How Are We Doing?
A former mayor of New York named Ed Koch was famous for beginning many of his appearances with the following quip “How am I doing?” In this President’s message, I prefer to modify it slightly: “How are we doing?” I am proud to say that the Board of Directors (BOD) believes that the SCA is doing very well. What do you think?
For those of you who missed the Business Meeting of the Annual Meeting on Monday (and I hope you all attend next year), I will first give you a brief update on the Society’s financial status. Despite the financial events of 2008, using discipline, diversity, and rebalancing, the SCA’s endowment has fully recovered and is now higher than before the economic downturn. Equally important, the SCA is able to provide all of the member services on its operating revenue and has not needed to tap investment income or, worse, the endowment to cover expenses.
One important project of the SCA leadership is to improve our website and offer more functionality for the membership. We have just completed request for proposals and are waiting for the replies. Some of the anticipated changes include more consistent page format from page to page, easier posting of educational material, more user interaction, and new multimedia interactive educational opportunities.
Another project the SCA is undertaking is to jointly create with the ASA a tool for online documentation of competence in Basic TEE.
The SCA is partnered with Anesthesia & Analgesia to provide a quality journal. Dr. Charles Hogue, Associate Editor in Chief for CV Anesthesiology, recently reported on the ongoing activities of the cardiovascular section of the journal to the SCA BOD. A summary of his points included:
Article submissions have remained stable.
Growing emphasis on increasing the quality of the articles.
Anesthesia & Analgesia continues to be the most often cited journal in the CV anesthesiology specialty, supporting the relevance of its science to the specialty.
The CV section continues to develop GME initiatives including online courses and the new Open Anesthesia forum that is aimed at a resident audience.
The BOD of the SCA is facing an important decision. More and more publications are moving to electronic formats. Electronic formats offer many potential advantages such as unlimited color images, embedded video, interaction, and portability. They are also far more ecological. The BOD is considering shifting the Monograph to an electronic format and needs your input. A poll was taken during the Tuesday morning session at the Annual Meeting to determine the members’ interest in an electronic publication of future monographs. There were 62 respondents of which 41 supported the change, 7 did not care, and 14 opposed. The same survey will be on the SCA website for a period of two months beginning June 1, and we are looking for your feedback. Please visit the website at www.scahq.org and let us know your opinion.
With respect to the educational conferences, there have been a few changes. Dr Albert Cheung will assume the senior leadership role in the Cardiopulmonary Bypass Meeting, when Dr. Laurie Davies rotates off as Course Director in 2011. We appreciate Dr. Davies’ years of service in this capacity. Dr. Greg Janelle will be the next co-course director for CPB beginning in 2011. The major goal for this meeting will be to improve interdisciplinary communication and increase international involvement.
The Echo course continues to be a great success under the leadership of Drs. Kathy Grichnik and Chris Troianos. The workshops, wet lab, and case presentations provide valuable educational opportunities beyond didactic sessions.
Dr. David Zvara was Program Director for this year’s Annual Meeting and is passing the baton to Dr. Colleen Koch. We thank Dr. Zvara for doing such an outstanding job. The meeting will continue to offer PBLD’s, workshops, fellow-oriented programs, and scientific sessions.
This is also the year of our biannual International Congress of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia (ICCVA). The meeting will be held in Beijing in conjunction with the Chinese Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists. Dr. Al Perrino has worked tirelessly to organize the logistics and create a valuable program. Those of you attending this meeting should remember that you need a special visa to enter China and that it is best to start the process early. I also personally recommend the use of a visa service to avoid the “red tape”.
Lastly, our outreach efforts with other Cardiac Anesthesia Societies and other specialties are developing. The world is getting more global all the time and we need to keep pace. Distinctions between disciplines are blurring so we need to improve collaboration with our colleagues. We plan to have more representation from these organizations in our planning committees and meeting faculty going forward.
Overall it has been a busy year for the BOD of the SCA and we are trying to move the Society in a number of important directions. It is our hope you will agree with our actions and we would appreciate your input and suggestions.