Oct. 23, 2019 

2 p.m. EDT

Newswise — ORLANDO, Fla. – Mary Dale Peterson, M.D., MSCHA, FACHE, FASA, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Driscoll Health System and emeritus staff at Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas, was today named president of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), the nation’s largest organization of physician anesthesiologists. Dr. Peterson assumed office at the ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2019 annual meeting in Orlando and will serve for one year.

“As pioneers in patient safety, physician anesthesiologists are uniquely qualified to lead the perioperative continuum of care and improve the surgical experience for patients before, during and after surgery,” said Dr. Peterson. “I’m honored to serve as president of ASA as we tackle issues including the opioid crisis, postoperative delirium and cognitive decline in older patients, and unnecessary regulations that contribute to burnout. I look forward to continuing our efforts to ensure the highest quality and safest anesthesia care for all patients through research and physician-led care.”

Dr. Peterson has held numerous positions in the Society. She has served as ASA treasurer and chair of the ASA Section on Fiscal Affairs. Dr. Peterson has been on the ASA Board of Directors since 2006 and is a member of the ASA Charitable Foundation’s Board of Directors. Additionally, she was treasurer of the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research (an ASA-related organization) from 2012-2017. 

“Dr. Peterson has proven her commitment to ASA and each of our 53,000 members, as well as our patients, colleagues and collaborators,” said ASA Immediate Past President Linda J. Mason, M.D., FASA. “Her leadership and passion for anesthesiology will continue to drive success while the specialty overcomes the challenges it faces over the next year.” 

Dr. Peterson received her Bachelor of Science from Texas A&M University. She completed her medical degree and anesthesiology residency at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, where she was elected chief resident. Dr. Peterson also completed a Master of Science in Health Care Administration at Trinity University in San Antonio.

Dr. Peterson is board certified in anesthesiology and critical care medicine. She resides in Corpus Christi, Texas with her husband, Rafael Coutin, M.D. They are the proud parents of three sons, Christopher, Mark and Steven.


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 asahq.org. To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit asahq.org/WhenSecondsCount. Join the ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2019 social conversation today. Like ASA on Facebook, follow ASALifeline on Twitter and use the hashtag #ANES19.

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