James G. Ramsay, MD
President, 2005-2007

President's Message

It is my very great pleasure and privilege to begin my series of "president's messages." Our newsletter performs a very important function for the society, and I would like to thank Mark Chaney and his committee for their ongoing efforts to produce this high-quality, important communication tool. I know Mark would want me to encourage all of you to contact him if you would like to contribute in any way.

It is never possible to reach a position such as president of the SCA without encouragement, support and advice from many individuals. The "presidency" is certainly not a one-person show; it is a collaborative effort that requires constant input and feedback from the membership, board of directors, and, perhaps most importantly: past, current, and future leaders. I have had the incredible good fortune to have Earl Wynands as my mentor, dating back to my days as a resident in Montreal. Earl continues to be my best friend and mentor, and a source of wisdom and sage advice. John Waller continued to support and enable my SCA activities when I came to Emory in 1990. Roger Moore and Glenn Gravlee, my immediate predecessors as presidents have given me wonderful examples of leadership and my hope is to continue their consensus-building, energetic and balanced approach. I need to thank all the presidents, board and executive committee members with whom I have had the privilege to serve, and to thank Heather Spiess in particular, and all the Ruggles staff for their excellent management support of our society. Finally, I need to thank all my colleagues at Emory who provide inspiration, ideas, and friendship - and who allow me to devote the necessary time to the SCA.

What are my goals as your president for two years? We have several ongoing projects resulting from the vision of, and groundwork by past presidents. I view my most important duty to be the continuation of these projects. Foremost among these are (a) to obtain accreditation of cardiothoracic fellowship training programs; (b) to initiate an SCA "development" (ie, fundraising) program; (c) to foster relationships with other leading organizations and partner in the development of practice parameters and guidelines related to our field; (d) to continue to lead in the field of perioperative echocardiography while serving our many members, and (e) to work with the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS) to continue development of the cardiovascular and thoracic section in Anesthesia and Analgesia into the number one choice for submission of manuscripts, and the most important practical reading for anesthesiologists in our subspecialty area.

Each of the projects in the last paragraph is led by an outstanding member (or members) of our society. Alan Schwartz has led the accreditation effort, which appears to be "on track" to become a reality in the near future. This will be one of the finest achievements of our society.

Glenn Gravlee and Nancy Nussmeier are leading the fundraising project, in conjunction with a private consultant and the Ruggles office. Research is the foundation of our subspecialty, and we need to develop a self-sustaining program to support our best and brightest. This project will lead to the hiring of a development officer and a major campaign in which we hope to involve many of our present and past leaders - stay tuned!

Simon Body has picked up the torch from Deb Schwinn in our relationship with the American Heart Association, helping establish our place at the table in the development of guidelines; Bob Savage is developing a program to work with interventional cardiologists in a similar project (care of the patient undergoing procedures in the cath lab and EP lab, for example); and Sol Aronson is leading our partnership with the ASA in developing the new "track" system at the ASA annual meeting.

We continue to work closely with the American Society of Echocardiography and the National Board of Echocardiography (NBE) to enhance education and training, and define the required expertise for perioperative TEE. Dan Thys (a past president of SCA) is incoming president of the NBE; Stan Shernan is on the boards of both SCA and NBE. We are acutely aware of the needs of our members who will not be able to take a cardiac anesthesiology fellowship and achieve TEE "certification" by this route; the grandfather or clinical experience track is set to close in 2008. There are interesting ideas on the horizon.

The relationship between the SCA and IARS for our journal has been enhanced through our most recent contract and the appointment of associate editor Chuck Hogue. Chuck is our "direct line" to section editor Ken Tuman. As many of you may already know, the IARS is now in the process of selecting a new editor for the journal after a very successful 14 years of leadership by Ron Miller. The new editor will be announced on our website, probably by the time you read this newsletter. Be on notice: I will be actively helping Ken, Chuck, and our new editor-in-chief solicit contributions from SCA members!

The SCA has been a very important part of my life since Earl Wynands encouraged my joining in 1983. Our society is vibrant and active, and we provide important leadership. We have some of the best educational meetings in the entire field of Anesthesiology. Not only do we have the continued support and advice from our past leaders, we have a very talented and enthusiastic team of present and future leaders. Help me to continue the success!

James G. Ramsay, MD
President, SCA


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