SRS Newsletter
March 2012
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Governance Council Update

Hubert Labelle

Hubert Labelle, MD
Governance Council Chair and Secretary

The Governance Council consists of (in alphabetical order) the Advocacy and Public Policy, Bylaws and Policies, Coding, Ethics, Fellowship, Globalization, Historical, Industry Relations, Newsletter, and Public Relations Committees. The main responsibility of the council is to act as liaison between committees within the council and the Board of Directors (BOD). I am happy to report the all of the committees have active charges and are engaged in activities in support of the SRS.

The Advocacy & Public Policy Committee, chaired by Vishwas Talwalkar, MD, has prepared a statement discussing the indications for spinal fusion in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis, intended to serve as a resource for SRS Members in a variety of scenarios such as discussions with administrators and/or third-party payers. This document is undergoing revision and will soon be made available to members. The committee is also involved in promoting the SRS website as the primary source of information for patients, families and providers. A plan to promote placement of a direct link to the SRS website from the homepages of members and their institution has been initiated and will be implemented this year. Finally, committee members have developed a set of generic slides providing a brief summary of the history and mission of SRS for use by the membership in local public speaking engagements. These slides are being edited and will be made available for download from the SRS website.

The Coding Committee, chaired by R. Dale Blasier, MD is actively pursuing its goal of helping members understand the correct coding by preparing coding case examples and articles for publication in each newsletter. Committee members are preparing and will be holding a Lunchtime Symposium for this year's Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois, USA on the subject of ICD-10 and what it means to the deformity surgeon. As future charges, the committee would like to develop sets of ''bundled'' codes which describe spinal deformity surgery and would like to continue to prepare members for conversion from ICD-8 to ICD-10.

Last year, following a successful Globalization Strategic Retreat held on February 14, the BOD decided to morph the former Global Affairs Advisory Board into a Globalization Committee chaired by the immediate past president, with regional coordinators from specific regions. Each regional coordinator is charged with working with members in the region to identify local concerns, issues and opportunities and to bring those to the Globalization Committee for discussion and possible action by the BOD. The committee is currently chaired by Lawrence G. Lenke, MD and up to now, has formed three regional subcommittees for Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Europe, with the goal of having these regional subcommittees fully operational by Spring 2012 to begin working on their charges.

The Corporate Relations Committee, formerly known as the Industry Relations Committee, led by Lawrence G. Lenke, MD, has reviewed, approved and distributed the 2012 Corporate Partner Support Program, and is actively meeting with our corporate partners to insure that appropriate processes are followed and that value is delivered to both parties in the preparation of our meetings.

The Newsletter Committee is chaired and edited by Vicki Kalen, MD. The committee is busy producing quarterly newsletters and always welcomes ideas for articles or new features on an ongoing basis. Feel free to contact Dr. Kalen at

The Public Relations Committee, chaired by Andrew G. King, MD, is reviewing educational and promotional videos before they are released to national media and to make sure that the SRS is the best source for educational material. They are also working in liaison with the Website Committee to produce "compelling stories," and with the 50th Anniversary Task Force in a public relations initiative that will show the great improvements in scoliosis care over the past 50 years.

As for the Bylaws and Policies, Ethics, Fellowship and Historical Committees, their updates are included in this newsletter.

The next meeting of the Governance Council will occur at IMAST in Istanbul, Turkey this July.

Chair: Hubert Labelle, MD Committee Members: Vishwas R. Talwalkar, MD; Michael C. Albert, MD; R. Dale Blasier, MD; J. Abbott Byrd, MD; Carlos A. Tello, MD; Lawrence G. Lenke, MD; Behrooz A. Akbarnia, MD; Vicki Kalen, MD; Andrew G. King, MD.