New initiatives for a new year!
I wish to take this opportunity to wish all our readers a happy 2017. May your year be filled with success, health, and joy.
For SRS, we started the New Year with something new, something different!
For those of you who were in Time Square, New York, you might have seen a rolling advertisement for SRS being screened on one of the large overhead screens. We were given an opportunity to put up a ten-second promotional video to highlight the work of our Society. The advertisement was shown November 23, 2016 to January 31, 2017. During this time, our website traffic from New York City was doubled. As Times Square is visited by millions of people from all over the world, we are waiting to see if this will have a domino effect, raising awareness to the work of our Society globally.
Another new initiative is the Current Concepts in Spine Deformity Course. This is the first time SRS has put together a course with our Society in the lead, partnering with a regional society to deliver education around the world, using a defined curriculum, the strong SRS brand and programs that are sensitive to local and regional needs. With the help of Marinus de Kleuver, MD, PhD, from the Education Task Force, and Local Chairs, Martin Repko, MD, PhD and Alpaslan Senkoylu, MD, they have put together an outstanding program for our first course in Prague, Czech Republic. For further details about the course, please see Prof. de Kleuver’s article in this newsletter.
This Current Concepts Course, together with our curriculum development led by Laurel Blakemore, MD, will mark the beginning of a gradual transformation of our educational initiatives to a much more bottom-up approach, whereby we aim to design courses that addresses areas of need, and to develop a strong faculty base that can help us deliver the content around the world. I shall report more on our progress in my Presidential Address at the Annual Meeting & Course this year in Philadelphia, PA, USA.
In yet another new initiative, SRS had our very first webinar in December 2016. Thanks to Robert P. Huang, MD as moderator, with James “Jim” O. Sanders, MD; Charlie E. Johnston, MD; Peter F. Sturm, MD, and Jacques L. D’Astous, MD as speakers. The webinar covered all aspects of casting and was attended by 135 participants from 40 different countries. In a post webinar survey, 51 percent of the participants said that they have changed their practice as a result of their participation. The Presidential Line is so excited by this that we have set up an ad-hoc webinar committee, to identify new webinars to produce in the future. If you have ideas on what SRS should do for our next webinar, please submit a proposal via this link (https://srs.execinc.com/edibo/EducationalProposal). The casting webinar was recorded and will become available for unrestricted viewing via our website.
From the program perspective, Ronald A. Lehman, Jr., MD and Henry F. H. Halm, MD have finished preparing the program for the 24th IMAST in Cape Town, South Africa taking place July 13-15. This will no doubt prove to be a spectacular meeting, with a comprehensive program that addresses issues beyond deformity, and an emphasis on local and regional needs. You can download the preliminary program via this link https://www.srs.org/imast2017/program. Be sure to book your housing early, July is a popular time to visit South Africa! Also be sure to look into spending a few days with your family to take in the culture, tour South Africa and go on a safari.
Our Annual Meeting & Course in Philadephia, PA, USA in September is also coming along nicely. Praveen Mumaneni, MD, chair of the Education Committee has set the theme as Multi-disciplinary Approaches to Global Spine Care. The Program Committee, chaired by Muharrem Yazici, MD, is hard at work reviewing the 1,506 abstracts that were submitted. The committee has new ideas on enhancing our Annual Meeting that will allow more presentations within the limited time period. Please reserve the dates, September 6-9, 2017 to come to Philadelphia.
All in all, this promises to be yet another exciting year for SRS. We rely on your active participation to make our Society successful. Please share your ideas and feedback on any aspect of the Society. I look forward to meeting each of you personally during one of our upcoming meetings.
Kenneth MC Cheung, MBBS(UK), MD(HK), FRCS, FHKCOS, FHKAM(Orth)
SRS President 2016-2017