Newswise — The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) today presented Michael Lewis, M.D., FASA, current secretary-treasurer of the Michigan Society of Anesthesiologists and past president of the Florida Society of Anesthesiologists with the 2018 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 long-time member of ASA and advocate for the specialty, Dr. Lewis currently serves as Joseph L. Ponka Chair, Professor of Anesthesiology at Henry Ford Health System.  He is a dedicated advocate for patient safety, maintaining a strong personal relationship with several federal lawmakers who rely on him for his expertise on federal health policy.  Having held numerous leadership positions, Dr. Lewis has served as an alternate director in the ASA 2017 House of Delegates and was actively engaged in multiple states’ efforts to ensure safe, high-quality, physician-led anesthesia care for Veterans.

“Dr. Lewis has shown a true commitment to patient safety which continues throughout the years,” said ASA President James D. Grant, M.D., M.B.A., FASA. “His proven commitment to patient safety and advocacy involvement has been inspirational to his colleagues in Florida, now Michigan and throughout the country and sets a high bar for all other ASA members.  His energy, passion and commitment to patients make him the ideal candidate for this recognition.”

 “In this long journey of advocating for our profession and our patients I have been guided by a principle attributed to Churchill: ‘Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference,’” Dr. Lewis said.

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. 



Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 52,000 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.