December 2018

President's Message

Peter O. Newton, MD
SRS President 2018-2019

Dear members of the Scoliosis Research Society,

As we come off a fabulous Annual Meeting in Bologna and work our way into the holiday season, I would like to congratulate Todd Albert for his spectacular year as SRS President. It is with great respect and humility that I begin my year of leadership for our organization. In 1966, 37 luminaries in the field began the Scoliosis Research Society focused on improving care for patients with scoliosis through research. Today we still share that desire and responsibility. We are much larger and more diverse organization, bringing great power for discovery from within our ranks.

Research, education and outreach form the basis of our mission. SRS membership continues to grow throughout the world and bring the SRS mission to more parts of the globe than ever before.

Your Presidential Line (myself, Paul Sponseller, Muharrem Yazici, and Todd Albert) along with Tressa Goulding and her staff, functions as a team with the four councils: Education Council Chair: John Dimar, Education Chair Elect: Suken Shah; Research Council: Marinus De Kleuver; Finance and Communication Council: Treasurer Abbott Byrd, Treasurer Elect Serena Hu; Governance Council: Secretary Laurel Blakemore. We have a number of goals this year and work has begun by all of our committees to enhance our educational offering, research opportunities and communication efforts. We also welcome Lawrence Haber, Ferran Pellise and Jim Sanders to the Board of Directors and give special thanks to those that rotated off our board: David Polly our past president, Mark Weidenbaum our past Secretary, Frank Schwab our past Research Council Chair as well as Directors at Large: Sigurd Berven, Douglas Burton and Hani Mhaidli. The Board clearly understands their job of setting strategy and maintaining fiduciary responsibility. Together we will strive to advance the SRS mission while ensuring we can do so for generations to come.

Mark your calendars for the two highlight programs of the SRS coming in 2019. IMAST will be held in Amsterdam, July 17-20, 2019. Henry Halm and Han Jo Kim are bringing a fresh look to the programing with specific tracks for both adult and pediatric specialists. In 2020, IMAST will be moving to Spring – more details to follow soon. The 54th SRS Annual Meeting will be in Montreal, September 18-21, 2019. Burt Yaszay, the Education Committee Chair is arranging a variety of educational offerings including the premeeting course on “Surgeon Performance.” Firoz Miyanji and the Program Committee has restructured the abstract categories with revised paper submission requirements for the both IMAST and the Annual Meeting.  The deadline for submissions will remain February 1, 2019 both meetings this year. Please consider submitting your latest concepts to IMAST where “innovation” is the theme.

We will continue the work initiated by Ken Cheung to focus our educational platform. The Core Curriculum has been completed and we will begin the task of organizing content to create a clear and uniform approach of training in spinal deformity. This work is proceeding on several fronts and we hope to bring you fresh engaging methods to deliver educational content to both you, our members, as well as our future members.

This year will also involve a deep dive into our research programs. Marinus De Kleuver our Research Council Chair is leading a task force to critically evaluate our current strategies involving research. We invest significantly in promoting discovery in the field of spinal deformity and we hope to enhance our impact where we can. I look forward to sharing his task force’s recommendations. We will continue to fund 2 cycles of research grants per year and we are finalizing the details on a cooperative directed research grant offering with OREF and POSNA – stay tuned.

We have increased our footprint on the globe with members of our society from more than 60 countries. Communication in our global society both to patients, other healthcare providers as well as our membership is an increasing challenge. We are devoting more human resources to this effort and Yan Wang will be working with the Communication Committee this year to broaden our reach.

It is also clear that many of you work diligently every year to provide care and more importantly build sustainable systems to provide care in underserved regions of the world. This is critical work and the SRS will continue develop methods to share information and strategies to make your outreach work as productive as possible for all of you involved.

You can reach out to me or any of the SRS leadership team with ideas to enhance our mission and better our Society. Email anytime: SRS functions largely due to the volunteerism of our members. If you would like to get more involved watch for the opportunity to volunteer for committee positions that will come in March 2019.

As we approach the holiday season, I thank you for your commitment to advancing care for patients with spinal deformity. Celebrate the season that brings together family and friends with joy and happiness. Please don't forget the SRS REO fund as you consider your year-end contributions. We greatly value your donations and we need your help to expand the reach of our educational material to patients and healthcare workers in all regions of the world.

Most sincerely,

Peter Newton, MD
SRS President