Paul D. Sponseller, MD, MBA
SRS President 2019-2020
As the days lengthen and Spring is around the corner, our Society is as active as ever. The newsletter is proof of this. I hope you can see for yourself all of the energy our members are contributing! I want to highlight and call your attention to a few things. The Ethics Committee has done a great job of using clinical situations to distill ethical/professional challenges we all face, and clarify the issues. Please spend some time reviewing their work. The Health Policy Committee has also helped champion our issues with pediatric and adult devices. The Safety and Value Committee is working hard on making practical and accessible checklists and other advances.
As you know, earlier this month, the SRS leadership made the very difficult decision to cancel the 27th International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques (IMAST) due to the ever evolving COVID-19 situation. At this time we are still finalizing a variety of options to bring you the excellent education that was planned, including a virtual IMAST which will launch our new Learning Management System (LMS). More details on all of the adjusted IMAST offerings will be sent out in the near future. Anyone who was registered for IMAST will have their registration automatically cancelled and refunded at 100%. As there are a number of refunds to be issued, please be aware that cancellations may take up to three weeks. Registrants will receive confirmation of cancellation within 24 hours of it being processed.
Strategic Planning for our Society is a means of keeping us focused on the best for our patients and members. A group composed of the Board of Directors and others met outside of Washington, D.C. in January for an intensive brainstorming session for direction over the next 3-5 years. We focused on four areas: improving our global effectiveness, modernizing our member education system, improving patient education, and updating our infrastructure. It became clear that there is lots of opportunity in attracting the talents and ideas of new members from many different categories. We also hope to improve our outreach and interchange with other specialties who partner with us in care of our patients.
It is with mixed emotions that I share the news that Tressa Goulding has announced her retirement as Executive Director of the SRS, effective May 15, 2020. Tressa has been part of SRS for 30 years. She joined us when we were managed by the AAOS and helped lead the transition to new management by EDI. Her quiet but resolute leadership has allowed us to double our membership, add IMAST, undertake globalization, and emerge as clear leaders in Spine Deformity education and research. Her influence has been immense. Tressa will now be able to spend much-deserved time with family and hobbies. Characteristically of Tressa, this transition has also been planned for years, as she has groomed Ashtin Neuschaefer to take over her role with a deep knowledge of SRS workings and traditions. We thank Tressa and wish her all the best. All who wish to send her a note may do so at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to the SRS Office at 555 East Wells Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202.
Tressa Goulding, CAE
SRS Executive Director 1994-2020
Ashtin Neuschaefer, CAE