President's Message

Working for Today, Planning for Tomorrow


Dr. ScherrerBy Patricia (Trish) Scherrer, MD
SPS President

Hello everyone!  Can’t believe how fast this past year has flown by!   As usual, we have a tremendous number of ongoing projects and activities going on within the society.  I’ll try and summarize a subset of those here:

Our membership continues to grow, with approximately 450 individual members, an additional 225 nursing memberships through our institutional memberships, and 37 current institutional members.  We are working on enhanced member benefits as well as increasing our visibility to new audiences.  Our website has recently been updated and streamlined, and I’d encourage you to check out some of the new features.  And, our social media platforms remain busy and growing as well!  We are actively preparing for our upcoming conferences, including our Annual Conference in Hartford, Connecticutt, May 15-18, 2016.

We have quite a few new and ongoing quality projects in progress.  We’ve developed a repository of clinical, administrative, and regulatory guidelines which are now available on the website.  The Quality and Safety Committee has been actively working on development of a sample universal sedation policy, a sedation service efficiency metric, a sedation risk assessment score, and a sedation “center of excellence” designation system based on their description of the “gold standard” sedation service.  Our Nursing Committee has also been working to establish standards of care and sedation nursing core competencies.

Our educational endeavors are growing as well.  The SPS Sedation Provider Course remains very popular, with an ever increasing number of courses and participants as well as recent updates to the curriculum and simulation sessions.  The library of online CME opportunities is expanding with lots of new and forthcoming topics, and we’re also developing a peer review process for our CME activities.

The Pediatric Sedation Research Consortium (PSRC) continues to provide large volume database research opportunities and associated quality reporting for participating institutions.  The PSRC is expanding its scope of activities to continue to provide the larger database quality and outcomes reporting, but also to begin to look into more focused observational trials performed at interested member sites.  In addition, we are exploring possible external funding options.

As we approach the 10th anniversary of the SPS here in the next couple of years, we realize that it is timely to renew our commitment to our original mission statement, realigning current and future projects with these goals, and to develop more robust strategic planning for maximizing membership value, allocating society revenue to key projects, exploring new opportunities for collaboration and growth, and streamlining our governance model while emphasizing leadership skills and succession planning.  To that end, a strategic planning task force, consisting of myself, Mick Connors, Lia Lowrie, Jason Reynolds, and Joye Stewart, was formed late last summer.  In order to provide professional consultation and expert insight into this process, we interviewed several strategic planning consultants and have hired Dave Fellers as a partner in this process.  Dave has robust experience in medical society leadership and management, having served as the executive director of several large professional organizations, and now works full time as an expert consultant in these areas.  Since February, Dave has worked with the task force to obtain relevant information from a variety of sources, including in-depth phone interviews with key leaders/stakeholders within the society, surveys of our current board members and committee chairs, and a number of in person interviews with members at our conference in St. Louis.  We also conducted table-based discussions of current and potential new member benefits with conference attendees during a lunch session.

Later this summer, a group comprised of many of the current board members as well as several other key leaders within the society will be meeting in Atlanta in order to develop our strategic plan and objectives, as well as associated operational goals and progress metrics.  Dave will be present to facilitate the discussion and to provide additional mentoring in leadership and governance for the group of attendees.  Based on the information accumulated over the past year, Dave and the strategic planning task force will develop and disseminate the final SPS strategic planning document at the culmination of this process.

As always, it’s an exciting time for the society – please don’t hesitate to contact me at if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions.

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