Eighth SPPM Annual Virtual Meeting Preview

By Marisa Wiktor, DO
Program Chair
Assistant Professor, Anesthesiology
Colorado Children’s Hospital
University of Colorado
School of Medicine
Parker, Colorado

Dr. Wiktor

Dr. Wiktor

The Eighth Annual Meeting of the Society for Pediatric Pain Medicine (SPPM) will be our inaugural virtual meeting! Please note the date change from late February to the new weekend dates of April 23-25, 2021. In partnership with our parent society, the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia (SPA), we are celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of women in pediatric pain medicine and have dedicated the 2021 meeting to the “Outstanding Women in Pediatric Pain.”

The silver lining to offering a virtual meeting during the COVID-19 pandemic is the ability to include our colleagues across the globe. Please consider utilizing social media to reach international colleagues to share this opportunity!

This year, we look forward to the opportunity to welcome multiple disciplines across our medical community to participate in this unique CME experience though interactive virtual workshops and a special addition roundtable.  This roundtable opportunity will be available Sunday morning with Maria Fitzgerald, PhD moderating “Small Group Discussion with Pediatric Pain Thought Leader Dr. Maria Fitzgerald.” Also new to the agenda is the “Hot Topics,” session and I am excited to share we will welcome back the entertaining and thought-provoking PRO/CON Debate, in the “Battle for Wisconsin,” as Drs. Tim Casias (Madison) and Steve Weisman (Milwaukee) battle for state victory.

Friday, April 23

The SPPM will offer a variety of virtual workshops that will be difficult to select between due to the comprehensive nature of the offerings.  These opportunities include:

  • Drs. Lin, Tassone, Golianu and Wang, 'Integrating Acupuncture in Pediatric Perioperative Care and Pain Medicine'
  • Drs. Lazar and Anitescu, 'Improving Pain in Hospitalized Children with Multidisciplinary Care Plans: Identifying Barriers and Finding Solutions Across Specialties, Disciplines, Services, and Institutional Organizations'
  • Drs. Koka and Riley in exploring the most effective ways to manage 'Pain and Symptom Management in Pediatric Palliative Care'
  • Drs. Zoffness and Goldschneider are teaming up to address 'Explaining the Unexplainable: The Art of Educating Families about Chronic Pain'

Saturday, April 24

Session I:
With great enthusiasm we will welcome from the UK Dr. Maria Fitzgerald as the opening Keynote speaker who will review and discuss the contribution of neurobiology to our understanding of pediatric pain and highlight the challenges for women in science.

Session II:  
Following Dr. Maria Fitzgerald, we will dive in and explore 'The Complex World of Headaches' with the expertise of Dr. Blake Windsor presenting on concussion, Dr. Stacy Peterson on what is up and coming in the pharmacologic treatment of headache and Dr. Shalini Shah will thoroughly review headache interventions. Dr. Emily Law will close the session in her discussion about the behavioral treatment aspects of headache management.

Session III:
To conclude the lecture portion of the day, we will look closely at 'Neuropathic Pain and the Associated Challenges' through different viewpoints. Dr. Amber Borucki will start the session in review of what we do and do not know about neuropathic pain, followed by Dr. Ardin Berger with interventions appropriate for the treatment of neuropathic pain. Next, Dr. Dustin Wallace will present on CBT/behavioral management of neuropathic pain, and Dr. Kim Clarno will discuss the role of physical therapy and integrative care in the effective treatment of neuropathic pain. 

Session IV:  
Dr. Ben Lee will lead the Poster Presentations and Awards Session. This is not to be missed and easier than ever to view and discuss.

Sunday, April 25

This year we are excited to offer trauma CME credits that pertain to management of pain in the Pediatric Trauma Patient.  Dr. Cristina Benki will present on the evolution of acute to chronic pain post trauma. Drs. Melissa Massarachia and Ban Tsui will divide and conquer regional block techniques for these children addressing both the acute treatment and the prevention of chronic pain.  Dr. Angela Garcia will wrap up the session by introducing us to how the physical medicine and rehabilitation physician approaches the pediatric trauma patient and facilitates their recovery.

Session VI:  
A new addition to the program is a “Hot Topics” session that will allow you as an attendee, to explore new or controversial practices in acute and chronic pediatric pain medicine. Dr. Seth Eisdorfer will discuss cryoablation, Dr. Kristen Spisak will address ketamine and lidocaine infusions, Dr. Rachel Zoffness will take on the hottest topic of 2020: COVID-19 and how it is affecting your pain patient. Finally, Dr. Tonya Palermo will conclude the session with a relevant and important talk on virtual and digital health interventions in pediatric pain medicine - critical for our patients during C19.

Session V: 
'The Battle for Wisconsin: PRO/CON Debate to PCA or NOT to PCA?'  presented by Drs. Timothy Casias and Steve Weisman. 

Session VI: 
To close our 2021 meeting we are excited to offer a closing Keynote speaker, Dr. Gary Walco, who will speak on behalf of advocating for our pediatric pain patients in a talk entitled 'Advocacy for Children’s Pain: Not for the Faint of Heart'.

There is no doubt that 2020 presented itself with many challenges. Planning this meeting has been a great pleasure and I am happy to say I have a better handle on Zoom. I will forever be thankful for my SPPM family who lifted me up and continued to encourage me after the loss of my husband, Dominik Wiktor (9/29/1980-1/13/2021) to pancreatic cancer. Dominik’s ongoing positive attitude despite an almost three-year battle with pancreatic cancer is my fuel to keep going as well as my desire to source more ways to help our patients in pain. He left me with two beautiful daughters, Cecylia (8) and Adeline (5) and he continues to live on through them.

With my deepest gratitude I would like to thank our planning committee for the time and dedication they put into creating this program. Thank you, Drs. Robert Wilder (President-Elect), Deepa Kattail (Vice Program Chair), M-Irfan Suleman (Past Program Chair), Rachel Zoffness (Psychology Liaison), Galaxy Li and Jim Mooney. A special thank you to Drs. Agarwal and Kundu for always being supportive and available to answer my many questions and reaching out to check in and support me. Also, as a Society we are very fortunate to have an amazing team keeping us on task and organized, therefore a very special thank you goes out to Kim Battle, Stewart Hinckley, and Jenny Patterson. 

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