Member Spotlight

ASRA Pain Medicine Member Spotlight is a new program designed to recognize individuals who are doing great things “under the radar.” These individuals demonstrate their commitment to high-quality healthcare, community support, and the future of regional anesthesia and pain medicine with accomplishments and contributions in their work, teaching, mentorship, research, community involvement, and/or advocacy. The professional and personal contributions of ASRA Pain Medicine members go beyond many of our expectations. Help us shine a light on the diverse and impactful work of our members. Make a nomination for a future spotlight here.

May 2022

Gaurav Chauhan, MD, D.ABA

Gaurav Chauhan, MD, D.ABA

Our Member Spotlight for May is Dr. Gaurav Chauhan, an assistant professor in the division of Chronic Pain in the department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) in Pittsburgh, PA, where he serves as chair of the Clinical Competency Committee. As a fellow, Dr. Chauhan trained with Dr. Brandon Roth at Cleveland Clinic, who writes, “To say that I have been impressed by him since that time would be an understatement.

“I am constantly amazed and inspired by his drive and commitment to excellence in anything and everything he pursues,” Roth writes. “He is not just a high achiever; he is a natural leader and a nurturer. He genuinely seeks and promotes the success of everyone around him, and he is effective in doing so.”

Dr. Chauhan earned his MBBS and completed his anesthesiology residency at Vardhman Mahavir Medical School in Delhi, India. He came to Toronto Western Hospital for his ambulatory anesthesia fellowship and also trained in Australia before coming to Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, MI, for an internship in internal medicine and a residency in anesthesiology. He has been a member of ASRA Pain Medicine since 2016.

Dr. Chauhan has received many accolades, including several first-place awards for research projects at local and national conferences, most recently being scholarships from the department of Anesthesiology to incorporate ultrasound-guided procedures as part of the chronic pain fellowship curriculum.

“As a clinician, Gaurav always strives to employ quality improvement strategies at the workplace. He ingrained these qualities in his clinical practice and frequently disseminated his quality improvement ideas on various local and national forums,” Roth says. In 2021, Dr. Chauhan serves as a reviewer on publications such as Pain Medicine, Pain Practice, and Anesthesiology; he has published papers on pain, perioperative medicine, and neuromodulation in highly regarded medical journals; he has presented multiple papers at ASRA Pain Medicine, as well as the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the International Anesthesia Research Society, and local anesthesiology meetings; and he has received multiple research grants.

“On a personal note,” Roth says, “he is a humble, humorous, compassionate, and loving individual. He exemplifies benevolence and acceptance, applying this in every realm of his life.”

Nominator Dr. Timothy D. Kwiecien echoes Dr. Roth’s comments, noting that “Gaurav has had a very long road to get to where he is at today” and describing him as having “unrelenting determination and dedication to the field of anesthesiology and multidisciplinary pain management.”

April 2022

Poonam Pai, MD, MS

Poonam Pai, MD, MS

Poonam Pai, MD, MS, assistant professor in the department of Anesthesiology at Mount Sinai West – Morningside Hospitals in New York City, is the April 2022 featured Member Spotlight. Dr. Pai’s experience, influence, mentorship, and research interests are just some of the reasons her nominator, Dr. Yan Lai, described her as “the perfect individual that deserves this honor.”

“She demonstrates superior clinical judgment, a diligent work ethic, and a warm personality,” Dr. Lai wrote. “She possesses a truly magnetic disposition and helps her colleagues and patients dwell in a cheerful atmosphere. In the operating room, she makes rational, global, and effective decisions during flawless execution of complex anesthetics for our challenging patient population. Outside the operating room, she is well respected for her demeanor as a kind individual, a compassionate clinician, and a professional colleague.”

Dr. Pai earned bachelor’s degrees in both medicine and surgery in Bangalore, India, where she also completed multiple residencies and externships. She completed both her residency in anesthesiology and her regional anesthesia fellowship at Mount Sinai St Luke’s-Mount Sinai West.

“Poonam never stops coming up with innovative ideas that spark her curiosity … and… along the way, she inspires others around her to becoming the best,” Dr. Lai wrote. He listed some of her accomplishments including organizing regional technique workshops for residents, creating a procedure manual for the acute pain rotation, and helping to design a rotational curriculum for orthopedics residents. She also has an interest in patient safety and system efficiency. She presented an integrated grand rounds on PACU efficiency, created discharge instructions for ambulatory patients with peripheral nerve catheters, and designed and implemented novel medication labels for local anesthetics in the operating room to reduce medication errors.

Dr. Pai’s accomplishments are quite extensive, but one especially impressive way that she has been impactful on the profession is by helping her institution to receive ACGME accreditation in the first round in 2017. Dr. Pai also has an enthusiasm for academic research, participating both directly and expanding the institutional research division, which Dr. Lai said is responsible for the division increasing active clinical trials and research projects 10-fold over a two-year period.

