SRS Newsletter
March 2013
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President's Message

SRS president

Dear SRS Members,

Greetings from Chicago, where we are coming out of the cold winter and looking forward to a pleasant spring, which means it is time to put final touches in the planning of the 20th International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques (IMAST). It will be a great meeting with ICLs, debates, and panel discussions. The faculty consists of globally diverse experts. We are pleased to offer, for first time, our own CME credits.  The industry will provide twenty Hands-On Workshops and more than twenty companies will exhibit their products.  Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada is a great place to visit in the summer and to bring your family along for fun time. I thank Christopher Shaffrey, MD, Justin Smith, MD and the IMAST Committee, who put a lot of their time and thoughts into the program, which you will all be pleased to attend.

The preparation for the 48th Annual Meeting in Lyon, France is progressing ahead of schedule, thanks to John Dimar, MD and the Education Committee, who finalized the plans for the Pre- Meeting Course regarding global prospective in the management of spine diseases and deformity.  There will be six Lunchtime Symposia of diverse topics and three Half Day Courses for Thursday afternoon covering myelomeningocele, non-operative treatment, and sagittal deformity. The Program Committee, chaired by Suken Shah, MD, received a record number of abstract submissions with more than 1,400 submissions. The committee is doing an outstanding job in peer reviewing the abstracts and will produce a distinct and scientifically valuable program. The long-awaited final results of the brace treatment study (BrAIST) will be presented by Stuart Weinstein, MD. My sincere thanks to Dr. Shah and the Program Committee.

Each of you should have received, a few weeks ago, the first official issue of the SRS Spine Deformity Journal. I trust that all of you are pleased with the quality of the articles, as well as the format and production of the journal. I encourage all of you to contribute to the success of our journal by submitting the results of your research to “Spine Deformity Journal”.

The Awards and Scholarship Committee, under the leadership of Lawrence Haber, MD, is very busy creating the principles of and accepting applications for the newly created awards. The Robert B. Winter Global Fellowship award is offered for the first time this year. It has been developed thanks to a generous gift from Dr. Winter’s associates, fellows, and friends. The award is offered to surgeons from underserved areas, and will provide training for an extended time at a spine center of the winner’s choice. The surgeon will have the opportunity to learn, and implement   their experience back in his or her home place. SRS also received a gift from OrthoPediatric Company to create multiple scholarships or fellowships to grant residents, fellows, and young surgeons opportunities to attend SRS meetings and visit pediatric spine centers. I extend my sincere appreciation to the OrthoPediatric leaders.

SRS will offer its first CME Cadaver Course this October in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It will be chaired by Lawrence G. Lenke, MD and Christopher Shaffrey, MD, and is guaranteed to be an outstanding event. Please watch for the future registration announcement, as we expect slots to fill very quickly. Beyond the Cadaver Course, the CME Taskforce, led by Frank Schwab, MD, is researching additional CME educational venues to be offered. The taskforce is looking at the possibilities of web-based educational activities and CME products to be offered though our newly launched journal. The taskforce is looking for input from all members through a survey that will be sent out requesting preferences and suggestions.

An additional taskforce, which I created this year, is the Surgical Safety Taskforce, led by Kit Song, MD. The task force will present a Lunchtime Symposium at the 48th Annual Meeting in Lyon, France and are working on creating a preliminary safety check list to be used in surgery.

The Worldwide Conference Committee, under the leadership of the current Chair Ahmet Alanay, MD and the Chair-Elect Marinus de Kleuver, MD, continues its successes with the offering of six courses in 2013 at various locations around the world. Please visit our website to learn more about these courses. Attending them is not only a great educational opportunity, but also a good chance to visit other countries and make new acquaintances. The committee is currently in the process of planning 2014 courses in India, South Africa, Australia and possibly in Mexico and the Middle East.

In our continuous efforts to make SRS truly a global organization, I created a new committee, the Translation Committee, to be chaired by Munish Gupta, MD and staffed by our members, who are fluent in many different languages. We currently have partial translation in six languages. The committee will work on translating the patient education materials on the SRS website into additional languages, and periodically update the translated material.

These are but few of the endeavors of our thirty-four committees and eleven taskforces. Each of them works hard to assure the continuous progress of our society. My sincere appreciation and thanks to all chairs and members of the committees and taskforces. I would like to invite all members to participate in our society’s functions. You will soon receive a request to submit your name for 2013-2014 committee appointments. I ask that you please give it your utmost consideration.

As I have done in my previous communications, I would like to encourage all of you to donate to the SRS Research, Education, Outreach, (REO) Fund. Your gift will ensure the continuous success and strength of this great society. Our goal is to have all members participate regardless of the amount. I would like this year to fulfill the 100x100 slogan: 100% participation with donations starting at $100 per member.

In closing, I would like to thank the presidential line: President-Elect Steven Glassman, MD, Vice President, John Dormans, MD and Past-President B. Stephens Richards, III, MD for their continuous support. I also express my gratitude for our very capable staff under the leadership of the Executive Director, Tressa Goulding, CAE, CMP.

Best wishes to all,

Kamal N Ibrahim, MD, FRCS(C), MA
2012-2013 President