Daniel J. Sucato, MD, MS
Education Council Chair
The Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) continues to be fully committed to education with great efforts to promote our society's international presence and our members' expertise in all we do. There have been significant efforts over the past year and these are highlighted below. As the Education Council Chairman, I have been proud to watch all of the great accomplishments that have taken place in the committees under this council: Awards & Scholarships, CME, Education, E-Text, Global Outreach, IMAST, Patient Education, Program, Website, World Wide Conferences and committees. Separate reports from the Global Outreach and IMAST committees are in the current newsletter.
The Awards Committee, chaired by Stephen J. Lewis, MD, MSc, FRCSC carried on the SRS tradition of recognizing important contributors to the society and to the field of spinal deformity surgery. This year’s Lifetime Achievement award winners were Vernon T. Tolo, MD and Robert B. Winter MD; two icons in the field of spine deformity. The Walter Blount Humanitarian Award went to Anthony S. Rinella, MD for all of his great work in providing spinal care in developing countries. The Edgar G. Dawson Fellowship recipient was Justin S. Smith, MD who chose to visit Daniel K. Riew, MD at Washington University for a two to three week fellowship. The Global Outreach Program Educational Scholarships were awarded to Pankaj Kandwal, MD and Sambhav Shah, MS, while the Global Outreach Visiting fellowships went to Abdul Rakib Al-Mirah, MD and Krishna Mumar Ramachandran Nair, MD. The SRS travelling fellowships went to Ian J. Harding, BA, FRCS (Orth) (UK), Vidyadhara Srinivasa, MS, DNB, FNB (Spine) (India), Elias C. Papdopoulos, MD (Greece) and the senior fellow was Michael J. McMaster, MD, DSc, FRCS. After they complete their travels to Philadelphia, Dallas, and St. Louis, they will be heading to Chicago to visit two centers, as well as attend the SRS Annual Meeting. Finally, the Eduardo R. Luque Award went to Mauricio Montalvo, MD from Mexico. All of the awards were chosen through a revamped scoring system that was very detailed and comprehensive. This was a major undertaking spearheaded by Dr. Lewis and his committee which worked exceptionally well. He is to be congratulated on a superb job running this committee over the last three years.
Major congratulations are in order to the CME Committee, chaired by Glenn R. Rechtine, II, MD, as the committee and the SRS leadership were notified that the SRS is now recognized, through the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), as an independent Continuing Medical Education (CME) provider. An enormous amount of work went into the preparation of the application and the interview process to achieve this goal. Dr. Rechtine and his committee had a lot of help from the society's Executive Director, Tressa Goulding CAE, CMP, Executive Assistant, Courtney Kissinger and the entire administrative staff. This accreditation will allow SRS to offer CME credit independently for the Annual Meeting and for any of the educational offerings the society provides to its members. Congratulations to all involved with this great effort.
The Education Committee, co-chaired by Mark B. Dekutoski, MD and John R. Dimar, II, MD, had another extremely productive year requiring an incredible amount of organization to deliver excellent educational opportunities to our members and others. Some of the highlights include a joint SRS-North American Spine Society (NASS) spine deformity program which is in year two, an ICL at the 2012 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) on degenerative spondylolistheis, a symposium that has been accepted for the AAOS 2013 meeting (which will be an abbreviated version of the SRS 2012 pre-meeting course) and continued collaboration with the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) on the topic of sagittal plane analysis and its management. The Education Committee has done an excellent job organizing the following for the SRS Annual Meeting: the Pre-Meeting Course which looks at the Decade of Evolution of Spine Deformity Management; Half-Day Course topics of infection, minimally invasive surgery (MIS) and sagittal plane deformity; and the Lunchtime Symposia of SRS Funded Research, Coding, Global Outreach, and Non-Operative Treatment. The Education Committee has also contributed significantly to the SRS Website, providing content in the area of adult spinal deformity.
The E-Text Committee, chaired by Praveen Mummaneni, MD has continued to work diligently on the content of the E-Text with strategies to keep it current and fresh through development of editorial process. Through Dr. Mummaneni's and the committees' efforts the E-Text is free of charge to everyone who registers on the website. Ongoing efforts are in place to publicize the E-Text through various SRS committees, including the Education, Website, Advocacy, and others. The E-Text Committee is exploring the feasibility of making the e-text available through e-readers (i.e. Kindle).
It was an honor to chair the Program Committee this year. We made two major changes for this year's annual meeting. First, due to the continued escalating numbers of quality abstract submissions, the committee decided to include one half-morning of a concurrent session which will allow for 15 additional podium presentations to the meeting. This will take place Friday morning with early-onset scoliosis papers in one room and adult spine deformity presentations in another. The second change is to group the Hibbs clinical and basic science award papers into one session on Friday afternoon and allow the attendees to vote through an audience response system via their smart phones. (The app will be displayed in the program and in the registration packets). For the second year, the Program Committee has organized roundtable case discussions to follow the Pre-Meeting Course on Wednesday. The topics for the roundtable discussions are: neurologic complications, adult deformity, spondylolistheisis, and other miscellaneous topics. The fifth round table discussion is one the program committee is especially excited to see: "Ultra Long-term Followup: What have we learned?" lead by Behrooz A. Akbarnia, MD.
The SRS Website Committee, chaired by Michael S. Roh, MD has been very busy working on updates to the website to include not only revised text, but also images and illustrations. The website has stayed current with all of the happenings at the SRS, including the ability to connect to the new Spine Deformity journal (a lead banner has been included on the website). Because the SRS is a global society, sections of the website have been translated into various languages. Currently five languages (Chinese, French, Spanish, Japanese and Portuguese) are represented. The website renovation includes an array of patients' success stories, as well as an improved interface for patients and families. An exciting and current additional responsibility of the Website Committee has been to create and promote the SRS Facebook page. This has been a rapidly growing part of the society with the SRS currently having over 700 Facebook "friends" who have come from 20 different countries around the globe!
The World Wide Conference (WWC) Committee was chaired again by Ahmet Alanay, MD who has done another superb job with continued outstanding global efforts for education on spine deformity. The committee organized a very successful course in New Delhi, India (with the ASSICON meeting in February) where a questionnaire showed that most participants rated the presentations as "excellent." Another course was held in Amsterdam, Netherlands (as part of SpineWeek in May) where 400 attendees were present at the SRS sessions and many attendees stopping at the SRS booth to inquire about membership. The 2012 courses are slated for Tel Aviv, Israel in October and Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam in December. Tentative courses are scheduled in 2013 for Brazil, Turkey, Ukraine, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Increasingly, World Wide Conferences have become a key component of the SRS educational mission, and the success of these courses has been based in a large part on the efforts of the WWC committee.
As you can see, it has been a very successful educational year for the Scoliosis Research Society. Congratulations to all of the chairs, committee members and the outstanding staff at the SRS office for making this possible.
Committee Chair: Daniel J. Sucato, MD, MS Committee Members: Stephen J. Lewis, MD, MSc, FRCSC; Glenn R. Rechtine, MD; Praveen Mummaneni, MD; Mark B. Dekutoski, MD; John R. Dimar, MD; Kenneth J. Paonessa, MD; Christopher I. Shaffrey, MD; Christopher Bergin, MD; Michael S. Roh, MD; Ahmet Alanay, MD.