September 20-22, 2019
San Francisco, California

Former Speakers

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Emmy award winning director, filmmaker and owner of Serac Adventure Film – Producer of Farther Than the Eye Can See, documenting the historic ascent of Mt Everest by a blind climber.

Keynote Lecture:
Celebrating the Human Spirit: The Need to Take Risks
September 12, 2010

When asked what separates Michael Brown from other adventure filmmakers, Erik Weihenmayer (the first blind person to summit Mount Everest) remarks that the award-winning director has an incomparable level of focus, skill and commitment. “There are only a handful of candidates with the athletic ability and tireless drive to pull off what Michael accomplishes routinely,” says Weihenmayer. “The pool of candidates narrows even further when you consider Michael’s eye for assembling the subtle pieces of a story.” Brown’s tenacity and upbeat attitude have brought him to the summit of Mount Everest four times—once while shooting and directing Farther Than the Eye Can See which documented Weihenmayer’s historic ascent. The acclaimed film marked the first time a high-definition (HD) video camera was brought to the mountain’s peak. On Brown’s summit in 2007 he co-directed MacGillivray Freeman Films’ Return to Everest in 3D IMAX. Outside the Himalaya, he’s made first kayak descents of wild rivers in places like Bhutan and Chile and summited remote peaks on all seven continents, all with the camera rolling.

Brown, a pioneer of adventure filmmaking, founded Serac Adventure Films in 1992 both to make original documentaries and to lend his production and adventuring skills to filmmakers like MacGillivray Freeman Films, for whom he was Director of Mountain Photography on the award-winning IMAX film Alps: Giants of Nature. Brown was also a specialty cameraman on the critically-acclaimed film BLINDSIGHT; on A&E’s show “Touch the Top;” and on a number of feature films. Since starting Serac, Brown has received over 40 international film festival and industry awards, including three national Emmys from five nominations. But making films is about more than winning awards and exploring uncharted territories. Serac is committed to “giving back” to their subjects in some profound way while capturing the intense emotion that make their films so powerful. Few who have seen them forget the poignant moment in Light of the Himalaya after the bandages are removed from the eyes of a Nepalese woman once blind with cataracts; or the elated exhaustion of 10 women in 3 Peaks 3 Weeks as they push beyond pain to achieve their goal.
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Keynote Lecture:
Medical Malpractice, Sedation and Informed Consent

Learning from our Mistakes: Sedation Mishaps Reviewed by A Medical Malpractice Attorney
Partner of Cohen, Placitella and Roth. Won a landmark $25 million case, recognized as one of the Top 100 Verdicts in the United States. President, Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania. Vice President, United Cerebral Palsy of Philadelphia. Multimillion dollar recoveries in medical and hospital malpractice cases.
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Co-Founder and CEO of Operation Smile

Keynote Lecture:
The Power of Medicine
September 17, 2011

CEO and founder of Operation Smile, a charity dedicated to providing free surgeries to repair cleft lip, palate and other facial deformities for children around the globe. To date, has received special recognition from UNICEF and has treated more than 150,000 children worldwide in over 50 countries. Dr. Magee has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as America’s Best Leaders and was awarded The President’s Call to Service Award, by President George W. Bush.
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Best-Selling Author

Keynote Lecture:
Survival, Strength and Spirit

Jose Rene "J.R." Martinez is an American actor, author and retired U.S. Army soldier. In March of 2003, Martinez was deployed to Iraq. In April he sustained severe burns to over 34 percent of his body when his humvee hit a roadside bomb. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller “Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength, and Spirit”.Martinez serves as a spokesperson for Operation Finally Home. J.R. began his acting career on the Emmy Award winning daytime drama All My Children. Many remember him best as the season 13 champion on Dancing with the Stars.
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Star Wars Application for Telemedicine in Sedation A Live Demonstration from the Battlefields of Afghanistan

Dr. Pak is a recently retired Chief Information Officer of the US Army Medical Department, an $11 billion healthcare system with more than 60,000 employees. He was the Army’s first Chief Medical Information Officer prior to his promotion to CIO. He also previously served as President of the American Telemedicine Association, leading the effort on global health and standards development for telehealth. Col. Pak has also headed the Advanced Information Technology Group within the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center, which has served as the U.S. Department of Defense health IT research and development arm. He is a distinguished graduate of the United States Military Academy.
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Keynote Address:
Overcoming the Challenges that Choose Us

Keynote Travis Roy from Anesthesia Conferences on Vimeo.


From an early age, Travis found his passion in the sport of hockey. Travis dreamed of one day playing Division I college hockey, and even having his shot at the NHL and the Olympics. In the end, Travis chose to play for the defending national champion Boston University Terriers. On October 20, 1995, with his family and friends in the stands, he took to the ice for his first shift. Eleven seconds after the puck dropped, Travis found himself lying face down on the ice, unable to move or feel a thing. Within seconds he not only knew he was paralyzed, but that life as he knew it was over. The prognosis was that he would be a quadriplegic for the rest of his life. In the 19 years since Travis’ accident he has overcome many challenges. Ten months after his accident Travis returned to Boston University, and four years later he graduated with a degree in Communications. He wrote the book, Eleven Seconds, A Story of Tragedy, Courage, and Triumph, and also founded the Travis Roy Foundation, which has raised over $3 million to improve the lives of spinal cord injury survivors and fund medical research.
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Keynote Address:
Propofol: Murder, Mayhem, and Mercy


