Newswise — WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) today presented Joshua Chance, M.D., president of the Arkansas Society of Anesthesiologists, with the 2019 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 patient safety advocate, Dr. Chance has led a number of initiatives in Arkansas to preserve safe, high quality anesthesia care for Arkansans undergoing surgery by ensuring their care is led by a medically trained physician.  He successfully advocated against bills in the state legislature that would have weakened existing patient protections for individuals having surgery.  Dr. Chance has spent countless hours preparing testimony, building relationships with lawmakers, and motivating his colleagues to get involved.  He currently lives and practices in Little Rock, Arkansas and received his medical degree from the University of Arkansas.

 “Always mindful that anesthesia is a high-risk medical treatment, Dr. Chance has shown us what it takes to be a successful physician advocate, taking a stand for patients in Arkansas against efforts to undermine safe, physician-led anesthesia care,” said ASA President Linda J. Mason, M.D., FASA. “His willingness to give his time and energy on behalf of patient safety is a testament to his dedication to the specialty.  He is a model of engagement and advocacy for physician anesthesiologists.”

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 and 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. 

“It’s both an honor and a privilege to be recognized on the level of Dr. Coffer,” said Dr. Chance. “In the busy world of medicine, I feel many often lose sight of who we serve, the patient. It’s our duty as health care providers to keep the spotlight on the patient.  I’ll continue to advocate for patient-centered, physician-led health care in my state. I love what I do and especially enjoy working in my anesthesia care team. The team approach to anesthesia, with physicians at the helm, should be the approach each and every patient receives.” 



Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 53,000 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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