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Eye on the Exec

ASA Monitor Today

Brief updates from ASA’s executive staff on important society activities, current trends in the medical association world, insider anecdotes, and any other news and information from leadership that our members might need to know.

2023 – April 6  |  March  |  February  |  January

ASA’s Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative – What is it? Why does it matter? How can you help?

April 6

To support the continued success of ASA, a long-range or multiple-year financial plan is developed each year. These projections show that our operating expenses are growing faster than our revenue. As dues revenue represents approximately 50% of ASA’s total annual operating revenue, it is imperative to grow and diversify our revenue streams so we can continue to deliver on our strategic goals now and in the future.

The ASA Board of Directors approved a Strategic Revenue Growth plan, including a $4 million board-designated fund. The “ASA Innovation Fund” focuses on new sources of non-member/non-dues revenue. The goal of the plan is to generate $5 million of incremental revenue starting in 2025. The board-designated fund will be used to build the infrastructure necessary to execute the plan and launch new products and services. A subcommittee of the Section on Fiscal Affairs was constituted to oversee the plan. The initial target markets are hospitals and health systems.

Critical to the success of the plan is consistency, agility, and rigor in decision-making. The idea development cycle is being used to provide structure to that end. The start of the cycle is identifying solutions and ideas grounded in audience needs.

We need your help identifying how ASA’s expertise could be leveraged to help solve the problems and mitigate the challenges faced by stakeholders you work with each day. Who are the non-member audiences you interact with and what are their pain points? We are interested in your ideas and suggestions. Please send me an email at

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March 2023

Eye on the Executive… Dr. Randall Clark, Immediate Past President

March 8

Dr. Randall ClarkASA Immediate Past President Randall M. Clark, MD, FASA, was featured on the cover of ASA Monitor’s March issue in a retrospective look at his time in office. Read a snippet of his interview below and find the full article here.

What does your professional life look like now that you’ve completed your term?

After finishing the year in October, I retired from the University of Colorado School of Medicine, although I do hope to continue to help my colleagues at Children’s Hospital with a few days of work each month. I hope to use my more than 40 years in medicine and leadership in other ways. I am exploring opportunities to serve on other boards of directors and might even consider returning on a part-time basis to my alma mater, the University of Colorado College of Engineering in Boulder.

How many weeks were you away from your practice this past year, and how did your practice support you during this time? Does an individual have to take sabbatical while serving as president?

I was just looking at my airline summary for 2022 and it shows 70 legs as having been flown, which does not even include the half-dozen trips I took flying our family airplane. Members should know that ASA provides a stipend for the President, President-Elect, and First Vice President. The stipend for President “bought” a little more than half of my time from the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Nonclinical time allotted as a Professor of Anesthesiology and the liberal, yet judicious use of vacation time did the rest.

Which presidential duties did you find most rewarding?

Most state component societies have a formal meeting each year where the ASA President or another officer gives an update on the activities of our society. Attending these meetings and interacting with a huge number of members was really the best part of being president. Nothing compares to hearing from people in these relaxed and informal conversations.

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ASA’s unique approach to the customer experience

March 1

Maureen GeogheganASA is already headlong into the 2023 membership year. You have surely received your membership renewal reminders, invoices, and other prompts to ensure your dues are paid and your membership is up to date so you don’t miss out on information or benefits. Those operational functions are necessary for ASA, but more critical to ASA’s mission is the value members find and how satisfied they are with their membership. And that satisfaction doesn’t happen by luck or by accident.

Our staff teams (and their committee partners) are purposefully aligned to create and deliver excellent experiences for members. This may be a large-scale event like the annual meeting where the environment on site is designed to be dynamic, exciting, and welcoming – conducive to learning and fun. Or it may be a smaller, less obvious touchpoint like the auto-renewal feature (so you don’t have to bother with those invoices).

Guided by a member-focused strategy, we have built a holistic approach to research and customer experience, one that is relatively unique to medical associations. Quantitative and qualitative techniques – including surveys, extensive interviews, anecdotal feedback, user testing, and, of course, committee input – contribute to the development of programs and resources that solve problems and support members. We have trained cross-functional and cross-departmental staff in the art of customer journey mapping, which is a discipline to help us literally sketch out end-to-end experiences so we can find and fix areas of friction and create opportunities for positive interaction. We have mapped large journeys, like the full arc of a resident. We have mapped small journeys, like the process for claiming CME. This skillset helps us review and design experiences from the member’s unique perspective. As a result, you’ve seen improvements in our overall communications and messaging, the committee nomination and application process, meeting registration functions, online education modules, and in-person events. This strategy has directly supported ASA’s successful engagement efforts with key member groups of medical students, residents, and early-career anesthesiologists.

We invite ASA member feedback on our customer experience efforts. Please email me directly at

Improved experience driven by audience understanding

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February 2023

ASA Chief Health Policy Officer on Advance 2023: ‘The best meeting of its kind’

February 2

Joseph SzokolThe annual ASA Advance (The Anesthesiology Business Event) meeting took place over the weekend of January 27-29 in sunny Orlando, Florida. The conference commenced with a rousing keynote address by former brigadier general and now Kellogg/Northwestern Graduate School of Management professor Bernie Banks, who spoke on leading in turbulent times and the need for being able to adjust in a constantly changing environment.

Throughout the course of the meeting, the lecture rooms were packed, the audience was engaged, and there was a palpable level of excitement. This conference couldn’t be better timed or better purposed. Its goal is to help attendees learn how to lead their groups and organizations during challenging times.

