News & Announcements

Changes on the Road Ahead

This article originally appeared in the January 2015 issue of the ASA Newsletter.

If the adage that “change is a good thing” is true, then 2015 is going to be an extraordinarily good year for the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research. A slight departure from our traditional communications, I am dedicating this month’s column to provide an administrative update for all ASA members on important happenings at FAER that will lead us to reach unprecedented improved outcomes in service to our mission and the anesthesiology community.

With all of the exciting events ahead this year, there is one point I must emphasize: As we embrace changes on the road ahead, we remain committed to our mission to advance medicine through anesthesia education and research and to our core work of providing research grant funding, resources and opportunities to aspiring physician investigators and educators.

First and the most important for me personally, is my decision not to serve a second five-year term as FAER’s president and CEO. This has been an amazing experience to have had the opportunity to lead FAER. Combined with my service on the board, I have been closely connected to FAER for almost 15 years. It was an honor and one of the highlights of my career to have been given the opportunity to serve the anesthesiology community by leading FAER.

Mentoring has always played an important role in my career, and leading FAER has allowed me to help in the mentoring process of the many young people who have been supported by FAER in some way. Before I step down in June 2016, I will have other opportunities to discuss my convictions about how the nurturing of new careers in anesthesiology investigation is the most important advocacy we can make for our profession.

Jim Zaidan, M.D., M.B.A., immediate past chair of FAER’s Board of Directors and chair of the FAER Nominating Committee, will be leading the search committee for the next president and CEO. I am sure that FAER will attract the leadership it needs to help guide it, and the specialty, well into the future.

Synergies in Schaumburg
Throughout 2015, we will be focusing on the relocation and transition of FAER’s office from Rochester, Minn. to the ASA headquarters in Schaumburg. FAER is co-locating at the ASA headquarters based on the recommendation of the ASA Board of Directors and the FAER Executive Committee. This exciting move will be complete by July 1, 2015. Plans are currently underway to ensure continuity of staff and service to the anesthesiology community.

Co-location will create synergies and efficiencies that will help each organization better serve the anesthesiology community, and in turn, allow FAER to dedicate more of its resources to research grant funding. Finally, the move will allow FAER to utilize the infrastructure, systems and facilities available at the ASA headquarters.

FAER will continue with its separate identity and will continue to advance medicine through research and education by funding the best research being done by young investigators. We will also continue to focus on the discovery of new knowledge that will improve the practice of anesthesiologist and the education of the next generations in the specialty. FAER remains committed to its supporters and donors, whose wishes and intentions will continue to be honored by FAER as they have in the past.

As the transition moves forward, please watch the FAER website for updates. The address and phone numbers will change, but not FAER.org or our email addresses.

Strategic Planning
The FAER Board of Directors initiated a strategic planning process in 2014, and we are well on our way to solidifying our roadmap for the next five years. The new plan should be approved at our Board of Directors meeting in April. For now, I can safely say that investing substantial resources in research will be of renewed and heightened focus. We will be working even more diligently to encourage and grow the amount of extramurally funded research activity happening in anesthesiology.

Second Grant Funding Cycle
As part of the process to encourage more applications for FAER grants, for the first time since 2008, there will be a second grant funding cycle in 2015. The deadline for the first application cycle is February 15. The deadline for the second is August 15. By providing a second opportunity to apply for funding, FAER aims to receive additional meritorious applications of which to award funding, in turn increasing the amount of extramurally funded research activity in anesthesiology. The FAER board has also committed funds from its reserves to fund both grant cycles. We anticipate that in 2015, we will be committing even more funding than the $2.5 million we committed in 2014. For more information, visit FAER.org/research-grants.