SRS Newsletter
September 2013
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Education Council Report

Daniel J. Sucato, MD, MS
Education Council Chair

Daniel J. Sucato, MD, MS border=

The Scoliosis Research Society continues to be fully committed to education with great efforts to promote our Society’s expertise in all we do.  There have been significant efforts over the past year which are highlighted below.  As the chair of the Education Council, I have been proud to watch all of the great accomplishments that have taken place for the Awards & Scholarships, CME, Education, E-Text, Global Outreach, Patient Education, Website, Program, World Wide Courses and IMAST committees.  A separate report of the Global Outreach and IMAST committees are in the current newsletter.

The Awards Committee chaired by Lawrence Haber MD, has done an enormous job reviewing the applications and selecting the awards for this year.  This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award winners are George H. Thompson, MD and Ian A. F. Stokes, PhD. We congratulate them on this prestigious award. The Walter P. Blount Humanitarian Award went to Bettye A. Wright, PA, RN for all of her great work in providing spinal care in developing countries. The Edgar G. Dawson Fellowship recipient was Han Jo Kim, MD and the GOP Educational Scholarships were awarded to Hrutvig Rajendra Bhatt, MD; Andrei Joaquim, MD; Naveen Tahasildar, MD; Gaurav Raj Dhakal, MD; Ahmad Allam, MD; Ndubuisi Ebere Duru, MD while the GOP Visiting Fellowships went to Fady Michael Ibrahim, MD; Tie Liu, MD; Kawu Ahidjo Abdulhadin, FWACS and Tomas Rolando Minueza Mejia, MD.  Finally, the Eduardo R. Luque Award went to Javier Pizones, MD, PhD.  Three new awards were voted on this year:  The Robert B. Winter Global Outreach Fellowship was given to Krishna Kumar Ramachandran Nair, MD;  the OrthoPediatric North American Resident/Fellow Meeting Scholarship was given to Elias Dakwar, MD; Andrew Pugely, MD; Robert Murphy, MD; Michael Merrick, MD; Brian Kaufman, MD; Courtney O’Donnell, MD; Avrum Joffe, MD; Brett Lafleur, MD while the OrthoPaediatric International Pediatric Travelling Fellowship was given to Mohsen Karami, MD and Miclos Tunyogi-Csapo MD. Congratulations to all of these well-deserving winners.  

The CME Committee under the direction of Frank Schwab, MD has been busy at work monitoring the content for the SRS Annual Meeting and for IMAST. This a very time intensive process that includes a pre-meeting evaluation of the abstracts, which may result in a request for the presentation slides by the reviewers to fully evaluate for important conflicts of interest.  The committee has worked hard to inform our membership regarding conflict of interest while providing the greatest educational content within the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) guidelines. The COI review process for the 2012 Annual Meeting generated several warning letters, which the committee managed according to an ACCME approved protocol.  As we move toward our next ACCME accreditation review, the CME committee is modifying our protocols to include a formal appeals process for future occurrences.  The committee is pleased to report no violations of the COI at the 2013 IMAST meeting.  The CME committee continues to look for opportunities to provide CME credit for its membership which has resulted in the first-time CME credit for the Lunchtime Symposium at the Annual Meeting in Lyon.  Great job to Dr. Schwab and his committee.

The Education Committee, chaired by John R. Dimar II, MD has once-again done an incredible job putting together a robust educational program for the upcoming year. The Pre-Meeting Course will be a reflection of the continued globalization effort of the SRS and is entitled “A Global Perspective of the Management of Spinal Disease & Deformity” and will include a wide-range of topics in spinal deformity with invited speakers from throughout the world.  The Half-Day Course will be “Spinal Deformity in Myelomeningocele”, “Nonoperative Spinal Deformity Treatment Techniques” and “Sagittal Plane Deformity”.  The Lunchtime Symposium will be 2013 Global Outreach-Update on “How to Start it and How to Treat a Site”, “A Global Perspective on Neuromonitoring”, “Lifelong Radiology Exposure for Spine Surgery- Can We Do Better?”, “Research Grant Outcomes”, “The Research Process:  From Asking to Answering and Culture of Safety in Your Operating Room”. The committee submitted applications to the AAOS for Symposia Presentation and were successful in getting “Loss of Standing Balance:  The Lifelong (cradle to Grave) Management of Sagittal Imbalance of the Spine” accepted to the 2013 program. Finally, the committee has organized the SRS portion of the FOSA program for the AAOS meeting. The Education Committee has also contributed significantly to the SRS Website, providing content in the area of Adult Spinal Deformity. As you can see this is a very busy and productive committee and congratulations go out to Dr. Dimar and his team.

