president's message

A Bittersweet Moment

Dr. GuzzettaBy Nina A. Guzzetta, MD
Emory University

It is bittersweet to write you this final message.  My term as President of CCAS has been an incredibly enriching and memorable experience.  I have had the good fortune to represent our Society at national and international venues, and have seen first-hand the tremendous impact that we are making on the anesthetic care of patients with congenital heart disease.  Of course this is true, because I’ve also seen first-hand how our membership is comprised of remarkably vibrant and committed individuals.  CCAS has made great strides in our mission because of you!   

Our upcoming meeting in Houston, Texas, promises to be a huge success.  The Program Chair, Dr. Kirsten Odegard, and Co-Chairs, Drs. James Spaeth and Susan Nicholson, have been hard at work.  The program is packed with topics highly relevant to our practice and discussed by renowned experts.  An important highlight of this year’s program will be the Arthur Keats Lecture, to be delivered by Dr. James D. DiNardo from Boston Children’s Hospital.  For those of you unfamiliar with Dr. Keats, he was the Chief of Cardiovascular Anesthesiology at the Texas Heart Institute and Texas Children's Hospital from 1974 to 2005.  He made important contributions to the anesthetic techniques used during cardiopulmonary bypass, and was especially involved in developing safe and stable anesthetic care for neonates with congenital cardiac disease. Dr. Keats died in 2007.  Because our Annual Meeting will be in his home town of Houston, Texas, the Program Committee wanted to honor Dr. Keats’ legend with a special lecture sponsored by the Dolly D. Hansen Educational Fund.  Speaking of the Dolly D. Hansen Educational Fund, please consider donating at the following link, and know that your donations make our mission possible.

Also at the 2019 Annual Meeting, we will have the privilege of hearing Mr. Doron Weber, Vice President and Program Director of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.  He authored the book “Immortal Bird”, a beautiful family memoir about his son with Fontan physiology, and will share with us his own experience with the medical establishment. Another new and exciting feature is our first-ever collaborative session with the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Society (PCICS) entitled “What Happens When the Patient Goes to the CICU?”  It will certainly be an informative session that you won’t want to miss.  More details outlining the 2019 Program can be found in this Newsletter.  The CCAS Board of Directors Meeting will be held on Friday, March 15th, and all members are welcome to attend.

As you know, CCAS is continually working to advance our mission.  We are involved in several important initiatives of which you should be aware.  We have been invited to participate in the CHiP (Congenital Heart International Professionals) Network Congenital Heart and Pediatric Cardiac Journal Watch. Their objective is to advance our understanding from research to patient care and to improve quality and outcomes in patients with congenital heart disease.  Beginning in January, every six months CCAS will review two published articles pertinent to pediatric cardiac anesthesia to share on-line with the network.  The Communications Committee is coordinating this effort so, if motivated, please contact them to write a review.  Also, CCAS is working on collaborative educational materials with the Neonatal Heart Society to better define care for neonates with congenital heart disease.  And finally, you’ll be hearing more about future ongoing collaborations with PCICS in addition to the co-sponsored session at the Annual Meeting.

In closing, it has been a true honor to serve as CCAS President.  I am humbled by the tireless enthusiasm and commitment of our membership, and what we have accomplished together as a Society.  I thank you for your investment in CCAS.  Thanks are also due to the CCAS Board of Directors, committee chairs and members, and the entire Ruggles management team, especially Stewart Hinckley and Kim Battle, for their invaluable support.  The incoming leadership team is an impressive group of talented individuals who will continue to move our mission forward.  As for myself, I look forward to continuing to be a part of this amazing society.   

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