Newswise — WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) announced David Siegel, M.D., FASA, director and past president of the New Mexico Society of Anesthesiologists (NMSA), received the 2020 Bertram W. Coffer, M.D., Excellence in Government award, given in recognition of exemplary contributions to the medical specialty of anesthesiology, its practitioners and patients.

A longtime leader and key contact to multiple lawmakers in Congress, Dr. Siegel was integral to efforts in New Mexico to prevent legislation that would remove the proven team-based model of anesthesia care provided to patients in the state and allow nurse anesthetists to practice without any collaboration with a physician.  Through Dr. Siegel’s dedication and leadership, the NMSA was able to successfully advocate against the bill in the state legislature to prevent the bill’s movement out of committee.  He currently practices at the University of New Mexico-Sandoval County Medical Center in Rio Rancho, New Mexico and received his medical degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.

“Dr. Siegel is an example of what it takes to be a successful physician advocate, taking a stand for patients in New Mexico against efforts to undermine safe, physician-led anesthesia care,” said ASA President Mary Dale Peterson, M.D., MSHCA, FACHE, FASA. “His willingness to give his time and energy on behalf of patient safety is a testament to his dedication to the specialty, the citizens of New Mexico and all potential patients.”

“I am honored to receive this recognition from my peers,” said David Siegel, M.D., FASA. “I could not have done it without the support of ASA leadership through the state component assistance grant program and all the outstanding staff at the ASA state government affairs office.”

The Bertram "Bert" W. Coffer, M.D., Excellence in Government award is presented in memory of one of the most active and impressive ASA leaders. ASA honored Dr. Coffer by making him the inaugural recipient of the ASA Excellence in Government Award, which is now named after him for his outstanding legacy.  Each year, a physician anesthesiologist is recognized for his or her contributions to the specialty to advance ASA’s legislative, political and regulatory priorities. 

THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF ANESTHESIOLOGISTS Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 54,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care every patient deserves.

For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists online at To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit Like ASA on Facebook, follow ASALifeline on Twitter.

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