Dr. Pai has contributed to several book chapters on regional anesthesia, participates in ASRA Pain Medicine as an associate faculty member and ASRA Pain Medicine News contributor, and is frequently invited to serve as a grand rounds speaker for multiple institutions.

“She is a superstar whose humility shines far brighter than her stardom,” Dr. Lai concluded.

March 2022

Jarna Shah, MD

Jarna Shah, MD

This month’s Member Spotlight is Jarna Shah, MD (@JarnaShahMD), an assistant professor in the division of anesthesiology and pain medicine at the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences in Little Rock. Her nominator and division director, Dr. Johnathan Goree (@DrJGoree), describes her as “a rising star in both acute and chronic pain at our institution and nationally.”

“Her clinical practice is unique, and I think it lends itself for ASRA Pain Medicine Spotlight,” Dr. Goree wrote. “She is a fellowship-trained chronic pain physician, but she still practices OB anesthesiology. She is currently working with our OB department to develop a practice that is focused on women's health and, specifically, chronic pain post-delivery.”

An active member of ASRA Pain Medicine, Dr. Shah serves on the Public Relations Committee and is the website and social media liaison in the Women in Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine Special Interest Group. She was also an active social media ambassador for the Fall 2021 meeting.

A graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she earned both her bachelors and medical degrees, as well as completing an anesthesiology residency, Dr. Shah completed her fellowship in interventional pain medicine at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD. She has authored a number of peer-reviewed publications and book chapters and serves as a reviewer for Anesthesia and Analgesia, Pain Medicine, Anesthesia and Analgesia Practice, and PAIN Reports. She is currently involved in four neuromodulation research projects including a role as principal investigator for the Averitas Post Surgical Neuropathic Pain Study.

Dr. Shah serves on her university’s acute pain service advisory and interventional pain program evaluation committees, chronic pain residency rotation director, and is the physician lead of the inpatient opioid orders team. She received the Faculty of the Month Award at the university in January 2021.

“She [is] a great example of how an early career physician can maximize participation in an organization like ASRA Pain Medicine,” Goree concluded.

February 2022

Sudheer Potru, MD

Sudheer Potru, DO, FASAM

Sudheer Potru, DO, FASAM, is an assistant professor at Emory University School of Medicine and the director of the Complex Pain and High-Risk Opioid Clinic at the Atlanta VA Medical Center in Atlanta, GA.

Dr. Potru received his medical degree from Michigan State University and completed an anesthesiology residency at the University of Miami-Jackson Health System, followed by an interventional pain medicine fellowship at Rush University Medical Center. He is board certified in anesthesiology, pain medicine, and addiction medicine, and was an instrumental part in the recently published buprenorphine guidelines in Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine.

Nominator Lynn Kohan, MD, calls Dr. Potru “a leader in the field of co-morbid pain and substance use disorders.” As the founder and chair of the ASRA Pain Medicine Pain and Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Special Interest Group, a member and regular writer of the ASRA Pain Medicine Newsletter Committee, and a co-investigator on the 2020 ASRA Pain Medicine Early-Stage Investigator Award, Dr. Potru definitely talks the talk and walks the walk.

He has tirelessly advocated for the education of trainees in medication management and opioid use disorder, raised continued awareness to addiction medicine certification and the x-waiver, and has given many talks on chronic pain, SUD, and buprenorphine around the country. 

January 2022

Alexandra Sideris, PhD

Alexandra Sideris, PhD

This month’s ASRA Pain Medicine Member Spotlight shines on Dr. Alexandra Sideris from the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS). Dr. Sideris joined HSS in 2018 as a research associate. In 2019, she was promoted to assistant director of research. In 2021, after an extensive search, Dr. Sideris was chosen as the first C.V. Starr Director of Pain Research (a position affiliated with an endowed chair in pain research).

Dr. Sideris’s doctoral degree is in basic neuroscience where she studied the endocannabinoid system in the spinal cord. She studied neurobiology of pain in animal models of neuropathic pain during her postdoctoral studies in the anesthesiology department at NYU Langone Medical Center.

According to her nominator, Mary Hargett, “It would not be possible to list all of Dr. Sideris' accomplishments prior to joining HSS and while at HSS, so I will just mention a few: creation of registries in pain and basivertebral nerve ablation; design, implementation, and participation in myriad studies including opioid prescribing patterns and refill rates before and after institutional policy changes and cannabinoid use in myelomalacia; 18 peer-reviewed publications; 2 book chapters; and multiple abstracts and presentations at several society meetings including the ASA and ASRA Pain Medicine.”

