SRS Newsletter
September 2013
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President's Message

SRS president

Dear SRS members, 

Greetings again from Chicago, where the summer is enjoyable and the city is vibrant. I hope you are all enjoying your summer and family gatherings. On the other hand, the summer is a very busy time for the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) leadership and staff completing the tasks of the year and preparing for the 48th Annual Meeting & Course, which will be in Lyon, France September 18-21, 2013. I would like to invite all of you to attend the meeting and the Pre-Course. The outstanding work of the Education Committee, chaired by John R. Dimar II, MD and the Program Committee, chaired by Suken A. Shah, MD assures us that we will have a great meeting with valuable education programs and exchange of the latest in research. It is a global meeting with presentations and faculty from different regions of the world. The registration is very strong, which speaks loudly of the significance of our educational programs. Lyon is a historic city, which is designated as a United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) World Heritage Site. Enjoy the versatile culture of Lyon and its unique cuisine and wine. Lyon is known as the Gastronomic Capital of the World! French culture will be incorporated into the meeting from the social events to the guest activities. Friday night’s Farewell Reception at “Les Halles de Lyon-Paul Bocuse” is unique to Lyon.  This roofed market opened in 1971 and is home to over 55 different vendors including wine, chocolate, cheese and traditional dishes. All guests will be invited to sample offerings from each vendor at no additional cost. Lyon promises to be an unforgettable experience.

Every year, the highlight of the summer for SRS is the IMAST meeting, and this year was not any different as the 20th Annual International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques (IMAST) in Vancouver, BC, Canada, July 10-13 was a great success. There were 764 attendees, who enjoyed an outstanding educational program and social activities. The new format of two-minute short podium presentations was well received and conducted without any glitches. This format was added this year to accommodate more papers from the record submission of more than 1400 abstracts. You will read more details under Christopher I. Shaffrey, MD’s IMAST Report, which is included in this newsletter. Congratulation to Dr. Shaffrey, Justin S. Smith, MD and the IMAST committee on this great success and my sincere appreciation for the time and hard work they put into planning this outstanding IMAST meeting. My sincere thanks also go to Cydni Schaeffler on this successful meeting, which was her first as SRS Meetings Manager. I would encourage you all to attend the 21st IMAST meeting on July 16-19, next year in Valencia, Spain.

This is my final newsletter to you as President, and I would like to briefly update you on some of this year’s activities.

Between IMAST in July and the Annual Meeting in September, the committees and task forces are busy working to complete their goals for this year. We had a very productive year, thanks to the diligent and hard work of the committees and task forces. The Presidential Line (PL) had the chance to meet with every committee chair at least once during the year in the PL weekly conference calls. These calls are very valuable in keeping the PL informed in a timely fashion about the committees work and maintaining an open line of communication with the committees. In addition to the calls, the council chairs keep good correspondence and coordination between each council’s committees. Some of the committees are reporting in this newsletter. I hope you will read their reports and feel proud of your great organization, which attributes its success to the sincere and significant involvement of the majority of its members.

The Award Committee, chaired by Lawrence L. Haber, MD completed its task by awarding a record number of 26 awards. More information on the winners can be found on the SRS website. The Research Grant Committee is currently completing its selection for the Spring Cycle grants. The board budgeted $170 thousand for each of the Spring and the Fall Cycles, which includes the new Stacy Lewis Research Grant. The Website Committee is going through the final stages of an animated surgery video for the patients and families to be posted on the website. The Worldwide Conference Committee is busy completing a record number of six courses in 2013. I attended the Valencia course, which was arranged in conjunction with The SILACO (Spanish Speaking Spine Societies) meeting. I am pleased to report to you that the course was very well attended and received, and it was of the highest educational value. Thanks to the co-chairs of the course, Mark Weidenbaum, MD and Hani Mhaidli, MD for their hard work in arranging this outstanding event. Two more courses are planned for this year; a course in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina in conjunction with the Balkan Spine Society November 1 - 2 and the final course in Beijing in conjunction with The Chinese Orthopedic Association meeting on November 7. The Global Outreach Committee has established a well-needed site in Marrakesh, Morocco, which quickly became a popular site with many of the members expressing interest in being involved. The Continuing Medical Education (CME) Committee is busy reviewing all presentations and talks to assure the absence of any biases and Conflicts of Interests. We now offer our own CME credits and will be applying next year for the formal accreditation after completing the provisional period. The Non-Operative Committee worked hard to plan a Half-Day Course in Lyon in conjunction with International Society on Scoliosis Orthopaedic Rehabilitation and Treatment (SOSORT). The course will cover all Non-Operative Treatment with a global perspective. These activities are but a few of the committees’ achievements this year.

The SRS Surgical Safety Initiative continues to be an important topic for the Society. The Surgical Safety Task Force, chaired by Kit M. Song, MD, MHA will present a checklist in Lyon to be utilized when changes occur in the neuromonitoring during deformity surgery. Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA) is working on a similar project, chaired by Michael G. Vitale, MD, MPH and we are coordinating our efforts and have arranged a strategic planning group from both organizations to explore further safety enhancement projects. This group consists of Dr. Vitale and James McCarthy, MD (POSNA), and Dr. Song and myself (SRS). Steven D. Glassman, MD, the SRS coming President, is also interested in the same project and will support the continued exploration of different modalities to enhance surgical safety.

As I have mentioned in my previous communications, I would like to encourage all of you to donate to the SRS Research, Education, and Outreach Fund, (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 to fulfill the 100x100 slogan this year: 100% participation for as little as $100. You can add this contribution to the registration of the Annual Meeting.

I would like to take this opportunity to recognize all members who keep SRS progressing on track and contribute to its success. We now have 34 Committees and 10 Taskforces, which have been busy fulfilling their charges and diligently completing any added responsibilities during this year. I sincerely thank all committee and task force chairs and members for their dedication and tireless efforts. 

As my Presidency year comes to completion at the conclusion of the Lyon Annual Meeting, I will pass the baton to the very capable coming President, Steve D. Glassman, MD, who will lead this organization to further success.

In closing, I would like to thank the Presidential Line: President-Elect, Steve D. Glassman, MD; Vice President, John P. Dormans, MD and Past President B. Stephens Richards, III, MD for their continuous support, advice and help. My sincere appreciation goes to the Board of Directors for all their help and support. I also express my sincere gratitude to our very competent staff under the leadership of the Executive Director, Tressa Goulding. Their dedication, expertise, and hard work are exemplary.

I look forward to welcoming you all in Lyon!

Best wishes to all,
Kamal N. Ibrahim, MD, FRCS(C), MA
2012-2013 President