The Advance meeting is the best meeting of its kind in all of medicine for topics related to practice management, leadership, advocacy, operating room management, culture, organizational psychology, economics, health equity, and developing one’s value proposition. I’m sure everyone who attended walked away with some form of practical knowledge that they put into action when they returned home. I personally can’t wait for Advance 2024 in Las Vegas to learn more on these topics and to connect with friends, old and new.

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January 2023

ASA COO introduces new ad hoc committee on market strategy for anesthesiology

January 26

Brian ReillyThe most fulfilling thing about working as staff at a medical specialty society, especially one as proactive and effective as ASA, is the opportunity to work with members on the many incredibly interesting and challenging issues facing the specialty. Much of ASA’s work happens via its standing committees and editorial boards. ASA currently has more than 60 committees and nine editorial boards.

Occasionally, in order to tackle issues that fall outside the domain of a standing committee or may require that solutions to specific challenges be developed in a compressed amount of time, ASA’s President is empowered by the Board of Directors to form and appoint members to ad hoc committees. ASA currently has nine ad hoc committees.

I am writing today to introduce you to one of ASA’s newest ad hocs: the Ad Hoc Committee on Market Strategy for Anesthesiology. ASA President Michael Champeau formed the committee in December and appointed President-Elect Ronald L. Harter to be its chair.

For many years, ASA has successfully defended anesthesiologist-delivered and -led care in legislative and regulatory channels at both the federal and state levels. In this ever-changing climate, ASA feels it is imperative now to complement those efforts with a clear and effective market-based strategy. As a thought exercise, consider how the specialty of anesthesiology would market itself if those legislative and regulatory protections didn’t exist. That’s what ASA's new Ad Hoc Committee on Market Strategy for Anesthesiology will address. Specifically, the ad hoc will:

  1. Identify ways to create market demand for anesthesiologist-delivered and -led care among patients and caregivers
  2. Support the individuals and institutions that utilize anesthesiologist-delivered and -led care
  3. Educate relevant constituents about the benefits of anesthesiologist-delivered and -led care and motivate them to remove obstacles in the way of anesthesiologist-delivered and -led care.

ASA’s Made for this Moment marketing campaign touches on many of these themes and has laid an excellent foundation for the work of the ad hoc, which will identify key stakeholders and will, for each constituency, determine what ASA wants each of them to know and do and how we will get it done.

Last year, in preparation for the formation of the ad hoc, member leadership and staff participants read “The Human Element,” by Loran Nordgren and David Schonthal, both of whom are professors at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. We also did a half-day workshop with Professor Nordgren. The book outlines different causes of resistance to new ideas and ways to overcome that resistance. We’ve sent copies of the book to all ad hoc members as well, and we anticipate many of the principles from that book will be incorporated into the strategies and tactics developed by the committee.

The ad hoc committee members are:

  • Ronald Harter, Chair
  • Smitha Arekapudi
  • Michael Champeau
  • Lois Connolly
  • Jay Epstein
  • Jonathan Gal
  • David Hatch
  • Elizabeth Malinzak
  • Gordon Morewood
  • Asha Padmanabhan
  • Srikanth Sridhar
  • Adam Striker
  • Crystal Wright

Thank you to these committee members and all other committee and editorial board members who put in countless hours in service to the society and specialty.

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What we’re watching in 2023

January 10

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (left) and Paul PomerantzI hope you’re enjoying our newly rebranded ASA Monitor Today publication (formally Anesthesiology Today). As you’ll see going forward, there are a number of new sections designed to keep you informed, both about the wider health care ecosystem and also what’s going on at your ASA. I’m excited to introduce the Eye on the Exec section, where ASA executive staff will share with you the inside perspective of the trends we’re observing and initiatives we’re working on. You, our members, deal with tremendous challenges every day. You do everything you can to provide the highest-quality, safest care despite these challenges. We see our job as working in partnership with our elected leadership and committees to do everything we can to eliminate those barriers and empower you. Our professional staff represents a wide range of disciplines, from public policy, to educational design, event planning, communications, publishing, research methodology, information technology, and more. We look forward to sharing our insights and to the dialog these informal communications will generate.

I recently read the article “What’s ahead for healthcare in 2023?” in Modern Healthcare. Unsurprisingly, many of the health leaders quoted were apprehensive about the coming months, including ongoing financial struggles, payer-provider contract difficulties, and staffing shortages. But there were also notes of optimism, particularly around digital health and improved technology.

Here are my thoughts on the challenges and opportunities that we will be watching closely in 2023:

  • Workforce imbalances are stressing just about every type of practice. A major driver has been the proliferation of hospital OR, ambulatory, and non-OR locations. The work product from our Workforce Summit, held in June under the leadership of Past President Mary Dale Peterson, will help in the development of new training paradigms, creative new work arrangements, tools to enhance OR efficiency, and new approaches to NORA oversight.
  • Payment, both public and private, remains the specialty’s single major challenge. We will continue to strengthen our focus on solutions to the “33% problem” while also addressing the insurance dysfunctions caused by the “No Surprises Act.” This year, we will launch the Center for Anesthesia and Perioperative Economics in order to develop a long-term and comprehensive approach to the economics of the specialty.
  • Consolidation of payers, health systems, and physician groups will continue to disrupt markets and drive further mergers and acquisitions. Worth watching are innovative models of vertical integration, including payers and physicians (e.g., United Health Care), pharmacy and primary care (e.g., CVS), and digital health and primary care (e.g., Amazon and One Medical). We can anticipate an accelerating pace of disruption to brick-and-mortar health care.

Image caption: With Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, who serves the 8th District of Illinois and whose wife is an anesthesiologist.

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