Spring is Coming

Happy New Year and I hope you are keeping warm! I’d like to take this column to introduce some of the activities and tools that SOCCA members can look forward to as this (surprisingly) cold winter turns to Spring.

You may first notice that this newsletter has a new format! Instead of that stodgy old pdf (that few people read), we have now moved into a platform accessible from your computer, handheld, or even Anesthesia workstation. This platform is more dynamic and flexible, allows better integration of online content, is more closely aligned with our website and Twitter page, and (hopefully) more fun to read. Please take some time to check out our Pro-Con debate on Vitamin C as a treatment for sepsis, and Dr. Kevin Hatton’s interview with past SOCCA president Dr. Todd Dorman!

If you’re wondering where some of the new energy for SOCCA comes from, I’d like to introduce our new Society Manager, Vivian Abalama. Also the society manager for AUA, Vivian joined SOCCA in June of 2017 and almost immediately has infused our society with energy, optimism, and wonderful ideas about SOCCA’s future. Among her excellent suggestions are the new online format for the Interchange (what you are currently viewing), how better to organize and market our annual meeting, and ways to improve our online presence. SOCCA’s management team now consists of Vivian, Tom Cooper, the Executive director of IARS and Meghan Whitbeck, Meetings and education director for IARS. I can attest that SOCCA is in excellent administrative hands!

At the risk of inciting Vivian’s wrath, let me “out” her email address: vabalama@iars.org. If you have ideas about how to make SOCCA better/more useful to our members, or issues with the website, membership renewal or meeting registration, please do email either her or myself (atung@dacc.uchicago.edu)! She has done a great job dragging SOCCA (and me) into the 21th century!
As springtime nears, so does the SOCCA annual meeting, which will take place this year in Chicago on Friday April 27th. Please do visit our (new) website at socca.org to register and get a look at our preliminary program! Our annual meeting committee, chaired by Dr. Adam Evans, has done a great job creating cutting edge content relevant to critical care practitioners and this year’s program includes metabolic support for the critically ill, emerging practice paradigms, a 50 year retrospective on ARDS, and innovative use of ultrasound. I should also highlight the aligned “Critical Care Focus day” on Saturday, April 28. Although Saturday is part of the IARS meeting, your SOCCA meeting registration will get you into Saturday sessions where SOCCA members will discuss topics ranging from HFpEF to postoperative respiratory failure and eICU.

If you haven’t been to the new website, please go take a look! In addition to the annual meeting webpage you can find this and older newsletters archived there, current and past meeting programs, names of SOCCA committee members, and a members only section (with our active Jobs board). This year we are working on a plan to capture annual meeting content and make it available online! Although the details have yet to be worked out, look for archived annual meeting content to become a perk of SOCCA membership.

Along with our twitter page @SOCCA_Critcare and Interchange newsletter, this website is the “patient facing” portal for SOCCA. We welcome any suggestions you might have for how to make this content more valuable for members!

I’d also like to highlight a new IARS –supported research opportunity: the AUA Clinical Trials Initiative. This joint initiative is co-sponsored by AUA, eSAS, IARS, FAER, and SOCCA and seeks to fund multicenter trials in Anesthesiology. The goal is to utilize existing clinical trial support units and multicenter networks to generate large studies similar to those found in Australia, Canada, and Sweden, and provide seed funding ($15,000) to allow the grant to be refined in anticipation of applying for NIH support. Although the submission deadline for this year’s round is past, it’s time to start planning for the next submission deadline in December 2018!

Let me close with a description about how to get more involved with SOCCA. If you are interested, SOCCA has openings in both the Communications (Newsletter) and Education (Annual Meeting) committees. Together, these committees produce the bulk of SOCCA’s work products for the year.

The 4 person Education committee (https://socca.org/committees/education/, currently Drs. Steel, Evans, Pai, and Von Homeyer) is tasked with running the annual meeting. The commitment is 4 years, and a new member begins as a “Learner”, assisting the junior and senior members plan, organize, and execute the meeting. The next year that person becomes a Junior, and “Vice Meeting Chair”. Then, “Meeting Chair”, and finally, “Emeritus”. If you are interested, please send a CV and brief statement to Vivian at the above email address! Members will be chosen by the Board at the May meeting. You should already have some experience creating and/or delivering educational content at a regional or national level. If you are interested in getting started along this track but do not yet have experience, email me (atung@dacc.uchicago.edu) and I can suggest ways to get that experience.

If you have an idea for content for the next annual meeting, send a brief description by email to the upcoming Meeting chair, Dr. Pai.

The Communications committee (https://socca.org/committees/communications/) is structured similarly. If you are interested in helping shape our new webpage, please send a CV and brief statement to Vivian at the above email address! As with the Education committee, members will be chosen by the Board and the Communications committee at the May meeting.

Finally, two slots for the SOCCA board (https://socca.org/officers/) are opening up this May. Along with the Executive Committee (Drs. Tung, Brown, Cobas, Wall, and Shander), these “Directors” are responsible for decisions involving SOCCA affairs. If you are interested in becoming a board member, please submit a 1 page statement and CV to Vivian at the above email address. The Nominations committee, chaired by SOCCA’s immediate past president (Dr. Shander), will then prepare a slate of candidates for electronic voting at the May meeting.

It’s an exciting time to be involved with SOCCA! I look forward to our upcoming meeting, and making SOCCA relevant and engaging for our members. If you are not a member, consider joining!


Avery Tung, MD, FCCM
Professor of Anesthesia & Critical Care, Quality Chief, Anesthesia
 & Critical Care
The University of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois