CCAS was founded on October 19, 2005 as a section of the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia (SPA). Several key leaders in the field of congenital cardiac anesthesia formed the society to promote excellence in perioperative care for the growing number of patients with congenital heart disease. The mission of CCAS was established to improve clinical care and outcomes through education, collaboration, research, training, and advocacy. The membership has expanded since 2005 and now includes many national and international members who are dedicated to the mission of CCAS.
The structure of the society has grown since the foundation and now includes leadership with officers and a Board of Directors, who are elected by members. Committees have been established to focus on each aspect of the society’s mission. The CCAS committees are the Education, Research, Communications, Membership, CCAS-STS Database, and Safety and Quality Committees. Special Interest Groups have also been formed to collaborate on specific topics, such as Hemostasis and trainees in Pediatric Cardiac Anesthesiology.
As the CCAS membership has expanded, multiple opportunities for member involvement have been developed – including participation in committees, contribution of educational content, and collaboration with colleagues. The membership has expanded globally, which provides CCAS members with a national and international forum to unite anesthesiologists interested in the care of patients with congenital heart disease. The “Sponsor a Member” program was established to provide educational opportunities to international anesthesiologists, focusing on locations with limited resources.
Education has remained a primary objective of CCAS with distribution of content through the society’s website, semi-annual newsletter, and annual meeting. The CCAS website provides an archive of educational materials including echocardiography tutorials, lectures, and articles important to the practice of congenital cardiac anesthesiology. The society has developed a peer-reviewed “Question of the Week”, which is written by the Education Initiatives Team and allows members to challenge their knowledge of congenital heart disease with a weekly question that is accompanied by a detailed explanation. The “Poll of the Month” has also been developed to discuss clinical issues and to highlight practice variation.
Collaboration among members has been very important to the growth of CCAS since its origination. CCAS has partnered with multiple organizations to improve the perioperative care of children and adults with congenital heart disease.
The CCAS has established the Dr. Dolly D. Hansen Educational Fund to honor Dr Hansen, a pioneer in congenital cardiac anesthesia and known as “the Mother of Pediatric Cardiac Anesthesia.” This fund supports the educational initiatives of CCAS and provides pilot funding for research endeavors within the field of congenital cardiac anesthesia.
Written by: Stephanie Grant, MD