Burden of Surgical Disease WG Announces New Name, ASAP TODAY, to Advocate the Urgent Need for Safe Global Surgery and Anesthesia

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The Burden of Surgical Disease Working Group (BoSD WG) http://www.burdenofsurgicaldisease.com held its 3rd annual global meeting at The Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health http://www.globalhealth.vanderbilt.edu/bosd on March 10-12, 2010 in Nashville, TN. The meeting focused on the global anesthesia crisis, raising the standard for surgical outcomes, the role of academic partnerships in the role of delivery of care and improving education and training, and the importance of decreasing maternal mortality through surgical intervention. The meeting also had a focus on the role of corporate relationships and improved communications to attract new members, build diversity and advocacy to advance the mission. The 300 member global group was well represented with participants from surgery, anesthesia, obstetrics, public health, corporate partners and i.e. healthcare. The Working Group also achieved consensus on a name change to ASAP TODAY, and purpose ‘Advocacy for Safe Global Surgery and Anesthesia’, to better communicate the absence of safe anesthesia and surgery in many low income countries, and the importance of advocating for surgical resources TODAY!

The Burden of Surgical Disease Working Group (BoSD WG) http://www.burdenofsurgicaldisease.com held its 3rd annual global meeting at The Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health http://www.globalhealth.vanderbilt.edu/bosd on March 10-12, 2010 in Nashville, TN. The meeting focused on the global anesthesia crisis, raising the standard for surgical outcomes, the role of academic partnerships in the role of delivery of care and improving education and training, and the importance of decreasing maternal mortality through surgical intervention. The meeting also had a focus on the role of corporate relationships and improved communications to attract new members, build diversity and advocacy to advance the mission. The 300 member global group was well represented with participants from surgery, anesthesia, obstetrics, public health, corporate partners and i.e. healthcare.

Kelly McQueen, founder BoSD WG, commented: “The group focused on the global anesthesia crisis. There is a shortage of qualified providers, an inability to monitor patients during surgery (pulse oximetry), and limited access to necessary medications and blood products which makes the provision of anesthesia in low income countries a dangerous reality. Many preventable anesthesia deaths occur daily in many countries worldwide. The global community must recognize the crucial role of anesthesia in all surgical settings, and rally to improve anesthesia education and training, improved monitoring and better access to medications and blood products.”

The meeting opened with a keynote from the Honorable Senator Bill Frist, M.D., ‘Lessons Learned in Haiti: Using Crisis to Highlight Surgical Need’. Senator Frist, a surgeon and humanitarian, and Chairman of Hope Through Healing Hands http://www.hopethroughhealinghands.org commented on the important role of surgery and anesthesia in the initial and on-going response to Haiti, and the continuing needs to address amputation revision, treatment of infection, and acute and chronic pain management.

Bob Isherwood, Chief Creative Dude and Co-CEO of i.e. healthcare http://www.iehealthcare.com delivered a keynote, ‘For crying out loud’, to address the communication challenges facing the BoSD WG’s objectives and how they might overcome them. Bob Isherwood is the former Worldwide Creative Director of Saatchi and Saatchi, Clio Hall of Famer, and co-author of the book ‘World Changing Ideas’. During Isherwood’s keynote, he proposed the need for a new name for the organization, ASAP TODAY, to reach a broader audience with a compelling and understandable messsage. Isherwood said: "While the Burden of Surgical Disease (BoSD) is well understood within the organization’s peer group, it has little meaning to the world at large. ASAP TODAY stands for the Alliance for Surgical and Anesthesia Presence. It conveys in a memorable way the Group’s focus to be advocates that build awareness on the urgent need for safe global surgery and anesthesia facilities, and take action to solve this critical world health need. In the developing world, millions of people are dying unnecessarily in childbirth, road accidents and conditions that are commonly overcome in developed countries. We need to address this with all necessary resources – Today!"

Kelly McQueen commented: “I was very pleased that the Working Group achieved consensus on the name change to ASAP TODAY, and purpose ‘Advocacy for Safe Global Surgery and Anesthesia’, to better communicate the absence of safe anesthesia and surgery in many low income countries, and the importance of advocating for surgical resources TODAY!    We also believe ASAP TODAY will improve engagement with strategic business partners and the public sector to increase support and involvement. I would like to thank Bob Isherwood of i.e. healthcare for using his creative communications experience and passion for world changing ideas to help our Group better achieve our purpose. i.e. healthcare http://www.iehealthcare.com provided incredible insight on how to improve engagement with key stakeholders and the public to draw attention to the global surgical and anesthesia crisis. Bob Isherwood has become a permanent member of ASAP TODAY and will continue to collaborate with the Group.”

