ASRA Pain Medicine News, May 2024

President’s Message: The Power of ASRA Pain Medicine Volunteers

May 2, 2024, 06:10 AM by David Provenzano, MD

Cite as: Provenzano D. President's message: the power of ASRA Pain Medicine volunteers. ASRA Pain Medicine News 2024;49.

ASRA Pain Medicine truly has so much to be proud of over the last year. Our accomplishments include two exceptional meetings, the 22nd Annual Pain Medicine Meeting and the 49th Annual Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Medicine Meeting; expanding and solidifying ASRA Pain Medicine's reach to more residents and fellows, other specialties, and program director leadership; building relationships with our sister societies, ESRA, LASRA, AOSRA-PM, and AFSRA, the American Society of Anesthesiologists, and the Canadian Anesthesiologists Society – Regional Anesthesia Section; publishing guidelines and practice advisories to advance the field and patient care; enhancing the journal and focusing on evidence-based research; and increasing the depth of our advocacy efforts. All these successes are only possible due to the strength of the volunteers of ASRA Pain Medicine.

I am truly grateful for all the volunteers’ time, expertise, and unwavering support of the society’s mission of advancing the science and practice of regional anesthesia and pain medicine to improve patient outcomes through research, education, and advocacy as well as the society’s vision to relieve the global burden of pain. Volunteers serve on the board of directors (11 individuals), 28 committees (347 individuals), 25 special interest groups (50+ individuals), Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine journal (100+ individuals), the Annual Meeting Program committees (40+ individuals), annual meeting and course faculty (240+ individuals), social media ambassadors (30+ individuals), mentors, researchers, authors of guidelines, and American Medical Association representatives (9 individuals). The week of April 21, we celebrated National Volunteer Week, but our volunteers should be celebrated all year long. Below, I would like to highlight some of the volunteers that have been extremely dedicated to the society during the last 12 months. Please do not take it personally if you are not listed; we are limited because of space constraints.

All these successes are only possible due to the strength of the volunteers of ASRA Pain Medicine.
ASRA Pain Medicine Board of Directors with Meeting Chair Dr. Ki Jinn Chin.

A Successful Spring Meeting and a Flourishing Journal

The spring meeting was a huge success. I was thrilled to see all the attendees learning, smiling, interacting, and collaborating. Dr. Ki Jinn Chin, the 49th Annual Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Medicine Scientific Planning Committee Chair, and the scientific committee developed a dynamic program that attracted 1,125 attendees. The Continuing Medical Education Committee provided oversight to ensure compliance with accreditation guidelines and maintain the scientific excellence expected of ASRA Pain Medicine. We are grateful to the chairs of this committee, Drs. Stuart Grant and Max Eckmann (2023-2024), and the committee members who oversaw the educational mission of the society and development of content for this incredible meeting.

Dr. David Provenzano and Dr. Ki Jinn Chin at the 49th Annual Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Medicine Meeting.
Networking Reception at the 49th Annual Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Medicine Meeting.

The journal of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (RAPM) continues to flourish and grow under the leadership of the editor-in-chief, Dr. Brian Sites, and associate editor-in-chief for Chronic Pain, Dr. Sam Eldabe. In 2023, submissions increased by 11% with original research comprising nearly half of RAPM’s published material. In addition, an estimated 2,800 podcast downloads occurred in 2023. The board continues to support the journal as the premiere resource for the pain medicine community. The journal is the main way to disseminate educational and research content that assists us in providing high quality pain care to patients.

Ground-Breaking Guidelines and Exceptional Research

ASRA Pain Medicine is known for its guidelines, and they continue to be developed and published at a high level. 2024 will be an exciting year with the release of several much-anticipated guidelines. From the multisociety guidelines on steroid injections and the ASRA Pain Medicine infection control guidelines to the update on the regional anesthesia anticoagulation guidelines and the upcoming plan A blocks for pediatrics, ASRA Pain Medicine continues to be a trusted resource for scientific advisories and guidelines related to anesthesia, analgesia, and acute and chronic pain. All these guidelines would not be possible without the assistance of the home office, authors, and the Guidelines and Regulatory Advocacy Committee, which was led by co-chairs Drs. Carlo Pino and Eric Schwenk (2023-2024). Dr. Schwenk will now transition as a co-chair, and Dr. Rakesh Sondekoppam will serve in this position (2024-2025). Drs. Pino and Schwenk and the committee members worked tirelessly to ensure that the guidelines reflect the quality expected of ASRA Pain Medicine.

2023-2024 Guidelines and Regulatory Advocacy Committee Members.

Research constitutes one of the main pillars (ie, research, education, and advocacy) of ASRA Pain Medicine. The Research Committee reviews all the applications for the four research grants, Carl Koller Memorial Research Grant, Chronic Pain Medicine Research Grant, Early-Stage Investigator Award, and Graduate Student Award as well as the abstracts for the scientific meetings. For the recent spring meeting, 458 abstracts were accepted. For these abstracts to be accepted, they needed to be graded. Dr. Gina Votta-Velis (chair) and Rebecca Johnson (vice chair) and the committee put an extensive amount of time into ensuring ASRA Pain Medicine’s research mission and objectives are met. We are also grateful to all the authors that submitted work to the meeting. In today’s healthcare environment, nonclinical time is fleeting, and the requirements for research are often met and performed in the evenings and on weekends.

