthesiologists, this means that SCA's international membership constitutes more than one fourth of the members who are practicing cardiovascular anesthesiologists. SCA takes pride in its international nature. We've even gone as far as to elect a European-born anesthesiologist, Daniel Thys, as our Society's President. Maybe that's a stretch, since Dan has lived in the U.S. for many years, but he has played a major role in developing and encouraging our international activities and membership. Early in the 1980s Egyptian-born Fawzy Estafanous served as our President. He can be credited with educating SCA about the importance of strong international links very early in our organizational history. Earl Wynands, a Canadian, served as our President from 1989 -1991 and his service to the Society has been so valued that he received the SCA's Distinguished Service Award in 2002.

The 9th ICCVA was attended by more than 600 anesthesiologists and anesthesiology trainees from many countries, with an expected preponderance of Japanese and Asian attendees. Many of the faculty and some of the attendees were SCA members. The meeting was a highly stimulating mixture of cutting-edge educational and original scientific research presentations and exhibits. I wish to recognize and thank SCA members Steve Konstadt, Junzo Takeda, Tatsuya Yamada, Shigeho Morita, and Bel Russell for their leadership roles in planning the Tokyo ICCCVA. We appreciate the collaboration of the Japanese Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists, who served as the principal organizers of this event.

Recent SCA international meeting sites have included Istanbul, Turkey (1995) in collaboration with the Turkish Society of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Anesthesia and Intensive Care; Santiago, Chile in 1998 in collaboration with the Chilean Society of Anesthesiologists; Quebec City, Canada (2000) in collaboration with the Canadian Anesthesiologists Society - Cardiovascular Thoracic Section; and Tel Aviv, Israel in 2002 in conjunction with the Israel Society of Anesthesiologists. SCA members Daniel Thys, Bruce Spiess, Peter Duke and Benjamin Drenger served as program organizers for those meetings. Our International Committee, chaired by Isobel Russell, explores ways to enhance our international outreach and to make our stateside educational activities attractive to anesthesiologists from outside the U.S. Uday Jain and his membership committee have advanced creative suggestions about enhancing international participation in Society activities. In addition to having an SCA President from Canada in the early 1990's, Earl Wynands, relations with our Canadian colleagues have been so strong that we recently converted the dedicated Canadian position on our Board of Directors from an ex officio to a voting position.

In September 2006, SCA looks forward to another international symposium on cardiovascular anesthesiology in Prague, Czech Republic. SCA members George Silvay and Isobel Russell will be participating in that meeting's organization. The SCA Board of Directors has discussed initiating international educational missions to areas that may have less technology and fewer educational resources than most SCA members enjoy. I hope that we decide to pursue this course in the near future and will encourage the Board to move forward with this initiative.

In summary, SCA recognizes and appreciates its international members. I would appreciate hearing suggestions from American or international members about how we might further enhance our international membership and participation. Please feel free to E-mail suggestions to me at

Glenn P. Gravlee, MD
President, 2003-2005

2004-2005 International Committee
Isobel Russell, PhD, MD, Chair
Peter Duke, MD
Benjamin Drenger, MD
Philip E. Greilich, MD
Michael Howie, MD
Steven N. Konstadt, MD
Heidi Kummer, MD
Patricia Murphy, MD
David Porembka, DO
George Silvay, PhD, MD
Robert Sladen, MD

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