SRS Newsletter
June 2012

President's Message

SRS president

Greetings from Dallas, where a pretty warm summer is already upon us. These past few months have been very productive for the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) as many of our committees have been actively pursuing their 2011-2012 charges, and completing additional work that arose during the year. Within this newsletter, you’ll find numerous reports highlighting committee activities. To all of the members of the SRS involved with this work, I sincerely thank you for your time and efforts.

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Advocacy & Public Policy Committee Promotes Scoliosis Awareness throughout the Nation

Vishwas R. Talwalkar, MD
Advocacy & Public Policy Committee Chair

Vishwas R. Talwalkar, MD

The Advocacy & Public Policy Committee has continued to be active as a voice for the SRS membership and our patients. Our collaborative work has been focused on several projects. The first is a position statement that briefly summarizes current information on the topic of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis to be used as a reference for third-party payers. This document includes discussion of the diagnosis, evaluation, natural history, conservative treatment, surgical indications, and outcomes. A draft has undergone several iterations and has been submitted for review by the SRS Board of Directors.

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Non-Operative Annual Meeting Lunchtime Symposium

Nigel J. Price, MD
Non-Operative Committee Chair

Nigel J. Price, MD

The Non-Operative Committee will be hosting a Lunchtime Symposium which will give an international perspective on current non-operative techniques for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis.

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SRS at SpineWeek: May 30-31, 2012

Marinus De Kleuver, MD, PhD
Worldwide Conference Committee Member

Marinus De Kleuver, MD, PhD

The SpineWeek congress was held in Amsterdam, Netherlands from May 28th until June 1st at the RAI Convention Center and attracted over 3000 participants from all over the world. The following eight societies organized their own program during a whole week of parallel sessions: Spine Society of Europe (SSE), the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine (ISSLS), Cervical Spine Research Society (CSRS), Scoliosis Research Society (SRS), North American Spine Society (NASS), Sociedad Iberolatinoamericana de Columna Vertebral (SILACO), Brasilian Spine Society (BSS) and Dutch Spine Society (DSS).

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Historian's Corner: Albert C. Schmidt, MD and the Milwaukee Brace

David H. Clements, III, MD
Historical Committee Member

David H. Clements, III, MD

Although bracing was begun for treating scoliosis in the 1950s, its efficacy and utility continue to be subjects of debate on the podium and in posters. The first brace to be developed and widely used was the Milwaukee Brace, named for the city of its inventors Walter P. Blount, MD and Albert C. Schmidt, MD. Dr. Blount’s name is still widely spoken, but Dr. Schmidt has undeservedly faded into obscurity. Thanks to David B. Levine, MD, Scoliosis Research Society Past President 1979 and Director of Hospital for Special Surgery Alumni Association, we are able to review Dr. Schmidt’s accomplishments and discuss his most important contribution.

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Medical Decision Modeling: The Facts

Mark Dekutoski, MD
Education Committee Co-Chair

Mark Dekutoski, MD

The Education Committee has chosen to highlight the efforts of the Scoliosis Research Society Board of Directors (BOD) in enhancing the spine community’s understanding of the societal impact of spine disease, interventions and payer relations. In collaboration with Covance Services, the SRS BOD has directed an effort to educate the spine community on Medical Decision Modeling in an effort to afford a common language and communication tool for providers to advocate to payers regarding interventions that enhance the quality of life for our patient community.

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Growing Spine: Growing Knowledge

Suken A. Shah, MD
Growing Spine Committee Chair

Suken A. Shah, MD

The Growing Spine Committee has worked over the past year to educate patients and their families and distill the exploding body of knowledge in this area for our members.

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Nominating Committee Update

Lawrence G. Lenke, MD
Nominating Committee Chair

Lawrence G. Lenke, MD

The Nominating Committee is charged with recommending a slate of three Directors at Large to the SRS Board of Directors, a new member of the Fellowship Committee, and the Vice President for the Society who enters the Presidential Line. These charges are obviously very important and discussions and decisions are based on meritocracy, leadership skills and with full transparency at every step of the way.

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Patient Education Committee Update

Christopher Bergin, MD
Patient Education Committee Chair

Christopher Bergin

One of the primary goals of the Scoliosis Research Society is patient education, and we do that in a number of ways. In the past, we relied a great deal on written material. Today, we are increasingly relying on electronic and internet-based media. In the last two years there has been a dramatic overhaul of the SRS website, including the Patient and Family Section, which is where you will find most of the information you would want to give to your patients. The Patient Education Committee oversees all of the content in this section and provides content specifically for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and spondylolisthesis. A comprehensive set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) was added by our committee two years ago and adopted by the AAOS website as well. As you might imagine, keeping information up-to-date across the Patient/Family section is a never-ending process.

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3D Scoliosis Committee Update, June 2012

Hubert Labelle, MD and Carl-Eric Aubin PhD, P.Eng
3D Scoliosis Committee Chair and Co-Chair

Hubert Labelle, MD

Spinal deformity surgery and spinal surgery for degenerative conditions are not mutually exclusive fields. If a Venn diagram were used to describe the two fields, there would be significant overlap. Even on the level of a single patient, degenerative and deforming processes may be contributing to pathology. ICD-9, however, attempts to stratify and codify surgical procedures into one category or the other. This can be confusing for surgeons and those coding their procedures.

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Treasurer's Report

Paul D. Sponseller, MD
Treasurer

Paul D. Sponseller, MD

The Financial Health of the SRS remains strong. We continue to be blessed by excellent professional management under the supervision of Tressa Goulding, CAE, CMP and her staff. Dan Nemec CPA, Vice President of Executive Director Inc., is intimately involved in the process and is a trusted professional advisor. Last year SRS had a general income over expenses of almost $100,000, led mostly by the overage of the Annual Meeting. IMAST had a small loss, due, in part to the expense of its location in Copenhagen, Denmark. Each of the Worldwide Courses made a slight profit.

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Awards and Scholarship Committee Update

Stephen Lewis, MD, MSc, FRCSC
Awards and Scholarship Committee Chair

Stephen Lewis, MD, MSc, FRCSC

On behalf of the Awards and Scholarship Committee, we are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s awards and scholarships.


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Continuing Medical Education Committee Update: AAOS and ACCME

Glenn R. Rechtine, II, MD
CME Committee Chair

Glenn R. Rechtine, II, MD

The Continuing Medical Education (CME) Committee has had a busy year so far. SRS applied for ACCME Accreditation in December 2011 and interviewed with ACCME surveyors in March. Glen R. Rechtine, II, MD; Lawrence G. Lenke, MD; Tressa Goulding, CAE, CMP and Courtney Kissinger participated in the interview and promoted SRS’s culture of excellence in education and research with a focus on patient safety and prevention of complications. SRS will receive the ACCME’s decision in July or August.

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2011 Corporate Supporters

We are pleased to acknowledge and thank those companies that provided financial support to SRS in 2010. Support levels are based on total contributions throughout the year and include the Annual Meeting, IMAST, Worldwide Conferences, Global Outreach Scholarships, Edgar Dawson Memorial Scholarships, SRS Traveling Fellowships and the Research Endowment Fund. Their support has helped SRS to offer high quality medical meetings and courses throughout the world, fund spinal deformity research, develop new patient materials, and provide educational opportunities for young surgeons and those from developing nations.

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Strategic Plan & Vision Statement

The SRS will increase its recognition domestically and internationally as the leading source of information and knowledge on spinal disorders affecting all patients, regardless of age.

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