ASRA News, May 2021

Spring ASRA Meeting Take Two! A Second Chance at Our Visions of the Future at ASRA Fall 2020 Worldwide

Nov 1, 2020

Jaime Baratta, MD, Co-Chair, ASRA Worldwide 2020/19th Annual Pain Medicine Meeting; Chair, 45th Annual Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Medicine Meeting

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Dr. Jaime Baratta


Much like it has been for the rest of the world, the last few months have been a rollercoaster. In the spring, my planning committee and I were excited to bring you an innovative and thought-provoking meeting, but, of course, COVID-19 had other plans.  


The PACU is not the finish line, and there is so much more we can do to provide value for our patients beyond the operating room.  


As the chair of the 45th Annual Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Medicine meeting, the process of planning this meeting began several years ago and our team had done our homework by listening to feedback and developing sessions geared to your needs. From the start of this process, it was such a great honor to be chosen as scientific chair of this meeting and to serve ASRA and the membership and deliver what we knew would be a successful meeting. Now after overcoming the initial heartbreak of the cancellation, we are excited for this new opportunity. It is our Spring ASRA Take Two! And what makes this meeting even more special, is that combined with the Fall ASRA Pain Medicine Meeting, the educational opportunities and content will be more diverse than ever. This entire program encompasses cutting-edge topics for regional anesthesiologists, acute pain medicine practitioners, and chronic pain medicine practitioners.

With four concurrent tracks, we are continuing to promote diversity and inclusion. Regional anesthesiology and acute pain medicine continues to grow and evolve exponentially not only in science, research, and guidelines, but also in our membership. This year, you see (virtually of course) a number of new faces who are excited to share their expertise with you. 

Unfortunately, I couldn’t bring all of my planned meeting sessions to you for this virtual meeting. With all of the content we had planned and limited space, it was so hard to choose what to include. One of the main themes of the meeting is the role of acute pain physicians in perioperative medicine. We play an integral role in driving enhanced recovery and managing the complicated issues in perioperative pain management. As I’ve said before, the PACU is not the finish line, and there is so much more we can do to provide value for our patients beyond the operating room. We are bringing together leaders in our field to discuss our impact on outcomes. Does ERAS work for every patient? What about the complicated patients who are outliers? We will also talk about the pain trajectory — from acute pain to transitional pain to chronic pain — can we predict which patients are most at risk and intervene earlier so as no patient is left behind? Expert faculty will address these topics throughout the meeting, including Drs. Kristin Schreiber, David Clarke, Vijaya Gottumukkala, Sean Mackey, Meg Rosenblatt, Ellen Soffin, Danielle Ludwin, Jinlei Li, Andrea Nicol, Eric Schwenk, and Stephen Macres (just to name a few). We are excited to introduce so many newer faces to the ASRA membership as well, including, Drs. Lopa Misra, Steven Porter, Rodney Gabriel, Christopher Robards, Meera Gonzalez, Ashley Shilling, and Jeffrey Ciccone. 

Regional anesthesia is continually evolving and developing, and ASRA is dedicated to not only embracing our tradition but continuing to introduce new techniques. While a virtual meeting is not conducive to workshops, we are excited to offer an advanced fascial plane blocks interactive demonstration. A number of the world experts of fascial plane blocks including Drs. Sree Kolli, Ki-Jinn Chin, Hesham Elsharkawy, Nadia Hernandez, and Hari Kalagara will join to share with you their knowledge and techniques for the erector spinae blocks, quadratus lumborum blocks, and retrolaminar blocks. Come enjoy this session with all your burning questions in hand! As regional anesthesia has moved beyond the traditional indications, join our faculty as they discuss additional opportunities to show our value and help our patients by “Thinking Outside the Blocks.” Has the ultrasound become the new stethoscope? Point-of care ultrasound (PoCUS) experts Dr. Karen Boretsky and Dr. Stephen Haskins will take the virtual stage and debate this topic in a can’t-miss event. We’ve invited orthopedic surgeons to give their perspective on enhanced recovery and pain management in ambulatory joint surgery, joint revision surgery, and spine surgery including Dr. Frank Schwab and Dr. Derek Amanatullah. 

One of our main focuses this year is physician wellness, and, as we continue to navigate the challenges of this pandemic, these sessions could not be more timely and necessary. We have a special session on recognizing and enhancing wellness as it continues to afflict medicine as a whole. Dr. Michael Weinstein, renowned trauma surgeon, will cover his inspiring journey and ultimate triumph through this all too common topic, while Drs. Ashley Shilling, Brian Harrington, and Meera Gonzalez will give their insight on burnout and physician wellness programs.

While we couldn’t include the entire practice management portfolio, Drs. Sanjay Sinha, Colin McCartney, and Alexandru Visan will address the most pressing issues facing our specialty. The COVID-19 pandemic has stressed healthcare systems across the country, and it is imperative that we, as regional anesthesiologists and acute pain physicians, show our value and ensure our financial survival. Another can’t-miss event is the RAPM Data Blast: A Year in Review. Dr. Brian Sites, editor-in-chief, will lead a panel of experts in discussing and highlighting this past year’s most impactful journal articles.

After the rollercoaster last several months of planning, I want to extend my thanks and deepest appreciation to my planning committee and the ASRA staff for their support throughout the highs and lows of this process. None of this would be possible without the hard work of every one of them. Having the unique opportunity to collaborate and work with the Fall Meeting Chair and now my co-chair, Dr. Magda Anitescu, has been a true honor, and I know that her portion of the program is cutting edge, innovative, and “the perfect vision” of the trajectory of pain medicine. Although I am saddened that we cannot meet, learn, network, and celebrate in person, I am excited to “virtually” meet and connect with you all again this November. Come log-on this November and get comfortable on your couch for a fun-filled, packed three days of learning, debating, discussing, and connecting with experts in regional anesthesia, acute pain medicine, and pain medicine. We can’t wait to “see” you again at ASRA Worldwide 2020!

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