Paul D. Sponseller, MD
The finances of the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) continue to be healthy. The excellent financial management by the SRS staff and Dan Nemec, MBA, CAE on both the income and the expense sides of the budget, has allowed the Society to continue and maintain a healthy research agenda as well as expand its educational offerings. Attendance at both 19th International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques (IMAST) and the 47th Annual Meeting & Course in 2012 was better than expected, due to the strength of the educational programs. This allowed us a modest overage beyond expenses. Industry support for SRS educational programs accounts for 30 percent of our income. Fortunately, industry support continues to be nearly steady, at over $1.12 million, despite competitive pressures. We do need to be flexible enough to weather any changes in the future, and the Board of Directors monitors our support closely. The upcoming year brings an extra expense, as we cover the subscription costs for SRS’s new journal Spine Deformity.
The Robert B. Winter Fund has been established to honor our Past-President, and already contains over $316,000. Five percent of this amount will be distributed yearly and used to enhance international education. If you have a desire to honor Robert B. Winter, MD but have not done so, please contact the SRS office. The “new” Research Education Outreach (REO) Fund contains over $2.7 million which will be used to enhance our research offering. The wisdom of the Board of Directors to establish this SRS-controlled fund was born out as the market rebounded impressively over the past two years. Starting this year, we will use 4 percent of the average balance of this Board-Directed Fund to award to research. The Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) endowment is our other major source of research dollars, and contains $3.26 million at last report.
The research budget is largely made up of the OREF Designated Giving, distributions from our OREF account, and from the REO Fund. In 2012, the research budget contained $222 thousand available for competitive research awards. This year, President Kamal N. Ibrahim, MD, FRCS(C), MA has committed to making that amount no less than $300 thousand, in recognition of the many high-quality research projects that the committee receives. In order to maintain and build our endowment, and improve our research funding in years to come, we urge each and every SRS member to contribute what they can through the REO Fund or OREF. Our goal is to have every SRS member contribute to REO Fund in some amount, no matter how small or large, so we put our support behind our mission.
Please contact me at any time if you have questions about SRS finances. It is a privilege to be Treasurer of such a focused and giving organization.
Paul D. Sponseller, MD