A message from our President…
|The autumnal equinox is upon us, and there is an unmistakable change in the air as we move deeper into the month of September. I notice the sun setting earlier and the slightly darker night-mornings as I head out to begin another day in the life of a simple country physician anesthesiologist. As the Labor Day weekend recedes in the rear-view mirror and I desperately try to hold on to the memories of a joyful summer, Fitzgerald’s words remind me that every season brings us unique gifts. I hope that everyone was able to find some time to relax and recharge during the past few months and that we enter fall with a renewed spirit and optimism.|
Since my last president’s message, a major change has taken place in the state’s political leadership. On August 24, the resignation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo took effect, and he was replaced in office by former Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul. A native of western New York, Gov. Hochul is the first female chief executive in the history of New York state, and both the NYSSA leadership as well as our legislative lobbying firm look forward to working with the new leadership team in the executive branch.
The Delta variant continues to impact our area with increased infections and hospitalizations, yet so far without the associated severe strain to our healthcare systems that we experienced in the past. We will continue to marshal our resources and efforts to contain COVID and reduce its impact on our patients and our lives. Gov. Hochul has indicated that her administration will oppose a legal challenge that seeks to allow religious exemptions to the state’s vaccination mandate for healthcare workers that begins on September 27. This statement came after U.S. District Judge David Hurd issued a temporary restraining order barring the state Department of Health from enforcing any requirement that employers deny religious exemptions from COVID-19 vaccinations. There will be more to come on this issue and the impact that it has on medical personnel and healthcare institutions across the state. Hopefully, in the months ahead we will move past the tenacious effects of this pandemic and see a return to “normalcy.”
As of this writing, both the ASA annual meeting in San Diego next month and PGA75 in December are still scheduled to be held as in-person gatherings. While we expect that the number of participants for these events will not reach the level of years past, the staff and leadership of the NYSSA are excited to prepare for a return to the educational offerings and social events that are such a highlight of our annual conference. I again encourage all our members to seriously consider attending our in-person PGA this year if you feel comfortable and are fully vaccinated. If you are planning to attend, your pre-registration would be greatly appreciated, as it will allow us to coordinate our offerings and services with greater accuracy.
I anticipate that the NYSSA districts will return to in-person meetings as well during the fall months. These gatherings are a great opportunity to connect with colleagues in your area and to hear about interesting topics in a socially relaxed environment. They are also important forums for learning about and pursuing roles in the NYSSA leadership, such as becoming a representative to the NYSSA House of Delegates. Participation in district meetings is a key step for future leaders, and I encourage everyone to take advantage of these opportunities when offered.
I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to reflect on the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and United Flight 93, which crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on its way toward a target in Washington, D.C. It’s incredible to think about how quickly the last 20 years have gone by and how an entire generation (some 70+ million people) has been born in the U.S. since that fateful day. The effects of this tragedy continue to have a profound impact on our lives, and most of us, especially those close to Ground Zero at the time of the event, will always remember where we were and what we were doing during that tragic day. As we remember this solemn occasion, and the pages of the calendar continue to turn, I encourage everyone not only to recall and honor those innocents who lost their lives but also to take a moment to express gratitude for the many gifts that we have around us. Whether it be by appreciating our basic freedoms; acknowledging the first responders who protect us, sometimes giving their lives in doing so; or simply embracing the smallest of graces that exist in each day, we must recognize this anniversary as a reminder to live our time on this earth to the fullest.
I thank you for your continued support and efforts this year and appreciate everything you do every day on behalf of our patients. Your NYSSA team is always available to assist you and to support your practice and profession in any way we can.
Christopher Campese, M.D., M.A., M.S., FASA, CHCQM
What is the NYSSA?
The New York State Society of Anesthesiologists (NYSSA), is a community of approximately 3,600+ New York anesthesiologists. NYSSA actively advocates on behalf of both patients and physicians in formulating standards and guidelines, to advance the practice of anesthesiology. Together, NYSSA members provide a powerful and effective voice for our specialty in New York State.