Santhanam Suresh Will Receive ASRA Pain Medicine’s Prestigious Gaston Labat Award

Santhanam Suresh, MD, MBA, FAAP, FASA, has been named the 2023 Gaston Labat Award recipient and lecturer by the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (ASRA Pain Medicine). Dr. Suresh is the Arthur C. King Professor and chair-emeritus as well as senior vice-president and chief of Provider Integration at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and a professor of Anesthesiology & Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

“Suresh embodies the concept of practicing what you teach,” wrote nominator Guy Weinberg, who received the award in 2020. “Clearly, the most consistent driving force throughout Suresh’s exemplary career has been advancing regional anesthesia specifically for our youngest patients. He adopted this cause decades ago and, more than almost anyone in the community, has contributed successfully to expanding the application of regional anesthesia in pediatrics.”

Given annually, the award honors Gaston P. Labat, MD (1843-1908), a pioneer in regional anesthesia and the first president of the American Society of Regional Anesthesia founded in 1923 (later abandoned and then “re-founded” in 1975). Labat’s Regional Anesthesia: Its Technique and Clinical Application was first published in 1922.

“The Gaston Labat Award is a validation of many years of work to advance pediatric regional anesthesia, and I am honored and humbled to join celebrities in the area of regional anesthesia who have been bestowed this honor,” Dr. Suresh said.

Dr. Suresh earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Madras Stanley Medical College in Madras, India. He completed a residency in pediatrics at Cook County Hospital and a residency in anesthesiology at Loyola University Medical Center. His fellowship took him to Children’s Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University Medical School. He earned his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Chicago.

Dr. Weinberg wrote of Dr. Suresh: “I have accompanied him on morning rounds and observed first-hand his efforts to educate patients, peers and surgeons of the value regional anesthesia brings to perioperative analgesia and outcomes. The surgeons at Lurie Children’s, for instance, now embrace his approach – that every child who could benefit from a nerve block should receive one. This fact is entirely a result of Suresh’s tireless work and teaching by example to advance the cause regional anesthesia.

“It’s hard to quantify or even imagine the suffering he has prevented locally and around the world by his years of continuous and determined effort to spread the benefits of regional anesthesia among children having surgery.”

Dr. Suresh is an active member of a number of societies including service on the Education Committee for the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia; oral board examiner, Board member, and former president of the American Board of Anesthesiology; chair, Board of Trustees of the International Anesthesia Research Society and service on the committees on Regional Anesthesia and the Scientific and Educational Exhibits, and past chair of the Annual Meeting Oversight Committee for the American Society of Anesthesiologists; and former member of the ACGME Residency Review Committee for Anesthesiology. He served on the ASRA Pain Medicine Board of Directors from 2011-2015 and received the Distinguished Service Award in 2016.

The 48th Annual Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Medicine Meeting will be held April 20-22, 2023, in Hollywood, FL. The meeting will include a special celebration of 100 years of regional anesthesia in recognition of the founding of the original American Society of Regional Anesthesia in 1923 by Gaston Labat and colleagues. Learn more here.