The E-Text Committee, chaired by Praveen Mummaneni, MD has been hard at work soliciting author updates for all of the chapters of the E-Text.  A strong effort has been made to add video content such as physical examination findings and surgical techniques to the chapters to add educational value.  The committee will be looking for opportunities to capture and collect video from members as well as at ongoing SRS educational events such as the Cadaver Course to include in the E-Text.  An exciting initiative is the I-book version of the E-Text to allow readers immediate access via their iPhone or iPad.  Ongoing efforts are in place to publicize the E-Text through the various SRS committees including, the Education, Website, Advocacy, etc. The E-Text continues to be a popular educational resource with over 1000 viewers in the last 18 months!

The Program Committee, led by Suken Shah, MD has put together an exciting program. There were over 1400 abstracts submitted this year, another record number.  All abstracts were reviewed by eight reviewers who graded the abstracts and the scores were tabulated after throwing out the best and worst score.  The committee then put together the best papers for Podium Presentation. Once again this year, there will be concurrent sessions occurring during the early Friday morning allowing for an additional 15 papers presented at the meeting.  The two session topics are “Early Onset Scoliosis” and “Adult Spine Deformity”.  The Hibbs Award Papers are once again outstanding and will be grouped together Friday following the lunch break.  Membership voting for these prestigious awards will be via a smartphone app which you can load up now at The very popular Roundtable Case Discussions will continue this year with four main topics: Cervical, Congenital Scoliosis, Kyphosis and Neurologic Complications. The Program Committee has put together a very exciting and educational Annual Meeting.

The Patient Education Committee, chaired by Raymond Knapp, MD has been busy at work updating SRS-sponsored brochures on scoliosis and kyphosis that are popular with patients and primary care physicians.  The committee has reviewed the FAQ’s on the website and updated them. The committee has reviewed a proposal from Medikidz, an on-line site for children, to edit their comic book on scoliosis and has approved the project and is assisting with content and editing. The committee continues to participate in the review and edit of the patient information content on the website.  

The SRS Website Committee, chaired by Anthony Rinella, MD has been very busy with many projects to maintain a fresh and vibrant website.  An exciting new project, in combination with the Patient Education Committee, is an animation of surgical correction of thoracic scoliosis which is ready for launch having received recent board approval. This animation will provide patients and their families with a general overview of how correction of scoliosis is performed. The website has stayed very current with all of the happenings at the SRS and its related activities with a latest news section on the right side of the home page. There are many links from the website including the ability to connect to the new Spine Deformity journal (a lead banner has been included on the website).  Because the SRS is a global society, sections of the website have been translated into other languages with currently six languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Spanish, Japanese and Portuguese) represented.   The website renovation includes an array of patient’s success stories as well as an improved interface for patients and families.  Facebook continues to be very popular with a doubling of the number of “friends” of the SRS and more than 1700 “Likes” since February 2013.  Upcoming projects include an upgrade to the member search function, creating a photo journal of previous SRS Travelling Fellow trips, and working with the CME Committee to develop web-based CME opportunities.  The website continues to be a popular site for all search engines appearing on the first page when “scoliosis” is searched. Please visit the SRS website and send your patients there for outstanding up-to-date information!

As you can see, it has been a very successful educational year for the Scoliosis Research Society.  Congratulations to all of the chairs, committee members and the outstanding staff at the SRS office for making this possible.

Chair: Daniel J. Sucato, MD Council Members: Lawrence L. Haber, MD; Frank J. Schwab, MD; Praveen V. Mummaneni, MD; John R. Dimar II, MD; Youssry MK El-Hawary, MD; Christopher I. Shaffrey, MD; D. Raymond Knapp, MD; Suken A. Shah, MD; Anthony S. Rinella, MD; Ahmet Alanay, MD