Dr. Sideris currently has 4 manuscripts submitted for publication and is working on 8 additional manuscripts. She has been instrumental in pushing through several necessary COVID studies in 2020 and 2021, and she has been a member of the Hospital's "Return to New Normal Research Board." She also has served as a mentor to several research associates since joining HSS and is a respected teacher, Hargett wrote.

In terms of Dr. Sideris' "ASRA Citizenship," she is a member of the Editorial Board for Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine and has attended and been involved in presentations at the past three spring meetings. Dr. Sideris also has encouraged participation and facilitated attendance at ASRA Pain Medicine meetings for several members of the HSS research staff.

“I am nominating Dr. Sideris because I think it is important to also recognize the contributions made by many non-physicians to the mission of ASRA. Dr. Sideris is an excellent example of someone whose dedication and efforts have helped to grow this Society,” Hargett concluded.


December 2021

Aysha Hasan, MD

Aysha Hasan, MD, is the division chief of acute pain and regional anesthesiology and a pediatric anesthesiologist at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. She is also an assistant professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA.

Dr. Hasan received her medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine. She went on to complete a general anesthesiology residency at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, NJ, followed by two fellowships. Her pediatric anesthesiology fellowship was completed at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, and her acute pain/regional anesthesiology fellowship was completed at Boston Children’s Hospital in Boston, MA.

Since joining St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in 2017, Dr. Hasan created an entire division of acute pain and regional service “from ground-zero”, as nominator Dr. Jehan Elliott put it. “She has been successful in creating protocols, recruiting surgeons, and training anesthesiologists and trainees.”

Dr. Hasan has held multiple leadership positions with the Pennsylvania Society of Anesthesiologists (PSA), serving as Chair of the Membership Committee. She has also worked collaboratively with a team to help create PSA’s first Ultrasound Guided Regional Anesthesiology Workshop held in the state of Pennsylvania. This initiative has led to annual CME meetings that will be held by the PSA. She has presented research at meetings both nationally and internationally.

Nominator Dr. Anasuya Vasudevan calls Dr. Hasan a trailblazer. “For an anesthesiologist who is less than 5 years out of fellowship training she has excelled in contributing to the field of pediatric regional anesthesia, and also the anesthesia community as a whole.” In conclusion, Aysha Hasan is a brilliant clinician who has worked hard to protocolize and facilitate patient care and advance the field of anesthesiology.


November 2021

William Manson, MD

William Manson, MD, is an attending anesthesiologist at the University of Virginia (UVA) in Charlottesville, VA, where he is the medical director of the preoperative clinic.

Dr. Manson received his medical degree from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA. He initially completed a residency in emergency medicine (EM) in NY followed by a fellowship in emergency ultrasound at Yale University. After completing his EM training, he worked as an attending EM physician. He subsequently completed a residency in anesthesiology at UT Southwestern and a fellowship in regional anesthesia at UVA. He stayed on as faculty at UVA following his regional fellowship.

Nominator Dr. Lynn Kohan, interim director of the pain division, has known Dr. Manson since 2016 when he was doing his regional fellowship. “Dr. Manson is an experienced physician who brings a unique set of skills to UVA. He is truly deserving of this award.”

“I have been impressed by his committed to patient care and his leading efforts in the realm of point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS). He is a national figure who is helping to shape the curriculum of POCUS for the anesthesiologist. Locally, he has been fantastic teaching our pain fellows POCUS during their chronic pain fellowship. He has exhibited high levels of commitment to mentorship and education, having recently been an author on the newly published POCUS guidelines in Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine.”  Additionally, he serves as the vice-chair of the ASRA POCUS Special Interest Group and serves on the editorial board of Point-of-Care Ultrasound.

Dr. Manson is actively contributing in scholarly work and has won numerous research awards.  He is also actively involved in national committees both for ASRA as well as the American Society of Anesthesiologists and has presented nationally.

In conclusion, Dr. Manson is a wonderful colleague who is a rising star in the field of regional anesthesia and pain medicine. He has tremendous commitment to advancing POCUS and exceptional clinical skills, and his academic interests position him to be truly deserving of this recognition.


October 2021

Swetha R. Pakala, MD

Swetha R Pakala, MD, is an attending anesthesiologist at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York, NY, where she is also the director of the hospital’s Global Health Initiatives Program.

Dr. Pakala received her medical degree from the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine. Following an internship in internal medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, Dr. Pakala returned to UCSF where she completed a residency in anesthesia and perioperative care. She then went on to do a regional anesthesia and acute pain medicine fellowship at HSS and stayed on as an attending anesthesiologist on the perioperative team.

Nominator Mary Hargett, director of education and clinical initiatives, has known Dr. Pakala since 2010 when she was doing a residency rotation at HSS and calls her “truly deserving” of recognition.

