Change Is the Law of Life
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.”—John F. Kennedy
This is a very exciting time to be part of SCA, the leading international society in cardiovascular anesthesiology education, research, and patient care initiatives. This is therefore an even more exciting time to be SCA President. As we learn from our experiences in the past and present, we look to the future knowing we must adapt to a changing healthcare environment. We continue to grow, innovate, and cultivate relationships with other medical societies so that longevity and sustainability define us. We have just returned home from our annual meeting in Washington, DC, the largest SCA Annual Meeting in 10 years. This meeting, chaired by Drs. Andy Shaw and Davy Cheng, was a global celebration of cardiovascular anesthesiology hosted by SCA in the US capital. World leaders in cardiovascular anesthesiology shared ideas, innovations, and research projects. We personally planned future international endeavors such as the 16th International Congress in Cardiovascular Anesthesiology, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro in fall 2017 in conjunction with the Brazilian Society of Anesthesiology. We were joined by leaders and representatives from the European Association of Cardiothoracic Anaesthesiologists (EACTA), the Asian Society of Cardiothoracic Anesthesia (ASCA), the Korean Society of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia, the South African Society of Anesthesiologists (SASA), the Indian Society of Anaesthesiologists, the newly formed Chinese Society of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesiology, and of course our neighboring Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society (CAS).
Change will require growth in other areas as well. How else will SCA change? We will adapt to the changing needs of our members and utilize their strengths to move our specialty forward. SCA is undergoing a major renovation. As has been already described, our governance has been redesigned and our committees realigned to match the goals outlined in our strategic plan. Please visit our website and volunteer, or simply view the new committee structure in which committee independence and autonomy will help make SCA more efficient. Our website too will be rebuilt and improved so that navigation to and from SCA-related sites becomes easier for all our users.
A few of the revamped committees include the following. Our new Member Engagement Committee, chaired by Dr. Joseph Szokol, was created to address the needs of our members, improve communication between members and leadership, and initiate activities to meet those needs. Whether this means appropriate communications to our members regarding new billing codes or a more prominent presence on Facebook, we intend to satisfy the needs of members despite generational and practice site differences. Our new Safety and Quality Committee, chaired by Dr. Jake Abernathy, was created to address the overwhelming need for cardiac anesthesiologists to enlarge our footprint in the realm of quality definitions and metrics. As payers move toward measuring quality and rewarding only value-based care, it will be increasingly important that anesthesiologists be primarily involved in outcomes assessments, database participation, and guideline development. These and other activities will be the purview of the Safety and Quality Committee. Of course our Research Committee continues to review high-quality proposals for our SCA/IARS grants. New research in multiple areas of investigation will be solicited by SCA with the intent that more research dollars will be spent on impactful projects. The Research Committee, chaired by Dr. Paul Heerdt, works tirelessly to evaluate applications for these grants.
SCA’s journal within a journal, Anesthesia & Analgesia, will also change. After 9 years of thoughtful creativity and impressive growth for the journal, Dr. Steve Shafer’s term as editor-in-chief will come to a close and a new editor-in-chief, Dr. Jean-Francois Pittet, has been selected. In conjunction, the position of associate editor-in-chief, the editor of our cardiovascular section, will be filled by a nomination process in which SCA has a significant voice. We will seek recommendations from our members and leadership so that the nomination of this next important role will allow SCA to be correctly positioned in the literature.
In line with these changes, this very newsletter, the SCA Bulletin, will have a new online face as well. Our editor, Dr. Dalia Banks, and our dedicated contributors will ensure that cutting-edge science is relayed and that informational and educational needs are satisfied.
Change is a natural growth process. I look forward to being able to embrace it successfully so that SCA continues to be a thriving medical society. As former CEO of General Electric Jack Welch said, “Change before you have to.”