OSU Anesthesiology Department Chair Dr. Ronald Harter Announced as CWRU MSA’s 2019 Keynote

Ronald Harter, MD Anesthesiologist

We are pleased to announce that this year’s keynote speaker for our Graduation Honors Dinner will be Dr. Ronald Harter.

Dr. Harter is the Jay J. Jacoby, MD, PhD Professor and Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and a practicing anesthesiologist at the university’s Wexner Medical Center.

Over the course of his career, Dr. Harter has prioritized education and has held either a clinical instructorship or professorship since 1993. He has been recognized for excellence in education by the Department of Anesthesiology and the OSU College of Medicine.

In his time as chair, Dr. Harter has led a diverse and well-trained faculty to become more deeply invested in teaching and training medical students, residents, fellows, and advanced practice providers, including anesthetists. Under Dr. Harter’s leadership, OSU has developed an Ambulatory Anesthesia and Business of Medicine fellowship, in which the fellows gain expertise in managing anesthesia care in ambulatory surgical settings while concurrently earning an MBA at OSU’s Fisher College of Business. His department also boasts a strong team of faculty with training and expertise across the entire spectrum of perioperative care who provide a leading edge in assessment, pain management, neuroanesthesiology, obstetrical anesthesiology, critical care, and cardiothoracic anesthesiology.

“Teaching the next generation the art and science of anesthesiology is an act that they can carry through their careers—then, they can teach others. It’s a legacy.” Dr. Harter noted in a recent interview, “I hope that my work, and the work of my colleagues, in education has strengthened the anesthesia care team by helping to demonstrate the invaluable role of physician-led care to future physician leaders and to the essential role provided by non-physician members of the team.”

Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center is recognized as one of the nation’s top hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. The medical center is currently undergoing a $1 billion expansions project that will significantly improve patient care and advance the medical center’s education and research programs. Dr. Harter is at the helm of this expansion for the department, leading a team of nationally and internationally recognized physician anesthesiologists and researchers.

“We have implemented a number of innovative changes since I have been Chair. Among those that I feel have been most impactful are the implementation of several Perioperative Surgical Home or Enhanced Recovery After Surgery service lines. These protocols have improved the quality of care we provide to those patients while reducing costs and enhancing the patient experience. Additionally, the protocols create opportunities for our residents and all members of the care team to learn the application of these principles to a growing list of surgical service lines.”

Dr. Harter has repeatedly brought innovation to both the educational and clinical spheres, and has empowered his team to not only expand education offerings and protocols but also to foster workplace innovation and collaborate. Nate Flath, a CAA at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center and CWRU MSA alumnus (‘12), spoke to this, describing Dr. Harter as, “nothing but supportive.”

One example of this is the recently developed “charge anesthetist,” a new role Flath pushed for and developed in collaboration with his CAA and CRNA coworkers. The position is responsible for organizing the anesthetist schedule, providing overall management, and handling emergency and trauma cases that arise. Flath noted that throughout the implementation of the charge anesthetist role and his time at OSU, Dr. Harter has emphasized the importance of the team environment and an innovative, inclusive workplace. “Dr. Harter has harbored a good team environment that’s supportive of the entire anesthesia care team, including CAAs, CRNAs, and MDs,” Flath added. Without Dr. Harter’s support, the team wouldn’t have been empowered to implement change or improve the care team environment.

This insight into and support of the care team is reflected in Dr. Harter’s research, which has explored issues that affect anesthesiologists, including substance abuse, burnout, and resiliency. His research has also focused on expansive topics as anesthesia-related mortality, postoperative side effects, gastrointestinal pharmacology, and cardiac support. He has published extensively in journals and contributed to books. Dr. Harter’s resume includes visiting professorships across the country as well as lectures and presentations nationally and internationally.

“We’re delighted to welcome Dr. Harter to Cleveland. He has been a tremendous asset to our alumni practicing at OSU, and I know our graduates will learn a great deal from him.” Executive Program Director Joseph Rifici, CAA, MEd said.

Dr. Harter received a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Capital University in 1985 and completed his Doctor of Medicine in 1989 at The Ohio State University. He went on to complete his transitional internship at Mt. Carmel Medical Center in Columbus and his residency in anesthesia at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He holds a fellowship with the American Society of Anesthesiologists and has sat on several ASA committees on topics ranging from bylaws to governmental affairs to governance effectiveness and efficiencies. He has also been an active member of the Ohio Society of Anesthesiologists since 1996, including acting as president in the early 2000s.

Dr. Harter lives in Columbus with his wife Katharine and their five children. He will present the keynote at our 2019 Graduation Honors Dinner, which will be hosted at The Tudor Arms Hotel on Saturday, May 18.