President's Message
Presidents Welcome Message
As I reach the end of my term, I am encouraged by the many successes we have achieved and look forwa
rd to 
meeting our future challenges.  Although our challenges are substantial, we are positioned to succeed because of the concerted efforts of ISA board members and the membership at large, for which I am most grateful!  Our society will continue to provide excellent educational opportunities for both leadership development and practice management, and together, we will tirelessly advocate for patient safety by promoting the anesthesia-led care team model as the gold standard for patient care in the operating rooms.

In order to remain successful, we must continue to advocate effectively.  This past year we were able to advocate for and sustain physician supervision in Illinois by a compromise amendment to HB 421.  ISMS was instrumental in our efforts and all ISA members should continue to support our influential ally through both membership and IMPAC contributions.  ISA also began a multi-year effort for establishing Anesthesiologist Assistant (AA) licensure in Illinois with the introduction of HB 3205.  Most of our neighboring states already have AA licensure and passage of licensure for AAs would allow AAs from Illinois to return.  Please be sure to read this newsletter’s article on AAs for more information on this valuable class of physician extenders who subscribe wholly to the Anesthesia Care Team Model.  I believe both of these issues will again be in play for 2016 and we will need the support of all ISA members to advocate on our behalf.

Going forward, we need to make sure that every anesthesiologist in the ISA becomes politically engaged in the advocacy process at the state level.  Contacting our legislators is the best path forward and everyone should take this initiative with our own elected officials as they do listen and respond to their constituents.  Just as important is participation in the ISA PAC.  Although the contribution amount is important for the PAC to function, ISA PAC has more credibility with legislators when a large percentage of the membership the PAC represents actually contribute to the PAC!  So don’t delay with your contribution which can be easily made at our recently updated website www.isahq.org.

On the educational front, ISA had a very successful Leadership Conference on September 26th, 2015.  The Program Chairs, Joseph Szokol, MD, JD, MBA and Torn Shear, MD, organized an outstanding educational opportunity for our members with several nationally renown speakers.  We look forward to continuing this valuable member benefit in 2016.  Many thanks to Joe and Torin for their dedication and hard work!

We have also continued with our regional practice management dinner offerings under the direction of ISA Secretary Dr. Sean Adams and Dr. Adamina Podraza, who chairs the committee on Event Development.  In July, a dinner meeting was held in Peoria for downstate members to interact and network.  Another downstate spring dinner meeting is being planned for Springfield to coincide with our annual State Legislative Conference, as we continue to reach out to the ISA members from different areas of our state.  Please check out our “ISA Calendar of Meetings” located on the home page of our website for future meeting dates, times and locations.

Finally, I would like to encourage all members to attend the ISA House of Delegates meeting on April 16, 2016.   Last year we had tremendous participation by our elected ISA delegates and I hope for this encouraging tr

end to continue.  It is through this grass roots participation of our society that we become stronger and more able to represent all anesthesiologists’ concerns within the state of Illinois.


George G. Hefner, M.D.



Protect Safe VA care in the US


The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Office of Nursing Services (ONS) continues to advance a new policy document, the “VHA Nursing Handbook,” that would mandate “independent” practice for all Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs).  Without physician involvement, VA would be lowering the standard of care for our Veterans and putting their lives at risk. The ASA and ISA strongly oppose the inclusion of the APRNs in the VHA Nursing Handbook.  

The leading experts on surgical anesthesia care in the VA, the Chiefs of Anesthesiology, have informed VA leadership that the new policy “would directly compromise patient safety and limit our ability to provide quality care to Veterans.” The VA leadership has ignored their concerns. Leading national medical associations, prominent Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs), and bipartisan members of Congress have also challenged the VA on this change.

Please support efforts to preserve patient safety standards by retaining current anesthesia policies within the VA.

Please click here and write in your support!

ISA Legislation to Legalize Anesthesiologist Assistants

ISA has introduced HB 3205 which establishes the legal practice of AAs in Illinois. With passage of this bill, Illinois will join most states in the midwest which already license AAs and will allow AAs from Illinois working in other states to return to their homes. Currently it is in the House Rules Committee. Please call or write the members of the committee to urge them to pass this bill.


American Medical Association Survey Shows Patients Prefer Physician Led Team Care

 A recent survey conducted nationally by the AMA shows by wide margins that patients prefer physician led care. Among the findings:

  • 91 percent of respondents said that a physician’s years of education and training are vital to optimal patient care, especially in the event of a complication or medical emergency.
  • 86 percent of respondents said that patients with one or more chronic conditions benefit when a physician leads the primary health care team.
  • Four out of five patients prefer a physician to have primary responsibility for leading and coordinating their health care.

AMA 2012 Survey

AMA Physician Led Health Care Teams Brief


Illinois Survey Shows Massive Public Preference for Physician Led Care

 In a survey conducted January 8-10, 2015 by an independent firm, Tel Opinion Research, LLC, 800 Illinois voters were polled. Among the findings:

  1. 64% oppose legislation in Illinois that would permit nurse anesthetists to administer anesthesia and respond to anesthesia emergencies without the involvement of a physician.
  2. 74% are extremely/very concerned about the anesthesia they would receive.
  3. 82% want their anesthesia administered by a physician anesthesiologist in surgery.
  4. 88% said it is much safer to have a physician anesthesiologist respond to a surgical emergency.
  5. 94% want a physician led team administering anesthesia for their family and only 4% want a nurse anesthetist without physician supervision.
  6. 69% want a physician with advance training in pain management to treat them for long-term pain.
  7. 34% said that the most important factor in health care today is the “quality of health care,” followed by the cost of health care at 31%.

