Texas Society of Anesthesiologists

TSA President's Update

Crystal C. Wright, MD, FASA
Crystal C. Wright, MD, FASA
San Antonio

Dear TSA Members,

Happy New Year and Warmest Greetings as we begin 2022!

As we embark upon this new year, I know the challenges of the past year are still among us. As a medical community, we find ourselves with a continued threat of COVID 19, as the Omicron variant causes abrupt shifts and increased hospitalizations, during an already high patient volume season for many. My thoughts and prayers are with you all as we continue to provide the highest quality patient care during this time of uncertainty, despite the challenges.

I hope that you have found a way to recharge a bit and find peace over the holiday season!

Towards the end of 2021, members of the Executive Committee unanimously supported two decisions that we will continue to engage in 2022 actively. I wish to express my sincerest gratitude to the TSA Executive Committee for their time and deliberation as we developed our support around organizations that have taken action on the “No Surprises Act”! As we begin this year with these critical efforts, we know that this is the beginning, and more will unfold throughout the year. The TSA applauded the ASA, ACEP, ACR, Suit Acting Against the “No Surprises Act” Implementation rules. The TSA Executive Committee also unanimously approved financial support to the legal efforts of the TMA filing suit challenging the regulations dictating the implementation of the “No Surprises Act”. The TSA strongly supports ensuring the intention of the law to protect patients from surprise medical bills and creates a dispute resolution process designed to resolve payment conflicts between insurance companies and physicians fairly throughout the year.

In addition to the “No Surprises Act,” the TSA Governmental Affairs Committee, along with our new Director of Governmental Affairs, Elizabeth Farley, are paying close attention to other areas that affect patient safety and the quality of care provided to our patients. Beginning in January, the TSA Governmental Affairs Committee (GAC) will hold monthly meetings during this non-legislative session year. The TSA GAC, led by Chair Anna Allred, MD, and recently elected Vice-Chair Zachary Jones, MD, recognize the value of ensuring that our advocacy-related issues are discussed frequently during this rapidly changing environment. Thank you to every member of the GAC for your commitment to advocating for our patients!

I also want to thank every TSA Committee Chair for their diligent efforts in continuing the business of the TSA. Thank you to the committee chairs and members of TSA committees for your continued efforts, and we look forward to the work of your committees throughout the year to come. The TSA has not had an annual meeting in two years, despite that committee chairs led committee meetings during the last quarter of 2021.

The first Texas Society of Anesthesiologists Virtual CME Program is underway!

If you haven’t accessed the anesthesia-related online lectures, there is still time. Videos will be available until January 15th. On January 8th and January 15th, you will have the opportunity to participate in five 30-minute Q&A sessions!

The TSA Virtual CME Program is an educational platform providing an excellent opportunity to gain CME credit, advance your knowledge in the practice of anesthesiology, and share your thoughts with your colleagues. I am also incredibly proud of the TSA team for their efforts in organizing this annual meeting for our members. Special thanks to Jessica Shepherd and Tina Haggard for their organizational efforts. I am grateful to Dr. Vijaya Gottumukkala and the TSA Education Committee for their incredible leadership in developing this inaugural event for the TSA. Finally, an enormous Thank You to all of the presenters of the virtual program, your commitment to creating educational value for our members is sincerely appreciated.

As we look to the beginning of 2022, I am excited for the year to come. The TSA BOD will have an in-person meeting the first weekend in February as we continue to outline our plans for 2022. The TSA is also excited to begin planning for the annual TSA Anesthesiologists Days on March 27th-28th. Please mark your calendars for this important TSA advocacy event. In addition, plans are also underway for the first TSA Advocacy-related Bootcamp! Stay tuned for more details regarding this four-week series of education and health care policy topics.

Finally, as a reminder, The ASA is accepting applications for committee and editorial board appointments. Please send in your Nominations!!!! Information for the new process is available here. The deadline for application submission is January 15th. Dr. Kercheville and I are available to write letters of support. Please send your request to Chris Bacak, Chris@tsa.org.

I am grateful to you all as members of the TSA! I am optimistic and hopeful about what we can but also will do for our patients, the practice of anesthesiology on this new embarkment in the new year together.

Thank you for your continued commitment to this organization and to the patients of Texas.

I wish you and your loved ones a year filled with peace, prosperity, and health. Welcome to 2022!

Crystal C. Wright, MD, FASA
President, Texas Society of Anesthesiologists