June 2016

Historical Committee Update

George H. Thompson, MD
SRS Historian

A telephone conference call was held on Thursday, May 12, 2016.
It was our second call of the year.  During the call we discussed the following topics:


  • The SRS office and Kansas University visit.
  • Van Loon specimen request.
  • Expansion of the SRS timeline.
  • Interviews with past-presidents, Lifetime Achievement Award winners and others for Prague.

In early March, Behrooz Akbarnia, MD and I visited Ashtin Neuschaefer in the SRS office in Milwaukee. During this visit, we reviewed several items and documents being held there. It was a very productive visit in which we were able to identify many items that need to be added to the SRS Archives website as well as sent to the physical SRS Archives at the University of Kansas Medical Center. After our visit to the SRS office, we flew to the SRS Archives in Kansas City and were joined by Jay Shapiro, MD. It was an inspiring trip in which we received an in depth tour of the Harrington Archives by Marc Asher, MD, reviewed the current SRS Archives and discussed the future of the Archives. I highly encourage all of our members to visit the SRS and Harrington Archives. It is extremely interesting.

The Van Loon specimen is an adolescent idiopathic human spine specimen that was operated on using Harrington Rod Instrumentation. The patient died nine months postoperatively and the spine was harvested.  The current owner, Dr. Piet Van Loon, wishes to donate it to the SRS or Harrington archive.  This is being investigated as whether SRS or the University of Kansas should be recipient and possible issues with shipping of human material.

As previously noted, the timeline used for the SRS Museum has been made digital in more ways than one! First, visitors to the SRS website can take a virtual tour of the actual museum, Additionally, the timeline has been made into a living digital timeline, Currently, only items from the museum are listed on this timeline. The committee will be working on adding to this timeline over the next few years. In order to make this timeline as accurate and comprehensive as possible, the committee will be reaching out to the individuals directly related to timeline topics to provide a write up.

The committee will be conducting videotaped interviews with numerous individuals at the 51st Annual Meeting & Course in Prague, Czech Republic. This is in an effort to bring our video archives up to date and to add to our collection of interviews with significant influencers in the field of spine deformity. Should you have any suggestions for individuals you feel are deserving of interviews, please send them to Ashtin in the SRS office,

Chair: George H. Thompson, MD Committee: Behrooz A. Akbarnia, MD; Jason E. Lowenstein, MD; Terry D. Amaral, MD; Alejo Vernengo-Lezica, MD; Patricia N. Kostial, BSN, RN; Jay Shapiro, MD; Hani Mhaidli, MD, PhD