Steven Shafer, MD is a Professor of Anesthesiology at Stanford University. In 2011, the International Society of Anaesthetic Pharmacology (ISAP) awarded Dr. Shafer their Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Shafer is the Editor-In-Chief of Anesthesia & Analgesia. He was the expert witness in the Michael Jackson manslaughter trial. The keynote lecture will recount his experience and personal accounts of the Michael Jackson manslaughter trial. Dr.Shafer will discuss the 17 violations of the standard of care that could have led to Jackson's serious injury or death.
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James Beard Award-winning chef and Emmy-nominated host/executive producer of "Simply Ming"

Keynote Lecture:
Finding Inspiration When You Least Expect It
September 12, 2009
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Adventurer, Architect and Author
Keynote Lecture:
Reflecting on a South Pole Expedition

In 2003, Kevin Vallely was named one of Canada's leading adventurers. His adventuring resume is stacked with compelling expeditions to all parts of the world including skiing Alaska’s 1,860 kilometre Iditarod Trail; scampering over Vancouver Island’s West Coast Trail in record time (10 hours, 13 minutes); attempting to bike and climb the island of Java’s 13 -10,000-foot volcanoes (a trip cut short when post-9/11 Indonesia became too dangerous); competing on the only Canadian team to finish the last and most difficult Eco-Challenge adventure race held in Fiji in 2002; retracing a 2,000 kilometre Klondike-era ice-bike route through the dead of an Alaskan winter, and most recently, with teammates Ray Zahab and Richard Weber, breaking the world record for the fastest unsupported trek from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole.

In September of 2017, Vallely released his book Rowing the Northwest Passage, a first-hand account of four seasoned adventurers crossing the Northwest Passage, one of the “last firsts” remaining in the adventure world today.

Kevin has organized and led extreme expeditions around the world and has garnered a powerful understanding of leadership, resilience and perspective in unpredictable and fast changing environments. He has translated this knowledge into a business acumen that activates and amplifies leadership instincts.
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Suffering, Transcendence and the Obliteration of Consciousness: Deep Conscious Sedation in Children at the End of Life.

Keynote Gail A. Van Norman from Alesandra Hlaing on Vimeo.


Gail Van Norman MD is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Medicine. She is Board Certified in both Internal Medicine and Anesthesiology, and specialty trained in Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology. With experience in both private practice and academic anesthesiology, she developed an early interest in the ethics of clinical practice and trained in clinical ethics under Al Jonson in the department of Bioethics at the University of Washington. She became a founding member of the Committee on Ethics for the American Society of Anesthesiologists, and served as its Chair from 2008 to 2011. After serving as Vice-President for a large private-practice group of anesthesiologists in Washington State, she returned to academic medicine to lead the PreAneshthesia Clinic at the University of Washington Medical Center, where she currently practices anesthesiology and preoperative medicine. She is a Professor of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, and Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Ethics at the University of Washington. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the the book Clinical Ethics in Anesthesiology: a Case-Based Textbook, and has authored numerous ethics articles for refereed medical journals and chapters on ethics for clinical textbooks, including Miller’s "Anesthesiology,” Kaplan’s"Vascular Anesthesia,” Atlee’s “Complications in Anesthesiology,” Eger’s “The Wondrous Story of Anesthesia” and Mason’s “Pediatric Sedation Outside of the Operating Room.”
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Long-distance runner, Youth Advocate and Best-Selling Author

Keynote Lecture:
Challenge. Distance. Discovery

On November 1, 2006, the former "pack a day smoker" turned ultra runner, set out on an expedition to cross the Sahara Desert by foot. 111 days and 7,500 kms after leaving the coast of Senegal, Africa they completed their journey by stepping into the Red Sea. This epic expedition involved running an average of 70kms a day without a single day of rest. National Geographic tracked the expedition, as well as the documentary film Running the Sahara, produced by Matt Damon and directed by Academy Award winner James Moll, was created in an effort to raise awareness for the drinking water crisis in North Africa. Ray has leveraged his future adventures to help raise awareness and funding for causes, like this one, that he supports and believes in. In 2008, Ray founded impossible2Possible (i2P) (impossible2possible.com) an organization that aims to inspire and educate youth through adventure learning, inclusion and participation in expeditions. Youth Ambassadors are selected from around the globe then participate in all areas, from logistics and running, to creating educational content and team support. Since its inception, i2P has included 12 youth expeditions around the world which are 100% free of cost. In 2009, Ray broke the world speed record for an unsupported expedition by a team to the South Pole. In the process, he trekked from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole, a distance of 1,100 kms, solely on foot and snowshoes, without the use of skis. Starting on June 23, 2013, Ray ran over 2,000km across Mongolia and the Gobi Desert. He was accompanied by both a film crew and photographer that created a robust film archive sharing the stories of the people and culture of Mongolia. Ray is the author of two best-selling books: Running for My Life and Running to Extremes. Ray speaks around the world at events such as TED, IOC World Conference, Idea City, The Economist World, World Affairs Council, and numerous Apple Distinguished Educator events internationally. He has been interviewed and appeared on several talk and news programs including CNNi, The Hour, CBC, CTV, BBC, Jay Leno, and Discovery. In 2015 Canadian Geographic recognized Ray as one of Canada's Top Explorers and he received the Meritorious Service Cross of Canada.