Welcome to the 4th Annual Meeting of the Society for Pediatric Pain Medicine!
By Stephen Robert Hays, MS, MD, FAAP
We are delighted to welcome you to the 4th Annual Meeting of the Society for Pediatric Pain Medicine (SPPM), to be held March 2, 2017 at the JW Marriott Austin in Austin, TX. This vibrant city is not only the Texas State Capitol and home to the flagship campus of the University of Texas, but proudly hosts the largest urban bat colony in the world! Around sunset every night in warm weather, up to 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats take flight from underneath the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge over the Colorado River in downtown Austin. The colony is expected to return from its winter nesting grounds in Mexico in mid-March 2017, so with luck and warm weather early sightings may prove rewarding. Pediatric Anesthesiology 2017, the joint annual winter meeting of the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia (SPA) and Section on Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine of the American Academy of Pediatrics, will commence at the JW Marriott Austin March 3-5, 2017 following the SPPM meeting, providing even more incentive to come to the Lone Star State this spring.
The SPPM continues to grow and develop as a society, with increasing membership and meeting attendance each passing year. We have worked diligently to incorporate your thoughts and suggestions about speakers and topics to be included in this year’s meeting. The result is a robust educational program representing the breadth and depth of pediatric pain medicine. The various podium presentations, practice-based learning discussions (PBLDs), poster sessions, and workshops offer something of interest to anyone devoted, in the words of our SPPM motto, to better care for children in pain.
Our meeting will begin with an exceptional session on science of pain, focused on pain assessment in children. Pediatric neurologist Dr. Alyssa A. Lebel of Boston Children’s Hospital will discuss imaging of pain in children, research nurse Dr. Terri Voepel-Lewis of the University of Michigan will focus on pain assessment for the cognitively impaired child, and pediatric anesthesiologist Dr. Carrie C.M. Menser of Vanderbilt University Medical Center will describe research into identifying a neonatal pain cry. The second session of the day will be on acute pain and regional anesthesia, with emphasis on new directions for old techniques. Dr. Ben Record of Memorial Sloan-Kettering will extol the merits of intermittent mandatory bolus epidural analgesia, Dr. Megan Brockel of Colorado Children’s will evaluate available evidence for enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols in children, and Dr. Charles B. Berde of Boston Children’s will bring us to lunch with an update on newer long-acting local anesthetics.
During lunch, you may choose to participate in one of our 8 PBLDs, visit the posters, exhibitions or network with colleagues. After lunch, the third session of the day will be on chronic pain and palliative care, considering the spectrum of management in these settings. Dr. Tracy Jackson of Vanderbilt University Medical Center will discuss the challenging situation of the current opioid epidemic, music therapist Shea Ingram from Cook Children’s-Ft. Worth will entertain and educate us about music therapy in the Lone Star State, and Dr. Meredith Brooks also of Cook Children’s-Ft. Worth will evaluate interventional techniques for chronic pain in children. The fourth and final session of the day, led by Dr. Sapna Kudchadkar of Johns Hopkins, will feature poster awards and presentations, as well reviews of the year in the medical literature relevant to pediatric pain medicine.
After the conclusion of the podium sessions, there is still more to feed your appetites! Moderated poster sessions will segue into an SPPM research workshop. The SPPM workshops tradition continues offering its attendees interactive, practical and hands on experience in various disciplines including “creating the ideal pediatric pain management service”, “fostering resilience and clinician wellness”, “ultrasound-guided pediatric chronic pain management”. SPPM and SPA will again jointly offer workshops on acupuncture and advanced ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia. After the meeting has concluded, Austin and its famed music-themed night life await.
Putting together the 4th Annual Meeting has truly been a collaborative effort, and I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to all who have helped along the way. The previous three program chairs, Dr. Petra Meier-Haran of Boston Children’s, Dr. Robert T. Wilder of the Mayo Clinic-Rochester, and Dr. Yuan-Chi Lin of Boston Children’s, provided invaluable support and advice, and all agreed to serve as senior session moderators for this year’s meeting. Dr. Anjana Kundu of Dayton Children’s and the Education Committee, Dr. Sapna Kudchadkar of Johns Hopkins and the Research Committee, and Dr. Sabine Kost-Byerly of Johns Hopkins (now retired!) and the entire SPPM Board of Directors have been unfailingly supportive and encouraging throughout the entire process. Particular gratitude goes to my program co-chair, Dr. Scott F. Dingeman of Memorial Sloan-Kettering, who will serve as program chair for the 5th Annual Meeting of the SPPM on March 22, 2018 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge in Scottsdale, AZ. Be there! Lastly, without the tireless efforts of Kim Battle and the SPPM staff, none of this would have come together: thank you.
Remember, the SPPM is your society. Join if you have not already done so, and encourage interested colleagues and co-workers to do likewise. Please join us in Austin, and take the time to submit your meeting evaluations: doing so is required in order to earn CME credit, and ensures a quality educational program when planning future meetings. Participate, engage, and help us make the SPPM everything you would like it to be.
And while we’re at it, in the words of the city’s unofficial motto, Keep Austin Weird!
See you all in Texas.