Paul D. Sponseller, MD
In contrast to the economic situation for the United States and much of Europe, the finances of the Scoliosis Research Society continue to be healthy. Because of stewardship on both the income and the expense sides of the budget, the Society has the means to continue to maintain a healthy research agenda as well as to expand its educational offerings. Attendance at both the International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques (IMAST) and the Annual Meeting was better than expected, due to the strength of the educational programs. This allowed us a modest overage beyond expenses. In addition, industry support continues to be nearly steady, at over $1.12 million, despite competitive pressures. The upcoming year brings an extra challenge, as device companies face a new 2.3% revenue tax imposed by the US Federal Government. Industry support for SRS educational programs accounts for 30% of our income and we intend to be flexible enough to weather any changes in the future.
The Robert B. Winter Fund has been established to honor Dr. Winter, SRS Past President and already contains over a quarter-million dollars. Five percent of this amount will be distributed yearly and used to enhance international education. If you have a desire to honor Dr. Winter but have not done so, please contact the SRS office. The “new” Research Education Outreach (REO) Fund contains over $2.5 million which will be used to enhance our research offering.
The research budget is largely made up of the OREF Designated Giving, distributions from our OREF account and next year from the REO Fund. In 2012 we had $222 thousand available for competitive research awards. This year, President Ibrahim has committed to making that amount no less than $300 thousand, in recognition of the many high-quality research projects that the Research Committee receives. In order to maintain and build our endowment as well as improve our research funding in years to come, we urge each and every SRS member to contribute what they can to the SRS through the REO Fund or OREF. It is a privilege to be Treasurer of such a focused and giving organization.