On Sunday, June 7 the California Society of Anesthesiologists convened its annual governance meeting, the House of Delegates. Due to restrictions on public gatherings and non-essential travel, the June HOD meeting was convened virtually via Zoom for the first time ever with over 100 officers, directors, delegates, alternates and guests participating.
The House considered a total of six resolutions from individual delegates – an indication of a greater level of engagement by HOD members as a result of CSA’s recent reorganization. Among the resolutions considered included the establishment of a committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; the establishment of a task force on Environmental Sustainability; and directing the Legislative and Practice Affairs Division to develop strategies addressing Fair Medicare reimbursement and Anesthesia Practice Equity and Income Resources.
One of the primary purposes of the annual HOD meeting is to elect officers. Two officer elections were contested – for the ASA Director and the ASA Alternate Director positions – and candidate speeches were presented and elections for each office were held. The following individuals will serve as CSA’s 2020-21 Officers:
President Jeffrey A. Poage, MD
President-Elect Ronald G. Pearl, MD, PhD
Immediate Past President Christine A. Doyle, MD, FASA
Past President Samuel H. Wald, MD, MBA, FASA
*President Emeritus Karen S. Sibert, MD, FASA
Secretary Philip Levin, MD
Assistant Secretary Eugenia Ayrian, MD
Treasurer John Hsieh, MD, FASA
Assistant Treasurer Phillip Richardson, MD, MBA, FASA
Speaker of the House of Delegates Edward R. Mariano, MD, MAS
Vice Speaker of the House of Delegates Christina M. Menor, MD
Chair, Educational Programs Division Richard Applegate, MD, FASA
Chair, Legislative and Practice Affairs Division Antonio Hernandez Conte, MD, MBA
**ASA Director for California Linda B. Hertzberg, MD, FASA
**ASA Director for California Paul B. Yost, MD, FASA
**ASA Alternate Director for California Johnathan L. Pregler, MD
* Dr. Sibert has elected President Emeritus by the CSA Board of Directors per CSA Bylaws
** Dr. Yost will replace Dr. Hertzberg as ASA Director in October after the ASA House of Delegates and Dr. Pregler will begin a second term as ASA Alternate Director at that time.
Mary Dale Peterson, MD, FASA – ASA President
Dr. Peterson provided the House with a very detailed update from ASA with a special emphasis on ASA leadership and staff engagement in response to the COVID pandemic, noting that anesthesiologists have assumed a front-line role in the nation’s response, including her personal engagement with the White House COVID Task Force concerning supplies of respirators and PPE. Dr. Peterson discussed ASA’s effort to oppose a directive from the VA, ostensibly is response to the COVID crisis, to grant nurse anesthetists with full practice authority. Dr. Peterson also discussed ASA’s efforts to engage on behalf of anesthesiologists to develop legislation concerning out of network billing that gets the patient out of the middle, ensures access and provides fair reimbursement to physicians.
Dan Cole, MD, FASA – CSA Distinguished Service Award Recipient
The former President of both the CSA and the ASA, Dr. Cole was presented with CSA’s Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Cole expressed his sincere gratitude to the CSA for the many opportunities to experience professional and personal development, including learning from friends and mentors. Dr. Cole noted the gift that he and members of the House have been given – the ability to relive the pain and suffering of others. He reminded the group of their responsibility to protect patients and their colleagues through diligent advocacy in their practice environments and at the state and federal levels and encouraged delegates to utilize the CSA to help them “step out of their comfort zone and fight for what’s right.”
Christine Doyle, MD, FASA – CSA President
In her outgoing remarks as CSA President, Dr. Doyle reminded delegates of the progress CSA has made over the last several years as a result of decisions made by the House, including a new governance structure focused on two top priorities identified by CSA members - State Advocacy and Practice Management; and a “GASPAC fix” that has grown CSA’s PAC funds from $30,000 to over $600,000 in two and a half years. Dr. Doyle thanked the House of Delegates for their commitment to the practice of anesthesiology and recognized the many mentors she has learned from in California and throughout the nation as a result of her engagement with CSA and ASA.
Jeffrey Poage, MD, FASA – CSA President Elect
As incoming CSA President, Dr. Poage referenced the social unrest in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, noting he and his family have experienced the adverse physical and psychological impacts of violence. Dr. Poage affirmed CSA leadership’s intent to address adverse impacts of violence and systemic racism, leveraging a Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion as recommended within one of the resolutions presented to the House of Delegates. Dr. Poage also referenced the economic threats to the practice of anesthesiology that have become even more pronounced since the COVID-19 outbreak and promised to encourage CSA members to engage on these issues on a more consistent basis leaving zoom conferencing.
Upon recommendation by the Reference Committee, the House of Delegates approved several resolutions offered by individual members:
Resolution 1: Task Force on Global Health
Establishes a CSA Task Force on Global Health with a focus on California with possible integration of local underserved and international opportunities.
Resolution 2: Anesthesia Practice Equity and Income Resources
CSA directs the Practice Management Committee to provide educational resources on mergers, acquisitions and practice equity to members and also investigate creation of novel tools to benefit CSA members.
Resolution 3: CSA District Delegate Elections
CSA directs a committee of the President’s choice to consider possible processes and develop language to help ensure geographically diverse representation amongst Geographic District directors and delegates and alternate delegates. Also recommended that CSA ask CoLDaN to identify and encourage candidates from geographically under-represented areas to run for office in the CSA
Resolution 4: Task Force on Environmental Sustainability’
Establishes a task force on Environmental Sustainability to evaluate current sustainability efforts in the state and seek to identify and advance legislative, educational, and other opportunities to promote “green anesthesia” and other methods by which ORs may reduce their environmental footprint.
Resolution 5: Fair Medi-Cal Payments
Directs the CSA Legislative and Practice Affairs Division set up a task force to specifically investigate legal and legislative initiatives and any other means possible to counter unfair payment practices by MediCal and MediCal insurance intermediaries and their impact on anesthesia care to MediCal beneficiaries in California.
Resolution 6: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Directs CSA to create a new Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with development of an ad hoc task force to evaluate, educate, and address to the CSA President issues of racism and bias within the organization and provide resources to the CSA membership on issues such as, but not limited to: racism and unconscious bias, how to foster equitable work environments, and how to recruit, retain, promote, and hire diversity within our physician workforce.
To view the complete Reference Committee Report, including final language for all six House resolutions, please click here.
2021 Distinguished Service Award
The House voted unanimously to acknowledge former CSA President Narendra Trivedi MD, FASA, with the Distinguished Service Award, which will be presented at the 2021 House of Delegates meeting.