Click here to download the survey


2016 Membership Renewal

The ISA will again partner with the American Society of Anesthesiologists to collect 2016 ISA and ASA dues together, at one time, on one invoice. To pay your dues, or for more information visit the ASA website.

If you would prefer to renew your membership by phone, you can call the ASA Member Services at 847-825-5586.  

If you would like to make a donation to the ISAPAC, please click here.

Thank you for your membership and participation with the ISA!


Find ISA on Facebook and Twitter

The Illinois Society of Anesthesiologists is now on facebook.  Like our page to stay informed about upcoming events, news and networking opportunities.







Are you interested in getting more involved with ISA? Please consider serving as a Key Contact between ISA and your group practice. As a Key Contact you will be given the information you need to keep your practice informed of ISA’s advocacy initiatives and educational events.

How to sign up?  Simply forward your name and group affiliation to



The ISA Grassroots Network provides members an opportunity to get involved in the specialty’s advocacy efforts and provides anesthesiologists a strong and effective voice in legislative and regulatory affairs. The ISA Grassroots Network educates and activates members when the collective voices of anesthesiologists are needed to influence legislation, regulation or other actions that impact the specialty.

As an ISA Grassroots Network member, you will receive notifications to respond to action alerts and updates to keep you informed on important legislation.

Interested?  Please let us know at contact@isahq.org.


The Illinois Society of Anesthesiologists (ISA) is the professional association of  about 1900 Illinois Anesthesiologists. The mission of ISA is to advance and further patient safety and the practice of Anesthesiology in Illinois through education, representation and advocacy of the Illinois Anesthesiologist. ISA is the leader in defining and advancing the standards of anesthesiology in our state.


September 24, 2016
ISA Leadership Conference
Schaumburg, Illinois
October 22 – 26, 2016
ASA Annual Meeting
Hyatt McCormick Place
Chicago, Illinois

ISA Updates

2016 Leadership Conference

September 24th at the ASA Headquarters



 ISA Today Winter 2016


Illinois Senator Mark Kirk pictured with Tim Starck, MD ISA President and Steve Minore, MD at his office in Washington, DC.

 Summary of HB 421 Changes to APN Licensure Minimize

1) Maintains the current requirement that APNs must have a collaborative agreement with a physician, podiatrist or dentist if they are practicing outside of a hospital, hospital affiliate or ASTC where they would be required to be credentialed by the medical staff.  However, in the hospital affiliate setting a physician committee may recommend and the governing board may approve appropriate prescriptive authority.

2) Makes no changes whatsoever to the Nurse Practice Act with respect to the provision of anesthesia services by CRNAs.

3) Makes no changes to the law requiring delegation of prescriptive authority by a physician, or podiatrist. Under a written collaborative agreement, an APN can only prescribe medications if the collaborating physician delegates authority to do so.  Additional limitations exist on an APN’s ability to prescribe Schedule II controlled substances including specific identification of the controlled substance and a prohibition on any delivery method other than oral, topical or transdermal application.

4) Makes the following changes in the section of the Nursing Act, which specifically defines the content of a written collaborative agreement:

a. Replace current language in the Act limiting the physician or podiatrist and APN from freely determining which services each shall provide and replacing with the restriction that APNs may only practice in the area of nursing practice of their national certification;

b. Limit APNs to the specialty area of practice of the collaborating physician or podiatrist;

c. Removing the restrictions that the APN can only provide services the collaborating physician or podiatrist provides so that APNs may provide services the collaborating physician or podiatrist may but chooses not to provide;

d. Maintain requirement for communication, but remove requirement for monthly communication with the exception of prescribing controlled substances for longer than 30 days.

5) Another issue the APNs have raised is that Medicaid contractors are not contracting with  PNs unless the collaborating physician also contracts with the plan.  No such limit exists in the law currently.  APNs have been participating in Medicaid for many years.  Therefore, the proposal removes barriers to APNs serving Medicaid patients.

6) Where a written collaborative agreement is abruptly terminated for any reason by the collaborating physician, APNs could be faced with allegations of abandonment or negligence because an APN cannot legally practice without a written collaborative agreement outside a hospital, hospital affiliate or ambulatory surgical treatment center.  These potential allegations of abandonment and negligence potentially not only affect APNs, but also the collaborating physician.  Therefore, the proposal provides a 90-day transition period to allow the APN time to enter into a new written collaborative agreement or transition to another practice setting.

7) The proposal would also delete references in approximately 28 different Acts where APNs and physician assistants are allowed to perform various functions only if they are specifically mentioned in the collaborative agreement or the supervisory agreement with physician assistants.  These areas include such functions as school physicals; school employee physical examinations; school sick leave or inability to attend certifications; school notes on self-administration of medications; requests for clinical lab tests; performance of breast exams, prenatal HIV and AIDS and HIV tests; transmitting orders to respiratory care; referrals to a genetic counselor; performance of perinatal mental health assessments, lead screening, minor’s services, prenatal and newborn care and sexually transmitted disease services; certifications for license plates, placards, drivers licenses and state identification cards; provision of alcohol and drug abuse services; ordering home health services, occupational therapy, orthotics, prosthetics and pedorthics, physical therapy services.


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