March 2016

President’s Message

SRS continues to be very busy.  We have just finished abstract submissions and had 1,541 successful submissions; one of the largest within the past years. Thank you to everyone who submitted research; it is what makes our IMAST and Annual Meeting & Course superb. The Program Committee, led by Justin Smith, MD, PhD and the IMAST Committee, led by Ronald Lehman, MD and Henry Halm, MD met the first week of March, in Orlando, for the abstract selection meeting. At this meeting, they went through the challenging selection process of finalizing the abstracts for both programs. The Education Committee, led by Theodore Choma, MD, is in the midst of their process to put together the best program possible for the Pre-Meeting Course, Half-Day Courses and the Lunchtime Symposia for the Annual Meeting.

President Elect Kenneth MC Cheung, MD led a retreat at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) meeting in Orlando to look at our educational offerings. What we are currently doing is excellent. Prof. Cheung is focused on how we can improve the continuity of our education and if we need to have a more basic approach for some of our Courses. This meeting involved many members, providing us a global perspective.

Michael “Tim” Hresko, MD and many others have gone through the arduous process of getting our early detection message through to the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) which is now reconsidering their recommendation against screening for scoliosis. Dr. Hresko and others have led the way to get endorsements from the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Academy of Pediatrics. This effort has been made possible by the generation of high quality evidence from the BrAIST trial led by Stuart Weinstein, MD and Lori Dolan, PhD.  Thank you to all involved.

The risk stratification effort led by Steve D. Glassman, MD and Frank Schwab, MD, and significantly assisted by many others, is picking up steam. This effort is a multi-pronged approach involving the American College of Surgeons National Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP), the Scandinavian spine registries and established study group data bases (such as HSSG, GSSG, CWSSG, ISSG, ESSG). As a Society, we have made a very considered decision to invest in intellectual insights as well as financial support toward this effort. I look forward to this endeavor improving our ability to do patient specific risk stratification so that we and our patients can do a better job of selecting who will and who will not benefit from our significant spinal interventions.

The Research Committee, led by Michael Rosner, MD, has made its selections for the Fall funding cycle and the deadline for the Spring funding cycle is rapidly approaching. We are always looking for high quality grant applications. Please keep them coming.

SRS has successfully led two more installment of Spine Deformity Solutions: A Hand-On Course. The first international program was held in October 2015 and was chaired by Ahmet Alanay, MD and Munish Gupta, MD in Istanbul, Turkey. This course was a tremendous success, hosting 40 participants from 23 countries along with an outstanding faculty of SRS members. This past February, SRS hosted the 6th Spine Deformity Solutions in conjunction with AANS in Las Vegas, NV. The course was chaired by Christopher P. Ames, MD and Munish Gupta, MD, and received excellent reviews from the attendees. These courses continue to be an intensive effort that provides exceptional education for those who attend.

Hopefully you are taking advantage of the new website. Many thanks to Ron El-Hawary, MD his committee, and the SRS staff who have all put in countless hours improving our website. Your suggestions, comments and contributions will continue to improve our site.

The Awards and Scholarship committee, led by Ian J. Harding, BA, FRCS (Orth), continues to be very active in selecting the Lifetime Achievement Awards, Blount Humanitarian Award, the next group of traveling fellows and the many, many scholarship recipients to attend various SRS meetings and gain educational experiences with SRS fellows.

The Global Outreach Program committee, led by Ferran Pellise, MD, PhD continues their very, very active pace. All SRS members that I have personally spoken to, describe their first global outreach medical trip as being life-changing for them as well as for the patients that they are able to help. This outreach activity is continuing to expand in terms of number of sites and number of patients reached. Hopefully we will enable these sites to be able to do this work independently and then we will have truly succeeded in our mission. This committee also has the greatest challenge in scheduling conference calls as it seems it is always after midnight and before four am for someone on the call! The dedication to do this is extraordinary. Thank you.

I continue to be amazed by the time and effort put in by members of SRS to complete all of the work we are doing around the world. The dedication of all to fostering the optimal care of all patients with spinal deformity is what truly makes our Society great. Thank you and keep it going!


David W. Polly, Jr., MD
President 2015-2016