The Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists

Women in Critical Care

The past two years have been challenging for the critical care community, yet it has brought us to the forefront of providing excellent and evidence-driven care for the sickest of all patients. Teamwork and resilience have been the mainstay of our efforts. However, at the same time, the pandemic and its fallout have shown our community’s crevices with high rates of burnout. Women intensivists have been facing the brunt of many of these issues.

We at SOCCA would like to invite you to join Women in Critical Care—our initiative to form a women’s group within the ACCM community. (Both SOCCCA members and non-members are welcome, although within one year of joining we will expect non-members to make a membership commitment to SOCCA.)

Similar to groups such as Women in Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology (WICTA) and Women in Anesthesiology (WIA), Women in Critical Care is aimed at delivering academic advancement, networking, and a social community to anesthesia trained women in critical care, as well as others who wish to advance women in academics.

Initially, we aim to meet quarterly, maintain a presence on the SOCCA website and within the Interchange newsletter, formulate a list of potential speakers and panelists, and reach out to editors for special issue authorships.

Look for updates on SOCCA’s Twitter feed and on SOCCA Drip.

Upcoming Events

Deborah CookSOCCA Women in Critical Care: A Fireside Chat with Guest Speaker Dr. Natalia Ivascu Girardi

When: December 8th, 2022 | 4:30-5:30 pm ET | Register here.

Natalia Ivascu Girardi, MD | Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology
Weill Cornell Medicine | Cardiac Anesthesiologist & Critical Care Intensivist

Dr. Natalia Ivascu Girardi cares for patients as a Cardiac Anesthesiologist and Critical Care Intensivist in the Cardiothoracic Surgical Intensive Care Unit. Dr. Girardi is the Executive Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs and the Medical Director of the Cardiothoracic Surgical Intensive Care Unit (CTICU). Her academic interests include medical ethics and patient blood management.

Dr. Girardi completed her undergraduate studies in Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She went on to earn her medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan. She began her career at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Medical College as a resident in Anesthesiology. Dr. Girardi completed an additional year of fellowship training at NYP-Weill Cornell, in Cardiovascular Anesthesiology. She then spent a year at NYP-Columbia as a fellow in Critical Care Medicine.

Dr. Girardi is board certified in Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine. She is also a Diplomate of the American Board of Echocardiography with certification in Advanced Perioperative Transesophageal Echocardiography and Special Competency in Critical Care Echocardiography.

Past Events

Deborah CookFireside Chat: March 17, 2022
On March 17, Professor Deborah Cook, Academic Chair of Critical Care Medicine, Professor, Department of Medicine, Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact, McMaster University joined Women in Critical Care for a Fireside Chat.

Professor Cook graduated from McMaster Medical School (1985) and Internal Medicine Residency (1988). She completed General Internal Medicine Fellowship (1989) and the MSc (Design, Measurement and Evaluation Program) at McMaster. She then did a Critical Care Fellowship at Stanford University (1991).

Dr. Cook practices intensive care medicine at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. At McMaster University, she is Co-Chair of the Evidence-Based Practice Center. As Academic Chair of Critical Care Medicine at St. Joseph’s Healthcare and McMaster University, she has trained many residents and mentored many junior faculty on how to conduct, publish and appraise clinical research.

Dr. Cook is interested in risk factors for critical illness, prevention of ICU-acquired illness and complications, life support technology, ethics, and end-of-life choices for critically ill patients. Her research interests are in the design and conduct of multicenter studies, minimizing bias in systematic reviews of the literature, incorporation of diverse kinds of evidence into practice, and end of life decision-making.

As a Canada Research Chair of Research Transfer in Intensive Care, and former Chair of the Canadian Critical Care Trials Group, Dr. Cook has published over 600 peer-review articles and supervised many young trainees and successful faculty. She has received numerous local, national and international awards for her practice, teaching, mentoring and research. In 2016, Dr. Cook was named an Officer of the Order of Canada for her global contributions to improving the care of critically ill patients.

Cortessa RussellMay 25 Meeting: Cortessa Russell, MD
On May 25, Guest Speaker Cortessa Russell, MD, presented on “Moving from Burnout to Engagement.”

Dr. Cortessa Russell
Medical Director, Anesthesia Perioperative Evaluation and Exam (APEX) Clinic
Education Director, SICU and CTICU
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at CUIMC, Division of Critical Care
New York-Presbyterian LEAD Academy Physician
Columbia University Irving Medical Center
Department of Anesthesiology

Daryl OakesSOCCA Women in Critical Care: A Fireside Chat with Guest Speaker Daryl Oakes, MD
On June 21, Dr. Daryl Oakes joined Women in Critical Care for a Fireside Chat.

Daryl Oakes, MD
Clinical Professor of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine
Program Director, Adult Cardiothoracic Anesthesia Fellowship
Associate Dean, Post Graduate Medical Education
Stanford University School of Medicine

Hannah WunschSOCCA Women in Critical Care: A Fireside Chat with Guest Speaker Dr. Hannah Wunsch
When: August 10, 2022

Hannah Wunsch, MD, MSc
Professor of Anesthesia and Critical Care Medicine
University of Toronto;
Intensivist at Sunnybrook Hospital
To learn more about Dr. Wunsch, visit:

Dr. NjokuSOCCA Women in Critical Care: A Fireside Chat Featuring Guest Speaker: Dolores B. Njoku, MD
When: September 28, 2022

Washington University in St. Louis | Dr. Njoku is Wise Professor of Anesthesiology, Adjunct Professor of Pathology and Immunology Division Chief, Pediatric Anesthesiology and Vice Chair Department of Anesthesiology and the Pediatric Anesthesiologist-in-Chief at the St. Louis Hospital for Children | Dr. Njoku is President-Elect of Association of University Anesthesiologists (AUA)