“When she first rotated to our institution as a UCSF resident, I was immediately impressed with Dr. Pakala, particularly with her commitment to global health outreach. At that time of her HSS rotation, Dr. Pakala has just returned from a medical mission to Ethiopia and was enthusiastically discussing future humanitarian missions and her philosophy of sustainability,” Hargett wrote.

“Dr. Pakala believes that while patient care is of the utmost importance, it is also vitally important to leave the medical care location in a better place than when you first arrived. Dr. Pakala believes in empowering the staff through teaching, in both lecture and workshop formats,” Hargett added. “Her competence, composure, and pleasant demeanor put everyone at ease,” Hargett wrote.

During fellowship, Dr. Pakala received “The HSS Attending Anesthesiologists’ Award for Clinical Excellence in Regional Anesthesia,” an award voted on by all of attending staff. Additionally, HSS honored Dr. Pakala in 2019 by awarding her the first Dr. Leon Root Community Service Award.

Since joining HSS, Dr. Pakala has participated in medical missions in Ecuador, Haiti, India, Uganda, Ghana, and Vietnam, among other locations. In Vietnam, she set up an ongoing affiliation, and traveled there several times over the next few years to teach staff and share her knowledge.

“Dr. Pakala's interactions in Vietnam were so successful, that after a few years, her services were no longer needed, which meant that her goals of sustainable education were met. Dr. Pakala also started and still leads our department's Global Health Fellowship Program. To date, we have had over a dozen Global Health Fellows, who have traveled to hospitals in low-resource settings to teach (and to learn),” Hargett wrote.

Dr. Pakala has presented at national and international conferences on topics such as “Innovation & Collaboration for Surgical Disease in Uganda.” She has instructed in ultrasound workshops in locations such as Kenya, Malawi, and Mulago, India. She is an author on several peer-reviewed publications. In addition to her external academic activities, Dr. Pakala participates in several ongoing department educational initiatives. She is a member of the faculty for HSS’s Oral Board Preparation Program for Fellows and frequently acts as advisor for our rotating residents.

Dr. Pakala is an instrumental member of the ASRA Global Health SIG and has participated as faculty in past ASRA Meetings, as well as presenting several abstracts. Dr. Pakala last presented on her Global Health work at the Fall 2020 ASRA Meeting and plans to submit the results of her current endeavors on the impact of the COVID pandemic on Global Health activities for consideration for presentation at a future ASRA Meeting.

In conclusion, Hargett said, “Dr. Pakala is a gifted physician, who is dedicated to patients, colleagues, and to improving the condition of people living in areas with limited health resources. I believe that her considerable academic endeavors, as well as her clinical skills, and commitment to the betterment of health care throughout the world make her truly deserving of recognition.”


September 2021

Danielle M. Lindenmuth, MD, MBA

It is our pleasure to highlight ASRA’s first member spotlight, Dr. Danielle Lindenmuth.

Dr. Lindenmuth is an associate professor of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine at University of Rochester Medical Center in New York. She serves as the chair of the Sawgrass Surgery Center Quality Committee, the division chief of regional anesthesia and acute pain, as well as the co-director of the acute pain service. In addition, she currently serves as the chair of the Faculty Senate Budget Committee at the University of Rochester.  

Colleague Lynn Correll, MD, PhD, nominated Dr. Lindenmuth because “I would love more members of the ASRA community to know how much of a positive difference she is making in the lives of patients.”

Dr. Lindenmuth is recognized by her colleagues for her excellence in clinical care, leadership, and professionalism. She has notably streamlined and improved the acute pain service while prioritizing a functional recovery. She has worked tirelessly to partner with surgeons and proceduralists to advance the use of regional and multi-modal analgesic techniques for their patients.

Furthermore, she is dedicated to ERAS; co-leading a collaboration with a cardiac surgeon, Igor Gosev, MD, PhD, implementing ERAS for complex LVAD patients and across the Division of Cardiac Surgery. The comprehensive protocol encompasses all areas of perioperative medicine from preoperative optimization to prevention of postoperative readmission, and includes more than 30 faculty, nurses, and staff, from multiple divisions across the institution. The ERAS program focuses on multimodal pain pathways and opioid weaning initiatives but also includes aspects of implementation science, both staff and patient satisfaction as well as improving clinical outcomes. She has been recognized for her effort and has received the URMC Medical Center Board of Trustees Excellence Group Award for her work in the area.

She is an accomplished academician who has published numerous manuscripts as well as mentored rising stars within the field of anesthesia.

“Dr Lindenmuth is such a terrific asset to our department, and certainly worthy of being in the ‘spotlight’ by ASRA,” Dr. Correll wrote in her nomination.