2023 SNACC Annual Meeting treats global audience to future-focused programing

Ines Koerner
President-Elect, SNACC

The 2023 SNACC Annual Meeting in Alexandria, VA this September was a wonderful success. Over 230 participants from 15 different countries across 5 continents came together in person to enjoy the best of Neuroscience in Anesthesiology and Critical Care. 58 participants were students, residents, or fellows, who came to learn and to share their own research. The excellent work of so many bright trainees will undoubtedly advance the field and inform future practice. In order to accommodate our global membership, SNACC once again offered the opportunity to present abstracts remotely and purchase recordings of the main program for those who were unable to travel to the meeting in person. Three days of meeting covered the breadth of our practice from scientific discovery to the bedside, affirming the role of SNACC as the premier place to learn about current best practices as well as the future of our field. The speakers were deeply knowledgeable experts, who managed to engage and entertain the audience. Both genders were well represented, about half of the speakers, moderators, and workshop faculty were female. A huge thank you to all who kindly provided their expertise as meeting faculty!

The pre-meeting workshops were a success, attracting close to 100 attendees who came a day early. The networking gala at the Athenaeum allowed for mingling and networking to ring in the meeting. The program had outstanding speakers., 10 female and 9 speakers in the main program, and a total of 31 female speakers, moderators, and workshop faculty vs 33 male speakers, moderators, faculty.

The meeting took off on Friday, September 8, with a day full of workshops, including the ICPNT Neuroanesthesia Boot Camp (directed by Shobana Rajan and Chanhung Lee), the Quality/Safety Symposium on Management of Patients with CSF Diversion Devices and ICP Monitors (director Abhijit Lele), the Intraoperative Frontal EEG Workshop on Trouble-Shooting and Knobology (director Paul Garcia), and the Science Symposium on Nitrous Oxide as Treatment for Depression (speakers Peter Nagele, Joseph Cichon, Ben Palanca). The workshops were very well attended and well received. The evening provided an opportunity to meet friends old and new and enjoy delicious food and drink while mingling in an historic art-filled space during the gala at the Athenaeum.

Saturday kicked off early with four exciting PBLDs, covering Anesthesia for Complex Spine (Benjamin Gruenbaum), Anticoagulation and Neurosurgical Emergencies (Shilpa Rao), Craniotomy for a Patient with a Cardiac Assist Device (Maya Mikami), and Spine Surgery in the Polytrauma Patient (Amie Hoefnagel). After breakfast with the exhibitors, attendees were treated to an update on Perioperative Neurocognitive Disorder by Maurice-Albin-Keynote speaker Liz Evered. Bhiken Naik, Tumul Chowdhury, and Deepak Sharma provided an overview on What is New in Stroke and Endovascular Thrombectomy. This year was the first time that SNACC members could shape the meeting program by proposing sessions. The first of the member-submitted sessions was on Neuroanesthesia for Diverse Populations with speakers Mia Kang and Mauricio Giraldo. A second member-submitted session followed right after, with Anna Maria Bombardieri, Eman Nada, and Kamila Vagnerova discussing the advantages of Regional Techniques for Neuroanesthesia and Neurocritical Care. Shobana Rajan and colleagues challenged and entertained attendees with the Neuroanesthesia Fun Quiz during the lunch hour. The afternoon program brought original research by Susana Vacas, Miles Berger, and Phillip Vlisides in the session on New Frontiers for Postoperative Delirium and an entertaining revival of the old debate whether Anesthetic Depth is a Useful Concept (Paul Garcia and David Highton), another session that was submitted by SNACC members. The day was rounded out by six parallel abstract sessions. This year’s abstracts were presented in a new hybrid format. Presentations were done on Zoom, which allowed presenters unable to travel to Alexandria for work or visa reasons to present their work and participate in the discussion. At the same time, presenters and audience met in dedicated rooms, which allowed for the personal connection and discussion typically associated with traditional poster presentations. The format worked well and may return for future meetings. A fun evening of bar food and drinks at Daniel O’Connell’s brought this packed day to its end.

Sunday once again started early with the second part of the abstract presentations. Four additional parallel sessions were a testament to the quantity of original work completed and shared by SNACC members. The main program was kicked of with an outstanding research talk on Enabling Neuroscience Research from the OR to the Lab by Amy Heimberger in the 2024 WINNER (Women in Neuroanesthesiology and Neuroscience Education and Research) Lecture. An exciting clinical panel followed. Neurosurgeon Ahmed Raslan and Neuroanesthesiologist Chanhung Lee presented a Team Approach to Intraoperative Brain Mapping and Monitoring. A final debate on TIVA vs Volatile Anesthetics for Neuroanesthesia (Val Luoma and Letha Mathews) completed the morning program. The lunch hour saw the Business Meeting with the Installation of John Bebawy as the new SNACC president and announcement of the 2024 awards, followed by the Best-of-Science Symposium. The JNA Year in Review session showcased work by Sonal Sharma, Bhiken Naik, and Deepak Sharma and brought another highlight to close the meeting. Discussions were lively throughout the meeting, helped this year by the ability to submit questions to the speakers electronically.

If you missed the meeting this year, be sure to mark your calendar and save the date for the 2024 SNACC Annual Meeting at the Grand Hyatt in beautiful Denver, CO, September 12 – 14, 2024.

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