SRS Newsletter
June 2012
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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.

Another active area of work has been an ongoing effort to promote June as Scoliosis Awareness Month in the United States. The SRS has worked in coordination with the National Scoliosis Foundation (NSF) in an effort to have every Governor issue a proclamation recognizing the 2008 Congressional Declaration that June be recognized as “National Scoliosis Month.” This effort has received tremendous support from the membership and currently there are over 30 states as well as several large municipalities that have proclamations either approved or pending. Over 400 SRS members, or half of the US membership, have signed on as co-sponsors in their respective states, truly a significant reflection of the passion of our membership. Special thanks go to Brian B. Lueth, MBA, in the SRS office for his work on this project.

The most recent topic to gain our attention is an article in the American Journal of Public Health about scoliosis screening. The author references the 2004 recommendations against screening proposed by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The author presents the issue from a historical perspective and is extremely critical of the utility of scoliosis screening.  The committee is currently generating a response to this article that will be submitted to the board.

Additionally, we are working with the Website Committee to increase website traffic and reviewing the spinal deformity chapter in the book, Burden of Musculoskeletal Diseases which is also a part of the Bone and Joint Initiative. We also continue work with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and other subspecialty societies to monitor the ongoing discussions in Washington, D.C. about the future of healthcare.

Committee Chair: Vishwas R. Talwalkar, MD Committee Members: John P. Lubicky, MD; Richard T. Holt, MD; Anis Mekhail, MD; Jochen P. Son-Hing, MD; Matthew D. Hepler, MD; Brian G. Smith, MD; Baron S. Lonner, MD; Steven M. Mardjetko, MD, FAAP; Linda P. D’Andrea, MD; Michael D. Daubs, MD.