CEO's Message - Annual Report

2014 - 6 December
David J. Martin, CAE
Society of Critical Care Medicine Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice-President, David J. Martin, CAE, delivers his annual report on the Society’s activities and achievements.

If one word could sum up the year for the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), it would be “partnerships.” This has been an amazing year of progress, largely because of the many and varied collaborations enjoyed by the Society.

Quality Improvement Activities

In continued partnership with the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Society’s Surviving Sepsis Campaign brought together the Society of Hospital Medicine, Adventist Health System and almost 60 hospitals to participate in a collaborative activity to identify and improve care of patients with sepsis who are not yet in an intensive care unit (ICU). The Foundation also joined SCCM in furthering the development of our ICU Liberation campaign focused on reducing the harmful effects of pain, agitation and delirium in the ICU.

Our newest collaboration is with the Hellman Family Foundation, who will join us and the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM) in a pilot project to improve sepsis care in resource-limited nations. The pilot will take place at Gitwe Hospital, Ruhango District, in the Southern Province of Rwanda.
Working to disseminate patient-centered outcomes research, the Society partnered with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to launch the Project Dispatch program. Numerous communication and educational activities were held on topics throughout the year, including collaborating with families to improve care during transitions, pet and music therapy, using the FS-ICU instrument to improve family satisfaction, and improving psychological distress among critical illness survivors. To access these resources, visit

Seeking ways to sustain reduced infections related to urinary catheters in the ICU, SCCM is partnering with the American Hospital Association and AHRQ in a collaborative project with hospitals in North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia.  In addition to local meetings, distance coaching and data collection, a meeting of the collaborative participants will be held at SCCM’s Critical Care Congress in Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

Learning what key processes can be consistently maintained to improve care is vital in all of these activities so that they may be shared and implemented at hospitals worldwide.

Global Education

Expanding the Society’s reach on a global scale would be an impossible task without our sister organizations around the world. SCCM enjoys a number of key partnerships that help us to deliver our educational programs to members in every corner of the planet.

In 2014, SCCM’s board review courses were delivered in partnership with critical care societies in Korea, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, and Peru.  We are also now finalizing plans to hold the course in China. These partnerships helped expand the reach of our board review programs to more than 5,000 participants this year.

While the Society’s Fundamentals programs -- Fundamental Critical Care Support (FCCS), Pediatric Fundamental Critical Care Support (PFCCS) and Fundamental Disaster Management (FDM) -- continue to grow almost everywhere, in 2014, we partnered with The Children's Hospital Zhejiang University School of Medicine in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, to produce the first edition of PFCCS in Chinese and to hold initial instructor courses. Likewise, the Japanese Society of Intensive Care Medicine also translated PFCCS and launched the program there. In addition, SCCM translated PFCCS into Spanish, and it has already been used widely by our colleagues throughout Latin America. We also began translating FCCS into Brazilian Portuguese for use in a partnership activity with the Associação de Medicina Intensiva Brasileira (AMIB), the Brazilian critical care society. We likewise have joined forces with the Central American and Caribbean Consortium of Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine (COCECATI) in the development of a special supplement to FCCS on management of tropical diseases.  More than 12,000 individuals successfully completed the Fundamentals family of programs this year, achieving a new record high. I would like to pay particular thanks to our Dutch and Japanese colleagues who each trained approximately 1,000 individuals this year.

During the year, the Society expanded its partnership with the World Health Organization’s HINARI Programme to help ICU clinicians in low- and middle-income areas gain access to SCCM resources at no cost. While the Society’s journals have been available through this program for several years, educational content contained in our learning portal ( is now also available as part of this important outreach program.

Finally, we engaged with several other organizations to provide new, exciting opportunities at the upcoming Congress. Consider attending our hands-on Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Management course, developed in partnership with the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization. How long has it been since you’ve practiced your skills on a cadaver?  The Critical Care Skills Lab, held in collaboration with the American College of Emergency Physicians, is designed to improve practitioner competence at invasive procedures fundamental to resuscitation and emergency patient stabilization.  Need to improve outcomes during the first hours of a patient’s neurological emergency? Consider taking the Emergency Neurological Life Support course offered in conjunction with the Neurocritical Care Society. Ongoing collaboration via a special course with the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care will also be held.

During the year, we also began working with the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition and the Association of Physician Assistants in Cardiovascular Surgery on educational programming that will be available to you in the coming year. We were also pleased to finalize an agreement that combines the Pan American and Iberian Congress of Critical Care and Intensive Therapy with SCCM’s Congress in 2020. 


Our long-time involvement in the Critical Care Societies Collaborative (American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, American Thoracic Society, American College of Chest Physicians, SCCM) is where most of our U.S. advocacy-related work gets done. During the year, we focused on shared billing issues with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, as well as on training requirements with our projects on internal medical subspecialty milestones, educational pathways in internal medicine and competency-based critical care proficiencies. The Collaborative also reengaged with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to clarify matters related to the new national approach to surveillance for ventilator-associated events. SCCM also engaged with the CDC regarding a proposed sepsis surveillance definition to ensure that the SCCM/ESICM project to revise our more expansive sepsis definition is harmonized. 


The Society’s financial condition was buoyed by the many activities noted here. This is reflected in total net assets, which reached an all-time high of just over $21 million. Of that number, $14.5 million was held in reserve for emergencies and future program development. SCCM carries no long-term debt.  While we spent much of what came in to support the organizational mission of improving care of the critically ill, net revenue of $600,000 from programs/services was generated on operating revenue of $16 million. When combined with investment income, the Society’s overall net revenue for fiscal 2014 was $2 million.

Thank you!
While I’ve touched on the major partnerships that have helped the Society to achieve its global mission this year, it’s just as important that I recognize the thousands of volunteers who make SCCM’s many activities possible. Our Creative Community volunteers, who are passionate about improving care, make these projects and many more possible. Likewise, many individuals, foundations, organizations, and industry colleagues support the Society through vital contributions and participation in our various programs. Thank you to everyone for helping SCCM be successful. Through our combined efforts, we are making significant progress in improving care of the critically ill and injured.

My best wishes for a safe, productive and enjoyable New Year!