2023-2024 Research Committee Members.

A Thriving Newsletter, Resources for Residents and Fellows, and Special Interest Groups

The ASRA Pain Medicine newsletter thrived under the leadership of Dr. Vivian Ip and the significant efforts of the Newsletter Committee. In 2023, there were 176,520 users with more than 271,204 views of ASRA Pain Medicine News.After the first quarter of 2024, with 63,016 users and 90,883 views, we are tracking to have an even larger reach this year. How I Do It: Suprainguinal Fascia Iliaca Block (November 2020) continues to be the top viewed article with almost 16,000 pageviews in 2023 alone. Other top viewed articles from 2023 include How I Do It: PEricapsular Nerve Group (PENG) Block (August 2023), and How I Do It: Genicular Nerve Blocks for Acute Pain (May 2022). One of the main objectives during my presidency was to increase collaboration between ASRA Pain Medicine and the sister societies. The newsletter has been a great vehicle for sharing knowledge among the sister societies and collaborating with other societies, such as the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) and Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society. The February issue featured three of these collaborations: Building Bridges: ASRA Pain Medicine and ESRA's Path to Collective Success, ASA and ASRA Pain Medicine: Partnering for a Better Future for Our Patients, and ASRA Pain Medicine Collaboration Expanding up North: Working Together with the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society Regional and Acute Pain Section.

The Resident Fellow Committee (previously the Resident Section Committee) continues to shape the educational offerings and resources we provide to our medical students, residents, and fellows. The 2023-2024 committee chair and chair-elect, Drs. Siyun Xie and Anishinder Parkash, led the committee and eight sub-groups in developing problem-based learning discussions, virtual program director meet and greets, and trainee quiz bowls at the annual meetings. This committee has more than 80 trainee members, who are eager and enthusiastic about the pain medicine field and are the future of our society.

The Resident Fellow Committee at the 22nd Annual Pain Medicine Meeting.

Our SIGs also continue to flourish. Recently, Dr. Meg Rosenblatt was appointed as the SIG board liaison and has taken leadership in helping to streamline, enhance, and maximize the efforts of the SIGs. The SIGs have always been a resource to ASRA Pain Medicine members, and now with Dr. Rosenblatt’s initiative, they will bring their SIG-specific content to the annual meetings in their own unique way. SIGs will be able to present educational content, encourage faculty development, and disseminate key information during their SIG meetings at the ASRA Pain Medicine annual meetings. In addition, Dr. Rosenblatt will be encouraging each SIG to update its mission. As SIGs evolve over time, their current purpose and what they want to achieve will now be visible to all ASRA Pain Medicine members. With more than 70% of members involved in one or more SIGs, it's clear these special interest groups make a significant difference, and the SIG volunteer leaders continue to dedicate their time to their SIG communities.

Dr. Meg Rosenblatt with the Diversity SIG at the 48th Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Medicine Meeting.

Advocacy and A New Coalition

I would also like to thank all the individuals involved in ASRA Pain Medicine’s advocacy efforts. As you may recall, ASRA Pain Medicine was seated in the AMA House of Delegates (HOD) in June 2022. Since then, our AMA involvement has grown immensely. ASRA Pain Medicine has two seats in the HOD, me and Dr. Gary Schwartz with alternate delegate Dr. Richard Chou. We also have a Resident & Fellow Section representative, which will transition this year from Dr. Lee Tian to Dr. Edgar Remotti while keeping Dr. Tian involved with the AMA. We welcome Dr. Remotti and look forward to him getting further immersed in these activities. As a seated specialty society in the AMA HOD, ASRA Pain Medicine has representation on the CPT Editorial Panel with advisor Dr. Houman Danesh and alternate advisor Dr. David Flynn. We also have representation on the RUC Advisory Committee with advisor Dr. Trent Emerick and alternate advisor Dr. Matthew Thames. Our delegates and advisors are supported by our Practice Management Committee led by co-chairs Drs. Kevin Vorenkamp and Sandra Kopp. These individuals give countless hours and several weekends a year to represent our members, the society, and the field.

In addition, as announced at the spring meeting, ASRA Pain Medicine and ASA have joined forces to serve as organizing members of the newly formed Pain Medicine Coalition, which will be a national coalition for responsible pain care advocating on behalf of members and their patients. The Pain Medicine Coalition will work to develop, monitor, and advocate for responsible federal healthcare policy on behalf of individuals with pain and the professionals who support them through clinical care, education by addressing quality of care, access to care, public and professional education, and research. We are grateful to ASA and its Executive Committee, Drs. Ronald Harter, Donald Arnold, Patrick Giam, and Michael Champeau, for their commitment to this coalition.

Dr. Ronald Harter and Dr. David Provenzano announcing the Pain Medicine Coalition at the 49th Annual Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Medicine Meeting.

Another Note of Thanks for Your Efforts

In conclusion, if I spoke to a business and told the management team that we could recruit highly educated, passionate, and committed individuals to volunteer their time for a dedicated mission, its members would say that we would be dreaming. However, this is exactly what happens at ASRA Pain Medicine, and we will always remember and value the gifts of knowledge and time that these individuals give to the society. To all the volunteers, I say thank you, and I am ever grateful for all your efforts!

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