December 2015

Governance Council Update

Mark Weidenbaum, MD
Governance Council Chair

The Governance Council brings together eight committees, which share common aspects of SRS structural organization.  As SRS Secretary, I am the Governance Committee Council Chair. As with the other Councils, the main function of the Council Chair is to assist the committee chairs and to facilitate communication between the eight committees, the Presidential Line and the Board of Directors.  At the recent Cabinet Meeting each committee re-assessed their charges and outlined their focus.  Here are some highlights (Committee Chair in parentheses):

Bylaws & Policies (Dilip Sengupta, MD) – During the recent 50th Annual Meeting, the Bylaws Committee helped to facilitate revisions to our Bylaws to include the new Senior Candidate Track (see Fellowship Committee highlight below) as well as changes in the composition of the Executive Committee. At this time, the Committee is focusing on issues surrounding the use of the SRS logo in a variety of settings.

Coding (Matthew Hepler, MD) – During the past several months the Coding Committee has worked very hard with numerous groups to analyze whether or not new EOS CPT codes should be introduced. This is a very complex process. After much discussion, the decision was reached not to pursue these codes at this time. In addition, the committee is working on updating the website to include coding committee newsletter articles, common coding scenarios and FAQs. You can view the site at

Communications (John Lubicky, MD) – The main focus of this committee has been the Newsletter, which was redesigned recently to its current format.  A questionnaire may be forthcoming to see how widely the newsletters are being read and to see if further changes are needed. The Committee is also hoping to make prior newsletters more easily searchable on the website and to include regular contributions from the Ethics Committee.

Ethics (Kamal Ibrahim, MD, FRCS(C), MA) – Since every organization/journal requires Conflict of Interest (COI) declarations, the committee looked into the possibility that these might be centrally hosted for SRS members through the AAOS. However, after careful vetting, this was not feasible.  The committee requests that any members with questions about ethical issues contact them.

Fellowship (Munish Gupta, MD) -The Fellowship Committee noted that 50 percent of Candidate Members are now from outside of the US (OUS).  The committee also recently introduced the Senior Candidate Track to replace the Fast Track pathway. This new track is designed to attract experienced surgeons who are chiefs of service or full professors, have 20 publications, 20 years of experience, as well as appropriate abstract submission and attendance at Annual Meeting & Course/IMAST/Worldwide Course meetings. This track enables its applicants to apply for Active Membership after two years as Candidate Members, if they have also submitted M&M reports and served appropriately on committees. In a separate effort, Associate Membership is also being reviewed as a means to include interested non-physicians (research assistants, nurses, study coordinators, etc.) in SRS activity.

Globalization (Lawrence Lenke, MD) – The committee has designated four regions and corresponding Regional Liaisons – Asia-Pacific (Noriaki Kawakami, MD; Hee Kit Wong, MD), Europe (David Marks, FRCS; Francisco Sanchez Perez-Grueso, MD), Latin America (Carlos Tello, MD; Osmar Avanzi, MD), and Africa/Middle East (Oheneba Boachie Adjei, MD; Robert Dunn, FRCS(SA)). In addition, a designated formula was used to select 62 members who have accepted invitations to become Country Representatives. Specific tasks have been assigned to the Regional Liaisons and to the Country Representatives to identify and mentor new members and to assist in various aspects of regional activity.

Health Policy (Gary Brock, MD)- The committee is working on getting more states and countries on board to upgrade patient education through Scoliosis Awareness Month. This will hopefully include media events.  The committee is also trying to coordinate the multi-society (SRS, AAOS, POSNA, AAP) effort to reverse a USPTF decision against school screening and to also increase SRS presence at Capitol Hill Leadership Days.

Historical (Behrooz Akbarnia, MD) – Having had a series of fabulous exhibits and presentations at the 50th Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, the committee is now working on several long term projects including a web-based virtual museum and SRS timeline, as well as developing a collecting of artifacts (mostly paper documents).  In addition, the committee is trying to interview as many SRS Past Presidents as possible.