president's message

Thank You and Congratulations!

Dr. Kost-ByerlyBy Sabine Kost-Byerly, MD
The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Baltimore, MD

Happy New Year to all, the members of the Society for Pediatric Pain Medicine.  I am looking forward to seeing you in Austin early in March for an exciting SPPM Annual Meeting.  

This meeting will mark the end of the term of the society’s first elected board of directors and my time as president.  It has been such an honor and a privilege to serve the society for the last three years.  

Building a new organization clearly has its challenges but there have been so many rewards. I have been mentored by the foremost experts in the field – you are truly blessed when your office adjoins the one of Myron Yaster, the founder and first SPA President. I have collaborated professionally with colleagues in many medical centers, made many friends and had the pleasure of advising the next generation of clinicians. 

With the support of so many and the board’s leadership much has been accomplished:

  • Annual Meeting:  the meeting in Austin will be our Fourth Annual Meeting.  Led by the members of the education committee and the tireless efforts of the program chairs Petra Meier, Robert Wilder, Yuan-Chi Lin, and Stephen Hays, we have been able to add to the educational program by inviting enlightening keynote speakers, by offering exciting workshops, or by recognizing advances in research and young researchers. 
  • Newsletter: with editorial guidance by Rita Agarwal and Anjana Kundu and contributions from enthusiastic members, two to three newsletters were published each year.
  • Websites and social media: a society website ( and a facebook account ( ) were created, guided by M-Irfan Suleman and members of the communications committee.
  • Committee development: the initial committees, education and communications have been joined by research (Sapna Kudchadkar) and an ad-hoc committee on membership (Petra Meier-Haran and Robert Wilder).
  • Advocacy:  following our goals and objectives we have joined efforts with a number of organizations including SPA, ASA, and AAP, SmartTots, and FDA in advocating for improved safety and quality of care, particularly as it relates to the effects of anesthesia on the developing brain and the safety and efficacy of opioids in children.

Board of Directors
Congratulations to our new leaders, the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors, elected at the end of 2016 and moving into position at our Annual Meeting in March.  Anjana Kundu will assume the position of President, bringing with her a wealth of clinical experience in several institutions as well as passion for complementary and alternative medicine and physician wellness. Rita Agarwal, will be our new President-elect, Robert Wilder the Secretary/Treasurer, and Harshad Gurnaney, Benjamin Lee, Stephen Hays, and Kristen Spisak, will join re-elected Sophie Pestieau, as well as Yuan-Chi Lin, Petra Meier, and Joe Tobias on the Board of Directors.  We are much in debt to the members completing their term, Karen Boretzky, Scott Dingeman, and M-Irfan Suleman, for their dedication and leadership.  

Thank you for the support you have given me as your president, as well as your other board members working on your behalf.  Leading the society has been a highlight of my career.  I am humbled by the trust that has been placed in me.  As I look forward to assisting the society and our members as immediate past president for the coming years, I am delighted to turn over the presidency to my friend and colleague, Anjana Kundu, a selfless leader on the board since the inception of the society. I invite you to get involved and stay involved in your society.  Spread the word, volunteer, contribute as a scholar and/or offer financial support. Together we can make a difference and reach new heights in offering better care for children in pain.

Finally, a heartfelt thank you is due to Stewart Hinckley and Kim Battle and the entire Ruggles management for their diligence, support and expertise.

Sabine Kost-Byerly, MD
[email protected]

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