By Anjana Kundu, MBBS, MD
Dayton Children's Hospital
Spring is a wonderful time of the year. As we all await its arrival and prepare to meet in Houston for our 6th SPPM Annual Meeting, it is also a great time to spring forth into the next chapter of our Society under the expert leadership of Dr. Rita Agarwal, as the next President.
It is with great pride, gratitude and excitement that I write my final address to you all, in my role as the president of SPPM. The Annual Meeting in Houston marks the completion of my term. So this is an opportune time to reflect on the great strides we have made over the past two years. SPPM has continued to advance the initiatives critical to the mission of our Society and established great new milestones of growth, learning, sharing, and networking. A few of the highlights include:
Excellent educational resources and support for its members remains a top priority. Through the leadership of the education committee and the tireless efforts of the program chairs, we have continued to offer exceptional scientific and educational programs, inviting both the world-renowned keynote speakers and the upcoming stars in pain medicine, via exciting workshops, Problem Based Learning Discussions, and by highlighting advances in research and young researchers. The scientific program of our 6th annual meeting exemplifies this commitment.
Education and Research Fund
To further our commitment to providing better care of children affected by pain, advancing the field of pediatric pain medicine, SPPM in 2018, established the SPPM Education and Research Fund. With a firm commitment from SPPM leadership to provide ongoing annual contributions to the fund, it has started growing. However, the engagement and contributions from the membership are critical for such an effort to flourish. This fund will support the projects that advance the educational and research endeavors critical to the mission of the Society and benefit its members. CLICK HERE to make a contribution.
Case of The Month
Each month on our website, Dr. Franklin Chiao, with the guidance of an editorial body consisting of Drs. Sabine Kost-Byerly, Rita Agarwal, and Harshad Gurnaney, has been posting a practical, engaging, educational and thought provoking case submitted by the SPPM members. Be sure to take advantage of this resource and submit a case yourself so that your colleagues can also learn from your experiences.
The editorial board led by Drs. Yuan-Chi-Lin, Wick Kraemer and Meredith Brooks and contributions from enthusiastic members, has elevated the level of resources available to our members though regularly published newsletters replete with up-to date research updates, clinical practices, and meeting reviews. This edition of the newsletter especially delves into the challenges, advances and expert reviews in pediatric pain share pediatric chronic pain conditions as well as a fantastic review of the most recent literature relevant to pediatric pain medicine.
Websites, Social Media and Online Journal Club
SPPM has been very active and has had a remarkable online presence through its website (http://www.pedspainmedicine.org/) and the social media accounts Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/SocietyForPediatricPainMedicine/), Twitter (https://twitter.com/PedsPainMed) @PedsPainMed. The Society, under the expert leadership of Dr. Deepa Kattail, offers its over 800 followers, an ability to network, communicate, discuss clinical challenges (with de-identified data, and even anonymously), share relevant updates, news, announcements and publications.
In 2018, we hosted two extremely successful online journal clubs via twitter chat, with high engagements. This is the new-wave of learning and exchanging expertise, that defies the geographical and even time related barriers, making up-to-date information available at our fingertips. Please stay tuned for the updates and be sure to be in the know of what’s happening at 6th Annual meeting in Houston. Although, I hope to see you there, but even if you can’t physically make it there, you can still participate through Facebook and Twitter handle @PedsPainMed using #SPPM2019.
Dr. Benjamin Lee continues to lead the research committee that he and Dr. Sapna Kudchadkar founded. Under his leadership, the committee hosts an annual workshop on Research and Publications, has created a strong network for collaborative research, mechanism to identify research priorities in pediatric pain medicine, and streamlined a process for our members and other external organizations seeking support for a grant application and/or a survey to membership for research purposes.
In addition to the tireless work of the Education, Communications, and Research committees, the ad-hoc committee on membership, led by Drs. Robert Wilder and Petra Meier-Haran, has worked extensively with the SPA leadership to create a membership structure that allows the non-anesthesiologist (physicians & non-physicians) pediatric pain medicine providers to have active membership with voting rights within the SPPM. This is in alignment with the nature of the truly multidisciplinary make up of our specialty.
Liaisons & Advocacy
We have fostered strong liaisons and productive collaborations with a number of organizations including SPA, ASA, and AAP, American Pain Society (APS), the pediatric section of the International Association for Study of Pain (IASP) and FDA in order to strengthen our goals and objectives. We have partnered with them in creating policies and guidelines around management of pediatric acute pain, chronic pain, training for pediatric pain providers, advocating for improved safety and quality of care, including safety and efficacy of opioids in children.
We have initiated a dialogue and partnership with the US Pain Foundation, largest parent/patient led advocacy group for pain patients in North America. This is aimed to strengthen and create bridges between the providers and recipients of pediatric pain care, that lend themselves to improved, coordinated and cost-effective outcomes. We have also initiated partnership with our Canadian colleagues, Dr. Christine Chambers and her colleagues, in a Knowledge Mobilization grant supported by the Canadian government, Solutions for Kids in Pain (SKIP) project.
None of this would have been feasible without the insurmountable support I received from the SPPM executive committee, the Board of Directors, chairs and members of the committees, SPA leadership, the amazing staff at Ruggles especially Kim Battle and Stewart Hinckley, who made this job not only easy but a pleasure. Above all, I am honored and humbled to have your, the members, support during these two years, as you shape the future of our specialty and society. I thank you all for this privilege!
Looking forward, as I assist the society as immediate past president, I am thrilled to handover the reigns to Dr. Rita Agarwal, as the next President of the Society. She brings her decades of experience of exemplary leadership, serving on the Board of Directors of the SPA, and as the President of the AAP Section on Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine. She is a dynamic leader with a wealth of administrative and clinical experience, passion for education, and an uncanny ability to network, be perceptive and objective. She will be joined by Dr. Robert Wilder as the new President-Elect, and Dr. Yuan-Chi Lin as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Society. Please join me in welcoming our newly elected Board of Directors, Drs. Vidya Chidambaran, (also serving as the Chair of the Annual Meeting in Houston), Scott Dingeman and Rosalie Tassone. I am confident that the Society will reach new heights of success with this dynamic leadership.
I thank the members completing their term, Drs. Sabine Kost- Byerly, as the immediate Past President, Petra Meier, and Joe Tobias on the Board of Directors for their hard work and dedication to the growth of SPPM.
Thank you for the support and trust you have granted me as your president, and the board members working on your behalf. Your engagement and involvement is paramount to the growth of your society. There are innumerable easy ways in which we can all make a difference and uphold your society’s mission of offering better care for children in pain; share, spread the word, join a committee, volunteer, contributing as a scholar and/or offer financial support.
See you all in Houston!