President's Message
Presidents Welcome Message
As I look forward to beginning my tenure as President of the Illinois Society of Anesthesiologists, I have taken some time to reflect back on what have been our major agenda items and where we need to go in the future for the society to flourish and develop. Our first priority is to establish the value of membership in our society and show its worth to our constituents. This has been an ongoing redevelopment of what the society represents and what the value added principles are that our membership perceives as worthwhile and important. We have transitioned from an educational CME organization to one which helps provide information in practice management and advocacy for our members. The worth of a society is to be invaluable for its members and help them succeed in their practice, providing information on the changing environment that affects their abilities to be practitioners. This transitioning of the society will continue as we try to evolve into a less cumbersome, transparent organization that provides information and support to our members. We have started a process to streamline our governance and encourage involvement from our members. This will continue over the next year to open governance to all members of our society. We will increase member satisfaction by developing and revamping our website to improve its use and make it a reliable access point to obtain information to improve practice and provide quality material for our members to assess risks to their practice and maintain compliance with the ever changing landscape of rules and regulations which affect reimbursement and clinical practice. 
We must increase engagement with our members and point out the beneficial components of advocacy. We need to demonstrate that involvement in governmental affairs at the state and national levels is good for sustainability of practice and also good for the overall success of anesthesiology as a discipline of medicine. The more we can engage our membership, the more success we will have with advancing the agendas pertinent to our specialty. This includes physician led care team models to provide patient centered, safe medical care. We must also assure that our members are reimbursed for the services they provide and address the denial of payments and lack of information concerning narrowing of care networks and out of network status of patients that seek care only to be turned away because they are not in network. Other threats such as workman’s compensation payments, non-physician supervised medical practice by nurses and scope of practice issues which could impinge on our ability to practice the discipline of anesthesiology need to have the involvement of all anesthesiologists, not just a few. Knowledge is power and an informed ISA membership will increase engagement and advocacy which is crucial for sustainability.
Besides improved engagement and open accessibility to the society by its members, there are several other long standing agenda items that will be pressed forward in the next term. The first will be advancement of the Anesthesiology Assistants bill before the Illinois House (HB 3205). This has been a long process and will continue to be an agenda of the society for the next several years. We have to educate our membership as to why their incorporation and licensing to practice in the state would be important and how they would be valuable in improving access to care. We must also inform and educate our legislators as to why their introduction is not a threat to nursing but a valuable addition to the care of patients undergoing care involving anesthesia.
We will continue to foster and advance our practice management offering by improving the Leadership Conference offering organized by Doctors Torin Shear and Joseph Szokol. We also will continue our popular practice management dinner symposium developed and managed by Doctors Sean Adams and Adamina Podraza. These offerings will be expanded and improved to both engage and educate the members of our society. We hope that these offerings will be embraced by our members and will help to demonstrate the value of membership through dissemination of information to stakeholders.
As an organization we cannot stagnate but must move forward. We must continue to reinvent ourselves to remain fresh and relevant to our members throughout the state. We must increase involvement for all, not just a few, and we must continue to involve the society in agendas that improve the practice of anesthesiology and continue to make our discipline an active component in the House of Medicine. I wish to thank the many leaders of this organization who have laid the groundwork and the path that we must take to be an integral and desired component of anesthesia practice. Dr. George Hefner, The Board of Directors and others have provided the direction in which to proceed. We must walk toward the light of activism and engagement and propel our society to a new level of relevance embraced by our membership.
Respectfully submitted,
W. Scott Jellish, M.D., PhD
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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