Other ASAP TODAY Working Group Members had similar comments.

  • “The new name, ASAP TODAY, conveys well the emergency to address surgical disease, not only right now in Haiti, but in low income countries around the world. This new name will aid in stimulating interest and advocacy for safe surgery and anesthesia practices which will save the lives of thousands.” Senator Bill Frist, M.D. http://www.hopethroughhealinghands.org
  • "The annual ASAP TODAY forum promotes collaboration among a diverse group of individuals from NGOs, academic institutions, research, and industry all committed to the important role of surgery within global health. ASAP TODAY supports and informs the mission and message of the American College of Surgeons’ Operation Giving Back initiative, and we are grateful for their on-going work, innovation and vision." Dr. Kathleen Casey, Director, Operation Giving Back, American College of Surgeons http://www.operationgivingback.facs.org
  • “ASAP TODAY is an invigorating platform for advocacy and an incubator for ideas and networking. This group is leading the way in addressing the crisis of inadequate surgery and anesthesia on a worldwide scale. I look forward to involvement with ASAP TODAY for years to come.” Medge Owen, M.D., President, Kybele, Inc http://www.kybeleworldwide.org
  • “NuOrtho Surgical is supportive of the initiatives of ASAP TODAY. As a company focused on surgical instruments for Tissue Preservation in the orthopedic arena, we feel the core work being done by ASAP TODAY is critical to improving the quality of surgical delivery worldwide. We look forward to a mutually beneficial strategic partnership and urge other firms to support their Global efforts to improve surgical outcomes.” Jeff W. Morrill, President and CEO, NuOrtho Surgical, Inc. http://www.nuorthosurgical.com
  • “I found it a particularly stimulating day meeting with the Working Group, and felt that significant steps have been taken to move the ASAP TODAY organisation forward. This great initiative encourages partnerships to grow and improve global surgical capacity.” Denis J Robson, Director, African Affairs, Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies http://www.jnj.com
  • "We at Operation Smile International believe that no child anywhere should have to live with the stigma of a facial deformity. We applaud our ASAP TODAY colleagues for helping us with this goal." Michael Stabile, M.D., MBA, Anesthesia Board, Operation Smile International http://www.operationsmile.org

The ASAP TODAY meeting had an elite group of 145 participants from 10 countries with representatives from: World Health Organization, International Committee for the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, Operation Smile, Global Burden of Disease Project, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Vanderbilt University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, University of California at San Francisco, University of Washington. University of Utah, University of Toronto, University of California at San Diego, Society of Anesthesiologists, American College of Surgeons, International College of Surgeons, International Society of Surgeons, and World Federation of Societies of Anesthesiologists.

All the presentations from the ASAP TODAY (BoSD WG) meeting can be found at the http://www.burdenofsurgicaldisease.com

The current website http://www.burdenofsurgicaldisease.com will be the domain for ASAP TODAY until the new site http://www.asaptoday.org is launched in several weeks. A press release will be issued at the time of the new site launch, and other ASAP TODAY social media locations

About ASAP TODAY, formerly Burden of Surgical Disease Working Group
ASAP TODAY is an international group of anesthesiologists, surgeons, economists and public health specialists committed to improving the infrastructure for and delivery of surgery in low and middle income countries, with the purpose of building Advocacy for Safe Global Surgery and Anesthesia. The Group formed in 2007 with 25 members and has grown to more than 300. Members of the group represent North American and European Academic Institutions, International Institutions and professional societies, non-governmental organizations and other non-profit organizations. ASAP TODAY has collectively published more than 20 articles in peer reviewed journals and remains committed to promoting the importance and cost effectiveness of surgical intervention in preventing disability and premature death. Recent efforts have focused on advocacy within the Global Health Community for increased commitment to and funding for surgical programs in low income countries. Information on ASAP TODAY can be found at http://www.burdenofsurgicaldisease.com To join the list serve, please send an email to bosdworkinggroup@gmail.com. You can also follow us at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Burden-of-Surgical-Disease-Working-Group/111916378354

ASAP TODAY, formerly Burden of Surgical Disease Working Group, Media Contact:
Kelly McQueen, MD, MPH
ASAP TODAY (BoSD WG) Founder
kamcqueen(at)gmail(dot)com
602-617-0907

i.e. healthcare Media Contact:
Steven Cook
Chief Marketing Officer, Co-CEO
steve(at)iehealthcare(dot)com

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STEVEN COOK
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